Homelessnes in the modern day world is a serious problem. In Australia, roughly 120,000 people are homeless every single night and this number is constantly increasing. It is because of this that society should turn to catholic social teaching so that we can provide the conditions that allow people to obtain what is fair and Just. It is by looking at and using the principles of catholic social teaching that we are able to enable people to obtain what is fair and just. This is using catholic social justice principles such as the dignity of the human person, the common good and community, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable and rights and responsibilities.
The catholic social teaching principle of the dignity of the human person is defined as a belief in the essential dignity of the human person. This “implies that human life is sacred, and the dignity of the human person is the starting point for an ethical vision for society. This principle is supported by the idea that humans were made in the image of God. Meaning that people are the purest reflection of God among us. By applying this to our society, a place where homelessness, and poor housing, which are an affront to human dignity, are eliminated” forever. The application of this social teaching principle will result in a community that values every life equally and will give people what is needed for them to have ‘dignity’. The cambridge dictionary defines dignity as the importance and value that a person has, that makes other people respect them or makes them respect themselves. This refers to the homlessness or the less fortunate to have the opportunity to receive shelter and food and in turn earn the respect of those who once looked down upon them. This is right and just.
The Common Good and Community, as a catholic social teaching principle, is associated to the principle of human dignity throughout many aspects. To achieve common good, all humans, despite their background must be treated equally and fairly. “This is because human beings grow and attain completion in communities. This implies that human dignity can only be comprehended and protected in the context of relationships with the wider society. This principle, when applied to homelessnes means that for the poor and vulnerable to succeed in their life they have to be accepted by the community. This will allow them to improve their dignity and by being treated equally and fair, the community will achieve common good. This society also has the responsibility to “love our neighbour”, which requires us to be nice to everyone around you. However, it also involves a wider social obligation.”.This is that everyone has a duty to contribute to the good of the whole society, to the common good. This means helping the less fortunate as well as getting the homeless back on their feet and providing shelter food and water if needed.
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Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, if acted upon in society, will have a major impact on the homelessness and less fortunate. This is because the poor and vulnerable will then have the most vital moral claim on our society. The “option for the poor,” is not controversial slogan that places one group against another. However, it states that the deprived and less fortunate people within the society wounds the whole sense of common good. The option for the poor is an indispensable part of society’s effort to achieve the common good. A healthy community can be achieved only if its members give special attention to those with special needs as well as to those who are poor and less fortunate.
Rights and Responsibilities relates to the fact “that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be attained only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things mandatory for human decency. This includes food, shelter, clothing, employment, health care, and education. Conforming to these rights will allow” for a healthy society that has common good. By using this as a guide, society will be able to provide the homeless with what they need to maintain human decency as well as act upon their human rights. As well as this, by ensuring that the communities responsibility of “love our neighbour” is fulfilled,
By society using the catholic social teaching principles of the dignity of the human person, the common good and community, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable and rights and responsibilities to help guide them, they will be able to provide the conditions that allow people that are homeless to obtain what is fair and Just.