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470

Part Three

1935

The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as

persons and the rights that flow from it:

Every formof social or cultural discrimination in fundamen­

tal personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social

conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradi­

cated as incompatible with God’s design.

40

1936

On coming into the world, man is not equipped with

everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life.

He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities,

intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social

commerce, and the distribution of wealth.

41

The “talents” are not

distributed equally.

42

1937

These differences belong to God’s plan, who wills that

each receive what he needs from others, and that those endowed

with particular “talents” share the benefits with those who need

them. These differences encourage and often oblige persons to

practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods; they foster the

mutual enrichment of cultures:

I distribute the virtues quite diversely; I do not give all of them

to each person, but some to one, some to others. . . . I shall give

principally charity to one; justice to another; humility to this

one, a living faith to that one. . . . And so I have given many

gifts and graces, both spiritual and temporal, with such diver­

sity that I have not given everything to one single person, so

that you may be constrained to practice charity towards one

another. . . . I have willed that one should need another and

that all should be my ministers in distributing the graces and

gifts they have received from me.

43

1938

There exist also

sinful inequalities

that affect millions of men

and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:

Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for

fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and

social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one

human race is a source of scandal andmilitates against social

justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and interna­

tional peace.

44

40

GS

29 § 2.

41 Cf.

GS

29 § 2.

42 Cf.

Mt

25:14-30;

Lk

19:11-27.

43 St. Catherine of Siena,

Dial.

I, 7.

44

GS

29 § 3.

357

1879

340

791

1202

2437

2317