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Social Concerns & Advocacy - Education

Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message 2018

January 1 is the World Day of Peace!

In his 2018 World Day of Peace Message, “Migrants and Refugees – Men and Women in Search of Peace,” Pope Francis invites Catholics to embrace those who endure perilous journeys and hardships in order to find peace. He urges people of faith to turn with a “contemplative gaze” towards migrants and refugees. Read the 2018 World Day of Peace Message from Pope FrancisLet’s join with the Holy Father to pray that migrants and refugees find the peace they seek.

Visit the special USCCB webpage for various resources on the Holy Father’s World Day of Peace statement, available in English and Spanish.

2017 Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom for Mission – June 21 to July 4

This year’s 14 day observance of the Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom for Mission will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2017. This is the sixth annual Fortnight for Freedom organized and promoted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Catholics across our nation have the opportunity to keep up with religious freedom issues by visiting Please join with Catholics across the nation in praying, studying, and acting for increased protections of religious liberty. (All Fortnight for Freedom resources are offered in English and Spanish).

Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? (A Statement on Religious Liberty – USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty)


Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message 2017

"Non-Violence: a Style of Politics for Peace" is the title of the message of Pope Francis for the 2017 World Day of Peace.  The World Peace Day, initiated by Paul VI, is celebrated each year on the first day of January.  This year marks the 50th World Day of Peace Message.  In his 2017 World Day of Peace Message, Pope Francis urges us to practice active non-violence and to work to prevent conflict by addressing its causes, building relationships, and facilitating healing and reconciliation. Read the 2017 World Day of Peace Message from Pope Francis and visit the special USCCB webpage designed to promulgate the Holy Father’s message, with summary resources available in English and Spanish.

2017 USCCB Labor Day Statement

The 2017 Labor Day Statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), released on Wednesday, August 30, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, calls for action based on a vision of work that supports the flourishing of the family, a clearer understanding on the nature of poverty, and solidarity with those on the margins of society.  Read the full statement here 

Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si' (Praised Be) Released on June 18, 2015

On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') is the new appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candor and humility. (quoted from the USCCB website)

CLICK HERE for resources on Laudato Si'.

CLICK HERE for a video from America Magazine “Top Ten Messages of Laudato Si'”

CLICK HERE for the full text of Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, upon the release of Laudato Si’


RESOURCES from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) on the 50th Anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery and on the Civil Rights Movement

International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking - USCCB announces availability of resources

The first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking is on Feb. 8, the Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan. After becoming a religious sister, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting those who suffer. On Feb. 8, you can help raise awareness and act to end the violence and injustice that affect victims of modern-day trafficking. A flyer, sample intentions, the Become a SHEPHERD Toolkit, and a broad range of educational resources on human trafficking provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services, are available here, which links to the USCCB website anti-trafficking program web page. 



Pray for Peace in Syria


Pope Francis and the U.S. Bishops Call for Prayers for a Peaceful Resolution in Syria and Urge Negotiation Over Military Intervention – Find Statements and Other Resources Here.

March on Washington


U.S. Bishops Recognize 50th Anniversary of the "March on Washington"  - Find Statement Here.



Quote from Pope Francis

"'Adam, where are you?' 'Where is your brother?' These are the two questions which God asks at the dawn of human history, and which he also asks each man and woman in our own day, which he also asks us. But I would like us to ask a third question: "Has any one of us wept because of this situation and others like it?" Has any one of us grieved for the death of these brothers and sisters? . . . We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion - "suffering with" others: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! . . . let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty of our world, of our own hearts, and of all those who in anonymity make social and economic decisions which open the door to tragic situations like this. 'Has any one wept?' Today has anyone wept in our world?" (Pope Francis, Homily during Visit to Lampedusa,7/8/13)

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Overview of Social Concerns & Advocacy Office

Catholic Charities supports efforts to put faith into action on behalf of justice. Through the Social Concerns & Advocacy Office a wide range of educational programs and resources promote justice, address unjust social conditions, and work for the protection and respect for all human life - from conception to natural death.

The Social Concerns & Advocacy Office works to educate the people of the diocese through special events and workshops held regionally and at the individual parish level. Catholics can stay informed about public policy issues through Catholic Voice NC (CVNC), led by the Bishop of Charlotte. 

The Respect Life Program of the Social Concerns & Advocacy Office works to implement the US Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities in the Diocese of Charlotte.

National collections and other activities of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) fight poverty in America and worldwide, and promote greater awareness of the causes of domestic and global poverty.

Catholic Social Teaching

The Social Concerns & Advocacy Office is guided by, and gives voice to, the rich tradition and wisdom of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Through papal address and encyclicals, the statements of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and the guidance of the Bishop of Charlotte on social and ethical issues, the office promotes justice and peace with vitality and intellectual grounding.

Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God's Creation

Vital Resource on the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a synthesis of the Church’s social teachings published by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in October of 2004. The compendium is divided into three parts, examining the foundations, contents and pastoral perspectives of Catholic social doctrine. This valuable resource can be ordered through the USCCB publishing office by calling 1-800-235-8722.

Find here a link to read The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in its entirety, as well as other major foundational CST documents.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In January 2007, Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and Bishop Michael F. Burbridge of Raleigh sent a letter to all pastors in North Carolina urging them to acquaint their parishioners with the Catholic Church's teachings on stem-cell research, especially those aspects that violate the Church's moral teaching. They have also provided the following three educational bulletin inserts: “Introduction to the Ethics and Science of Stem Cell Research” (PDF), “Myths and Fact of Stem Cell Research” (PDF), and “A Call to Action” (PDF).

The Church Calls for Immigration Reform

The five Catholic bishops of the Province of Atlanta, in a statement released in November 2006 (PDF), urge the Congressional representatives of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to work for a “comprehensive reform of immigration law through civil dialogue, in the spirit of cooperation and love.”

Death Penalty Moratorium

“Seeking Justice, Seeking Fairness, Promoting Life” (PDF) is a resource from spring 2005 on the Catholic Church’s teaching on the death penalty and on the campaign for a moratorium on executions in North Carolina. A letter by Bishop Peter J. Jugis (PDF) written on May 3, 2005, in support of the death penalty moratorium in North Carolina was published in the Catholic News Herald on May 6, 2005.

50th Anniversary of Pacem in Terris 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pacem in Terris, the encyclical of Blessed John XXIII, published between the first and second sessions of the Second Vatican Council on April 11, 1963.

Pope Benedict XVI's 2013 World Day of Peace Message 

Blessed are the Peacemakers” is the theme of Pope Benedict XVI's 2013 message for the World Day of Peace, celebrated on January 1 each year. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us at that we all have a role to play in building peace in our communities and world. His 2013 message focuses on human dignity, rights and responsibilities, as well as the 50th anniversary of John XXIII's Pacem in Terris. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed resources to help spread the word about this message for the World Day of Peace.

Past messages for the World Day of Peace also are available online.

Pope Benedict XVI Releases His Third Encyclical

Pope Benedict XVI signed his third encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, on June 29, 2009, on the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The USCCB has produced resources to help diocesan, parish, and other ministry leaders explore and promote the message of Pope Benedict XVI’s third encyclical.

Pope Francis Releases His First Encyclical

Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a "successful and fruitful life," inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating "every aspect of human existence," including philosophy and the natural sciences.

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