There is nothing above Divinity, the Creator. And below Divinity comes humanity, viz., the created composite of men, women and children – irrespective of race, color, creed. And below humanity is nature for the needs and demands of humanity – with the truth that it is man that needs nature and not the other way around. So it is that the Social Doctrine of the Church anchored on Divine Truths, may not but reach out to the whole of humanity – with its natural needs – as its preferential concern. Hence, the first subject concern of the Social Doctrine of the Church is humanity just as the primary interest of Theology is Divinity.
The truth of the matter is that the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church has preference using the word “Humanism” when thinking of human dignity and human rights, when speaking about human needs and human aspirations of the human community. So it is that said preferential treatment of human persons permeates the whole Social Doctrine of the Church. God is pro-man. The Church is pro-man. The Pope is pro-man even but considering the reality of “Mercy and Compassion”.
With the advent of the third millennium, there are signal realities that permeate the secular world such as issues about economy and labor, technology and communications, politics and culture, national and international factors – among other things. All these concerns continuously and intimately affect humanity – for the better or the worst. And all of the said realities cannot but be the concern of the Social Doctrine of the Church as they impact on the good fortune or big misfortune of human society.
No less relevant and important are the rightful demands and import of justice, peace and development – considering that it is people themselves who are capable of bringing harmony where there is conflict, of cultivating fraternity when there is discrimination, of championing human dignity undermined by the exploitation of men, women and/or children. The truth is that the plight of but one man has its impact on others – friends and foes alike. Reason: Man is a social being – even but starting with the facts that his very existence begins with the socio-conjugal union of his parents.
There are quasi-innumerable people who are oppressed and waiting for liberation, who are mistreated and yearning for the recovery of their human dignity. And would nothing be done for people lacking in education, needing health care, having no work, lacking in housing, dying of hunger? And would nothing as well be done for people who are discriminated, marginalized and despairing? All these social evils and consequent liabilities have to be attended and responded to by other people in tenure of good will and actual possibilities, in observance of “Mercy and Compassion” .