Global Solidary Definitions

1st Definition: Catholic Relief Services

Solidarity is a call to recognize each individual person as a part of one human family – regardless of ethnic, national, racial, gender, economic, political or ideological differences.  Catholic social teaching states that we all have a common origin having been created in the image of God.  We are called not only to recognize the dignity of each individual person in word only, but also to fully respect that person’s or group’s human dignity in our daily lives – by seeing and understanding others as our brothers and sisters for whom we have responsibility.

Solidarity means the willingness to regard injustices committed against another as no less serious than an injustice against oneself.  Solidarity is more crucial in today’s growing interdependent world than ever before, and we recognize that our responsibilities cross all economic, national, or regional boundaries.  Our increasing awareness of the world situation carries with it an increasing responsibility to the people who are forced by structures, groups and individuals to remain marginalized and in poverty.  Ignorance cannot be used as an excuse for failure to act with and for those who are oppressed and vulnerable in another city, country or continent.

2nd Definition: Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez

“There is no true commitment to solidarity with the poor if one sees them merely as people passively waiting for help.  Respecting their status as those who control their own destiny is an indispensable condition for genuine solidarity.  For that reason, the goal is not to become, except in cases of extreme urgency or short duration, the “voice of the voiceless” as is sometimes said – undoubtedly with the best of intentions – but rather in some way to help ensure that those without a voice find one…Being an agent of one’s own history is for all people an expression of freedom and dignity, the starting point and a source of authentic human development.” - (Theological Studies; “The Option for the Poor Arises from Faith in Christ,” June 2009; No. 70, pg. 317)

3rd Definition: Called to Global Solidarity

“The Church’s teaching on international justice and peace is not simply a mandate for a few large agencies, but a challenge for every believer and every Catholic community of faith.  The demands of solidarity require not another program, but greater awareness and integration into the ongoing life of the parish.  The Church’s universal character can be better reflected in how every parish prays, educates, serves, and acts.  A parish reaching beyond its own members and beyond national boundaries is a truly “catholic” parish.  An important role for the parish is to challenge and encourage every believer to greater global solidarity.” - Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes United States Catholic Conference, 1997

4th Definition: USCCA

"The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of 'friendship' or 'social charity', is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood" (CCC, no. 1939).   This involves a love for all peoples that transcends national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences.   It respects the needs of others and the common good in an interdependent world. 

5th Definition: Catholic Catechism

CCC states: The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods.  In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well.  (CCC no. 1942)
Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, or workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples.  International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this. (CCC no. 1941) 

6th Definition: Blessed Pope John Paul II

Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people both far and near.   On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say the good of all and each individual because we are all really responsible for all.

7th Definition: Catholic Relief Services

Global Solidarity is a personal and communal stance towards transforming social relationships in order that all persons can express the fullness of their humanity.   Solidarity is action on behalf of the one human family, calling us to help overcome divisions in our world.