By Fred Kammer, S.J.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church names solidarity as a core principle of Catholic social teaching:
Solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity…The acceleration of interdependence between persons and peoples needs to be accompanied by equally intense efforts on the ethical-social plane, in order to avoid the dangerous consequences of perpetrating injustice on a global scale. 
Many associate the term “solidarity” with the writing of Blessed John Paul II, who developed the concept extensively. The term, however, was used by Vatican II in Gaudium et Spes in discussing universal interdependency and international relations, as well as the communal character of the human person taught by Jesus Christ, the community of believers that he establishes, and the ultimate solidarity to be “brought to perfection” at the end of time.  In writing Pacem in Terris during the Council, Blessed John XXIII called for an “active solidarity” that “cannot be divorced from the common good of the entire human family.” 
To develop the term “duty of solidarity,” Pope John Paul II underscores the urgency of connecting action for justice to faith. For him, solidarity is the structural response demanded by gospel love. Solidarity, as a social principle, involves fundamental economic and social changes.  In addition, in a striking assertion, the Pope says, “Solidarity is undoubtedly a Christian virtue.” 
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