In Catholic social tradition, “rights” correspond to the treatment every person deserves not because of background or individual merit, but by virtue of being created in the image and likeness of God. As followers of Christ, we are called to a concern for our brothers and sisters. This means that, in acknowledging rights, we also acknowledge responsibilities.

St. John Paul II writes, “every man is his ‘brother’s keeper,’ because God entrusts us to one another” (Evangelium Vitae, 19). In our complicated world, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by public policy. However, we are not exempt from engaging in public life. Today, we remember that we are all called to work to ensure that social structures uphold human dignity and support true human flourishing.