On Sunday last, June 1, Pope Pius XII delivered over the radio one of important messages of his pontificate.
Celebrating the jubilee of the publication of Rerum Novarum, the Pope the true principles for " that new order " which is to come out of the war.
Touching on all the great social and economic problems of the present time, the Pope re-stated in clear and precise terms the rights of the State, of labour, and of the family.
Not fearing to be misunderstood, he spoke of the rich and poor nations, of living space of colonies, of emigration, in an address that is destined to stand beside the great encyclicals themselves.
Rome Radial, recognising the vital importance of the message, set to work to turn it to account for Axis propaganda, stating that "Catholic circles express the view that the ideas expressed were the same as those of Fascism and Nazism whose social system is founded on justice for the working classes and the life of the family upon which depends the future development of the nation."
Whether by wisdom or through indifference the B.B.C. did not seize on those passages which imply the oft-repeated papal condemnation of Totalitarianism.
We print below substantially the whole text of the broadcast. Reception was not always clear and time has not allowed of detail checking, therefore there may be minor errors.
" We send you, in the midst of the difficulties of the present hour, a message of love, encouragement and comfort.
" We speak to you at a moment when every energy and force, physical and intellectual, of an ever-increasing section of mankind, is being strained to a degree and intensity never before known, under the iron, inexorable law of war; when from other radio aerials are going forth words full of plission, bitterness, division and attack, but the aerial of the Vatican Bill can transmit only such words as are inspired and pervaded by the comforiing spirit of the Apostle Peter's first Whitson speech in Jerusalem:
" With a genuine delight we to-day make use of so wonderful an instrument, in order to call to the attention of the Catholic world the fifteenth anniversary of the publication, on May 15, 1891, of the epoch-making special encyclical of Leo XIII: Rerum Novarum.
" ft was in the profound conviction that the Church has not orq the right, buf even the duty to make an authoritative pronouncement on the social question, that Leo XIII addressed his message to the world. He had no intention of laying down guiding principles on the purely practical, we might say technical, side of the social structure; for he was well aware of the fact, as our immediate predecessor, Pius XI, pointed out ten years ago in Quadragesirno Antra, that the Church does not claim such a mission.
WHY THE POPE SPEAKS ON SOCIAL CONDITIONS
It is, on the other hand, within the indisputable competence of the Church, on that side of the social order where it mixes, and enters into contact with the moral order to decide whether the basis of a given social system is in accord wills the unchangeable order which God has shown us through the natural law and revelation: that twofold manifestation to which Leo XIII appealed in his encyclical.
" For the dictates of the rratural law and of those of revelation stream forth in a different manner, like two streams of water, that do not flow against one another, but together, from the same divine source. And the Church, guardian of the supernatural Christian order in whirh Nature and grace convergei must form the consciences of those who are called upon to find a solution of the problems and of the duties imposed by social life.
"From the form given to society, whether conforming or not to the Divine Law, depends and emerges the good or ill of souls, whether men raise up a healthy vivifying atmosphere of truth and moral virtue or the disease-laden and often fatal air of error and corruption.
" How could the Church remain an indifferent onlooker, or feign nut to see or take cognisance of social conditions which, whether one wills it or not, make difficult or practically impossible a Christian life in conformity with the precepts of the Divine Lawgiver?
"Conscious of such a grave responsibility, Leo XII pointed out to the conscience of Christians the errors and dangers of the materialistic, socialistic conception, the fatal consequences of economic liberalism, and exposed with merciless gravity and wonderful precision the principles that were nestseery for improving gradually and peacefully the material and spiritual lot of the workers.
" You ask us to-day, beloved children, after fifty years from the date of publication of the Encyclical, to what extent the efficacy__ of his message corresponded to its noble intentions.
SHOWING THE STATE ITS DUTY
" From it sprang forth Catholic social teaching which gave to the children of the Church, priests and laymen, an orientation, and a method for social reconstruction which was overflowing with good projects, for through it arose in the Catholic field numerous and diverse beneficent institutions that were flourishing centres of reciprocal help for themselves and others.
" What an amount of well-being, material and natural, what spiritual and supernatural profit has come to the workers and their
families from the Catholic Unions. How efficacious and suited to their needs has been the help provided by the syndicates and associations in favour of the agricultural and middle classes, to relieve their wants, defend them from injustice and in this way to soothe passions and save the social peace from disorder.
"Nor was this the whole benefit, Rerum Novarum coming down to the people and greeting Mem with esteem and love went deep into the hearts of the working-class and inspired them with a sense of Christian
sentiment and civic dignity. Indeed, its powerful influence gained with the passage of the years to such an extent that it became almost the common property of all men. While the State in the nineteenth century considered the safeguarding of liberty by the law Its only duly, Leo XIII explained that it had also the duty to Interest itself in social welfare, taking care of the entire people, especially those weaker and less befriended than the rest.
"Rerun? Novarum thus became the Magna Carta of Christian and social endeavour.
"Meanwhile there was a half-century which has made grievous disturbances in the domain of society. The ten years that followed Quadragesimo Anno plunged the world into the'sea of a war whose unforseen currents affect our economy and society. What problems and what particular undertakings, some perhaps entirely novel, our social life will present to the care of the Church at the end of this conflict which sets so many people against one another it is difficult at the moment to trace or foresee.
If, however, the future has its roots in the past; if the experience of recent years is to be our guide for the future we feel we may avail ourselves of this commemoration to give some further directive moral principles on three fundamental values of social and economic life; and we shall do this animated by the very spirit of Leo XIII, unfolding his views which were more than prophetic, presaging the social evolution of the day.
" These three fundamental values which are closely connected one with the other, mutually complementary and dependent are, the use of material goods—labour, the family—principles which have lost nothing of their inherent vigour with the palssage of time, and to-day. fifty years after, strike their roots deeper, and retaintheir innate vitality.
" Every man, as a living being, gifted with reason, has the fundamental right to make use of the material goods of the earth, while it is left to the will of man and to the juridical statutes of nations to regulate in greater detail the exercise of this right. This individual right cannot in any way be suppressed even by other, clear and indisputed rights over material goods. Undoubtedly the natural order deriving from God demands also private property and the free reciprocal commerce of goods by interchange and gift, as well as the functioning of the State as a control over all these institutions. Thus, the State 'remains subordinated to the natural scope of material goods, and cannot emancipate itself from the first and fundamental right, which concedes their use to all men. WORK : IT IS PERSONAL
AND NECESSARY .
"Only thus 11114Si we make sure that private property and the. use of material geed: brings to society peace and prosperity, and long life. and that they no longer set up precarious conditions which will give rise to struggles and jealousy, and which are left to the mercy of the blind hoer-play of force and weakness.
"The native right to the use of material goods, intimately linked as it is to the dignity and other rights of the human person, together with such statutes mentioned above, provides man with a secure material basis of the highest import on which to rise to the fulfilment with reasonable liberty of his moral duties. The safe guardianship of this right will ensure the personal dignity of man, and will facilitate for him the assent to, and fulfilment of, that sum of stable duties and decisions for which he is directly responsible to his Creator.
" To safeguard the inviolable rights of the human person and to facilitate the fulfilment of his duties should be the essential office of every public authority, the power of which flows from the genuine concept of the common good which the State is called upon to promote.
" It follows that the care of such common good does not imply a power so extensive over the members of the community that in virtue of It the public authority can interfere with that individual activity which we have just described; decide on the beginning or the ending of human life; determine at will the manner of its physical, spiritual, reli .okewtioe, sgious and moral inoventents in opposition to the personal duties or rights of man; and condition, abolish or deprive of efficacy his natural right io material goods.
"To deduce such extension of power from the care of the common good would be equivalent to overthrowing the very meaning of the words common good,' and falling into the error that the proper aim of man
on earth is society, that society is an end in itself, that man has no other life which awaits him beyond that which ends here below. e.l
end than i
"Likewise, economy has no other e.l
end than i
"Likewise, economy has no other
secure. without interruption, the material conditions in which the individual life of the citzcn will be fully developed.
Where this is secured in a permanent way a people will be, in a true sense, economically
rich, because the general well-being, and consequently the personal right of all to the use of worldly goods is thus exercised in conformity with the purpose willed by the Creator. •
" From this. beloved children, it will he easy for you to conclude that the riches of a people do not properly consist in the abundance of goods measured according to a purely material circulation of their
worth, but in the fact that such an abundance represents effectively, the material basis sufficient for the proper personal development of its members.
THE RIGHT TO LABOUR
" With the wealth of material goods, you see how labour is connected. Rerun: Novarum teaches that there arc two essential characteristics of human labour; it is personal and it is necessary. " It is personal because it is achieved of through the exercise of man's particular forces. It is necessary because without it we cannot procure what is indispensable to
life. And man through a miraculous great individual obligation maintains life.
" To the personal duty to labour imposed by nature corresponds the natural right of each individual to make of labour the means to provide for his own life and for that of his child, so profoundly is the empire of Nature ordained for the preservation of man.
" But, note that a special duty and the the corresponding right to work is imposed on and conceded to the individual, in the first instance, by Nature, and not by society. From that it follows that the duty and the right to organise the labour of the people belongs above all to the people immediately interested, the employers and the workers.
" If they do not fulfil their function or cannot because of special extraordinary contingencies fulfil them, then it falls back on the State to intervene in the field of labour and in the division and distribution of work according to the form and measure that the common good, properly understood, demands.
" In any case, every legitimate and beneficial interference of the State in the field of labour should be kept so as to safeguard and respect its personal character, both in the broad outline and, as far as possible, in what concerns its execution. And this will happen if the laws of the State do not abolish, or render impossible, the exercise of other rights and duties equally personal, such as the right to give God his due worship; the right to marry ; the rights of husband and wife; or father and mother to lead their married domestic life ; the right to a reasonable liberty in the choice of a state of life and of the fulfilment of a true vocation,
THE FAMILY AND PROPERTY
" According to the teaching of Rerum Novarum, Nature itself has closely joined
private property with the existence of human society and its true civilisation, and in a very special manner with the existence and development of the family.
" Such a link appears more than obvious. Should not private property secure for the father of a family the healthy liberty he needs in order to fulfil the duties assigned to him by the Creator regarding the physical, spiritual and religious welfare of the family? In the family the nation finds the natural roots of its greatness and power.
" So-called civil progress would in practice be unnatural which was so exaggerated in its interference as to render private property void of significance, practically taking from the family and its head the freedom to follow the ideal set by God for .he perfection of family life. Of all the goods that can be the object of private property, none is more proper to nature than the land, ' the holding ' in which the family lives and from the products of which it draws all or part of its subsistence. It is in the spirit of Reruns Novarum to state that, as a rule, only that stability which is rooted in one's own holding makes of the family the vital and most perfect cell of society, joining up tina brilliant manner in its progressive ions,
cohesion the present and the future genera
" If to-day the concept and the creation
of vital spaces is at the centre of social and political aims, should not one, before all else, think of the vital space of the family, and free it from the fetters which do not permit even the formulation of the idea of a homestead of one's own ?
LIVING SPACE AND EMIGRATION
"Our planet, with all its extent of oceans and seas and lakes, with mountains and plains covered with eternal snow, with great deserts and tractless lands, is not without other habitable regions and vital spaces, now abandoned to wild natural vegetation, and well suited to be cultivated by man to satisfy And often it is inevitable that some families, migrating from one spot or another, should go elsewhere in search of a new homeland Then, according to the teaching of the Reruns Novarum, the right of a family to a vital space is recognised.
" When this happens, emigration attains its natural object. . . We mean the more favourable distribution of men on the earth's surface, capable colonies of agricultural workers, on that surface which God created and prepared for the use of all. If the two parties, those who agree to leave their native land and those who agree to admit the newcomers, remain anxious to eliminate as far as possible all obstacles to the birth and growth of real confidence between the country of immigration and country of emigration, then all those affected by such a transfer of peoples will profit by the transtrans" n' action.
The families will receive a plot of ground which will become home for them in the true sense of the word. Thicklyinhabited countries will be relieved and their people will acquire new friends in foreign countries, and the State which receives the emigrants will acquire industrious new citizens."