Saturday, March 24, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 439.

YOUCAT Question n. 439 - How did the Church’s social doctrine develop?

(Youcat answer) The Church’s social doctrine was a response to the economic problems of the nineteenth century. Whereas industrialization had led to an increase in prosperity, the ones who profited from it were primarily factory owners, while many people sank into poverty as laborers with practically no rights. From this experience Communism drew the conclusion that there was an irreconcilable opposition between labor and capital, which must be decided by class war. The Church, in contrast, advocated a just balance between the interests of the laborers and those of the factory owners.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2421) The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century when the Gospel encountered modern industrial society with its new structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society, the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. The development of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests the permanent value of the Church's teaching at the same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active (Cf. CA 3).     

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) The Church recommended that not only a few but everyone should benefit from the prosperity recently made possible by industrialization and competition. She therefore supported the development of labor unions and advocated protecting laborers from exploitation through legislation and government assurances and insuring them and their families against sickness and emergencies

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2419) "Christian revelation… promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living" (GS 23 § 1). The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.
(The next question is: Are Christians obliged to become involved in politics and society?)

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