It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one ills. “Behold, the hire of the laborers . No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God’s authority from the beginning: “Increase and multiply.”[3] Hence we have the family, the “society” of a man’s house — a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. 16. Those who rule the commonwealths should avail themselves of the laws and institutions of the country; masters and wealthy owners must be mindful of their duty; the working class, whose interests are at stake, should make every lawful and proper effort; and since religion alone, as We said at the beginning, can avail to destroy the evil at its root, all men should rest persuaded that that main thing needful is to re-establish Christian morals, apart from which all the plans and devices of the wisest will prove of little avail. A further consequence will result in the great abundance of the fruits of the earth. The present age has handed over the working poor to inhumane employers and greedy competitors. . Both can attain their purpose by means of things which lie within range; beyond their verge the brute creation cannot go, for they are moved to action by their senses only, and in the special direction which these suggest. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers — that is truly shameful and inhuman. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. What to do – You will need to work as a group with a supervising staff member and use the See, Judge, Act method to apply the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to a social justice issue in your community. Daily labor, therefore, should be so regulated as not to be protracted over longer hours than strength admits. 29, p. 16). Rerum Novarum was promulgated in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII, a little more than a century after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Yet, destitute though they were of wealth and influence, they ended by winning over to their side the favor of the rich and the good-will of the powerful. The momentous gravity of the state of things now obtaining fills every mind with painful apprehension; wise men are discussing it; practical men are proposing schemes; popular meetings, legislatures, and rulers of nations are all busied with it — actually there is no question which has taken a deeper hold on the public mind. One of these instincts is self-preservation, the other the propagation of the species. The meaning of Rerum Novarum emerges within a compre- Most of all it is essential, where the passion of greed is so strong, to keep the populace within the line of duty; for, if all may justly strive to better their condition, neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people’s possessions. Indeed, their co-operation is in this respect so important that it may be truly said that it is only by the labor of working men that States grow rich. The same principle is confirmed and enforced by the civil laws — laws which, so long as they are just, derive from the law of nature their binding force. Moved by your authority, venerable brethren, and quickened by your example, they should never cease to urge upon men of every class, upon the high-placed as well as the lowly, the Gospel doctrines of Christian life; by every means in their power they must strive to secure the good of the people; and above all must earnestly cherish in themselves, and try to arouse in others, charity, the mistress and the queen of virtues. It is the mind, or reason, which is the predominant element in us who are human creatures; it is this which renders a human being human, and distinguishes him essentially from the brute. “Behold, the hire of the laborers . It is gratifying to know that there are actually in existence not a few associations of this nature, consisting either of workmen alone, or of workmen and employers together, but it were greatly to be desired that they should become more numerous and more efficient. In a Chapter entitled ‘Towards the New Things of Today,’ John Paul II attempts to give Rerum Novarum a modern emphasis by stating that fresh reforms must involve “a continuous effort to improve workers’ training and capability so that their work will be more skilled and productive, as well as careful controls and adequate legislative measures to block shameful methods of exploitation, … It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes. . And on this very account — that man alone among the animal creation is endowed with reason — it must be within his right to possess things not merely for temporary and momentary use, as other living things do, but to have and to hold them in stable and permanent possession; he must have not only things that perish in the use, but those also which, though they have been reduced into use, continue for further use in after time. Nature itself would urge him to this. 24. The law, therefore, should favor ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the people to become owners. At the time being, the condition of the working classes is the pressing question of the hour, and nothing can be of higher interest to all classes of the State than that it should be rightly and reasonably settled. When Pope Leo XIII defends the right to private property, he also acknowledges an important principle that will continue to develop in the Church’s social teaching. To consent to any treatment which is calculated to defeat the end and purpose of his being is beyond his right; he cannot give up his soul to servitude, for it is not man’s own rights which are here in question, but the rights of God, the most sacred and inviolable of rights. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. The eightieth anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Rerum Novarum, the message of which continues to inspire action for social justice, prompts us to take up again and to extend the teaching of our predecessors, in response to the new needs of a changing world. It is most important that office bearers be appointed with due prudence and discretion, and each one’s charge carefully mapped out, in order that no members may suffer harm. Whence the apostle saith, ‘Command the rich of this world . 8. Still, when there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration. RERUM NOVARUM Condition of Labor 2. It follows that whatever shall appear to prove conducive to the well-being of those who work should obtain favorable consideration. 60. Leão XIII foi o Papa que introduziu a Igreja Católica no mundo. Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Those who labor at a trade or calling do not promote the general welfare in such measure as this, but they benefit the nation, if less directly, in a most important manner. There is no need to bring in the State. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. "Rerum Novarum" was a giant step of the Church toward making an alliance with the workers and the poor while resisting the Church's temptation to ally with the bourgeois. Nature accordingly must have given to man a source that is stable and remaining always with him, from which he might look to draw continual supplies. The foundations of the organization being thus laid in religion, We next proceed to make clear the relations of the members one to another, in order that they may live together in concord and go forward prosperously and with good results. Now, when man thus turns the activity of his mind and the strength of his body toward procuring the fruits of nature, by such act he makes his own that portion of nature’s field which he cultivates — that portion on which he leaves, as it were, the impress of his personality; and it cannot but be just that he should possess that portion as his very own, and have a right to hold it without any one being justified in violating that right. The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the leveling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Rerum Novarum and Economic Thought: some comments on Professor Waterman from and Italian Point of View, by Giacomo Costa. 8. And a third advantage would spring from this: men would cling to the country in which they were born, for no one would exchange his country for a foreign land if his own afforded him the means of living a decent and happy life. 35 We have said that the State must not absorb the individual or the family; both should be allowed free and untrammeled action so far as is consistent with the common good and the interest of others. . 27. That such a spirit of willing labor would add to the produce of the earth and to the wealth of the community is self-evident. 36. But human respect, or the dread of starvation, makes them tremble to take the step. Those who work in mines and quarries, and extract coal, stone and metals from the bowels of the earth, should have shorter hours in proportion as their labor is more severe and trying to health. Rerum novarum strongly affirms the dignity of work and the rights to private property, private associations, a just wage, and to discharge freely religious duties (#6-9). Rerum Novarum, encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 and considered by many conservative Roman Catholics to be extremely progressive. The only way, it is said, in which injustice might occur would be if the master refused to pay the whole of the wages, or if the workman should not complete the work undertaken; in such cases the public authority should intervene, to see that each obtains his due, but not under any other circumstances. His strength is developed and increased by use and exercise, but only on condition of due intermission and proper rest. It placed work issues at the centre of justice in society. The central theme of the encyclical was focused on the conditions of workers as effects of the Industrial Revolution. Just Wage & Workers' Associations. Hereby, then, it lies in the power of a ruler to benefit every class in the State, and amongst the rest to promote to the utmost the interests of the poor; and this in virtue of his office, and without being open to suspicion of undue interference — since it is the province of the commonwealth to serve the common good. For, just as very rough weather destroys the buds of spring, so does too early an experience of life’s hard toil blight the young promise of a child’s faculties, and render any true education impossible. Civil society exists for the common good, and hence is concerned with the interests of all in general, albeit with individual interests also in their due place and degree. • Through the use of Gospel principles, the Church can help reconcile and unite classes. . Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Women, again, are not suited for certain occupations; a woman is by nature fitted for home-work, and it is that which is best adapted at once to preserve her modesty and to promote the good bringing up of children and the well-being of the family. 48. A sede de inovações, que há muito tempo se apoderou das sociedades e as tem numa agitação febril, devia, tarde ou cedo, passar das regiões da política para a esfera vizinha da economia social. But We affirm without hesitation that all the striving of men will be vain if they leave out the Church. Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem, Part 2, ch. On each of you, venerable brethren, and on your clergy and people, as an earnest of God’s mercy and a mark of Our affection, we lovingly in the Lord bestow the apostolic benediction. And, in regard to children, great care should be taken not to place them in workshops and factories until their bodies and minds are sufficiently developed. In the last place, employers and workmen may of themselves effect much, in the matter We are treating, by means of such associations and organizations as afford opportune aid to those who are in distress, and which draw the two classes more closely together. If one fall he shall be supported by the other. 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