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Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice

Transforming our Society
Through Catholic Social Doctrine 

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Our Mission

CAPP-Canada is a national chapter of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice, a Vatican-based lay-run foundation established by Pope John Paul II in 1993, with the primary mission of promoting a deeper knowledge and application of Catholic Social Doctrine among lay Catholics. 

In other words, CAPP-Canada seeks to help lay Catholic leaders in Canada form their conscience in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Catholic Social Doctrine - dignity of the human person, solidarity, subsidiarity - that they, in turn, may help advance the Common Good and the spirit and presence of the Gospel throughout Canadian society. CAPP members and friends also support the charitable works of the Holy Father.

CAPP-Canada is therefore a missionary organization of the Catholic Church, which has been given the task of promoting the knowledge and implementation of that corpus of principles, born of the wisdom of two thousand years of tradition and over a hundred years of attentive observation of the world in which we live, that constitutes the Social Doctrine of the Church.​ 

Core Principles

  • Human Dignity is the prime principle of Catholic Social Doctrine. It recognizes that every human person is made in God’s image and likeness. It is this that makes every human life sacred.

  • Solidarity flows from human dignity. It searches for a common good that affirms and supports the human dignity of every person, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. It “consists in the very fact that in God and with God I love even persons I do not like or even know.” (Pope Benedict XVI, 18)

  • Subsidiarity flows from human dignity. It affirms the freedom and responsibility of persons and the smallest or most local communities of persons to work towards the common good wherever and whenever they can, without unjustified interference by more centralized levels of authority. It recognizes “in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others” (Pope Benedict XVI, 16).

Catholic Social Doctrine does not prescribe specific policies or practices for addressing every political, social, economic or other challenge and opportunity; rather, it gives us principles, founded in the Gospel, for developing, proposing and evaluating specific policies and practices. It must be understood holistically, and not reductively. 

CAPP Canada Members & Friends

Membership in the CAPP Foundation is open to all practicing lay Catholics, especially those who wish to contribute actively to this mission through leadership exercised in economic, social, political and cultural spheres, and in their professional life.  If you wish to become a Canadian Member of the Foundation please review the application information and contact us.

Non-Catholics who wish to support the CAPP mission can become Friends of the Foundation.  If you wish to become a Canadian Friend of the Foundation, please review the application information and contact us.

Our Mission
Core Principles

“The kingdom of God, being 'in' the world, without being 'of' the world, throws a critical light on society, calling everyone, especially the laity, to infuse human reality with the spirit of the Gospel.”


Saint John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991.

Centesimus Annus (Latin for "the hundredth year") is an encyclical letter written by Pope John Paul II in 1991 on the hundredth anniversary of Rerum novarum, an encyclical letter issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891.

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