Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
The Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 46-1437406) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Saint John XXIII
MATER ET MAGISTRA ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROGRESS (Excerpts) MAY 15, 1961 Science in the Service of Life 196. Genesis relates how God gave two commandments to our first parents: to transmit human life—"Increase and multiply"—and to bring nature into their service—"Fill the earth, and subdue it." These two commandments are complementary. 197. Nothing is said in the second of these commandments about destroying nature. On the contrary, it must be brought into the service of human life. 198. We are sick at heart, therefore, when we observe the contradiction which has beguiled so much modern thinking. On the one hand we are shown the fearful specter of want and misery which threatens to extinguish human life, and on the other hand we find scientific discoveries, technical inventions and economic resources being used to provide terrible instruments of ruin and death. 199. A provident God grants sufficient means to the human race to find a dignified solution to the problems attendant upon the transmission of human life. But these problems can become difficult of solution, or even insoluble, if man, led astray in mind and perverted in will, turns to such means as are opposed to right reason, and seeks ends that are contrary to his social nature and the intentions of Providence. The Use of Material Goods 43. Concerning the use of material goods, Our Predecessor [Pius XII] declared that the right of every man to use these for his own sustenance is prior to every other economic right, even that of private property. The right to the private possession of material goods is admittedly a natural one; nevertheless, in the objective order established by God, the right to property cannot stand in the way of the axiomatic principle that "the goods which were created by God for all men should flow to all alike, according to the principles of justice and charity". Read the full Encyclical here. PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH, JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY (Excerpts) APRIL 11, 1963 Peace on Earth—which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after—can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order. Order in the Universe 2. That a marvelous order predominates in the world of living beings and in the forces of nature, is the plain lesson which the progress of modern research and the discoveries of technology teach us. And it is part of the greatness of man that he can appreciate that order, and devise the means for harnessing those forces for his own benefit. 3. But what emerges first and foremost from the progress of scientific knowledge and the inventions of technology is the infinite greatness of God Himself, who created both man and the universe. Yes; out of nothing He made all things, and filled them with the fullness of His own wisdom and goodness. Hence, these are the words the holy psalmist used in praise of God: "O Lord, our Lord: how admirable is thy name in the whole earth!" And elsewhere he says: "How great are thy works, O Lord! Thou hast made all things in wisdom." Moreover, God created man "in His own image and likeness," endowed him with intelligence and freedom, and made him lord of creation. All this the psalmist proclaims when he says: "Thou hast made him a little less than the angels: thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, and hast set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast subjected all things under his feet." Economic Rights 18. In the economic sphere, it is evident that a man has the inherent right not only to be given the opportunity to work, but also to be allowed the exercise of personal initiative in the work he does. 19. The conditions in which a man works form a necessary corollary to these rights. They must not be such as to weaken his physical or moral fiber, or militate against the proper development of adolescents to manhood. Women must be accorded such conditions of work as are consistent with their needs and responsibilities as wives and mothers. 20. A further consequence of man's personal dignity is his right to engage in economic activities suited to his degree of responsibility. The worker is likewise entitled to a wage that is determined in accordance with the precepts of justice. This needs stressing. The amount a worker receives must be sufficient, in proportion to available funds, to allow him and his family a standard of living consistent with human dignity. Pope Pius XII expressed it in these terms: "Nature imposes work upon man as a duty, and man has the corresponding natural right to demand that the work he does shall provide him with the means of livelihood for himself and his children. Such is nature's categorical imperative for the preservation of man." 21. As a further consequence of man's nature, he has the right to the private ownership of property, including that of productive goods. This, as We have said elsewhere, is "a right which constitutes so efficacious a means of asserting one's personality and exercising responsibility in every field, and an element of solidity and security for family life, and of greater peace and prosperity in the State." 22. Finally, it is opportune to point out that the right to own private property entails a social obligation as well. Read the full Encyclical here. © Copyright 1961, 1963 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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