"The Catechism of the Catholic Church" was a document of outstanding importance which sold millions of copies worldwide. Many critics at the time of publication said the Catechism lacked sufficient coverage of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, teaching on justice, peace and human rights. To remedy this, the Vatican commissioned this remarkable new publication from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Burns & Oates are now its proud publishers. Throughout the course of her history, and particularly in the last hundred years, the Church has never failed, in the words of Pope Leo XIII, to speak the words that are hers with regard to questions concerning life in society. To maintain this tradition, Pope John Paul II has for his part published three great encyclicals that represent fundamental stages of Catholic thought in this area. Moreover, numerous Bishops in every part of the world have contributed to a deeper understanding of the Church's social doctrine as have numerous scholars. This book also shows the value of Catholic social teaching as an instrument of evangelisation because it places the human person and society in relationship with the light of the Gospel. The principles of the Church's social doctrine, which are based on the natural law, are then seen to be confirmed and strengthened in the faith of the Church by the Gospel of Christ. The Pope hopes that the present publication will help humanity in its quest for the common good.