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Rerum Novarum, By Pope Leo Xiii

2399 words - 10 pages

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of the good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our facilities”- Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was stating that if a government was careful and smart with their spending the working class would not have to suffer. The working class continues to work trying to feed their families while the Government continues to extricate the little money they have left. A good government would not tax their people so harshly that all their hard work goes to waste. Pope Leo XIII was trying to educate people on the philosophy that we should pay more attention and respect the working class. Pope Leo XIII published the Rerum Novarum in May 15 1891. It was on the conditions of Human labor each paragraph expressing different concerns on working people. Although this was written a while back these issues are still fresh today making this document relevant now. Pope Leo XIII wrote this encyclical in a letter format and addressed them to all Catholic bishops. The topics that were mentioned was the balanced duties between labor and capital. The balances between the government and its citizens were also included. This encyclical has been the basis for future encyclicals after Pope Leo XIII’s papacy.
As Christians we all have strong opinions on the social issues that occur in the world today. We base our decision making from the words spoken by God that are printed in the Bible. The church has every right to speak out on social issues. Not only does the constitution permit it, but if the church does not publicly address important issues nothing would be done about them. The first amendment of the Constitution specifically says “freedom of expression” which includes freedom of speech, press, and religion. Legally there is nothing stopping the Church from speaking out against issues. In Rerum Novarum n.21 “…But the church, with Jesus Christ as her master and Guide, aims higher still,” this message by Pope Leo XIII explains that the church will never cease to speak their mind on issues that concern them. It also states that just like Jesus, we should spread the word of love to others. In Rerum Novarum, n.16 Pope Leo XIII writes, “it is We who are the chief guardian of religion and the chief dispenser of what pertains to the church; and by keeping silence we would seem to neglect the duty incumbent on us.” In this statement he even mentions as a Catholic leader it is their job to address social issues. If they never addressed issues publicly it would appear that they are not doing their job as Catholic leaders. One of the main issues Pope Leo XIII touches upon is the separation between the rich and poor. He has made it clear in the document he opposes the idea of the rich gaining benefits that the poor...

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