Life in Christ
The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of
“friendship” or “social charity,” is a direct demand of human and
An error, “today abundantly widespread, is disregard for
the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and im
posed both by our common origin and by the equality in
rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to.
This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by
Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father,
on behalf of sinful humanity.”
Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribu
tion of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the
effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to
be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation.
Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the
help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among
themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves,
between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among
nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the
moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.
The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In
spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted,
and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal
goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord’s
saying been verified: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteous
ness, and all these things shall be yours as well”:
For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and en
dured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and
now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of
slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civiliza
tion, and science to all generations and all peoples for the
sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to
everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian.
45 Cf. John Paul II,
46 Pius XII,
October 20, 1939; AAS 31 (1939) 423 ff.
48 Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.