A new guide to Catholic social teaching, DoCat, has been launched at World Youth Day by Cardinal Luis Tagle. Like its predecessor, the youth catechism YouCat, it uses a bite-size question-and-answer format, and is heavily illustrated with photos, cartoons, and quotations. Pope Francis has contributed a preface.
The quotations draw heavily on Scripture and the saints, but also include such figures as Bruce Willis, quoted in the section on new media for his observation that: “The internet is a place for searching, copying and browsing. At worst it is a place for executions. sexual abuse, a place for data mining and privacy groups. More trivially, it is a world of escapist nonsense.”
The book will also be available as an app, which is free to download until the end of World Youth Day.
DoCat includes chapters on God’s providence and love, the family as the foundation of society, work, economics, the international community and several other common themes of the Church’s social doctrine.
The book frequently quotes papal encyclicals from Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891) onward, and also from such documents as John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio and Evangelium Vitae.
It begins by asking, “Did God act according to a plan when he created the world and us?”, to which the reply is: “Yes, God created the whole world according to his idea and plan.”
In the margin, Blessed John Henry Newman is quoted: “I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by name.”
Also quoted in the book are Marilyn Monroe, Astrid Lindgren, and Lenin – though the latter’s remarks on the traditional family are only brought up in order to reject them.
“Family is first of all the place where the continuation of society is ensured,” DoCat says. It also defines the family as “the first and most important natural community”.
The book’s publishers, Ignatius Press, say this is the first introduction to Catholic social teaching of its kind to be aimed specifically at young people.