Issue Background



  • Genesis 12:1-3 -- God blessed Israel so that all nations would  be blessed through it.
  • Psalms 72 -- Living in right relationship with others  brings peace.
  • Psalms 122 -- Peace be with you!  For the sake of the Lord, I will seek your  good.
  • Zechariah 8:16 -- These are the things you should do: Speak  truth, judge well, make peace.
  • Matthew 5:9 -- Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be  called children of God.
  • Matthew 5:21-24 -- Be reconciled to one another before coming to the altar.
  • Romans 13:8-10 -- Living rightly means to love one another.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 -- If one member of Christ’s body suffers, all  suffer.  If one member is honored, all  rejoice.
  • Colossians 3:9-17 -- Above all, clothe yourself  with love and let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts.
  • 1 John 3:16-18 -- The love of God in us  is witnessed to by our willingness to lay down our lives for others as Christ  did for us.

We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological  differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.”1 The Gospel calls us to be  peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.


[Solidarity] is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to thecommon good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all. On Social Concern (Sollicitudo rei Socialis...), #38
At another level, the roots of the  contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them. ... It is precisely in this sense that Cain's answer to the Lord's question: "Where is Abel your brother?" can be interpreted: "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9). Yes, every man is his "brother's keeper", because God entrusts us to one another. The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae...), #19

We have to move from our devotion to independence, through an understanding of interdependence, to a commitment to human solidarity. That challenge must find its realization in the kind of community we build among us. Love implies concern for all — especially the poor — and a continued search for those social and economic structures that permit everyone to share in a community that is a part of a redeemed creation (Rom 8:21-23). Economic Justice for All, #365

Interdependence must be transformed into solidarity, based upon the principle that the goods of creation are meant for all. That which human industry produces through the processing of raw materials, with the contribution of work, must serve equally for the good of all... On Social Concern... (Sollicitudo rei Socialis),#39

To love someone is to desire that person’s good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is the good that is linked to living in  society: the common good. It is the good of “all of us”, made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society.  … To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate...), #7

The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist. On Christianity and Social Progress (Mater et Magistra...), #157

It is good for people to realize that purchasing  is always a moral — and not simply economic — act. Hence the consumer has a  specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in- hand with the social  responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated  regarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral  principles without diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of  purchasing… It can be helpful  to promote new ways of marketing products from deprived areas of the world, so  as to guarantee their producers a decent return. Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate...), #66