Pope Benedict says somewhere: “The four fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching: dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity…offer a framework for viewing and addressing the imperatives facing mankind at the dawn of the 21st century…The heart of the matter is how solidarity and subsidiarity can work together in the pursuit of the common good in a way that not only respects human dignity, but allows it to flourish.” In my introduction to this blog, I also tried to reduce the principles of Catholic social teaching to four, and came up with a slightly different list: personality, solidarity, subsidiarity and sustainability. There is a nice completeness about this division of social teaching into four dimensions. You begin with a point, which represents the human person, extended into a line (x), which represents solidarity or the intrinsic relationship of self to neighbour. You then add the vertical dimension (y) to represent subsidiarity or the way in which authority is organised, and finally the dimension of time (z), which shows that we have a responsibility both to the past and to the future. All in all, CST is a very comprehensive system, which can be unpacked and applied in many ways.