The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Section IV of Chapter Four offers a brief exploration of the Common Good. Today’s post and one tomorrow should be enough. Let’s start:
156. Human ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a central and unifying principle of social ethics. The common good is “the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfilment”.[Gaudium et Spes 26]
The common good does not bury individuals, but must be grounded in a basic posture of respect for the human person.
157. Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person as such, endowed with basic and inalienable rights ordered to his or her integral development.
Don’t forget about human groups of various sizes:
It has also to do with the overall welfare of society and the development of a variety of intermediate groups, applying the principle of subsidiarity. Outstanding among those groups is the family, as the basic cell of society. Finally, the common good calls for social peace, the stability and security provided by a certain order which cannot be achieved without particular concern for distributive justice; whenever this is violated, violence always ensues. Society as a whole, and the state in particular, are obliged to defend and promote the common good.
Violence may arise from inequities, but not all violence is based on this. There is an important distinction.