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426 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived


• “The seventh Commandment forbids theft. Theft is the [taking] of

another’s goods against the reasonable will of the owner. Every man-

ner of taking and using another’s property unjustly is contrary to

the seventh commandment. The injustice committed requires repa-

ration. Commutative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods”

(CCC, nos. 2453-2454).

• In creating the universe, God entrusted the resources of the earth

to the stewardship of all people. The Church, applying this truth,

upholds the principle that the universal destination of the goods of

the earth is meant for the common good of all people. At the same

time, the Church stands by the right of private property.

• The Church teaches that human dignity can be protected and a

healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are pro-

tected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a

fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for

human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and respon-

sibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

• We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.

Care for the earth is a requirement of our faith. We are called to

protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with

all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental

moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

• The Church’s social doctrine addresses a wide range of issues that

include the ability to freely practice one’s faith, the freedom to par-

ticipate in cultural life, the dignity of work, the need of workers to

receive a salary that will enable them to care for their families, the

need for a safe working environment, and the responsibility of the

state for areas such as a stable currency, public services, and the pro-

tection of personal freedom and private property.

• Church teaching also speaks to the need of business enterprises

to consider the good of the employees, not just the profit motive.

Wage earners should be able to represent their needs and grievances

when necessary.