THE COMMON GOOD, THE PARTY’S IDEOLOGY, CAN ONLY BE FOUNDED ON UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES.
OUR DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES:
Belief in God Almighty.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person. Every person is created in the image and likeness of God. We believe that every human life is sacred from conception to natural death, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether or not it enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
Common Good. Common good is “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as group or individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” The principles of the common good, to which every aspect of social life must be related if it is to attain its fullest meaning, stems from the dignity, unity and equality of all people. A society that wishes and intends to remain at the service of the human being at every level is a society that has the common good – the good of all people and of the whole person.
Family, Community and Participation. The human person is not only sacred but inherently social. The God-given institutions of marriage and family are central and serve as the foundations for social life. They must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. Beyond the family, every person has a right to participate in the wider society and a corresponding duty to work for the common good and the well-being of all.
Rights and Responsibilities. As social beings, our relationships are governed by a web of rights and corresponding duties. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things that allow them to have a decent life – faith and family, food and shelter, health care and housing, education and employment. In society as a whole, those who exercise authority have a duty to respect the fundamental rights of all persons. Likewise, all citizens have a duty to respect human rights and to fulfill their responsibilities to themselves, their families, to each other, and to the larger society.
Social Justice and Love. Development cannot be achieved unless it is thoroughly imbued with justice and love. These are “the principles and laws of social life”. Justice rejects such situations as dishonesty in the marketplace, graft and corruption in private and public life, and unjust wages for employees. As important as justice is in the individual relationships, we need to emphasize even more today than in our past, in the light of our national disorder, the moral value of social justice. But for our interpersonal relationships and social structures to be put in order, justice is not sufficient. Love is necessary. While the demand of justice is implied by love, still justice “attains its inner fullness only in love.” For in justice, the other person can remain “another”, an alien. In love the other is a friend, even a brother or sister in Christ. Love is fraternity. Love is at the heart of solidarity.
Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. The moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. Our Christian faith calls on all of us to embrace the preferential love of the poor and vulnerable, to embody it in our lives, and to work to have it shape public policies and priorities.
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers. The economy must serve people, not vice versa. Work is a form of continuing participation in God’s act of creation. Work is a way of fulfilling part of our human potential given to us by God. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers, owners, and managers must be respected – the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to economic initiative, and to ownership and private property.
Subsidiarity or People empowerment. No social transformation is genuine and lasting where people themselves do not actively participate in the process. People’s participation is a recognition of God’s fundamental gifts of freedom and responsibility. The building of God’s kingdom begins, after all, on earth and depends on human cooperation with the grace of God. Empowering people is thus a prerequisite in the renewal of our country. Without it, our destiny as a people would remain in the hands of the few. Because of the interdependence of all members of the human family around the globe, we have a moral responsibility to commit ourselves to the common good at all levels: in local communities, in our nation, and in the community of nations. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be.
Care for God’s Creation. The world that God created has been entrusted to us, yet our use of it must be directed by God’s plan for creation, not simply by our own benefit. Our stewardship of the earth is participation in God’s act of creating and sustaining the world. In our use of creation, we must be guided by our concern for the welfare of others, both around the world and for generation to come, and by a respect for the intrinsic worth and beauty of all God’s creatures.
Peace and Active Nonviolence. The road to total liberation is not the way of violence, class struggle or hate; it is the way of love, brotherhood and peaceful solidarity. To remove social ills, active nonviolence is our moral countersign to the ideologies of today that espouse armed violence to change the status quo. It is likewise our countersign to the ideologies that institutionalize violence in order to preserve the status quo.