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.
can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the
faithful let themselves be guided by it.
The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for re
flection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for
Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely
by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his
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.
A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and
of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to hu
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.”
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
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.”
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.
65 § 2.
10; 13; 44.