There were many things I learned from Catholic social teaching this semester. I came into this class on September 3, 2014 not knowing what to expect taking this course for a semester. Now taking it for a whole semester I know what catholic social teaching is and how it works. Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. I learned that and many other things while taking this course.
The first thing I learned from catholic social teaching is the four types of justice. The four types of justice are commutative, distributive, legal, and social. Commutative justice is the justice of exchange. It calls for fairness in agreements and exchanges between individuals or private social groups. For example, if a mother hires a babysitter to watch her kid, then in justice the babysitter should do a good job of caring for the kid. Distributive justice is justice that guarantees the common welfare. For example, we pay taxes to guarantee we get an education and have police and fire protection. Legal justice is the opposite of distributive justice. Legal justice requires that citizens obey the laws of society. Lastly, social justice applies the message of Jesus Christ to the structures, systems, and laws of society in order to guarantee the rights of individuals.
The second thing I learned from catholic social teaching is the principle of subsidiarity. The church promotes the principle of subsidiarity. This principle teaches that justice and human welfare are best achieved at the most immediate level. Under the principle of subsidiarity, people should take responsibility to provide for their own welfare, given the situation they are dealing with. The principle of subsidiarity discourages attempts to maximize or centralize the power of the state at the expense of local institutions. Also it widely supports the sharing of power and authority on the grassroots level. It prefers local control over central decision-making.