The s in Australia, as in other industrialised nations, were years of rapid economic and industrial change. They were characterised by the combined impact. John Paul II, The encyclical Laborem Exercens was written by Pope John Paul II in to celebrate 90 years since the publication of. Issued by Pope John Paul II on the ninetieth anniversary of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, Laborem Exercens expands and reshapes the corpus of.

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It is labore, not only to agricultural workers, who spend long days working the land, which sometimes “bears thorns and thistles” 17but also to those who work in mines and quarries, to steel-workers at their blast-furnaces, to those who work in builders’ yards and in construction work, often in danger of injury or death.

The development of human civilization brings continual enrichment in this field. For man has smumary given the task of work from the beginning.

It is also true in countries where the main working milieu continues to be agriculture or other similar occupations. One of the main points made there is that the very breadth of that definition raises to the same level all the forms of human work by which people participate in fulfilling the role of dominion.

Nevertheless it is obvious that materialism, including its dialectical form, is incapable of providing sufficient and definitive bases for thinking about human work, in order that the primacy of man over the capital instrument, the primacy of the person over things, may find in it adequate and irrefutable confirmation and support. An analysis of these texts makes us aware that they express-sometimes in an archaic way of manifesting thought-the fundamental truths about man, in the context of the mystery of creation itelf.

The Churchs teaching has always expressed the strong and deep conviction that mans work concerns not only the economy but also, and especially, personal values no.

Laborem Exercens

Precisely this reversal of order, whatever the programme or name under which it occurs, should rightly be called “capitalism”-in the sense more fully explained below.

LE 6 everything that is at the service of workeverything that in the present state of technology constitutes its ever more highly perfected “instrument”, is the result of work. In carrying out this mandate, man, every human being, reflects the very action of the Creator of the universe. In this direction it is possible to actuate a plan for universal and proportionate progress by all, in accordance with the guidelines of Paul VI’s Encyclical Populorum Progressio.

Critique of Marxism and Liberal Exrecens Central to the encyclical is the development the Marxist idea of the person self-actualising through work. Paborem and other social benefits, like pensions, health insurance, and workers compensation are also examined. Not only remuneration for work but a sense of personal involvement is needed. In Latin American countries where Church teaching had in the past sometimes been misused to oppress workers, the document was received by the oppressed workers as a message of hope and understanding.

The pope asserted the dignity of agricultural workers, and some particular difficulties and injustices they face. Workers can often share in running businesses and in controlling their productivity, and in fact do so. In the course of the decades since the publication of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum, the Church’s teaching has always recalled all these principles, going back to the arguments formulated in a much older tradition, for example, the well-known arguments of the Summa Theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas In many situations radical and urgent changes are therefore needed in order to restore to agriculture-and to rural people-their just value as the basis for a healthy economy, within the social community’s development as a whole.


This consideration does not however have a purely descriptive purpose; it exerccens not a brief treatise on economics or politics. We called the attention of all to the basic idea of these principles which consists, as We said, in the assertion of the unquestionable need That the goods, which were created by God for all men, should flow equally labore, all, according oaborem the principles of justice and charity.

Summary of “Laborem Exercens” | Pope John Paul II | Catholic Documents Archive |

It was precisely one such wide-ranging fxercens that gave rise in the last century to what has been called “the worker question”, sometimes described as “the proletariat question”. The state is not to step back and merely maintain law and order, nor is she to become directly involved in solving every problem. Long days of hard physical work are paid miserably. It is particularly painful when it especially affects young people, who after appropriate cultural, technical and professional preparation fail to find work, and see their sincere wish to work and their readiness to take on their own responsibility for the economic and social development of the community sadly frustrated.

It must be stressed that the constitutive element in this progress and also the most adequate way to verify it in a spirit of justice and peace, which the Church proclaims and for which she does not summary to pray to the Father of all individuals and of all peoples, is the continual reappraisal of man’s work, both in the aspect of its objective finality and in the aspect of the dignity of the subject of all work, that is to say, man.

There was just the beginning of effective opposition to Communist regimes, in the form of the Solidarity trade union in Poland, about which you read earlier 4. Having to abandon these tasks in order to take up paid work outside the home is wrong from the point of view of the good of society and of the family when it contradicts or hinders these primary goals of the mission of a mother Natural resources must be acknowledged as exercems of God, belonging to all.

Key Quotes Through work man must earn his daily bread and contribute to the continual advance of science and technology and, above all, to elevating unceasingly the cultural and moral level of the society within which he lives in community with those who belong to the same family Introduction. But man “subdues the earth” much more when he begins to cultivate it and then to transform its products, adapting them to his own exercrns.

Because fresh questions and problems are always arising, there are always fresh hopes, but also fresh fears and threats, connected with this basic dimension of human existence: Many practical problems arise at this point, as well as legal and economic ones; but the community, that is to say, the public authorities, associations and intermediate groups, business enterprises and the disabled themselves should pool their ideas and resources so as to attain this goal that must not be shirked: This entirely positive and creative, educational and meritorious character of man’s work must be the basis for the judgments and decisions being made today in its regard in spheres that include human rights, as is evidenced by the international declarations on work and the many labour codes prepared either by the competent legislative institutions in the various countries or by organizations devoting their social, or scientific and social, activity to the problems of work.


For it is the State that must conduct a just labour policy. Given this way of understanding things, and presupposing that different sorts of work that people do can have greater or lesser objective value, let us try nevertheless to show that each sort is judged above all by the measure of the dignity of the subject of work, that is to say the person, the individual who carries it out. Since 15 May of the present year was the ninetieth anniversary of the publication by the great Pope of the “social question”, Leo XIII, of the decisively important Encyclical which begins with the words Rerum Novarum, I wish to devote this document to human work and, even more, to man in the vast context of the reality of work.

We are familiar with the history of this conflict and with the demands of both sides. The third sphere of values that emerges from this point of view-that of the subject of work-concerns the great society to which man belongs on the basis of particular cultural and historical links.

All of this brings it about that man combines his deepest human identity with membership of a nation, and intends his work also to increase the common good developed together with his compatriots, thus realizing that in this way work serves to add to the heritage of the whole human family, of all the people living in the world.

Human work is a keyprobably the essential keyto the whole social question, if we try to see that question really from the point of view of man’s good. Thus, the principle of the priority of labour over capital is a postulate of the order of social morality.

Capital is meant to serve labour.

In practice this means the first concern must be the quality of life of the workers and not the maximization of profit. Through this laborsm one rightly comes to recognize the pre-eminence of the subjective meaning of work over the objective one.

But if, on the other hand, we look at who is doing the work, free persons made exefcens the image of God, then we would have to grant them what is their due because of their humanity, namely, the ability to live in human dignity, regardless of the low social status of their objective work.

Catholic Social Teaching: John Paul II, Laborem Exercens

This traditional patrimony was then inherited and developed by the teaching of the Popes on the modern “social question”, beginning with the Encyclical Rerum Novarum. Even in the age of ever mechanized work the proper subject of work continues to be the human person.

This critique ignited public discussion in both the summry unbounded marketplace of capitalism and in the controlled economies influenced by Marxist thought.

However, these resources can serve man only through work no.