The moral law forbids acts which, for commercial or
totalitarian purposes, lead to the enslavement of hu
man beings, or to their being bought, sold or ex
changed like merchandise.
The dominion granted by the Creator over the miner
al, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe
cannot be separated from respect for moral obliga
tions, including those toward generations to come.
Animals are entrusted to man’s stewardship; he must
show them kindness. They may be used to serve the
just satisfaction of man’s needs.
The Church makes a judgment about economic and
social matters when the fundamental rights of the
person or the salvation of souls requires it. She is
concerned with the temporal common good of men
because they are ordered to the sovereign Good,
their ultimate end.
Man is himself the author, center, and goal of all
economic and social life. The decisive point of the
social question is that goods created by God for ev
eryone should in fact reach everyone in accordance
with justice and with the help of charity.
The primordial value of labor stems from man
himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his
labor man participates in the work of creation. Work
united to Christ can be redemptive.
True development concerns the whole man. It is con
cerned with increasing each person’s ability to re
spond to his vocation and hence to God’s call (cf. CA
Giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal char
ity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.
How can we not recognize Lazarus, the hungry beggar
in the parable (cf.
17:19-31), in the multitude of hu
man beings without bread, a roof or a place to stay?
How can we fail to hear Jesus: “As you did it not to
one of the least of these, you did it not to me” (