Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Condition Of Labor by Pope Leo XIII,

Encyclical (Latin Title Rerum Novarum), written by Pope Leo XIII, May 15, 1891.

Main points: Promotion of human dignity through just distribution of wealth. Present inequality creates a decline of morality as shown in alcohol consumption, prostitution, and divorce. Workers have basic human rights that adhere to Natural Law, which says all humans are equal. Rights include the right to work, to own private property, to receive a just wage, and to organize into workers' associations. Employers and employees each have rights and responsibilities: while the worker should not riot to create a situation of conflict with the employer, the employer should maintain an environment respecting worker's dignity.

The church has the right to speak out on social issues. Its role is to teach social principles and bring social classes together. The state's role is to create a just society through laws that preserve rights.

Context: Much poverty. Because of the Industrial Revolution, workers are being exploited by profit-hungry employers. Public authorities are not protecting the rights of the poor.

Innovation: First comprehensive document of social justice; brings the subject of workers' rights to light.

ps, RIP Paul Weyrich. Note Roy Blunt's comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you receiving insider knowledge to be able to post this about Pope Leo...perhaps from Jason of Life of Jason. It is time for all local bloggers to shut down....JoLoF has gotten everything covered...I mean everything...including Phillies baseball. Just kidding, in my mind the plunge is the number one blog in the whole Ozarks region. For example, I live in Ozark County and much of what is discussed at our local coffee shop is what is on bus plunge that week. Keep up the good work...and is not how many old vehicles you have in your front yard...but the bite of the dog that counts.....