Page 12, 14th May 1937

14th May 1937
Page 12
Page 12, 14th May 1937 — " Divini edemptoris "

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Summary of sections 46-50 in Catholic Herald for May 7.

His Holiness, extolling the virtue of charity, calls upon the rich, instead of spending money on frivolous objects, to remember those who need even the necessities of life, taking care however that their charity is neither ostentatious nor uf that patronizing kind which demeans the recipient. This, it is pointed out, involves returning to a simpler mode of living. But charity, we are reminded, implies justice. It is not true charily to give as alms what is due as a matter et justice. Tho methods adopted by some Catholic employers in frustrating the premulgation Of line the Church's teaching on social questions indicates the length to which opposition to justice in industry will go. The attitude of such employers hin4 profoundly prejudiced the workers against Christianity.

Social Justice 51. In realitae besides commutative justice, there is also social justice with its own set obligations, from which neither employers nor workingmen can escape. Now it is of the very essence of social justice to demand from each individual all that is necessary for the common good. But just as in the living organism it is impossible to provide for the good of the whole unless each single part and each individual member is given what it needs for the exercise of its proper functions, so it is impossible to care for the social organism and the good of society as a unit unless each single part and each individual member-that is to say, each individual man in the dignity of his human personality-is supplied with all that is necessary for the exercise of his social functions. If social justice be satisfied, the result will be an intense activity in economic life as a whole, pursued in tranquillity and order. This activity will be proof of the health of the social body, just as the health of the human body is recognised in the undisturbed regularity and perfect efficiency of the whole organism.

Commutative justice.

The term indicates the justice which governs private contracts. It is contrasted with that social justice which regulates public relatiouships. Catholivista, it is plainly asserted, is not content with working " within the system" but brings Christian principles to bear upon the system itself. Proper provision for the living of a full life in the case of individuals is essential for the health of society as a whole. And this applies particularly to the question of workers' remuneration. The wealth of a State is not ti, be estimated solely from the gross amount hut there must be taken into account. aleo the manner in whichi its wealth is distributed. As physical health demands not only a full supply of healthy blood but also the proper circulation of the blood, se is it in the body politic. Wealth held in a few hands-even though the amount be large-does not minister to the true welfare of the community.

52. But social justice cannot be said to have been satisfied as long as workingmen are denied a salary that will enable them to secure proper sustenance for themselves and for their families; as long as they are denied the opportunity of acquiring a modest fortune and forestalling the plague of universal pauperism; as long as they cannot make suitable provision through public or private insurance for old age, for periods of illness and unemployment. In a word, to repeat what has. been said in Our Encyclical Quadragesimo anno; " Then only will the economic and social order be soundly established and attain its ends, when it offers, to all and to each, all those goods which the wealth and resources of nature, technical science and the corporate organisation of social alleles can give. These goods should be sufficient to supply all necessities and reasonable comforts, and to uplift men to that higher standard of life which, provided it be used with prudence, is not only not a hindrance but is of singular help to virtue."

• 53. It happens all too frequentlyo however, under the salary system, that individual employers are helpless to ensure justice unless, with a view to .its praetice,. they organise inetitutions the object.. Of which is to prevent c;ompetition ineornpatible with fair treatment for the workers: Where this is-true, it is the duty. Of coil-. tractors and employers to support and pro mote such necessary organisations as normal instruments enabling them to fulfil their obligations of justice. But the labourers too must be mindful of their duty to love and deal fairly with their employers, and persuade themselves that there is no better means of safeguarding their own interests.

Ti, prevent competition.

Corn ii also endeavours to prevent competition. he method is that of constituting the Clinunauist organisation the side employer of labour. The method advocated by the Church is different. It favours the formation of " professional and interprofteetional orgenisatione " (see section at) whose chief object would be not profits but the proper exercise uf their respective fenctions in subordination to a higher authority whicli relates them to a religious end and to the welfare of the vommunity as a. whole. The tieing of prices and weges on a basis of equity by these groups and the exercise of discipline to prevent departure from arrangements thus made and the enjoyment, each group in its own sphere, of a 'poly -would effectively prevent competition and at the same time secure a large measure of autonomy, or selfgovernment, for the several groups i-unearned. this was the method of the medieval guild and is that exemplified in what Pins XI in section 32 calls Sane corporative system."

54. If, therefore, We consider the whole structure of economic life, as We have already pointed out in Our Encyclical QuadrageAimo anno, the reign of mutual collaboration between justice and charity in social-economic relations can only be achieved by a body of professional and interprofessional organisations, built on solidly Christian foundations, working together to effect, under forms adapted to different places and circumstances, what has been called the Corporation.

SOCIAL STUDY AND PROPAGANDA 55. To give to this social activity a greater efficacy, it is necessary to promote a wider study of social problems in the light of the doctrine of the Church and under the aegis of her constituted authority. If the manner of acting of some Catholics in the social-economic field has left much to be desired, this has often come about because they have not known and pondered sufficiently the teachings of the Sovereign Pontiffs on these questions. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to foster in all classes of society an intensive program= of social education adapted to the varying degrees of intellectual culture. It is necessary with all care and diligence to procure the widest possible diffusion of the teachings of the Church, even among the workiag-classes.. The minds of men must be illuminated with the sure light of Catholic teaching, and their wills must be drawn to follow and apply it •as the norm of right living in the conscientious fulfilment of their manifold social duties. Thus they will oppose that incoherence and discontinuity in Christian life which We have many times lamented. For there are some who, while exteriorly faithful to the practice of their religion, yet in the field of labour and industry, in the professions, trade and business, permit a deplorable cleavage in their conscience, and live a life too little in conformity with the clear principles of justice and Chriotian charity. Such lives are a scandal to the weak, and to the malicious a pretext to discredit the Church.

A wider study of social problems in the light of the doctrinr of the Church.

Catholics have been Itehindhand in nes Ling the Faith to the social problems of our time, but the challenge of Communism with its developed philosepliy and formulated economista compels them now to offer an opposition which es not only informed and reasoned but eonstruclive. Mato of the faithful are ignorant of the fact that the Church has an alternative, supposing the eole tints of the Catholic to be that la making the hest of the system under which he happens to rive. Some do not even attempt to make the best of present conditions but accept without demur the social ethics generally current. It is the in whose Christian life Ills arolinese discovers '' incoherence and discontinuity," Their religious life is in a separate watertight compartment allowing of no communication with the conduct of everyday affairs. To remedy this an intelligient interest in the Church's soeial and economic tcachina and a resolute application of the same must lay cultivated, 56. In this renewal the Catholic Press can play, a prominent part. Its foremost duty is to foster in various attractive ways an ever better understanding of social doctrine. It should, too, supply accurate and complete information on the activity of the enemy and the means of resistanee which have been found most effective in various quarters. It should offer useful suggestions and warn against the insidious deceits with which communists endeavour. all too successfully, to attract even men of good faith, The Catholic Press can play rt prominent pare The Catholic Press is a mrstiator between tile more formai and learned statements of Catholic teaching mid the weak requiring popular treatment of current questions from the Churelee seandpoint. coin 1)1/1 1.1i. educatinn of its readers with the need of maintaining their interest it has a difficult part to play. The necessity of adopting o Popular tone has to be halromed by the oldie:stain to instruct. Not the least of its difficulties arises from the fact that Catholics are influenced like others by class prejudice and poli ilea] partisanship. tan enro p romis hie whitements of the Church's teaching on social ethics is apt therefore to affect Adversely a paper's ci rcul a I i a. Nevertheless, only by facing these difficulties rem rageously can the Frees fulfil the functions assigned it Isy the Pope. it is elect r that His Holiness demands of the Press that it shall do more than reflect Catholic opinion aud that he loeas to it to sxercise, under the direction of eeclesiastical euthority, ah inspiring leadership.

DISTRUST OF COMMUNIST TACTICS 57. On this point We have already insisted in Our Allocution of May 12th of last year, but We believe it to be a duty of special urgency, Venerable Brethren, to call your attention to it once again. In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realised that it was thus alienating the people. It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves arc good and attractive. Thus, aware of universal desire for peace, the leaders of communism pretend to be the most zealous promoters and propagandists in the movement for world amity. Yet at the same time they stir up a class-warfare which causes rivers of blood to flow, and. realising that their system offers no internal guarantee of peace, they have recourse to unlimited armaments. Under various names which do not suggest communism, they establish organisations and periodicals with the sole purpose of carrying their ideas into quarters otherwise inaccessible. They try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organisations, Again, without receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church. Elsewhere they carry their hypocrisy so far as to encourage the belief that communism, in countries where faith and culture are more strongly entrenched, will assume another and much milder form. It will not interfere with the practice of religion. It will respect liberty of conscience. There are some even who refer to certain changes recently introduced into soviet legislation as a proof that communism is about to abandon its programme of year agains Gad.

It has changed its tactics.

There is a difference between association with non-Catholics genuinely interested in humanitarian objects and assneintion with Communists whose professio.ns of humanitarianism cloak clesiens against the very folindaLions of Christian civilisation.

58. See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilisation may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilisation in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the Godless.

PRAYER AND PENANCE 59. But "unless the Lord keep the city. he watcheth in vain that keepeth it." And so, as a final and most efficacious remedy. We recommend, Venerable Brethren, that in your dioceses you use the most practical means to foster and intensify the spirit of prayer joined with Christian penance. When the Apostles asked the Saviour why they had been unable .to drive the evil spirit from a demoniac, our Lord answered, "This kind is not cast out hut by prayer and fasting." So, toe, the evil which today torments humanity can be conquered only by a world-wide holy crusade of prayer and penance. We ask especially the contemplative orders, men and women, to redouble their prayers and sacrifices to obtain from heaven efficacious aid for the Church in the present struggle. Let them implore also the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Virgin who, having crushed the head of the serpent of old, remains the sure

protectress and invincible " Help of Christians."

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