The Commission is under the direct leadership of the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch.

The purpose of the Commission is to study the teaching of the Church as it bears on society and social questions. This teaching , in fact, belongs to the moral theology of the Church and has been built up since the very infancy of the Church because the Church and her members have always tried to let Catholic faith shed its light on society. Rather than offering technical or political solutions to social issues, the Church looks to analyse things from the standpoint of Catholic faith. As a distinct and recognisable body of doctrine, a stream of magisterial teaching, known as Catholic Social Teaching, goes back to the famous “Rerum Novarum” (1890) of Pope Leo XIII.

The Commission was established by Bishop Meeking in 1994. Members of the Commission are appointed by the Bishop for a two year term.

From time to time it publishes a newsletter “Dignitas Humana” which is made available in the churches of the Diocese and on this web site.