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582

Part Three

2422

The Church’s social teaching comprises a body of doctrine,

which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of

history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the

whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ.

202

This teaching

can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the

faithful let themselves be guided by it.

2423

The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for re­

flection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for

action:

Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely

by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his

acts.

203

2424

A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end

of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for

money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the

many conflicts which disturb the social order.

204

A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and

of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to hu­

man dignity.

205

Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than

a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes

to the spread of atheism. “You cannot serve God and mammon.”

206

2425

The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies

associated in modern times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has

likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism

and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human

labor.

207

Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts

the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace

fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be sat­

isfied by the market.”

208

Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and

economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view

to the common good, is to be commended.

202 Cf.

SRS

1; 41.

203 Cf.

CA

24.

204

GS

65 § 2.

205

Mt

6:24;

Lk

16:13.

206 Cf.

CA

10; 13; 44.

207

CA

34.

208 Cf.

GS

64.

2044

2317

676

1886