Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Leo XIII--Wealth and Poverty

These [social] teachings [of the Church] could diminish the distance that pride is pleased to maintain between the rich and the poor, but simple friendship is still too little. If we obey Christianity’s precepts, union will be brought about through fraternal love. On both sides, people will know and understand that absolutely all human beings have come forth from God, their common father; that God is their common and only goal, and that God alone is able to communicate perfect and absolute happiness to angels and to human beings. In addition, all have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and restored by him to their dignity as children of God, and thus a true bond of fraternity unites them, whether this be among themselves or to Christ their Lord, who is “the first-born of many brothers.” (Rom 8:29) Finally, they will know that all the goods of nature, all the treasures of grace belong in common and indiscriminately to the whole human race, and that only those who are unworthy will be disinherited of the heavenly goods. “If you are children, you are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ.” (Rom 8:17)

Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 21

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