Sollicitudo rei socialis 41


41 The Church does not have technical revolutions to offer for the problem of underdevelopment as such, as Pope Paul VI already affirmed in his Encyclical.69 For the Church does not propose economic and political systems or programs, nor does she show preference for one or the other, provided that human dignity is properly respected and promoted, and provided she herself is allowed the room she needs to exercise her ministry in the world.

But the Church is an "expert in humanity,"70 and this leads her necessarily to extend her religious mission to the various fields in which men and women expend their efforts in search of the always relative happiness which is possible in this world, in line with their dignity as persons.

Following the example of my predecessors, I must repeat that whatever affects the dignity of individuals and peoples, such as authentic development, cannot be reduced to a "technical" problem. If reduced in this way, development would be emptied of its true content, and this would be an act of betrayal of the individuals and peoples whom development is meant to serve.

This is why the Church has something to say today, just as twenty years ago, and also in the future, about the nature, conditions, requirements and aims of authentic development, and also about the obstacles which stand in its way. In doing so the Church fulfills her mission to evangelize, for she offers her first contribution to the solution of the urgent problem of development when she proclaims the truth about Christ, about herself and about man, applying this truth to a concrete situation.71

As her instrument for reaching this goal, the Church uses her social doctrine. In today's difficult situation, a more exact awareness and a wider diffusion of the "set of principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and directives for action" proposed by the Church's teaching72 would be of great help in promoting both the correct definition of the problems being faced and the best solution to them.

It will thus be seen at once that the questions facing us are above all moral questions; and that neither the analysis of the problem of development as such nor the means to overcome the present difficulties can ignore this essential dimension.

The Church's social doctrine is not a "third way" between liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism, nor even a possible alternative to other solutions less radically opposed to one another: rather, it constitutes a category of its own. Nor is it an ideology, but rather the accurate formulation of the results of a careful reflection on the complex realities of human existence, in society and in the international order, in the light of faith and of the Church's tradition. Its main aim is to interpret these realities, determining their conformity with or divergence from the lines of the Gospel teaching on man and his vocation, a vocation which is at once earthly and transcendent; its aim is thus to guide Christian behavior. It therefore belongs to the field, not of ideology, but of theology and particularly of moral theology.

The teaching and spreading of her social doctrine are part of the Church's evangelizing mission. And since it is a doctrine aimed at guiding people's behavior, it consequently gives rise to a "commitment to justice," according to each individual's role, vocation and circumstances.

The condemnation of evils and injustices is also part of that ministry of evangelization in the social field which is an aspect of the Church's prophetic role. But it should be made clear that proclamation is always more important than condemnation, and the latter cannot ignore the former, which gives it true solidity and the force of higher motivation.

42 Today more than in the past, the Church's social doctrine must be open to an international outlook, in line with the Second Vatican Council,73 the most recent Encyclicals,74 and particularly in line with the Encyclical which we are commemorating.75 It will not be superfluous therefore to reexamine and further clarify in this light the characteristic themes and guidelines dealt with by the Magisterium in recent years.

Here I would like to indicate one of them: the option or love of preference for the poor. This is an option, or a special form of primacy in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the Church bears witness. It affects the life of each Christian inasmuch as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it applies equally to our social responsibilities and hence to our manner of living, and to the logical decisions to be made concerning the ownership and use of goods.

Today, furthermore, given the worldwide dimension which the social question has assumed,76 this love of preference for the poor, and the decisions which it inspires in us, cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care and, above all, those without hope of a better future. It is impossible not to take account of the existence of these realities. To ignore them would mean becoming like the "rich man" who pretended not to know the beggar Lazarus lying at his gate (cf. Lk
Lc 16,19-31).77

Our daily life as well as our decisions in the political and economic fields must be marked by these realities. Likewise the leaders of nations and the heads of international bodies, while they are obliged always to keep in mind the true human dimension as a priority in their development plans, should not forget to give precedence to the phenomenon of growing poverty. Unfortunately, instead of becoming fewer the poor are becoming more numerous, not only in less developed countries but-and this seems no less scandalous-in the more developed ones too.

It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all.78 The right to private property is valid and necessary, but it does not nullify the value of this principle. Private property, in fact, is under a "social mortgage,"79 which means that it has an intrinsically social function, based upon and justified precisely by the principle of the universal destination of goods. Likewise, in this concern for the poor, one must not overlook that special form of poverty which consists in being deprived of fundamental human rights, in particular the right to religious freedom and also the right to freedom of economic initiative.

43 The motivating concern for the poor - who are, in the very meaningful term, "the Lord's poor"80 - must be translated at all levels into concrete actions, until it decisively attains a series of necessary reforms. Each local situation will show what reforms are most urgent and how they can be achieved. But those demanded by the situation of international imbalance, as already described, must not be forgotten.

In this respect I wish to mention specifically: the reform of the international trade system, which is mortgaged to protectionism and increasing bilateralism; the reform of the world monetary and financial system, today recognized as inadequate; the question of technological exchanges and their proper use; the need for a review of the structure of the existing international organizations, in the framework of an international juridical order.

The international trade system today frequently discriminates against the products of the young industries of the developing countries and discourages the producers of raw materials. There exists, too, a kind of international division of labor, whereby the low-cost products of certain countries which lack effective labor laws or which are too weak to apply them are sold in other parts of the world at considerable profit for the companies engaged in this form of production, which knows no frontiers.

The world monetary and financial system is marked by an excessive fluctuation of exchange rates and interest rates, to the detriment of the balance of payments and the debt situation of the poorer countries.

Forms of technology and their transfer constitute today one of the major problems of international exchange and of the grave damage deriving therefrom. There are quite frequent cases of developing countries being denied needed forms of technology or sent useless ones.

In the opinion of many, the international organizations seem to be at a stage of their existence when their operating methods, operating costs and effectiveness need careful review and possible correction. Obviously, such a delicate process cannot be put into effect without the collaboration of all. This presupposes the overcoming of political rivalries and the renouncing of all desire to manipulate these organizations, which exist solely for the common good.

The existing institutions and organizations have worked well for the benefit of peoples. Nevertheless, humanity today is in a new and more difficult phase of its genuine development. It needs a greater degree of international ordering, at the service of the societies, economies and cultures of the whole world.

44 Development demands above all a spirit of initiative on the part of the countries which need it.81 Each of them must act in accordance with its own responsibilities, not expecting everything from the more favored countries, and acting in collaboration with others in the same situation. Each must discover and use to the best advantage its own area of freedom. Each must make itself capable of initiatives responding to its own needs as a society. Each must likewise realize its true needs, as well as the rights and duties which oblige it to respond to them. The development of peoples begins and is most appropriately accomplished in the dedication of each people to its own development, in collaboration with others.

It is important then that as far as possible the developing nations themselves should favor the self-affirmation of each citizen, through access to a wider culture and a free flow of information. Whatever promotes literacy and the basic education which completes and deepens it is a direct contribution to true development, as the Encyclical Populorum Progressio proposed.82 These goals are still far from being reached in so many parts of the world.

In order to take this path, the nations themselves will have to identify their own priorities and clearly recognize their own needs, according to the particular conditions of their people, their geographical setting and their cultural traditions.

Some nations will have to increase food production, in order to have always available what is needed for subsistence and daily life. In the modern world - where starvation claims so many victims, especially among the very young - there are examples of not particularly developed nations which have nevertheless achieved the goal of food self-sufficiency and have even become food exporters.

Other nations need to reform certain unjust structures, and in particular their political institutions, in order to replace corrupt, dictatorial and authoritarian forms of government by democratic and participatory ones. This is a process which we hope will spread and grow stronger. For the "health" of a political community - as expressed in the free and responsible participation of all citizens in public affairs, in the rule of law and in respect for the promotion of human rights - is the necessary condition and sure guarantee of the development of "the whole individual and of all people."

45 None of what has been said can be achieved without the collaboration of all - especially the international community - in the framework of a solidarity which includes everyone, beginning with the most neglected. But the developing nations themselves have the duty to practice solidarity among themselves and with the neediest countries of the world.

It is desirable, for example, that nations of the some geographical area should establish forms of cooperation which will make them less dependent on more powerful producers; they should open their frontiers to the products of the area; they should examine how their products might complement one another; they should combine in order to set up those services which each one separately is incapable of providing; they should extend cooperation to the monetary and financial sector.

Interdependence is already a reality in many of these countries. To acknowledge it, in such a way as to make it more operative, represents an alternative to excessive dependence on richer and more powerful nations, as part of the hoped-for development, without opposing anyone, but discovering and making best use of the country's own potential. The developing countries belonging to one geographical area, especially those included in the term "South," can and ought to set up new regional organizations inspired by criteria of equality, freedom and participation in the comity of nations- as is already happening with promising results.

An essential condition for global solidarity is autonomy and free self-determination, also within associations such as those indicated. But at the same time solidarity demands a readiness to accept the sacrifices necessary for the good of the whole world community.


46 Peoples and individuals aspire to be free: their search for full development signals their desire to overcome the many obstacles preventing them from enjoying a "more human life."

Recently, in the period following the publication of the encyclical Populorum Progressio, a new way of confronting the problems of poverty and underdevelopment has spread in some areas of the world, especially in Latin America. This approach makes liberation the fundamental category and the first principle of action. The positive values, as well as the deviations and risks of deviation, which are damaging to the faith and are connected with this form of theological reflection and method, have been appropriately pointed out by the Church's Magisterium.83

It is fitting to add that the aspiration to freedom from all forms of slavery affecting the individual and society is something noble and legitimate. This in fact is the purpose of development, or rather liberation and development, taking into account the intimate connection between the two.

Development which is merely economic is incapable of setting man free, on the contrary, it will end by enslaving him further. Development that does not include the cultural, transcendent and religious dimensions of man and society, to the extent that it does not recognize the existence of such dimensions and does not endeavor to direct its goals and priorities toward the same, is even less conducive to authentic liberation. Human beings are totally free only when they are completely themselves, in the fullness of their rights and duties. The same can be said about society as a whole.

The principal obstacle to be overcome on the way to authentic liberation is sin and the structures produced by sin as it multiplies and spreads.84

The freedom with which Christ has set us free (cf. Gal
Ga 5,1) encourages us to become the servants of all. Thus the process of development and liberation takes concrete shape in the exercise of solidarity, that is to say in the love and service of neighbor, especially of the poorest: "For where truth and love are missing, the process of liberation results in the death of a freedom which will have lost all support."85

47 In the context of the sad experiences of recent years and of the mainly negative picture of the present moment, the Church must strongly affirm the possibility of overcoming the obstacles which, by excess or by defect, stand in the way of development. And she must affirm her confidence in a true liberation. Ultimately, this confidence and this possibility are based on the Church's awareness of the divine promise guaranteeing that our present history does not remain closed in upon itself but is open to the Kingdom of God.

The Church has confidence also in man, though she knows the evil of which he is capable. For she well knows that - in spite of the heritage of sin, and the sin which each one is capable of committing - there exist in the human person sufficient qualities and energies, a fundamental "goodness" (cf. Gen
Gn 1,31), because he is the image of the Creator, placed under the redemptive influence of Christ, who "united himself in some fashion with every man,"86 and because the efficacious action of the Holy Spirit "fills the earth" (Sg 1,7).

There is no justification then for despair or pessimism or inertia. Though it be with sorrow, it must be said that just as one may sin through selfishness and the desire for excessive profit and power, one may also be found wanting with regard to the urgent needs of multitudes of human beings submerged in conditions of underdevelopment, through fear, indecision and, basically, through cowardice. We are all called, indeed obliged, to face the tremendous challenge of the last decade of the second Millennium, also because the present dangers threaten everyone: a world economic crisis, a war without frontiers, without winners or losers. In the face of such a threat, the distinction between rich individuals and countries and poor individuals and countries will have little value, except that a greater responsibility rests on those who have more and can do more.

This is not however the sole motive or even the most important one. At stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt. As many people are already more or less clearly aware, the present situation does not seem to correspond to this dignity. Every individual is called upon to play his or her part in this peaceful campaign, a campaign to be conducted by peaceful means, in order to secure development in peace, in order to safeguard nature itself and the world about us. The Church too feels profoundly involved in this enterprise, and she hopes for its ultimate success.

Consequently, following the example of Pope Paul VI with his Encyclical Populorum Progressio,87 I wish to appeal with simplicity and humility to everyone, to all men and women without exception. I wish to ask them to be convinced of the seriousness of the present moment and of each one's individual responsibility, and to implement - by the way they live as individuals and as families, by the use of their resources, by their civic activity, by contributing to economic and political decisions and by personal commitment to national and international undertakings - the measures inspired by solidarity and love of preference for the poor. This is what is demanded by the present moment and above all by the very dignity of the human person, the indestructible image of God the Creator, which is identical in each one of us.

In this commitment, the sons and daughters of the Church must serve as examples and guides, for they are called upon, in conformity with the program announced by Jesus himself in the synagogue at Nazareth, to "preach good news to the proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the accept able year of the Lord" (Lc 4,18-19). It is appropriate to emphasize the preeminent role that belongs to the laity, both men and women, as was reaffirmed in the recent Assembly of the Synod. It is their task to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice. I wish to address especially those who, through the sacrament of Baptism and the profession of the same Creed, share a real, though imperfect, communion with us. I am certain that the concern expressed in this Encyclical as well as the motives inspiring it will be familiar to them, for these motives are inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can find here a new invitation to bear witness together to our common convictions concerning the dignity of man, created by God, redeemed by Christ, made holy by the Spirit and called upon in this world to live a life in conformity with this dignity. I likewise address this appeal to the Jewish people, who share with us the inheritance of Abraham, "our father in faith" (cf. Rm 4:11f.)88 and the tradition of the Old Testament, as well as to the Muslims who, like us, believe in a just and merciful God. And I extend it to all the followers of the world's great religions.

The meeting held last October 27 in Assisi the city of St. Francis, in order to pray for and commit ourselves to peace - each one in fidelity to his own religious profession - showed how much peace and, as its necessary condition, the development of the whole person and of all peoples, are also a matter of religion, and how the full achievement of both the one and the other depends on our fidelity to our vocation as men and women of faith. For it depends, above all, on God.

48 The Church well knows that no temporal achievement is to be identified with the Kingdom of God, but that all such achievements simply reflect and in a sense anticipate the glory of the Kingdom, the Kingdom which we await at the end of history, when the Lord will come again. But that expectation can never be an excuse for lack of concern for people in their concrete personal situations and in their social, national and international life, since the former is conditioned by the latter, especially today.

However imperfect and temporary are all the things that can and ought to be done through the combined efforts of everyone and through divine grace, at a given moment of history, in order to make people's lives "more human," nothing will be lost or will have been in vain. This is the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, in an enlightening passage of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes: "When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise - human dignity, fraternal communion, and freedom - according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illumined and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal on earth that kingdom is already present in mystery."89

The Kingdom of God becomes present above all in the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the Lord's Sacrifice. In that celebration the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands - the bread and wine - are transformed mysteriously, but really and substantially, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of the minister, into the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary, through whom the Kingdom of the Father has been made present in our midst.

The goods of this world and the work of our hands-the bread and wine-serve for the coming of the definitive Kingdom, since the Lord, through his Spirit, takes them up into himself in order to offer himself to the Father and to offer us with himself in the renewal of his one Sacrifice, which anticipates God's Kingdom and proclaims its final coming.

Thus the Lord unites us with himself through the Eucharist- Sacrament and Sacrifice-and he unites us with himself and with one another by a bond stronger than any natural union; and thus united, he sends us into the whole world to bear witness, through faith and works, to God's love, preparing the coming of his Kingdom and anticipating it, though in the obscurity of the present time.

All of us who take part in the Eucharist are called to discover, through this sacrament, the profound meaning of our actions in the world in favor of development and peace; and to receive from it the strength to commit ourselves ever more generously, following the example of Christ, who in this sacrament lays down his life for his friends (cf. Jn
Jn 15,13). Our personal commitment, like Christ's and in union with his, will-not be in vain but certainly fruitful.

49 I have called the current Marian Year in order that the Catholic faithful may look more and more to Mary, who goes before us on the pilgrimage of faith90 and with maternal care intercedes for us before her Son, our Redeemer. I wish to entrust to her and to her intercession this difficult moment of the modern world, and the efforts that are being made and will be made, often with great suffering, in order to contribute to the true development of peoples proposed and proclaimed by my predecessor Paul VI.

In keeping with Christian piety through the ages, we present to the Blessed Virgin difficult individual situations, so that she may place them before her Son, asking that he alleviate and change them. But we also present to her social situations and the international crisis itself, in their worrying aspects of poverty, unemployment, shortage of food, the arms race, contempt for human rights, and situations or dangers of conflict, partial or total. In a filial spirit we wish to place all this before her "eyes of mercy," repeating once more with faith and hope the ancient antiphon: "Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin."

Mary most holy, our Mother and Queen, is the one who turns to her Son and says: "They have no more wine" (
Jn 2,3). She is also the one who praises God the Father, because "he has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away" (Lc 1,52-53). Her maternal concern extends to the personal and social aspects of people's life on earth.91

Before the Most Blessed Trinity, I entrust to Mary all that I have written in this Encyclical, and I invite all to reflect and actively commit themselves to promoting the true development of peoples, as the prayer of the Mass for this intention states so well: "Father, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love, and the desire to ensure justice for all their brothers and sisters. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, an end to all division and a human society built on love and peace."92 This, in conclusion, is what I ask in the name of all my brothers and sisters, to whom I send a special blessing as a sign of greeting and good wishes.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on December 30 of the year 1987, the tenth of my Pontificate.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Leo XIII, Encyclical Rerum Novarum (May 15, 1891): Leonis XIII P. M. Acta, XI, Romae 1892, pp. 97-144.

2. Pius XI, Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (May 15, 1931): AAS 23 (1931), pp. 177-J28; John XXIII, Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961); AAS 53 (1961), pp. 401-464; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971): AAS 63 (1971), pp. 401- 441; John Paul II, Encyclical Laborem Exercens (September 14, 1981): AAS 73 (1981), pp. 577-647. Also Pius XII delivered a radio message (June 1, 1941) for the fiftieth anniversary of the Encyclical of Leo XIII: AAS 33 (1941), pp. 195-205.

3. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, n. 4.

4. Paul VI, Encyclical Populorum Progressio (March 26, 1967): AAS 59 (1967), pp. 257-299.

5. Cf. L'Osservatore Romano, May 25, 1987.

6. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), 72: AAS 79 (1987), p. 586; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971), n. 4: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 403f.

7. Cf. Encyclical Redemptoris Mater (March 25, 1987), n. 3: AAS 79 (1987), pp. 363f.; Homily at the Mass of January 1, 1987: L'Osservatore Romano, January 2, 1987.

8. The Encyclical Populorum Progressio cites the documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council nineteen times, and sixteen of the references are to the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes.

9. Gaudium et Spes, n. 1.

10. Ibid., n. 4; cf. Populorum Progressio, n. 13: loc. cit., pp. 263, 264.

11. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 3; Populorum Progressio, n. 13: loc. cit., p. 264.

12. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 63; Populorum Progressio, n. 9: loc. cit., p. 269.

13. Cf Gaudium et Spes. n. 69; Populorum Progressio, n. 22: loc. cit., p. 269.

14. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 57; Populorum Progressio, n. 41: loc. cit., p. 277.

15. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 19; Populorum Progressio, n. 41: loc. cit., pp. 277f.

16. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 86; Populorum Progressio, n. 48: loc.cit., p. 281.

17. Cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 69; Populorum Progressio, nn. 14- 21: loc. cit., pp. 264-268.

18. Cf. the Inscriptio of the Encyclical Populorum Progressio: loc. cit., p. 257.

19. The Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII has as its principal subject "the condition of the workers" Leonis XIII P. M. Acta, XI, Romae 1892, p. 97.

20. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), n. 72: AAS 79 (1987), p. 586; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971); n. 4: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 403f.

21. Cf. Encyclical Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961): AAS 53 (1961), p. 440.

22. Gaudium et Spes, n. 63.

23. Cf. Encyclical Populorum Progressio, n. 3: loc. cit., p. 258: cf. also ibid., n. 9: loc. cit., p. 261.

24. Cf. ibid., n. 3: loc. cit., p. 258.

25. Ibid., n. 48: loc. cit., p. 281.

26. Cf. ibid., n. 14: loc. cit., p. 264: "Development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every man and of the whole man."

27. Ibid., n. 87: loc. cit., p. 299.

28. Cf. ibid., n. 53: loc. cit., p. 283.

29. Cf. ibid., n. 76: loc. cit., p. 295.

30. The decades referred to are the years 1960-1970 and 1970-1980, the present decade is the third (1980-1990).

31. The expression "Fourth World" is used not just occasionally for the so-called less advanced countries, but also and especially for the bands of great or extreme poverty in countries of medium and high income.

32. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, n. 1.

33. Encyclical Populorum Progressio, n. 33: loc. cit., p. 273.

34. It should be noted that the Holy See associated itself with the celebration of this International Year with a special Document issued by the Pontifical Commission Iustitia et Pax entitled: "What Have You Done to Your Homeless Brother?" The Church and the Housing Problem (December 27, 1987).

35 Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971), nn. 8-9: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 406-408.

36. A recent United Nations publication entitled World Economic Survey 1987 provides the most recent data (cf. pp. 8-9). The percentage of unemployed in the developed countries with a market economy jumped from 3% of the work force in 1970 to 8% in 1986. It now amounts to 29 million people.

37. Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens (September 14, 1981), n. 18: AAS 73 (1981), pp. 624-625.

38. At the Service of the Human Community: An Ethical Approach to the International Debt Question (December 27, 1986).

39. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 54: loc. cit., pp. 283f.: "Developing countries will thus no longer risk being overwhelmed by debts whose repayment swallows up the greater part of their gains. Rates of interest and time for repayment of the loan could be so arranged as not to be too great a burden on either party, taking into account free gifts, interest-free or low-interest loans, and the time needed for liquidating the debts."

40. Cf. "Presentation" of the document At the Service of the Human Community: An Ethical Approach to the International Debt Question (December 27, 1986).

41. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 53; loc. cit., p. 283.

42. At the Service of the Human Community: An Ethical Approach to the International Debt Question (December 27, 986), III, 2, 1.

43. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, nn. 20-21: loc. cit., pp. 267f.

44. Address at Drogheda, Ireland (September 29, 1979), n. 5: AAS 71 (1979), II, p. 1079.

45. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 37: loc. cit., pp. 275f.

46. Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981), especially in n. 30: AAS 74 (1982), pp. 115-117.

47. Cf. Human Rights: Collection of International Instruments, United Nations, New York, 1983; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979), n. 17: AAS 71 (1979), p. 296.

48. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 78; Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 76: loc. cit., pp. 294f.: "To wage war on misery and to struggle against injustice is to promote, along with improved conditions, the human and spiritual progress of all men, and therefore the common good of humanity...peace is something that is built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among men."

49. Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Familiarls Consortio (November 22, 1981), n. 6: AAS 74 (1982), p. 88: "...history is not simply a fixed progression toward what is better, but rather an event of freedom, and even a struggle between freedoms...."

50. For this reason the word "development" was used in the Encyclical rather than the word "progress," but with an attempt to give the word "development" its fullest meaning.

51. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 19: loc. cit., pp. 266f.: "Increased possession is not the ultimate goal of nations or of individuals. All growth is ambivalent.... The exclusive pursuit of possessions thus becomes an obstacle to individual fulfillment and to man's true greatness...both for nations and for individual men, avarice is the most evident form of moral underdevelopment"; cf. also Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971), n. 9: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 407f.

52. Cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 35: Paul VI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps (January 7, 1965): AAS 57 (1965), p. 232.

53. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, nn. 20-21: loc. cit., pp. 267f.

54. C f. Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens (September 14, 1981), n. 4: AAS 73 (1981), pp. 584f., Paul VI Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 15: loc. cit., p. 265.

55. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 42: loc. cit., p. 278.

56. Cf. Praeconium Paschale, Missale Romanum, ed. typ. altera, 1975, p. 272: "O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est! O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!"

57. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, n. 1.

58. Cf. for example, St. Basil the Great, Regulae Fusius Tractatae, Interrogatio XXXVII, nn. 1-2: PG 31, 1009-1012 Theodoret of Cyr, De Providentia, Oratio VII: PG 83, 665-686; St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XIX, n. 17: CCL 48 683-685.

59. Cf. for example, St. John Chrysostom, In Evang. S. Matthaei, Hom. 50, 3-4: PG 58, 508-510, St. Ambrose De Officiis Ministrorum, lib. II, XXVIII, 136-140: PL 16 139-141; St. Possidius, Vita S. Augustini Episcopi, XXIV: PL 32, 53f.

60. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 23: loc. cit., p. 268: "If someone who has the riches of this world sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?"(1 Jn 3:17) It is well known how strong were the words used by the Fathers of the Church to describe the proper attitude of persons who possess any thing toward persons in need." In the previous number, the Pope had cited n. 69 of the Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et Spes, of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

61. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 47: "...a world where freedom is not an empty word and where the poor man Lazarus can sit down at the same table with the rich man."

62. Cf. ibid., n. 47: "It is a question, rather, of building a world where every man, no matter what his race, religion or nationality, can live a fully human life, freed from servitude imposed on him by other men..."; cf. also Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 29. Such fundamental equality is one of the basic reasons why the Church has always been opposed to every form of racism.

63. Cf. Homily at Val Visdende (July 12, 1987), n. 5: L'Osservatore Romano, July 13-14, 1987; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971), n. 21: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 416f.

64. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 25.

65. Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2, 1984), n. 16: "Whenever the Church speaks of situations of sin, or when she condemns as social sins certain situations or the collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations and blocs of nations, she knows and she proclaims that such cases of social sin are the result of the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins. It is a case of the very personal sins of those who cause or support evil or who exploit it; of those who are in a position to avoid, eliminate or at least limit certain social evils but who fail to do so out of laziness, fear or the conspiracy of silence, through secret complicity or indifference; of those who take refuge in the supposed impossibility of changing the world, and also of those who sidestep the effort and sacrifice required, producing specious reasons of a higher order. The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals. A situation - or likewise an institution, a structure, society itself - is not in itself the subject of moral acts. Hence a situation cannot in itself be good or bad": AAS 77 (1985), p. 217.

66. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 42: loc. cit., p. 278.

67. Cf. Liturgia Horarum, Feria III hebdomadae IIIae Temporis per annum, Preces ad Vesperas.

68. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 87: loc. cit., p. 299.

69. Cf. ibid., n. 13; loc. cit., pp. 263f., 296f.

70. Cf. ibid., n. 13: loc. cit., p. 263.

71. Cf. Address at the Opening of the Third General Conference of the Latin-American Bishops (January 28, 1979): AAS 71 (1979), pp. 189-196.

72. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), n. 72: AAS 79 (1987), p. 586; Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 971), n. 4: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 403f.

73. Cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, Part II, Ch. V, Section 2: "Building Up the International Community," nn. 83-90.

74. Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961): AAS 53 (1961), p. 440; Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (April 11, 1963), Part IV: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 291-296; Paul VI Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (May 14, 1971), nn 2-4: AAS 63 (1971), pp. 402-404.

75. Cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, nn. 3, 9: loc. cit., pp. 258, 261.

76. Ibid., n. 3: loc. cit., p. 258.

77. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 47: loc. cit., p. 280; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), n. 68: AAS 79 (1987), pp. 583f.

78. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 69; Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 22: loc. cit., p. 268; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), n. 90: AAS 79 (1987), p. 594; St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol. IIa IIae, q. 66, art. 2.

79. Cf. Address at the Opening of the Third General Conference of the Latin-American Bishops (January 28, 1979): AAS 71 (1979), pp. 189-196; Ad Limina Address to a group of Polish Bishops, (December 17, 1987), n. 6: L'Osservatore Romano, December 18, 1987.

80. Because the Lord wished to identify himself with them (Mt 25:31-46) and takes special care of them (cf. Ps 12 :6; Lk 1:52f.).

81. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 55: loc. cit., p. 284: "These are the men and women that need to be helped, that need to be convinced to take into their own hands their development, gradually acquiring the means"; cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 86.

82. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 35: loc. cit., p. 274: "Basic education is the first objective of a plan of development."

83. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation" Libertatis Nuntius (August 6, 1984), Introduction: AAS 76 (1984), pp. 876f.

84. Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2, 1984), n. 16: AAS 77 (1985), pp. 213-217; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986, nn. 38, 42: AAS 79 (1987), pp. 569, 571.

85. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation, Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986), n. 24: AAS 79 (1987), p. 564.

86. Cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, n. 22; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979), n. 8: AAS 71 (1979), p. 272.

87. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n. 5: loc. cit., p. 259: "We believe that all men of good will, together with our Catholic sons and daughters and our Christian brethren, can and should agree on this program"; cf. also nn. 81-83, 87: loc. cit., pp. 296-298, 299.

88. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate, n. 4.

89. Gaudium et Spes, n. 39.

90. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, n. 58; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Mater (March 25, 1987) nn. 5-6: AAS 79 (1987), pp. 365-367.

91. Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus (February 2, 1974), n. 37: AAS 66 (1974), pp. 148f.; John Paul II, Homily at the Shrine of Our Lady of Zapopan, Mexico (January 30, 1979), n. 4: AAS 71 (1979), p. 230.

92. Collect of the Mass "For the Development of Peoples": Missale Romanum, ed. typ. altera, 1975, p. 820.

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