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He describes the major dangers for human freedom and dignity arising from unrestrained capitalism , socialism , and totalitarian communism. He also calls for the reconstruction of the social order based on the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical exactly forty years after Rerum novarum.
In the first part he reviews and applauds the encyclical of his predecessor. The Church can be credited with participating in the progress made and contributing to it. It developed a new social conscience. The Church has a role in discussing these issues. Social and economic issues are vital to her not from a technical point of view but in terms of moral and ethical issues involved.
Ethical considerations include the nature of private property  concerning which, within the Catholic Church, several conflicting views had developed. Pius XI proclaims private property to be essential for the development and freedom of the individual. Those who deny private property deny personal freedom and development. But, says Pius, private property has a social function as well. Private property loses its morality if it is not subordinated to the common good.
Therefore, governments have a right to pursue redistribution policies. In extreme cases, the Pope recognizes that the State has a right to expropriate private property. A related issue, says Pius, is the relation between capital and labour and the determination of fair wages.
He welcomes all attempts to alleviate these cross differences. Three elements determine a fair wage: The worker's family responsibilities, the economic condition of the enterprise and the economy as a whole.
The family has an innate right to development, but this is only possible within the framework of a functioning economy and sound enterprises.
For this, Pius XI concludes that solidarity, not conflict, is a necessary condition given the mutual interdependence of the parties involved. Industrialization, says Pius XI, resulted in less freedom at the individual and communal level, because numerous free social entities got absorbed by larger ones.
A society of individuals became a mass and class society. Today people are much less interdependent than in ancient times and become egoistic or class-conscious in order to recover some freedom for themselves.
The pope demands more solidarity, especially between employers and employees through new forms of cooperation and communication. Pius draws a negative view of capitalism, especially of the anonymous international finance markets. He warns that capital interests can become a danger for states, who would be reduced to be "chained slaves of individual interests". Regarding communism and socialism, Pius XI notes increasing differences.
He condemns communism but also the social conditions which nourish it. He wants moderate socialism to distance itself from totalitarian communism as a practical matter and also on principle, in light of the dignity of the human person.
Ethics are based on religion and this is the realm where the Church meets industrial society. Ramsay MacDonald, the head of the British affiliate of the Socialist International, inquired to Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, on how the encyclical's statements on socialism applied to Catholics voting for or participating in socialist parties.
The Cardinal stated "There is nothing in the encyclical which should deter Catholics from becoming members of the British Labour Party Franklin D. Roosevelt had high praise for the encyclical and quoted it extensively on the evils of concentrated economic power. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. In Latin In English. Emblem of the Holy See. Rerum novarum. Pope Pius XI. Divini redemptoris Mit brennender Sorge Non abbiamo bisogno Quadragesimo anno. Pope Pius XII. Social teachings. Mater et magistra Pacem in terris. Second Vatican Council. Dignitatis humanae Gaudium et spes. Pope Paul VI.
Octogesima adveniens Populorum progressio. Pope John Paul II. Laborem exercens Sollicitudo rei socialis Centesimus annus Evangelium vitae. Pope Benedict XVI. Caritas in veritate. Pope Francis. Evangelii gaudium Laudato si'. Other figures. Archived from the original on September 2, Retrieved Roosevelt and the Third American Revolution. History of the Catholic Church.
Reformation Catholic Reformation. Baroque Period to the French Revolution. Vatican City portal Catholicism portal. Catholic Church. Index Outline Glossary Lists of Catholics. Catholic Church portal Book Category.
Centesimus annus. Enzyklika zum hundersten Jahrestag von «Rerum novarum»
Allocution de S. Boutry Philippe. Riccardi Andrea. Rerum novarum : il mito e l'avvenimento.
On the Economic Significance of the Catholic Social Doctrine
That the spirit ofrevolutionary change, which has long been disturbing the nations of the world,should have passed beyond the sphere of politics and made its influence felt inthe cognate sphere of practical economics is not surprising. The elements of theconflict now raging are unmistakable, in the vast expansion of industrialpursuits and the marvellous discoveries of science; in the changed relationsbetween masters and workmen; in the enormous fortunes of some few individuals,and the utter poverty of the masses; the increased self reliance and closermutual combination of the working classes; as also, finally, in the prevailingmoral degeneracy. Themomentous gravity of the state of things now obtaining fills every mind withpainful apprehension; wise men are discussing it; practical men are proposingschemes; popular meetings, legislatures, and rulers of nations are all busiedwith it - actually there is no question which has taken deeper hold on thepublic mind. Therefore, venerable brethren, as on former occasions when it seemed opportune to refute false teaching, We have addressed you in the interests of the Church and of the common weal, and have issued letters bearing on political power, human liberty, the Christian constitution of the State, and like matters, so have We thought it expedient now to speak on the condition of the working classes. But in the present letter, the responsibility of the apostolic office urges Us to treat the question of set purpose and in detail, in order that no misapprehension may exist as to the principles which truth and justice dictate for its settlement.
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