BUILDINGS OF RELIGIOUS BODIES
Art. 12. Buildings which have been placed at the disposal of the nation and which, by virtue of the law of Germinal 18 of the year X, are used for the public worship of religious bodies or for the accommodation of their ministers (cathedrals, churches, chapels, temples, synagogues, archiepiscopal and episcopal residences, presbyteries and seminaries), as well as the immovable and movable property annexed thereto which was attached to them at the time when the said buildings were handed over to the religious bodies, are and remain properties of the State, the "départements" and the communes.With regard to these buildings, as also with regard to those erected subsequently to the law Germinal 18 of the year X, of which the State, the "départements" and the communes shall be proprietors, including the faculties of Protestant theology, proceedings shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of the following Articles. Art. 13. Buildings used for the public worship of a religious body, as well as the movable objects attached to them, shall be left gratis at the disposal of the public establishments of the religious body, and afterwards of the associations called into being to replace them, to which the goods of these establishments shall have been assigned by application of the arrangements of Section II.The cessation of this privilege and, if necessary, its transfer, shall be pronounced by decree, provision being made for appeal to the Council of State by litigation:
1. if the beneficiary association is dissolved;
2. if, apart from the case of force majeure, the public worship of the religious body ceases to be celebrated during more than six consecutive months;
3. if the preservation of the buildings, or that of the movable objects classified by virtue of the law of 1887 and of Art. 16 of the present law, is compromised by insufficiency of attention, after warning duly notified by the municipal council or, failing it, the Prefect;
4. if the association ceases to fulfil its purpose or if the buildings are diverted from their rightful purpose;
5. if it does not satisfy the requirements of Art. 6 or of the last paragraph of the present Article, or the provisions relative to historical monuments.
Decisions concerning deprivation of these immovable goods can be pronounced, in the cases mentioned above, by decree made by the Council of State ("Conseil d'État"). Apart from these cases, it cannot be pronounced, except by a law.
The immovable property sometimes attached to religious bodies, in which the ceremonies of the religious body have not been celebrated during the period of one year previously to the present Law, as well as those which shall not be claimed by a religious association within the period of two years after the present Law's promulgation, can be confiscated by decree.
The same applies to buildings whose confiscation shall have been requested before June 1, 1905.
The public establishments of the religious body, and afterwards the beneficiary associations, shall be responsible for repairs of any kind, as well as for costs of insurance and other charges relating to the buildings and the movable goods they contain.
Art. 14. Archiepiscopal and episcopal residences, presbyteries and their annexes, Grand Seminaries and faculties of Protestant theology, shall be left freely at the disposal of the public establishments of the religious body and afterwards of the associations mentioned in Art. 13, according to the following arrangement: archiepiscopal and episcopal residences during a period of two years; presbyteries in the communes where the minister of the religious body shall reside, Grand Seminaries and faculties of Protestant theology during five years, starting from the promulgation of the present Law.
The establishments and associations are subject, in matters pertaining to their buildings, to the obligations mentioned in the last paragraph of Art. 13. However, they shall not be responsible for large works of repairing.
The cessation of occupancy of establishments and associations shall be pronounced in the conditions and modes determined by Art. 13. The provisions of the third and fifth paragraphs of the same Article are applicable to buildings mentioned in par. 1 of the present Article.
The detachment of unnecessary portions of presbyteries left to the disposal of religious associations can, during the period mentioned in par. 1, be pronounced in favour of a public utility service by decree made in the Council of State ("Conseil d'État").
On the expiring of periods of occupancy free of charge, the free disposal of buildings shall pass to the State, the "départements" or the communes. The payments for lodgings at present falling upon the communes, failing a presbytery, by application of Art. 136 of the law of April 5, 1884, shall remain chargeable to them during the period of five years. These shall cease fully in the event of dissolution of the association.
Art. 15. In the "départements" of Savoy, Upper Savoy and the Maritime Alps, the occupancy of buildings erected previously to the law of Germinal 18 of the year X, for use in the public worship of religious bodies or for the accommodation of their ministers, shall be allocated by the communes of the territory in which the buildings exist, to religious associations, in the conditions indicated by Art. 12 and the following Articles of the present law. Apart from this obligation, the communes shall be able to dispose freely of the property of buildings.
In these same "départements," the cemeteries shall remain the property of the communes.
Art. 16. A detailed catalogue shall be made of buildings used for the public worship of a religious body (cathedrals, churches, chapels, temples, synagogues, archiepiscopal and episcopal residences, presbyteries, seminaries), in which catalogue should be included everything in these buildings, which possesses, in whole or in part, an artistic or historical value.
Objects, movable or immovable in purpose, mentioned in Art. 13, which shall not have been placed on the list of the catalogue drawn up according to the law of March 30, 1887, are, as a result of the present law, added to the said list. The Ministry of Public Instruction and of Fine Arts shall proceed, within the period of three years, to the definite cataloguing of those of such objects whose preservation shall appear to be of sufficient importance, from the point of view of history or of art. At the expiration of this period, the other objects shall be removed finally from the catalogue ex officio.
In other cases, immovable and movable objects, allocated by virtue of the present law to associations, can be classified in the same conditions as if they belonged to public establishments.
There is no change otherwise in the arrangements of the law of March 30, 1887.
Ecclesiastical archives and libraries situated in archiepiscopal and episcopal residences, Grand Seminaries, parish churches, chapels of ease and their attached buildings shall be catalogued, and those which shall be recognized to be State property shall be restored to the State.
Art. 17. Goods immovable in their purpose and catalogued by virtue of the law of March 30, 1887, or of the present law, are inalienable and imprescriptable.
In the event where the sale or exchange of a catalogued object should be authorized by the Ministry of Public Instruction and of
Fine Arts, a right of pre-emption is granted (1) to religious associations; (2) to communes; (3) to "départements"; (4) to museums and societies of art and archaeology; (5) to the State. The price shall be decided by three experts to be designated by the seller, the buyer and the president of the civil tribunal.
If none of the buyers mentioned above makes use of the right of pre-emption, the sale shall be free; but the purchaser of a catalogued object is forbidden to take it out of France.
No work of repair, restoration, or upkeep, to be done to catalogued monuments or movable objects can be commenced without the authorization of the Minister of Fine Arts, nor carried out except under the supervision of his officials, under penalty against the proprietors, occupants or tenants who shall have ordered these works, of a fine of 1,000-1,500 francs.
Every infringement of the above arrangements, as well as of those of Art. 16 of the present law and of Arts. 4, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the law of March 30, 1887, shall be punished with a fine of 100-10,000 francs and by an imprisonment from six days to three months, or by one of these penalties only.
Entrance to buildings and the exhibition of movable objects catalogued shall be free for the public without any liability to fiscal charges.
ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE PRACTICE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP
Art. 18. Associations formed to attend to expenses and upkeep of public worship of a religious body must be constituted in conformity with Arts. 5 and the following of Section I of the law of July 1, 1901. They shall, in addition, be subject to the requirements of the present law.
Art. 19. These associations shall have as their exclusive object the worship of a religious body and shall be composed of at least:
In communes of less than 1,000 inhabitants--7 persons; In communes of 1,000-20,000 inhabitants--15 persons; In communes where the number of inhabitants is more than 20,000 --25 persons who are adult and domiciled or residing in the religious district in question.
Each of their members shall be free to withdraw at any time, after the payment of past rates and of those of the current year, notwithstanding any contrary clause.
Notwithstanding any contrary clause of the statutes, the acts of financial transactions and legal administration of goods carried out by the directors or administrators shall be presented at least every year to the scrutiny of the general assembly of members of the association and submitted to its approbation.
The associations can receive, in addition to the assessed amounts mentioned in Art. 6 of the law of July 1, 1901, the proceeds of collections and contributions for expenses of religious worship; the fees for religious ceremonies and services, even by endowment; those for the occupation of benches and chairs; and for the supplying of objects destined for use at funerals in religious buildings and for the decoration of these buildings.
They shall be free to transfer the surplus of their assets, free of tax to other associations constituted for the same purpose.
They shall not receive subsidies, in any form whatever from the State, the "départements" or the communes. Sums allocated for repairs to catalogued monuments are not considered as subsidies.
Art. 20. These associations can, in the forms laid down by Art. 7 of the decree of August 16, 1901, establish unions having a central administration or direction; these unions shall be regulated by Art. 18 and by the five last paragraphs of Art. 19 of the present law.
Art. 21. Associations and unions shall keep a record of their receipts and expenses; they shall present each year the financial statement for the past year and the recorded inventory of their goods, movable and immovable.
Financial control is exercised over the associations and unions by the "Administration de l'enregistrement" [i.e. a public service in France for registering private legal documents; as fees are collected for this registering, the service is a part of the financial administration] and the "Inspection générale des finances" [i.e. a section of the Ministry of Finance].
Art. 22. Associations and unions can use their disposable resources to set up a reserve fund sufficient to provide for the costs and upkeep of the religious body and not being allowed in any event to be directed to another purpose; the amount of this reserve shall never be allowed to exceed a sum equal to three times the annual average (in the case of unions and associations having a revenue of more than 5,000 francs) and six times the annual average (in the case of other associations) of sums spent by each of them for the expenses of the religious body during the five last financial years.
Independently of this reserve, which must be placed in registered investments, they shall be able to establish a special reserve, the funds of which should be deposited, in cash or in registered securities in deposit banks and in investments to be devoted exclusively, together with the interests thereof, to the purchase, building, decoration or repair of immovable or movable property destined for the needs of the association or union.
Art. 23. The directors or administrators of an association or union which shall have contravened Arts. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 shall be punished by a fine of 16-200 francs and, in the event of repetition, by a double fine.
The tribunals can, in the event of infringement of paragraph 1 of Art. 22, condemn the association or union to transfer excess of the sum to communal establishments of assistance or of charity.
They can, furthermore, in all cases mentioned in paragraph 1 of the present Article, pronounce the dissolution of the association or of the union.
Art. 24. The buildings which are intended for the worship of the religious body and which belong to the State, the départements or the communes shall continue to be exempt from ground rent and from the tax on doors and windows.
Buildings serving as the living quarters of ministers of religious bodies, as seminaries or as faculties of Protestant theology which belong to the State, the départements or the communes, and goods which are the property of associations and unions, are subject to the same taxes as those of individual persons.
Associations and unions are in no case subject to the subscription tax ("taxe d'abonnement") or to that imposed on clubs by Art. 33 of the law of August 8, 1890, or to the tax of 4 per cent on revenue, enacted by the laws of December 28, 1880 and of December 29, 1884.
SECTION V REGULATION OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP
Art. 25. Meetings for the celebration of public worship held in the property belonging to, or put at the disposal of, a religious association are public. They are dispensed from the formalities of Art. 8 of the law of June 30, 1881, but remain placed under the supervision of the authorities in the interest of public order. They cannot take place except after a declaration made in the forms of Art. 2 of the same law and indicating the place in which they will be held.
A single declaration is sufficient for the total number of permanent meetings, periodical or occasional, which shall take place during the year.
Art. 26. It is forbidden to hold political meetings in the places regularly used for the public worship of a religious body.
Art. 27. The ceremonies, processions and other external demonstrations of a religious body shall continue to be regulated in conformity with Arts. 95 and 97 of the law of April 5, 1884, relating to municipalities.
The ringing of bells shall be regulated by municipal order and, in event of disagreement between the Mayor and the president or director of the religious association, by prefectorial decree. The ordinance of the public administration provided for by Art. 43 of the present law shall determine the conditions and cases in which bellringings for civil purposes shall take place.
Art. 28. It is forbidden in future to raise or place any religious sign or emblem on public edifices or in any public place whatsoever, with the exception of buildings used by a religious body, burialgrounds in cemetries, funeral monuments and museums or exhibitions.
Art. 29. Contraventions of the preceding Articles are punished by the ordinary legal penalties.
There are liable to these penalties, in the cases of Arts. 25, 26 and 27, those who have organized the meeting or demonstration, those who have participated in it in the capacity of ministers of the religious body, and in the case of Arts. 25 and 26, those who have provided the meeting place.
Art. 30. In conformity with the provisions of Art. 2 of the law of March 28, 1882, religious instruction cannot be given to children between the ages of six and thirteen years, enrolled in the public schools, except outside school hours. The stipulations of Art. 14 of the present law shall be applied to ministers of religion who infringe these provisions.
Art. 31. Those who, whether by force, acts of violence or threats against an individual, by causing him to fear the loss of his employment or by exposing to injury his person, family or fortune, shall have coerced him into practising a form of religion, becoming a member or ceasing to be a member of a religious association, to contribute or to refrain from contributing to the expenses of a religious body, are to be punished by a fine of from sixteen to 200 francs and by an imprisonment of from six days to two months, or by one of these two penalties only.
Art. 32. Those who shall have hindered, delayed or interrupted the public worship of a religious body by disturbances or disorder caused in the place used for this public worship, shall be punished with the same penalties.
Art. 33. The arrangements of the two preceding Articles are not applicable except to disturbances, outrages or acts of force, the nature or circumstances of which shall not demand more severe penalties according to the provisions of the Penal Code.
Art. 34. Every minister of a religious body who, in the places where this religious body worships, shall have by spoken discourse, readings, writings distribute or notices exposed, publicly vilified or defamed a citizen entrusted with a public office, shall be punished with a fine of 500-3,000 francs and by an imprisonment of one month--one year, or by one of these two penalties only.
The truth of the defamatory act, but only if it is relevant to the functions (of the individual concerned), will have to be proved before the police court in the manner prescribed by Art. 52 of the law of July 29, 1881. The requirements laid down by Art. 65 of the same law, apply to offences against the present Article and the Article which follows it.
Art. 35. If a sermon delivered or a writing exposed or distributed publicly in places where a religious body worships contains a direct incitement to resist the execution of the laws or the legal acts of public authority, or if it tries to raise or arm one faction among the citizens against the others, the minister of the religious body who shall have been found guilty shall be punished by an imprisonment of three months--two years, without prejudice to the penalties for complicity in the case where the incitement shall have been followed by a sedition, revolt or civil war.
Art. 36. In the event of condemnation by the ordinary tribunals or police courts in pursuance of Arts. 25, 26, 34 and 35, the association formed for the worship of the religious body in the immovable property where the infringement has been committed shall be legally responsible.
SECTION VI GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 37. Art. 463 of the Penal Code and the law of March 26, 1891, are applicable to all cases in which the present law decrees penalties.
Art. 38. Religious congregations remain subject to the laws of July 1, 1901, December 4, 1902 and July 7, 1904.
Art. 39. Boys who have obtained, on the ground of being ecclesiastical pupils, the exemption mentioned in Art. 23 of the law of July 15, 1889, shall continue to do so according to Art. 99 of the law of March 21, 1905, on condition that at the age of twenty-six they shall be provided with employment as ministers of a religious body, financed by a religious association and with reservation of requirements which shall be fixed by the ordinances of the public administration.
Art. 40. During eight years, beginning from the promulgation of the present law, the ministers of a religious body shall be ineligible for the municipal council in the communes where they shall exercise their ecclesiastical ministry.
Art. 41. The sums made available each year by the suppression of the budget for religious bodies shall be divided among the communes in proportion to the share of the land tax on unbuilt property which has been assigned to them during the financial year which shall precede the promulgation of the present law.
Art. 42. The legal arrangements relating to present holidays are preserved. Art. 43. An ordinance of the public administration made within three months following the promulgation of the present law shall determine the measures necessary to ensure its application. Ordinances of the public administration shall determine the conditions in which the present law shall be applicable to Algeria and the colonies.
Art. 44. All arrangements relative to the public organization of religious bodies previously recognized by the State, as well as all arrangements contrary to the present law, are and remain abrogated, particularly:
1. The law of Germinal 18 of the year X, enacting that the convention concluded on the Messidor 26 of the year IX between the Pope and the French Government together with the Organic Articles of the said Convention and those covering the Protestant religious bodies, should be put into effect as laws of the Republic;
2. The decree of March 26, 1852, and the law of August 1, 1879, on Protestant religious bodies;
3. The decrees of March 17, 1808, the law of February 8, 1831, and the ordinance of March 25, 1844, on Judaism;
4. The decrees of December 22, 1812, and March 19, 1859;
5. Articles 201-208, 260-264 and 294 of the Penal Code;
6. Articles 100 and 101, paragraphs 11 and 12 of Art. 136, and Art. 167 of the law of April 5, 1884;
7. The decree of December 30, 1809, and Art. 78 of the law of January 26, 1892.
12. Pope Benedict XV's Letter "Dès le Début" containing
Peace Proposals to Terminate the First World War,
August 1, 1917 Original French text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1917, p. 417
Benedict XV was elected Pope in September, 1914, one month after the outbreak of the First World War. From the start of his Pontificate he made great efforts to put an end to the conflict. But his efforts were considerably hampered by the lack of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Great Powers of the Entente. Among the principal members of the Entente Powers, England alone decided in December, 1914, to accredit, for the first time for centuries, an envoy to the Pontiff; apart from that, the Pope had no official relations with Russia and Japan, and the Governments of the two Catholic Great Powers of the Entente, France and Italy, were in such sharp conflict with the Holy See that no diplomatic relations existed between them and the Vatican (see on the separation of Church and State in France Doc. No. 11 in Chap. VII, and on the "Roman Question" between Italy and the Papacy Doc. No. 7 in the same chapter). Therefore, Benedict XV could only endeavour to influence the Governments of the Entente indirectly, largely in collaboration with Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States; he did so because President Wilson was animated with the same desire for mediation between the two hostile camps and the United States was the only Great Power which had hitherto kept outside the general conflagration. In this activity, the Pope observed strict neutrality, without which his mediating effort would have had no chance of success, although both belligerent sides tried on many occasions to obtain his open moral support.
The American channel for Papal influence ceased to be available when the United States entered the war too, in April 1917. In the following months it became apparent that this injection of fresh strength into the cause of the Allies was bound to turn, sooner or later, the tide of the fortunes of war against the Central Powers, in spite of their strong position in Europe where they occupied Northern France, Belgium, the Polish territories and the Balkans. Realizing this, the Emperor Charles of Austria offered to the Entente a separate peace, thus hoping to prevent the threatened disintegration of his Empire. It was at this juncture that the Pope thought the moment opportune to submit a concrete outline of a negotiated peace to both enemy blocs.
It was embodied in the letter Dès le Début ("From the start"), addressed to the heads of all belligerent nations on August 1, 1917. The proposals contained in it may be divided into two categories: ( a ) general ones, concerning the improvements in international life and organization after the war, and ( b ) proposals relative to territorial questions. Between the two groups there stands the plea for mutual condonation of war damages on both sides.
In the first category, the Pontiff advocated the substitution of law for violence in the settlement of international disputes, a reduction of armaments, the establishment of arbitration with appropriate sanctions instead of wars, and the freedom of the seas. The last of these proposals involved the juridically much disputed questions of the Allied, particularly British, blockade of Germany, and of the German submarine counter-blockade of England; otherwise they were rather vague and could reasonably be considered as a basis of negotiations acceptable for both sides. They all reappeared, in January 1918, among the famous Fourteen Points of President Wilson and were to be finally approved, in the President's version, by all belligerents as leading principles for the future organization of the world.
Much more difficult were the territorial problems. Here the key to the situation was in Germany, because large parts of the Entente countries were occupied by German armies. Accordingly, Benedict XV first turned to Germany for preliminary sounding; it was only when the Emperor William II and his Chancellor, BethmannHollweg, had shown some readiness to accept the Pope's general ideas on the reform of international life, and, above all, the restitution of Belgium's integrity, that the Pontifical proposals could be issued with some possibility of success. In order to render German acquiescence easier, the Pope simultaneously proposed, in the present letter, the evacuation of German colonies by the Allies; and he also advanced the idea of a general condonation of war damages, which was advantageous to Germany as the main damages had been done by her army in foreign countries. To this he added an appeal for the restoration of Poland and for a conciliatory spirit in the settlement of territorial questions between Austria and Italy, Germany and France, and those arising in the Balkans and in Asia Minor.
But the Pope's move met with a cool reception in the Entente States. The French and the Belgians did not like the idea of a condonation of the great destruction on their soil, and the French, in addition, missed in the Pope's message any clear hint of his approving that Alsace-Lorraine should be returned to France; the English and the Japanese did not like the restitution of German colonies and the Russians the allusions to Poland. President Wilson simply replied that Germany could not be trusted, and so any negotiation with her would be illusory. The Italians were not animated with conciliatory spirit towards Austria, as they had just torpedoed the Austrian offer of separate peace by insisting on their claim to Trieste and Dalmatia, which the Emperor Charles felt unable to cede to them. This claim also inspired their negative attitude to the Pontiff's proposals; thus the preservation of the Hapsburg monarchy, which would have probably resulted from any negotiated peace at this stage of the First World War, was frustrated.
Apart from these individual considerations, the attitudes of all the Entente Governments were determined by their growing confidence in total victory, enhanced as it was by the entry of the United States into the war. Consequently, the majority of the heads of the Entente States ignored the Pontifical message, and as it was conveyed to them only indirectly (through the British envoy to the Vatican), owing to the lack of their diplomatic relations with the Holy See, they did not even reply to it. From the Entente Great Powers the only formal answers received, both evasively negative, were those of President Wilson and the King of England. When, finally, the new German Chancellor, Michaelis, who had succeeded Bethmann-Hollweg in the summer of 1917, showed much less understanding for the Pope's peace move than his predecessor, it had to be admitted that the proposal was a failure.
During the Second World War the Vatican displayed (as it had during the First) a great activity to alleviate the suffering of war for soldiers and civilians in both of the contending blocs. But Pope Pius XII (who, as Msgr Pacelli, Nuncio at Munich during the First World War, had presented Benedict XV's proposals to the German Government and conducted the negotiation about them) did not take any initiative similar to that of 1917; he was content with recommending, in the Christmas radio-message Nell' Alba of December 24, 1941, and in other Christmas messages addressed to the whole world during the war years, general principles for the improvement of political life after the war. In the international sphere, he advocated five things: respect for the freedom and integrity of other nations, including small ones (thus implicitly rebuking the German and other aggressions during the Second World War); observance of the rights of minorities; the access of all nations to raw materials; limitation of armaments; and abandonment of the persecution of religion and of the Church (see the original Italian text of the radiomessage Nell' Alba in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1942, p. 10).
To the heads of the belligerent peoples. From the beginning of our Pontificate, amidst the horrors of the terrible war unleashed upon Europe, We have kept before Our attention three things above all: to preserve complete impartiality in relation to all the belligerents, as is appropriate to him who is the common father and who loves all his children with an equal affection; to endeavour constantly to do to all the most possible good, without personal exceptions and without national or religious distinctions, a duty which the universal law of charity, as well as
the supreme spiritual charge entrusted to Us by Christ, dictates to Us; finally, as Our peace-making mission equally demands, to leave nothing undone within Our power, which could assist in hastening the end of this calamity, by trying to lead the peoples and their heads to more moderate frames of mind and to the calm deliberations of peace, of a "just and lasting" peace.
Whoever has followed Our work during the three unhappy years which have just elapsed, has been able to recognize with ease that if We have always remained faithful to Our resolution of absolute impartiality and to Our practical policy of welldoing, We have never ceased to urge the belligerent peoples and Governments to become brothers once more, even although publicity has not been given to all which We have done to attain this most noble end.
Towards the end of the first year of war, We addressed to the conflicting nations the most lively exhortations, and in addition We indicated the way to follow in order to arrive at a lasting and honourable peace for all. Unhappily, Our appeal was not heeded; and the war continued bitterly for two more years, with all its horrors; it even became more cruel and spread over land and sea, even in the air; desolation and death were seen to fall upon defenceless cities, peaceful villages and their innocent populations. And at the present moment no one can imagine how the sufferings of all may increase and become more intense, if further months or, still worse, further years are added to these bloodstained three years. Will the civilized world then become nothing but a field of death? And will Europe, so glorious and so flourishing before, rush, as if driven on by a universal folly, to the abyss and be the agent of her own suicide?
In so agonizing a situation, in face of so great a danger, We who have no special political aim, who pay no attention to the suggestions of the interests of either of the belligerent groups, but are moved only by the feeling of our lofty duty as common Father of the faithful and by the solicitations of our children who beg for our intervention and Our peace-making word, We raise anew a cry for peace and We renew an urgent appeal to those who hold in their hands the destinies of nations. But so as not to confine Ourselves any longer to general terms, as circumstances have advised us in the past, we now wish to descend to more concrete and practical propositions, and to invite the Governments of the belligerent peoples to reach agreement on the following points, which seem to be the basis of a just and lasting peace, leaving to them the task of making them more precise and of completing them.
First of all, the fundamental point should be that for the material force of arms should be substituted the moral force of law; hence a just agreement by all for the simultaneous and reciprocal reduction of armaments, according to rules and guarantees to be established to the degree necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of public order in each State; then, instead of armies, the institution of arbitration, with its lofty peace-making function, according to the standards to be agreed upon and with sanctions to be decided against the State which might refuse to submit international questions to arbitration or to accept its decisions.
Once the supremacy of law has been established, let every obstacle to the ways of communication between the peoples be removed, by ensuring through rules to be fixed in similar fashion, the true freedom and common use of the seas. This would, on the one hand, remove many reasons for conflict and, on the other, would open new sources of prosperity and progress to all.
With regard to reparations for damage and to the expenses of the war, We see no way of settling the question other than by laying down as a general principle, a complete and reciprocal condonation, justified by the immense benefits to be drawn from disarmament, and all the more because one could not understand the continuation of such slaughter solely for reasons of an economic nature. If, however, in certain cases there exist special reasons, let them be pondered with justice and equity.
But pacifying agreements, with the immense advantages flowing from them, are not possible without the reciprocal restitution of territories actually occupied. In consequence, on the part of Germany, there should be total evacuation of Belgium, with a guarantee of its full political, military and economic independence vis-à-vis any Power whatsoever; similarly the evacuation of French territory. On the side of the other belligerent parties, there should be a corresponding restitution of the German colonies.
With regard to territorial questions, such as those disputed between Italy and Austria, and between Germany and France, three is ground for hope that in consideration of the immense advantages of a lasting peace with disarmament, the conflicting parties will examine them in a conciliatory frame of mind, taking into account, so far as it is just and practicable, as We have said previously, the aspirations of the peoples and co-ordinating, according to circumstances, particular interests with the general good of the great human society.
The same spirit of equity and justice should direct the examination of other territorial and political questions, notably those relating to Armenia, the Balkan States and the territories composing the ancient Kingdom of Poland, for which especially its noble historical traditions and the sufferings which it has undergone, particularly during the present war, ought rightly to enlist the sympathies of the nations.
Such are the principal foundations upon which We believe the future reorganization of peoples should rest. They are of a kind which would make impossible the recurrence of such conflicts and would pave the way for a solution of the economic question, so important for the future and the material welfare of all the belligerent States. Thus, in presenting them all to You who preside at this tragic hour over the destinies of the belligerent nations, We are animated by a sweet hope, that of seeing them accepted and thus of seeing the earliest possible end to the fearful struggle which has the ever-increasing appearance of a useless massacre. Everybody recognizes, furthermore, that on both sides the honour of arms has been satisfied. Give attention, then, to Our entreaty, accept the paternal invitation which We address to You in the name of the Divine Redeemer, Prince of Peace. Reflect on your very grave responsibility before God and before men; on your decisions depend the rest and joy of countless families, the life of thousands of young people, in short, the happiness of the peoples, whose wellbeing it is your overriding duty to procure. May the Lord inspire you with decisions agreeable to His Most Holy Will. May Heaven bring it about that, by earning the applause of your contemporaries, You will also gain for yourselves the beautiful name of peacemakers among future generations.
As for Us, closely united in prayer and penitence to all faithful souls who sigh for peace, We implore for You from the Divine Spirit light and counsel.
From the Vatican, August 1, 1917 Benedictus, PP. XV
THE AGE OF SOCIALISM AND TOTALITARIANISM
THE First World War caused in Europe many profound changes, both in material conditions and mental outlook. The centuries-old monarchical traditions of Russia, Germany, Austria and Turkey collapsed and disappeared. Out of Russian revolution, German defeat, and Austrian and Turkish disintegration a continuous belt of small States emerged, stretching from the shores of the Baltic across the Continent down to Constantinople. In this belt, the revived Poland was able to repulse the first impact of Bolshevism against the Western world in 1921; behind it, in the industrial countries of Central Europe, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria, the combined forces of moderate Socialists and Catholics gradually surmounted Communist inspired unrest, endeavouring to lay the foundations of a new order based on parliamentary democracy.
The tide of social disturbances also reached Italy in a measure which threatened to disorganize the political conditions of the country. At this stage a leader appeared who, himself a former Socialist, devised a new type of State structure, modelled on Russian Bolshevism as far as its one-Party system of government was concerned, but pervaded with a strong and emotional nationalism. Benito Mussolini imposed his system on Italy in the years following 1922. His Fascists expressed in their very name and emblem (the "Fasces") the basic components of their doctrine: social collectivism, all-embracing emphasis on State authority, and the Roman ideal of Italian grandeur. However, with regard to the latter, there were other elements in the Italian national tradition, much more palpable than the glory of ancient Rome; these were the Papacy and Catholicism, the almost exclusive religion of the Italians. Faced with these realities, the Fascists were prepared to make some deviations from their State totalitarianism in favour of the Church; at the same time they wished to resolve the "Roman Question," an embarrassing inheritance from the preceding Liberal Governments. Their overtures met with response in the Vatican and in February 1929 the Treaty of the Lateran was concluded between the Holy
See and the Italian State settling the "Roman Question"; simultaneously a Concordat was signed, placing the Church's position in Italy on a new and stable basis ( Doc. No. 1 ).
By that time the general attention in all countries was focused on economic matters. The...
See and the Italian State settling the "Roman Question"; simultaneously a Concordat was signed, placing the Church's position in Italy on a new and stable basis ( Doc. No. 1 ).
By that time the general attention in all countries was focused on economic matters. The great economic crisis which swept all over the world in the late twenties of the present century, had for consequence much hardship, unemployment and social upheaval. At the beginning of the next decade forty years had elapsed since 1891 when Pope Leo XIII had defined the Catholic approach to the modern problems of economics and labour in the Encyclical Rerum novarum (see in Chapter VII, Doc. No. 10 ). As many things had changed during that time in the political structure and social atmosphere of the world, Pope Pius XI considered it as necessary to restate, in the midst of the convulsions of the great economic crisis, the doctrine of the Church on these subjects and to bring it up to date. He did so in the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno of 1931 ( Doc. No. 2 ).
Apart from the teaching embodied in this Encyclical, the Pontiff relied very much on the lay apostolate of "Catholic Action" as a guide for the faithful in the ideological chaos of the contemporary world. In this respect, however, Italian affairs caused him grave worries in the same year 1931. The Fascist totalitarians became suspicious of the Italian "Catholic Action" and when the tactics of intimidation failed to produce the desired effects, they resorted to an undisguised persecution of its organizations in disregard of the Concordat. But the Pope's stand was firm. In June 1931 he launched against them the Encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno ( Doc. No. 3 ) and the sharp controversy was terminated by a settlement in which the Catholic organizations retained their autonomy.
Meanwhile, in the German milieu across the Alps, another type of totalitarianism was taking shape and fighting its way to a dictatorship over Germany. Adolf Hitler imitated Mussolini's Fascism in so far that he also amalgamated many elements of Socialism with a passionately nationalist spirit in the programme of his NationalSocialist Workers' Party. To this he added a racial doctrine, utterly incompatible with Christianity, and various theoreticians of his movement, prompted by racial ideas, were full of neo-pagan enthusiasm for anti-religious campaigning. But the attitude of the "Fuehrer" towards religion was hesitant, and particularly so towards the Catholics; he was mindful of Bismarck's failure in the "Kulturkampf" sixty years earlier (see Chap. VII, Doc. No. 8 ), and therefore inclined to keep some modus vivendi with the Church. Before he ascended to power, in January 1933, negotiations had been opened between Germany and the Holy See with a view to a Concordat. Hitler's Government completed them and the Concordat was signed in July 1933 ( Doc. No. 4 ). Valuable concessions were made to the Church in it; however, she had to resign herself to the dissolution of the "Centrum" (Catholic Centre Party with a great political tradition, dating from the time of the "Kulturkampf") which disappeared together with the other non-Nazi political Parties.
Against the impact of totalitarianism, as represented by the Bolsheviks, Fascists and Nazis, Catholics engaged in political and economic life sought for refuge in the ideology outlined in the social Encyclicals Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno. Examples of this are Austria and Portugal, which both enacted "corporative" Constitutions in the first half of the 1930's ( Doc. No. 5 ). The Austrian experiment failed, whereas in Portugal a greater governmental stability has been able to bring about an organic growth of the new institutions, adapted to the economic conditions of the Portuguese State.
The failure of the Austrian experiment was due to brutal pressure by the German and Austrian Nazis, brought to bear upon the governmental system at Vienna, and destined to disrupt it in order to facilitate the "Anschluss" of Austria to Germany. At the same time a similar pressure was put upon the Catholics in Germany. Using both indirect means and police action, the Reich Government deprived the Catholic Church of her schools, Press and associations of "Catholic Action," thus reducing to impotence, in disregard of the Concordat of 1933, the last organized non-Nazi force in the country. Pope Pius XI intervened to defend the Church's rights, as well as the great principles of the Faith, incessantly attacked by National Socialist ideologists. In spite of police vigilance his Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ( Doc. No. 6 ) found its way to the faithful in Germany in March 1937, bringing much encouragement to them and annoyance to the Government. The Nazi leaders, however, were not anxious to destroy the Concordat completely and later, with the coming of the Second World War, they slackened their anti-Catholic drive.
From the anxieties of Central Europe the Pontiff had to turn his attention, in the same month of March 1937, to two other spheres which weighed equally upon his mind. In Mexico the Church was just emerging from a period of violent oppression, and in Spain the civil war was at its height, leading to great excesses against Church and religion in the Communist-controlled Spanish provinces. As in both these countries the main source of the anti-religious movements was the same, namely the doctrine and practice of Communism, the Pontiff once more condemned this grave international evil in the celebrated Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, issued on March 19, 1937
( Doc. No. 7 ). To the Mexican Catholics he addressed, a few days later, the Encyclical Nos es muy containing instructions on the reparation of the spiritual damage which had been caused to them, and settling the question, much disputed in Mexico, of their right to active (and armed) resistance to the persecution ( Doc. No. 8 ).
In a world dominated by radical currents and their countercurrents, often no less radical, some countries were still able to keep outside the mêlée and preserve a quieter line of evolution. Such was the case of Ireland whose independence had been achieved after the First World War. At the end of 1937 a Constitution was enacted in Ireland; it may be regarded as an example of a political structure in which a deeply Christian spirit is combined with principles of modern democracy and supported by a practical unanimity of the country ( Doc. No. 9 ).
During the Second World War the two main totalitarian Powers, Germany and Russia, did not find themselves in the same belligerent camp. This being an ominous sign that totalitarianism would survive the war in any case, Pope Pius XII took care to emphasize in his radio-allocution Nell' Alba of December 1941 (see Commentary to Doc. No. 12 in Chap. VII), concerning the pre-requisites of a stable peace after the war, that these must include the abandonment of religious persecution. His forebodings proved to be correct after the end of hostilities, when Fascism and Nazism disappeared, but the great rise of Russian political power was followed by a corresponding enhancement of Communist influence in all continents. A world-wide conflict between the Catholic and Communist ideologies ensued, during which the clear stand-point of the Church was formulated in the general excommunication of Communists in July 1949 ( Doc. No. 10 ).
The clash between the two ideologies became especially acute in Eastern and Central Europe where about 60 millions of Catholics were brought either under direct Communist rule or under their decisive influence both in the "satellite" States and in the Soviet zones of occupation in Germany and Austria. The procedure and methods used in this area against the Church may be exemplified in the case of Czechoslovakia, whose Communists can be considered as particularly advanced in their tactical carrying out of antireligious measures ( Doc. No. 11 ).
Under these conditions, the concluding stage of our survey of almost two thousand years of relations between Church and State is, for the Church, one of disturbing anxiety. At no time before has she had to cope with a struggle of such magnitude, both in geographical extent and in basic opposition of ideas, as in the present contest with the Communist movement. But the moral forces which are bound to decide all conflicts of this kind, are not and cannot be equal on both sides. For only the Church can enjoy the confidence in final victory, derived from two insuperable sources of strength: from a retrospect of twenty centuries of her history, in the succession of which a long series of formidable foes have been vanquished, one after another, by her moral superiority; and, still more, from the Divine Words, this time more significant than ever, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against her."
1. Lateran Agreements between Pope Pius XI and Italy,
February 11, 1929
Original Italian text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1929, p. 209
The flexible diplomacy of Pope Leo XIII during his long Pontificate of twenty-five years ( 1878-1903) kept the "Roman Question" as an open international problem despite all effort of the contemporary Italian Governments, dominated mostly by anti-clerical and Masonic elements, to regard it as settled and closed by their unilateral Law of Guarantees of 1871 (see in Chap. VII, Doc. No. 7 ). This situation stabilized under the two subsequent Pontiffs, Pius X and Benedict XV. The positions were rigid on both sides, the Papacy ignoring the Law of Guarantees and the Italian Governments maintaining an anti-clerical attitude without resorting, however, to an actual persecution of the Church. In the long run a modus vivendi was hammered out between the two antagonists with periodical discreet soundings as to the possibilities of a definite solution of the Roman Question. But such a solution pre-supposed an evolution of the standpoints on both sides: on the Papal side the renunciation of the claim to revive a substantial Roman State and to have its position internationally guaranteed by third Powers; on the Italian side the abandonment of the pretension to settle the Roman problem unilaterally by internal Italian law and a modification of the anti-clerical governmental course.
This last condition, which was the most difficult to attain, assumed a different aspect after the First World War. The Italian Catholics and clergy had proved to be good patriots during the war; they entered fully the political life of the country after the war (particularly in the large political Party of the "Popolari," founded by a priest, Don Sturzo) and became a very important factor in it. On the other hand, the ideology of democratic Liberalism, predominant in Italy since the achievement of her national unity, had lost its vitality and was supplanted by the Socialists and by the Fascist movement formed after the First World War.
In 1922 the Fascists seized power in Italy, a few months after the election of a new Pope, Pius XI. Although the Party consisted mostly of anti-clerical elements including their leader, Benito Mussolini, they soon revised their original ideas with regard to the Catholic Church and the Holy See. They did so for a variety of reasons among which the tactics against the influential Party of the "Popolari," the desire to obtain the support of the Italian Catholic hierarchy for the consolidation of the new régime and the ambition to settle the Roman Question, insoluble under the previous Liberal governments, were predominant.
In 1925 the interests of the Church and of Fascism met in the suppression, by Mussolini's Government, of the hitherto powerful Italian Free Masonry. In 1926 a special Fascist committee reviewed the existing Italian legislation regarding the relationship between Church and State and recommended some important changes in it in favour of the Church. Thereupon secret talks began with a view to a joint settlement of both the Roman Question and the Church's position in Italy. After two years of laborious negotiations agreement was reached in both fields and signed on February 11, 1929, in the Roman palace of the Lateran by Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State, and the Fascist Premier and "Duce" Mussolini. It consisted in the three texts reproduced below: the Treaty of the Lateran settling the Question of Rome, the Concordat between the Holy See and the Italian Kingdom, and a financial convention.
In the Treaty of the Lateran the Pope obtained two essential concessions: the recognition of Catholicism as State religion in Italy (Art. 1), and the restitution of his own State, although in very small dimensions (the "State of the Vatican City"). The meaning of the first concession is elaborated in the Concordat. By the second the Pontiff secured full sovereignty (and ownership) over a minimum of territory, amounting to 109 acres, necessary for the visible exercise of temporal power. It is practically the same territory which had been conceded to him, but only as a usufruct, in the Art. 5 of the Law of Guarantees; this Law has been now entirely withdrawn (Art. 26 in fine ). To the tiny State, which is declared permanently neutral, a few Roman edifices outside its limits are attached with the status of extra-territoriality (Art. 15). The citizenship of the Vatican City is restricted to the officials and employees of the Papal Curia (about 700 persons); but the State is provided with a complete apparatus of a sovereign administration, comprising Law Courts, police and military force, coinage, postal service and communications, foreign embassies, and it also constitutes a parish for the purposes of spiritual administration. The Pope, whose person is declared sacred and inviolable in Art. 8, is--according to the Fundamental Law promulgated in the Vatican State by Pius XI in July 1929--absolute ruler in his State enjoying the "plenitude of legislative, executive, and judicial power." His external sovereignty, however, is limited by the provision of perpetual neutralization of the Vatican City contained in Art. 24 of the Treaty and, moreover, by his renunciation of participation in "temporal rivalries" between other States (i.e. in political affairs) and in international congresses called to settle such matters (the interpretation of which apparently also covers the international organizations including such as the League of Nations and the United Nations). But the Pontiff may intervene in international disputes and congresses if all parties concerned make appeal to him; and he has always the right of exercising his moral and spiritual influence.
On the other hand the Pope consented, in Art. 26, to regard the solution of the Roman Question as final and satisfactory within the framework of this bilateral arrangement with Italy, giving up the idea of having it guaranteed by third Powers; thus he recognized officially, after sixty years of intransigence, the Italian kingdom with Rome as its capital. Here the emphasis is to be laid on the fact that this consent was given by the Papacy as a counterpart for both Italian main concessions mentioned above. Consequently the Concordat with Italy, signed simultaneously at the Lateran on Feburary 11, 1929, and implementing the principle laid down in Art. 1 of the Lateran Treaty--that Catholicism is to be the State religion in Italy--has been considered by the Holy See as an indispensable and integral part of the whole arrangement (for an analysis of the Concordat's contents see the Commentary to Doc. No. 3 of this chapter).
In the Financial Convention the economic side of the Roman Question was disposed of. On the strength of Art. 4 of the Law of Guarantees the Holy See had been endowed by the Italian State with an annual pension of 3 1/4 million lire, but the Pontiffs had never touched this money. The material spoliation of the Papacy by the events of 1870 was now indemnified with the sum of one billion and 750 million lire, of which one billion was to be paid in Italian State bonds.
In this way the more than thousand years old "Patrimonium Petri" (see on its origins Chap. I, Doc. No. 8 ), the Pope's own State, has been revived but under conditions in Italy which are much different from those of the previous centuries. In the past the Papal State had always been one of several State units in the Italian peninsula. This was a safeguard of a largely or completely independent position of the Papacy (cf. Chap. II, Doc. No. 2 ); whenever an Italian Power tried to assert its domination all over the peninsula, it invariably met with the strongest opposition on the part of the Pontiffs (see e.g. Chap. III, Doc. No. 8 ). All this had been radically changed when the reconciliation of the Holy See with the Italian State took place in 1929 and the Papacy was faced with the future task of keeping itself uninfluenced by Italian politics and particularly--at that time--by the dynamic Fascist movement and its "international rivalries" (in a sense rather opposite to that which was implied in the Art. 24 of the Treaty of the Lateran). Some criticisms were voiced soon after 1929, accusing the Holy See of proItalian bias in the Abyssinian war of 1935 (mostly indirectly, making the Pope responsible for the strong patriotic attitude of some Italian clergy). But the great test of the Second World War was able to prove that the international position of the Holy See, based on the smoothly working Lateran Treaty, can remain and actually does remain, on this basis, independent of the politics and fortunes of the Italian State. After the collapse and disappearance of the Fascist Government, its arrangements of 1929 with the Holy See were not only maintained by the subsequent régime, but the Treaty of the Lateran was explicitly sanctioned in the Italian republican Constitution of 1947.
Treaty of the Lateran
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity.
Considering that the Holy See and Italy have recognized the desirability of eliminating every cause of dissent between them and of reaching a definitive settlement of their mutual relations in conformity with justice and with the dignity of both High Contracting Parties, a settlement which--while assuring to the Holy See permanently a position de facto and de iure which shall guarantee its absolute independence for the fulfilment of its high mission in the world--would enable the Holy See to consider the "Roman Question," which arose in 1870 with the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy under the Dynasty of Savoy, as settled in a final and irrevocable manner; and considering that in order to secure to the Holy See absolute and visible independence and to guarantee its unquestionable sovereignty also in international matters, it has been found necessary to constitute, under particular conditions, the Vatican City ("la Città del Vaticano") and to recognize the full ownership of the Holy See and its exclusive and absolute, sovereign jurisdiction over it,
His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI and His Majesty Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, have resolved to conclude a Treaty and nominated for that purpose two Plenipotentiaries, namely: on behalf of His Holiness, His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, His Holiness' Secretary of State, and on behalf of His Majesty Victor Emmanuel, His Excellency the Cavaliere Signor Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of the Government; who, having exchanged their respective full powers and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed to the following Articles:
Art. 1. Italy recognizes and reaffirms the principle contained in Art. 1 of the Statute of the Kingdom of March 4, 1848, according to which the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Religion is the sole religion of the State.
Art. 2. Italy recognizes the sovereignty of the Holy See in international matters as being an attribute inherent in its nature and in conformity with its tradition and the requirements of its mission in the world.
Art. 3. Italy recognizes the full ownership, absolute power, and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See over the Vatican as it is constituted now with all its appurtenances and endowments, thus creating for the special ends and under the conditions stated in the present Treaty the Vatican City ("la Città del Vaticano"). The boundaries of the said City are indicated on the plan which forms the first annex to the present Treaty and is an integral part thereof.
It is, however, agreed that St. Peter's Square, while being a part of the Vatican City, shall continue to be normally open to the public and subject to the police power of the Italian authorities; this power shall cease to operate at the foot of the steps to the Basilica which continues to be devoted to public worship. The Italian authorities shall, therefore, abstain from ascending the steps and approaching the Basilica unless their intervention is asked for by the competent authority.
Whenever the Holy See may consider it necessary to interrupt temporarily, for some particular purposes, the free traffic of the public in St. Peter's Square, the Italian authorities shall withdraw, unless invited by the competent authority to do otherwise, beyond the external lines of the Bernini Colonnade and their prolongation.
Art. 4. The sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction of the Holy See over the Vatican City, which Italy recognizes, implies that no interference on the part of the Italian Government can be exercised in it and that there can not be any other authority there than that of the Holy See.
Art. 5. For the purpose of the execution of the provisions contained in the preceding Article before the present Treaty enters into force, the territory forming the Vatican City shall be freed from any burden and from possible occupants by the care of the Italian Government. The Holy See shall provide for closing the access thereto, enclosing the open part of it with the exception of St. Peter's Square.
Moreover, it has been agreed that with regard to the buildings there existing which belong to religious institutions and bodies, the Holy See shall make arrangements as to its relations to them directly, without involving the Italian State in the matter.
Art. 6. Italy shall provide, by means of appropriate agreements with the interested parties, that the Vatican City shall be assured of an adequate water supply of its own. She shall furthermore provide for connection with the State railways by means of a railway station to be constructed in the Vatican City on the spot as indicated on the annexed map and by allowing the railway carriages belonging to the Vatican to circulate on the Italian railways. She shall further provide for direct connection with other States also of telegraphic, telephonic, radio-telegraphic, radio-telephonic and postal services of the Vatican City. And she shall also provide for the coordination of other public services.
All this will be effected at the expense of the Italian State within one year from the entry into force of the present Treaty. The Holy See shall, at its own expense, make arrangements about the existing means of access to the Vatican and about others which it may deem necessary to provide in the future.
Further agreements shall be concluded between the Holy See and the Italian State regarding the circulation in the territory of the latter of land vehicles and aircraft belonging to the Vatican City.
Art. 7. The Italian Government undertakes not to permit the construction in the territory adjacent to the Vatican City of such new buildings which might be able to overlook it and shall for the same end provide for the partial demolition of those already existing at the "Porta Cavaleggeri," and along the "Via Aurelia" and the Viale Vaticano."
In conformity with the rules of International Law aircraft of any kind are forbidden to fly over the territory of the Vatican. In the "Piazza Rusticucci" and in the zone adjoining the Colonnade whereto the extra-territoriality mentioned in Art. 15 does not extend, any alteration in buildings or streets which might be of interest to the Vatican City shall be made by common agreement.
Art. 8. Considering the person of the Supreme Pontiff to be sacred and inviolable, Italy declares that any plot against him, or any incitement to commit such, shall be punishable with the same penalties as are enacted for a plot or incitement to commit the same against the person of the King.
Offences and public insults committed in Italian territory against the person of the Supreme Pontiff by speeches, acts or writings shall be punished as if offences and insults against the person of the King.
Art. 9. In accordance with the rules of International Law all persons having permanent residence in the Vatican City are subject to the sovereignty of the Holy See. Such residence shall not be forfeited by the mere fact of dwelling temporarily elsewhere, unless accompanied by loss of domicile in the Vatican City or by other circumstances proving the abandonment of the said residence.
If ceasing to be subject to the sovereignty of the Holy See, those persons mentioned in the preceding paragraph who shall not be regarded--according to the provisions of the Italian law and independently from the factual circumstances referred to above--as possessing some other citizenship, shall be considered in Italy without question as Italian nationals.
To these persons, while subject to the sovereignty of the Holy See, the provisions of the Italian law shall be applicable within the territory of the Kingdom of Italy even in matters in which personal law should be observed (unless they are covered by legal provisions emanating from the Holy See) or, in the case of persons having a foreign nationality, the law of the State to which they belong.
Art. 10. The dignitaries of the Church and the persons belonging to the Papal Court who shall be indicated in a list to be agreed between the High Contracting Parties, shall always and in every case-even if they are not citizens of the Vatican --be exempted from military service so far as Italy is concerned, from the duty to be jurors and from any service of a personal nature.
This provision shall be also applicable to regular officials declared by the Holy See to be indispensable, who are employed permanently and with a fixed salary in the offices of the Holy See, and also to those employed in the Departments and Offices mentioned in Arts. 13, 14, 15 and 16, which are situated outside the Vatican City. These officials shall be indicated in another list to be agreed as above, which list will be annually brought up to date by the Holy See.
The ecclesiastics who by reason of their office shall participate outside the Vatican City in the execution of the acts of the Holy See shall not, for that reason, be subject to any hindrance, investigation or molestation on the part of the Italian authorities.
Any foreigner invested with an ecclesiastical office at Rome shall enjoy the personal guarantees appertaining to Italian citizens according to the laws of the Kingdom of Italy.
Art. II. The central bodies of the Catholic Church are exempt from any interference on the part of the Italian State (except as provided in Italian law with regard to the acquisition of property by juridical persons and to the conversion of real estate).
Art. 12. Italy recognizes the right of Legation to the Holy See, active and passive, according to the general rules of International Law. The envoys of the foreign Governments to the Holy See shall continue to enjoy in the Kingdom all prerogatives and immunities appertaining to diplomatic agents under International Law, and their residences may continue to be situated within Italian territory enjoying the immunities due to them according to International Law, even if their States have no diplomatic relations with Italy.
It is understood that Italy engages to leave free always and in every case the correspondence of all States--including belligerent-with the Holy See and vice versa, as well as the access of the bishops of the whole world to the Apostolic See.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to establish normal diplomatic relations between themselves by accrediting an Italian Ambassador to the Holy See and a Papal Nuncio to Italy, who shall be the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in accordance with the customary law recognized by the Congress of Vienna in its Act of June 9, 1815. In consequence of the recognized sovereignty and without prejudice to the provisions of Art. 19 below, the diplomats of the Holy See and the couriers sent in the name of the Supreme Pontiff shall enjoy in the territory of the Kingdom, even in time of war, the same treatment as enjoyed by diplomats and diplomatic couriers of other Governments according to the rules of International Law.
Art. 13. Italy recognizes the full ownership of the Holy See over the Patriarchal Basilicas of S. Giovanni in the Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and S. Paolo with their annexed buildings (see Enclosure II, plans Nos. 1, 2 and 3). The State transfers to the Holy See the free management and administration of the said Basilica of S. Paolo with its dependent monastery; moreover, it gives to the Holy See the capital corresponding to the sums set aside annually for the said Basilica in the budget of the Ministry of Education. It has been also agreed that the Holy See remains full proprietor of the edifice of S. Callisto, adjoining Sta. Maria in Trastevere.
Art. 14. Italy recognizes the full ownership of the Holy See over the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo with all its endowments, appurtenances, and dependencies as they are already in the possession of the Holy See, and also the obligation to cede (to the Holy See)--into similar full ownership and within six months after the coming into force of the present Treaty--the Villa Barberini in Castel Gandolfo, together with all its endowments, appurtenances and dependencies (Enclosure II, plan No. 5).
In order to round off the real property owned by the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide and by other ecclesiastical institutions, which is situated on the Northern side of the Janiculum Hill facing the Vatican Palaces, the State engages to transfer to the Holy See and to the bodies indicated by the Holy See, all real estate situated in that area and belonging to the State or to third persons. The real estate belonging to the said Congregation and to other institutions, as well as that which is to be transferred, is shown on the enclosed map (Enclosure II, plan No. 12).
Finally, Italy shall transfer to the Holy See into full ownership the buildings of the former monasteries at Rome, attached to the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles and to the churches of Sant' Andrea della Valle and S. Carlo ai Catinari with all their annexes and dependencies (Enclosure III, plans Nos. 3, 4 and 5) within one year after the entry into force of the present Treaty and free of all occupants.
Art. 15. The property indicated in Art. 13 and in the first and second paragraph of Art. 14, as well as the Palaces of the Dataria, the Cancellaria, the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide in the "Piazza di Spagna," the Palace of the S. Offizio and buildings adjacent, that of the Convertendi (at present the Congregation of the Eastern Church) in "Piazza Scossacavalli," that of the Vicariato and those in which the Holy See may place in the future its other Departments, while forming part of the Italian State's territory, shall enjoy the immunities recognized by International Law to the seats of diplomatic agents of foreign States. These immunities shall also be applicable to other churches, even outside Rome, during the time when the Supreme Pontiff shall take part in religious ceremonies in such churches without their being opened to the public.
Art. 16. The property mentioned in the three preceding Articles as well as that in which the following Pontifical institutions are housed: the Gregorian University, the Biblical, Oriental and Archeological Institutes, the Russian Seminary, the Lombard College, the two Palaces of Sant' Apollinare, and the House of SS. Giovanni and Paolo for the Retreat of the Clergy (Enclosure III 1, 1a, 2, 6, 7, 8) shall never be subject to any charges or expropriation on account of public utility without previous agreement with the Holy See and shall be exempt from all taxation, whether ordinary or extraordinary, by the State or any other body.
It is left to the Holy See to provide for all the said edifices and real property indicated in the present Article and in the three Articles preceding at its will, without any authorization or consent of any Italian governmental, provincial, or communal authorities, who can rely with confidence on the noble artistic traditions of the Catholic Church.
Art. 17. The remunerations of whatsoever nature, due by the Holy See, by other central bodies of the Catholic Church, and by bodies administered directly by the Holy See to dignitaries, employees and other salaried people, even if not permanent, shall be exempt in Italian territory--as from January 1, 1929--from any tax to be paid either to the State or to any other body.
Art. 18. The treasures of Art and Science existing within the Vatican City and in the Lateran Palace shall remain open to scholars and visitors, the Holy See reserving full freedom of regulating the admission of the public thereto.
Art. 19. The diplomats and envoys of the Holy See, the diplomats and envoys of the foreign Governments accredited to the Holy See, and the dignitaries of the Church coming from abroad direct to the Vatican City and provided with passports of the States from which they come, and with due visas of Papal representatives abroad, can proceed without any formalities across the Italian territory to the said City. The same applies to the afore-mentioned persons who, provided with regular Pontifical passports, shall go abroad from the Vatican City.
Art. 20. Merchandise coming from abroad direct to the Vatican City or outside its boundaries to the institutions or offices of the Holy See, shall be admitted at any point of the Italian border and in any port of the Kingdom for transit through Italian territory with full exemption from custom and import duties.
Art. 21. All the Cardinals shall enjoy in Italy the honours due to Princes of the Blood; if resident in Rome, even outside the Vatican City, they shall be regarded, for all purposes, as its citizens.
During the vacancy of the Pontifical See, Italy shall take special precautions that the free transit and access of Cardinals across Italian territory to the Vatican be not hindered, and shall provide that their personal liberty is not impeded or limited.
Italy shall also take measures in her territory surrounding the Vatican City to prevent any acts that may in any way disturb the meetings of the Conclave.
These provisions shall also apply to Conclaves held beyond the boundaries of the Vatican City, and to Councils presided over by the Supreme Pontiff or his Legates, and with regard to bishops summoned to take part in them.
Art. 22. At the request of the Holy See, or through delegation (of authority) which can be made by the Holy See in each particular case or permanently, Italy shall provide in her territory for the punishment of offences committed within the Vatican City, except when the delinquent shall have taken refuge in Italian territory, in which case he shall be proceeded against according to the provisions of the Italian laws.
The Holy See shall hand over to the Italian State persons who shall take refuge in the Vatican City while charged with acts committed in Italian territory which are considered as punishable by the law of both States.
Analogically, this provision shall be applicable with regard to persons who may have taken refuge within the buildings whose immunity has been stipulated in Art. 15, unless those who have authority over the said buildings prefer to invite the Italian police to enter and arrest them.
Art. 23. The rules of International Law shall apply to the execution in the Kingdom of the sentences of the Vatican City's courts of law. The sentences and measures emanating from ecclesiastical authorities, which concern ecclesiastical or religious persons, deal with spiritual or disciplinary matters and have been officially communicated to the civil authorities, shall obtain legal validity and all due effects following from Civil Law without any further formalities being necessary.
Art. 24. With regard to the sovereignty belonging to it in international matters, the Holy See declares that it remains and shall remain outside all temporal rivalries between other States and shall take no part in international congresses summoned to settle such matters, unless the parties in dispute make jointly appeal to its mission of peace; in any case, however, the Holy See reserves the right of exercising its moral and spiritual power. Consequently, the Vatican City shall always and in any event be considered as neutral and inviolable territory.
Art. 25. A special convention, signed jointly with the present Treaty of which it forms the Enclosure IV, being an integral part thereof, provides for the liquidation of credits possessed by the Holy See towards Italy.
Art. 26. The Holy See considers that in the agreements signed to-day an adequate guarantee is given providing it with the requisite liberty and independence for the pastoral government of the Roman diocese, and of the Catholic Church in Italy and throughout the world; it declares the "Roman Question" finally and irrevocably settled and hence eliminated, and recognizes the Kingdom of Italy under the Dynasty of the House of Savoy with Rome as the capital of the Italian State.
Italy, on her part, recognizes the State of the Vatican City under the sovereignty of the Supreme Pontiff.
The law of May 13, 1871, No. 214, and any other provisions contrary to the present Treaty are hereby abrogated.
Art. 27. The present Treaty shall be submitted to the Supreme Pontiff and to the King of Italy for ratification within four months after the signature thereof and shall enter into force by the fact of the exchange of ratifications.
(Given at) Rome, on the eleventh of February, one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine.
(Signed) Pietro Cardinal Gasparri
Concordat between the Holy See and Italy
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity.
Considering that from the beginning of the negotiation between the Holy See and Italy for the solution of the "Roman Question" the Holy See itself has proposed that the Treaty relating to the said question should be accompanied, as its necessary complement, by a Concordat intended to regulate the conditions of religion and of the Church in Italy; and considering that the Treaty resolving the "Roman Question" has been signed to-day,
His Holiness, the Supreme Pontiff, Pius XI, and His Majesty, Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, have decided to make a Concordat and for that purpose have nominated the same Plenipotentiaries as those delegated for writing the Treaty, that is: on the part of His Holiness, His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, His Holiness' Secretary of State; and on behalf of His Majesty, His Excellency the Cavaliere Signor Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of the Government, who, having exchanged their full powers and found them to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
Art. I. In the sense of Art. I of the Treaty, Italy assures to the Catholic Church the free exercise of spiritual power, the free and public exercise of worship, and of jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters in accordance with the provisions of the present Concordat and, if necessary, shall grant to the ecclesiastics protection, through her authorities, with regard to the acts of their spiritual ministry. In consideration of the sacred character of the Eternal City which is the episcopal See of the Supreme Pontiff, the centre of the Catholic world and a place of pilgrimage, the Italian Government will take care to keep Rome free from anything which would be inconsistent with such character.
Art. 2. The Holy See shall communicate and correspond freely with the bishops, with the clergy and with the whole Catholic world, without any interference on the part of the Italian Government. Similarly, the bishops shall communicate and correspond freely with their clergy and with all the faithful in matters concerning their pastoral ministry.
Both Holy See and bishops can freely publish and also affix inside the buildings used for public worship or for the offices of their ministry--or on the outer doors thereof--all instructions, orders, pastoral letters, diocesan bulletins and other documents concerning the spiritual government of the faithful which they see fit to issue within the scope of their jurisdiction. Such publications and notices and, in general, all acts and documents relative to the spiritual government of the faithful, shall not be subject to any taxation. So far as the Holy See is concerned, such publications can be issued in any language; those of the bishops shall be issued in Italian or Latin, but to the Italian text the ecclesiastical authority can add translations into other languages.
The ecclesiastical authorities can, without any interference on the part of the civil authorities, make collections within and at the doors of the churches and buildings belonging to them.
Art. 3. Theological students, students destined for Theology and completing their last two years of studies preparatory to Theology, and novices of religious institutions, can, at their request, put off from year to year until the twenty-sixth year of their age the fulfilment of the obligations of military service.
Clerics ordained "in sacris" and religious who have taken vows are exempt from military service, saving the case of a general mobilization. In such case, the priests pass into the armed forces of the State, but shall continue to wear their ecclesiastical habit in order to exercise amongst the troops their sacred ministry under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the military Ordinary, according to the provisions of Art. 14. The other clerics and members of religious Orders shall preferably be enrolled for hospital work.
Nonetheless, even if the general mobilization is proclaimed, those priests, who have the care of souls, are dispensed from the call to present themselves. Under this heading shall come Ordinaries, parish priests, assistant parish priests or coadjutors, vicars, and priests permanently appointed to rectorships of churches open to the public.
Art. 4. Ecclesiastics and religious are exempt from serving as members of juries.
Art. 5. No ecclesiastic may take up, or remain in, employment or office of the Italian State or public bodies depending on the State without the nihil obstat of the Ordinary of his diocese. The revocation of the nihil obstat deprives the ecclesiastic of the capacity of continuing to exercise such employment or office. In no case may apostate priests, or those subject to censures, take up or continue in a post as teacher, or in an office or employment in which they will come into a direct contact with the public.
Art. 6. Stipends and other emoluments, which ecclesiastics receive by reason of their office, are exempt from distraint in the same measure as the salaries and emoluments of Government employees.
Art. 7. No magistrate or other authority may request ecclesiastics to supply information regarding persons or matters known to them by reason of their sacred ministry.
Art. 8. In the case of an ecclesiastic or religious being brought before a criminal judge for an offence, the King's Procurator [i.e. Public Prosecutor] shall immediately inform the Ordinary of the Diocese in whose territory he exercises his jurisdiction, and it is also his duty to notify promptly the Ordinary of the decision of the examining magistrate and of the sentence, should one be promulgated, both in the lower Court and on appeal.
In case of the arrest of an ecclesiastic or religious, he shall be treated with the regard due to his cloth and hierarchical rank.
In the event of an ecclesiastic or religious being sentenced, his sentence shall, if possible, be served in a prison separated from prisons for laymen, unless the competent Ordinary shall have already reduced the condemned person to lay status.
Art. 9. As a rule, buildings open for public worship shall be exempt from requisitions and from occupation.
In case that a grave public necessity should make it necessary to occupy a building open for public worship, the authority which proceeds to the occupation must previously make arrangements with the Ordinary, unless reasons of absolute urgency oppose it. In such an event, the authority proceeding to the occupation has to inform the Ordinary immediately.
Except in cases of urgent necessity, the public force [i.e. police force] must not enter buildings open for worship for the purpose of carrying out their duties, without first advising the ecclesiastical authorities thereof.
Art. 10. For no cause whatsoever is it possible to proceed to demolition of any buildings open for worship without previous agreement with the competent ecclesiastical authority.
Art. II. The State recognizes the feast-days established by the Church, which are the following: all Sundays; New Year's Day; the Epiphany (January 6); the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19); the Ascension; the Feast of Corpus Christi; the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul (June 29); the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15); All Saints' Day (November 1); the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8); Christmas Day (December 25).
Art. 12. On Sundays and days of obligation, the priest celebrating the Conventual Mass shall sing, in all churches having a Chapter, a prayer for the prosperity of the King of Italy and of the Italian State according to the rules of the holy liturgy.
Art. 13. The Italian Government shall communicate to the Holy See a list of ecclesiastics assigned to the care of souls with the armed forces of the State, as soon as such a list shall be legally approved. The names of the ecclesiastics to whom the high distinction of this service of spiritual assistance is to be committed (namely the Military Ordinary, the Vicar-General and the Inspectors) be notified confidentially [sc. before their appointment] by the Holy See to the Italian Government. Whenever the Italian Government has reason to oppose the appointment of persons thus suggested, it shall inform the Holy See which shall proceed to a fresh choice. The Military Ordinary shall have archiepiscopal rank. The nomination of the Military Chaplains shall be made by the competent authority of the Italian State, on the suggestion of the Military Ordinary.
Art. 14. The Italian Air, Land and Naval forces shall enjoy the privileges and exemptions laid down by Canon Law. With regard to the said troops, the Military Chaplains have the authority of parish priests. They shall exercise their sacred ministry under the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinary, assisted by his own "Curia." The Military Ordinary has jurisdiction also over the religious, both male and female, attached to military hospitals.
Art. 15. The Archbishop, who is the Military Ordinary, shall preside over the Chapter of the Pantheon Church at Rome, forming --together with that Chapter--the body of clergy to whom the religious service of the said Basilica is entrusted.
This body of clergy is authorized to discharge all religious functions, even outside Rome, which in conformity with the rules of Canon Law may be requested from them by the State or by the Royal House.
The Holy See consents to confer on all the Canons composing the Chapter of the Pantheon Church the dignity of Protonotary ad instar, durante munere. Their nomination shall be made by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome after presentation [sc. of the names of the candidates to be appointed] by His Majesty the King of Italy, a confidential indication [sc. of the names which will be presented] being given prior to presentation.
The Holy See reserves to itself the right of transferring the Diaconate to another church.
Art. 16. The High Contracting Parties shall proceed jointly, by means of Mixed Commissions, with the revision of the geographical delimitation of the Dioceses for the purpose of making it, so far as possible, correspond to that of the provinces.
It is understood that the Holy See shall create the Diocese of Zara [i.e. of Zadar in Dalmatia, which belonged to Italy between the two World Wars]; that no part of the territory under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Italy shall be subject to (the jurisdiction of) a bishop whose See is situated in territory under the sovereignty of another State; and that no Diocese of the Kingdom shall include territory subject to the sovereignty of another State.
The same principles shall be observed both with regard to the existing parishes and to those which may be constituted in the future near the borders of the State.
The modifications which shall need to be effected in the future, after a mutual agreement reached beforehand, in the delimitation of the Dioceses, shall be carried out by the Holy See in previous agreement with the Italian Government and in accordance with the directives expressed above, saving small rectifications of territory which may be required for the good of souls.
Art. 17. The reduction of Dioceses which may result from the application of the preceding Article shall be made effective as and when such Dioceses become vacant.
It is understood that the said reduction shall not involve the suppression of the titles of the Dioceses, nor of their Chapters, which shall be preserved when regrouping the Dioceses in such a manner as to make the episcopal Sees correspond to the capitals of the provinces.
The said reductions shall leave the economic resources of the Dioceses and of the other ecclesiastical bodies existing therein unchanged, including the payments now being made by the Italian Government.
Art. 18. If several parishes are regrouped provisionally or definitively by decision of the ecclesiastical authority, either by the appointment of a single parish priest, assisted by one or more curates, or by uniting in one presbytery several priests, the State shall maintain unaltered the economic treatment of the said parishes.
Art. 19. The choice of archbishops and bishops belongs to the Holy See.
Before proceeding to the nomination of an Archbishop, a diocesan bishop or a coadjutor cum iure successionis, the Holy See shall communicate the name of the person chosen to the Italian Government in order to make sure that the Government has no objections of a political nature to the nomination.
The steps necessary in this connection shall be effected with the greatest possible care and with all discretion, so that the name of the person chosen shall remain secret until his actual nomination.
Art. 20. Before taking possession of their Dioceses, the Bishops shall take an oath of fidelity between the hands of the Head of the State, using the following formula: "Before God and His Holy Gospels I swear and promise fidelity to the Italian State in a manner proper to a bishop. I swear and promise to respect and make respected by my clergy the King and the Government established according to the Constitutional laws of the State. Moreover, I swear and promise that I shall not participate in any agreement, nor attend any council which may damage the Italian State and public order, and that I shall not allow to my clergy such participation. I shall concern myself with the well-being and interests of the Italian State and endeavour to avert any danger that might possibly menace it."
Art. 21. Provision to ecclesiastical benefices belongs to the ecclesiastical authorities.
The names of those invested with parochial benefices shall be communicated confidentially by the competent ecclesiastical authorities to the Italian Government, and the appointment can not have effect until thirty days from the date of the communication.
Within this period the Italian Government can, if grave reasons exist against an appointment (of this kind), inform the ecclesiastical authority confidentially of their objections; if the dissension continues, the ecclesiastical authority will bring the case before the Holy See.
Should grave reasons arise which render the continuance of an ecclesiastic in a particular parish benefice injurious, the Italian Government shall communicate such reasons to the Ordinary who shall, in agreement with the Government, take the necessary steps within three months.
In the case of divergency of opinion between the Ordinary and the Government, the Holy See shall entrust the settlement of the question to two ecclesiastics chosen by it, who shall take a final de- cision in the matter in agreement with two delegates of the Italian Government.
Art. 22. Ecclesiastics who are not Italian citizens can not be invested with benefices in Italy. Those in charge of Dioceses or parishes must, furthermore, speak Italian. If necessary, they must be given coadjutors who, besides Italian, understand and speak also the tongue locally used in order that religious assistance may be afforded by them--according to the rules of the Church--in the language of the faithful.
Art. 23. The provisions of Articles 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22 do not apply to Rome and the suburban Dioceses.
It also remains understood that, whenever the Holy See may proceed to new arrangements in the said Dioceses, no alterations shall be effected in the payments made at present by the Italian State either to the "mense" [i.e. the revenue of the Bishops] or to other ecclesiastical institutions.
Art. 24. The "Exequatur" and the Royal "Placet" are abolished as well as any Caesarean or Royal nomination in the matter of providing to ecclesiastical benefices and offices throughout Italy, saving the exception made below in Art. 29, par. g.
Art. 25. The Italian State renounces the sovereign prerogative of the Royal Patronage over benefices, both major and minor.
Likewise, it renounces "la regalia" [i.e. the Crown's right to appropriate to itself the income of benefices during their vacancies] over major or minor benefices and, also, the "terzo pensionabile" [sc. the State's right to apply a third of the income of a benefice in favour of other persons than the holder of the benefice] in the provinces of the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The burdens connected (with these rights) shall no longer be a charge on the State and on the Departments concerned.
Art. 26. The appointment of persons invested with major or minor benefices, and of those who are temporarily to fill a vacant See or benefice, shall take effect from the date of the ecclesiastical provision (to the benefice in question) which shall be officially notified to the Government. During the vacancy, the administration and the enjoyment of revenues shall be regulated by the provisions of Canon Law.
In the case of bad management, the Italian State can proceed-in agreement with the ecclesiastical authority--to the sequestration of the temporalities of the benefice, preserving the net revenue thereof for the use of the person invested with the benefice or, in his absence, for the use of the benefice.
Art. 27. The Basilicas of the Holy House at Loreto, of St. Francis at Assisi and of St. Anthony at Padua, together with all buildings and works annexed, with the exception of those which are of purely lay character, shall be ceded to the Holy See, which will be at liberty as to their administration.All the other bodies, of any description, which are in Italy under the management of the Holy See--including the Missionary Colleges--shall be likewise free from any interference on the part of the State and shall not be subject to conversion [i.e. the conversion of real property into State bonds]. However, the Italian laws regarding the acquisition (of property) by juridical persons remain applicable in any case.With regard to the property now belonging to these sanctuaries, a mixed commission shall divide and assign it, due attention being paid to the rights of third parties and to the necessary endowmentof the said works which have a merely lay character.As regards other sanctuaries which are administered by laymen, the ecclesiastical authorities can take over their management freely, saving the case of the division of their property as indicated in the preceding paragraph. Art. 28. In order to ease consciences, the Holy See grants full pardon to all those who are--in consequence of the Italian laws concerning the patrimony of the Church--in possession of ecclesiastical property.For this purpose, the necessary instructions shall be given by the Holy See to the Ordinaries. Art. 29. The Italian State shall revise its legislation in so far as it concerns ecclesiastical matters, reforming and completing it in order to bring it into harmony with the principles which inspired the Treaty concluded with the Holy See and the present Concordat.The following is, however, understood from now on between the two High Contracting Parties: . The juridical personality of the ecclesiastical bodies, already recognized by Italian laws (the Holy See, dioceses, Chapters, seminaries, parishes, etc.), shall remain unchanged; a similar status shall be recognized also to all churches open to public worship which have not had it so far, including those that formerly belonged to the suppressed ecclesiastical bodies; these latter shall continue to receive the money assigned to each of them by the Ecclesiastical Fund. Saving the provisions of the above Art. 27, the councils of administration, wherever they exist and whatever their title may be, even if composed entirely or preponderantly of laymen, must not interfere with the service of public worship and the nomination of their members shall be made in agreement with the ecclesiastical authorities.
. The juridical personality of those religious congregations, with or without vows, which are approved by the Holy See, have their headquarters in the Kingdom (of Italy), and are represented there legally and de facto by persons having Italian citizenship and being domiciled in Italy, shall be recognized. Furthermore, juridical personality shall be recognized to Italian religious provinces- viz. provinces within the territorial limits of the (Italian) State and its colonies--of such religious congregations which have their headquarters abroad, if the same conditions are complied with. Also the juridical personality of religious houses shall be recognized, if they are allowed, by the particular rule of the Order in question, to acquire and possess property. Finally, juridical personality shall be recognized to the General Houses and to the Procurators of religious congregations, even if foreign. The religious congregations and religious houses which already have juridical personality shall continue to enjoy the same. Legal transactions relative to the transfer of the property already possessed by such congregations from the actual owners to the said congregations shall be exempt from all taxation.
. The fraternities devoted exclusively or mainly to worship shall not be subject, in future, to any transformation as regards their purpose and shall be dependent on ecclesiastical authorities for matters relating to their working and management. . All foundations for religious worship of any kind are permitted, provided that they respond to the religious needs of the population and that they do not involve any financial burden for the State. This provision also applies to the foundations which already exist de facto. . In the civil administration of ecclesiastical patrimony, resulting from the laws of alienation, one half of the members of the administrative councils shall be appointed by ecclesiastical authorities; the same shall apply with regard to the Religious Funds in the new provinces. . The acts performed up to the present by ecclesiastical or religious bodies without the observance of civil laws, may be recognized and regularized by the Italian Government at the request of the Ordinary, if presented within three years from the coming into force of the present Concordat.
. The Italian Government renounces the privileges concerning the exemption from ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Palatine clergy throughout Italy (with the exception of the clergy attached to the churches of Santa Sindone at Turin, of Superga and Sudario at Rome, and to the chapels annexed to the residential palaces of the King, the Queen and the Royal Princes); all the appointments and provisions to benefices and offices are covered by the rules laid down in the preceding Articles. An appropriate Commission shall arrange for the allocation of an adequate endowment to each basilica or Palatine church; in this, the criteria indicated for the property of sanctuaries mentioned in Art. 27 are to be observed. . The facilities in taxation which have already been provided by Italian legislation in favour of ecclesiastical bodies shall remain in force; public worship and religion shall be considered, for all purposes of taxation, on an equal basis with public charity and education. The extraordinary tax of 30 per cent. imposed by Art. 18 of the law of August 15, 1867, No. 3848, is abolished; so is the "quota di concorso" referred to in Art. 31 of the law of July 7, 1866, No. 3036, and in Art. 20 of the law of August 15, 1867, No. 3848, and also the tax on the transfer of usufruct of the property constituting the endowment of benefices and of other ecclesiastical units as laid down in Art. 1 of the Royal Decree of December 30, 1923, No. 3270; for the future, the possibility of the imposition of any special tax, chargeable on the property of the Church, remains excluded.
Neither the professional tax nor the licensing tax, both introduced by the Royal Decree of November 18, 1923, No. 2538 (instead of the abolished tax on trade and resale), nor any other similar tax, shall be applied to ministers of religion in the exercise of their sacerdotal ministry. . The use of the ecclesiastical and religious habit by laymen or by ecclesiastics or religious who have been definitely forbidden to wear it by the competent ecclesiastical authorities (who should officially communicate the fact to the Italian Government), is forbidden and shall be punished with the same sanctions and penalties with which is forbidden and punished the improper use of military uniform.
Art. 30. The ordinary and extraordinary administration of property belonging to any ecclesiastical institution or religious congregation shall be carried out under the supervision and control of the competent Church authorities, every intervention on the part of the Italian State being excluded, and without the obligation of converting real property.
The Italian State recognizes the capacity of ecclesiastical institutions and of religious congregations to acquire property, saving the provisions of the civil legislation concerning the acquisition of property by juridical persons.
Unless fresh agreements provide otherwise, the Italian State shall continue to make good deficiencies in the income of ecclesiastical benefices by means of payments whose amounts shall not be inferior to the real value of the amount fixed by legislation at present in force; in consideration thereof, the administration of the patrimony of the said benefices, so far as the respective acts and contracts exceed the scope of routine administration, shall be carried out with the co-operation of the Italian State and in the case of a vacancy the inventory shall be made in the presence of a representative of the Government, a formal procès-verbal being drawn up to that effect.
The episcopal emoluments (" mense vescovili ") in the suburban dioceses, and the patrimonies of the Chapters and parishes at Rome and in the said dioceses, are not subject to the intervention referred to above.
For the purpose of supplementing "la congrua" [i.e. State subsidy paid regularly to the holders of the poorer benefices], the amount of income which the beneficiaries draw from the "mense vescovili" or from the said patrimonies shall be established by an annual statement, drawn up every year, on their own responsibility by the suburban bishops for their respective dioceses and by the Cardinal Vicar for the City of Rome.
Art. 31. The creation of new ecclesiastical bodies or religious congregations shall be effected by the ecclesiastical authorities following the rules of Canon Law; their recognition for civil purposes shall be performed by the civil authorities.
Art. 32. Various recognitions and authorizations mentioned in the Articles of the present Concordat and Treaty [i.e. the Treaty of the Lateran] shall take place in accordance with the provision of civil legislation, which shall be brought into harmony with the contents of this Concordat and of the Treaty (of the Lateran).
Art. 33. The disposal of the catacombs situated at Rome and in other parts of the Kingdom's territory is reserved to the Holy See, with the corresponding duty of keeping them in custody, maintaining and conserving them. Consequently, the Holy See can, while observing the laws of the State and saving the possible rights of third parties, proceed to any suitable excavations and to the transfer of sacred remains.
Art. 34. Wishing to restore to the institution of matrimony, which is the foundation of the family, the dignity conformable to the Catholic tradition of its people, the Italian State recognizes the civil effect of the Sacrament of Matrimony as regulated by Canon Law.
The banns of marriage to be celebrated as stated above, shall be published both at the parish church and at the town hall.
Immediately after the ceremony of the wedding, the parish priest shall explain to the newly wedded couple the civil effects of matrimony, reading out to them those Articles of the Civil Code which deal with their rights and duties, and shall draw up the certificate of marriage, a full copy of which he shall forward to the municipality within five days, in order that it may be entered in the register of the Civil Registrar.
Pleas concerning nullity of marriage and dispensations from matrimony solemnized, but not consummated, are reserved to the competence of ecclesiastical Courts and Departments.
Upon becoming final, the rulings and sentences of this kind shall be submitted to the Supreme Tribunal of the " Segnatura " which shall control whether the provisions of Canon Law have been respected concerning the competence of the judge, the summoning of the parties and their proper legal representation or their contumacy.
The said rulings and final sentences shall be transmitted, together with the corresponding decrees of the Supreme Tribunal of the " Segnatura ", to the territorially competent Italian Court of Appeal which shall--by means of Orders issued in Council--render them effective for the purposes of civil law and order them to be entered in the registers of Civil Registrars as annotations to the respective entries concerning the celebration of the marriage.
As to the cases of personal separation, the Holy See agrees that they should be judged by Civil Courts (of the State).
Art. 35. The system of State examinations remains valid for secondary schools run by ecclesiastical religious bodies, securing effective conditions of equal footing for candidates of the Government schools and candidates of the said schools.
Art. 36. Italy considers the teaching of Christian doctrine in the form shaped by Catholic tradition as the basis and goal of public education. She, therefore, agrees that the teaching of religion, which is now given in the public elementary schools, be iii future extended to and developed in secondary schools, according to a programme to be established by agreement between the Holy See and the State.
This teaching shall be imparted through the medium of teachers and professors who are priests or members of religious Orders approved by ecclesiastical authorities and, in an auxiliary manner, by lay teachers and professors who shall for that purpose be provided with a certificate of qualification, issued by the Ordinary of the diocese in question.
The revocation of the certificate on the part of the Ordinary deprives the teacher immediately of the capacity to teach.
Only text-books approved by the ecclesiastical authorities shall be used for teaching of religion in public schools.
Art. 37. In order to render possible the religious instruction of the youths entrusted to them, the leaders of Government associations for physical culture and for pre-military training, and the leaders of tale "Avantguardisti" and those of "Balilla" [i.e. official organizations of Fascist youth] shall arrange their time-tables in such a way as shall not impede on Sundays and days of obligation the fulfilment of their religious duties.
The heads of State schools shall do the same, in the event of meetings of their pupils on such days.
Art. 38. The appointments of professors at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and the dependent Teachers' Training College of Mary Immaculate are subject to the nihil obstat on the part of the Holy See in order to ensure their entire suitability from the moral and religious point of view.
Art. 39. The Universities, greater or lesser Seminaries, diocesan, inter-diocesan or regional, Academies, Colleges, and other Catholic institutions for training and education of ecclesiastics, shall continue to depend solely on the Holy See, without any interference on the part of the educational authorities of the Kingdom.
Art. 40. The theological degrees granted by Faculties approved by the Holy See, shall be recognized by the Italian State.
Likewise, the diplomas shall be recognized which shall be given by the schools of paleographic, archival and documentary training, attached to the Library and Archives of the Vatican City.
Art. 41. Italy authorises the use, in the Kingdom and in its colonies, of the decorations of the Pontifical Orders of Knighthood, upon registration of the briefs of nomination which shall be effected on production of the brief, accompanied by the interested party's written request to that effect.
Art. 42. Italy shall, by means of a Royal Decree, admit the use of titles of nobility conferred by Sovereign Pontiffs, even after 1870, and of those which may be conferred in future.
In some cases to be established, the said recognition shall not be subject to payment of any tax in Italy.
Art. 43. The Italian State recognizes the organizations connected with the Italian "Catholic Action" in so far as these shall--according to the instructions of the Holy See--carry out their activities outside any political Party, and under the immediate guidance of the Church's hierarchy for the diffusion and practical application of Catholic principles.
The Holy See avails itself of the opportunity afforded by this provision of the present Concordat to renew the prohibition for all ecclesiastics and religious in Italy of joining, or working in, any political Party.
Art. 44. Should any divergence arise in future concerning the interpretation of the present Concordat, the Holy See and Italy shall proceed by means of a common examination to a friendly solution.
Art. 45. The present Concordat shall come into force by exchange of the ratifications, at the same time as the Treaty concluded between the same High Contracting Parties which settles the "Roman Question."
The provisions of the obsolete Concordats of the former Italian States [i.e. of the time before the unification of Italy] shall cease to apply in Italy upon the entry into force of the present Concordat. Austrian laws and the laws, regulations, ordinances and decrees of the Italian State now in force, in so far as they are incompatible with the provisions of the present Concordat, shall be considered as abrogated at the coming into force of the present Concordat.
To prepare for the execution of the present Concordat, a Commission shall be appointed, immediately after the signing thereof, composed of persons delegated by both High Contracting Parties.
(Given at) Rome, on the eleventh of February, one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine.
(Signed) Pietro Cardinal Gasparri Benito Mussolini.
Considering that the Holy See and Italy, in consequence of the Treaty which they have concluded and by which the "Roman Question" has been finally settled, regard it to be requisite and necessary that their financial relations be regulated by a separate Convention which shall, however, form an integral part of the said Treaty;
Considering that the Sovereign Pontiff with due regard, on the one hand, to the immense damage sustained by the Apostolic See by reason of the loss of the Patrimony of St. Peter, represented by the former Papal States and by the property belonging to ecclesiastical bodies; and, on the other hand, to the ever-increasing demands made upon the Church, even in the City of Rome alone, and also with due regard to the present financial position of the State and the economic conditions of the Italian people, particularly after the war [i.e. First World War], has deemed it well to restrict the request for indemnity to the barest necessity by asking for a sum, payable partly in cash and partly in bonds, which is much inferior in value to that which the State should have disbursed to the Holy See, if only in execution of the obligation assumed by the Law of May 13, 1871;
And considering, that the Italian State, appreciating the paternal sentiments of the Sovereign Pontiff, has felt bound to comply with the request for payment of the said sum,
The two High Contracting Parties, represented by the same Plenipotentiaries, have agreed as follows:
Art. 1. Italy undertakes to pay--upon exchange of the ratification of the Treaty [sc. the Treaty of the Lateran]--to the Holy See the sum of 750,000,000 Italian lire and to hand over simultaneously to the Holy See an amount of Italian 5 per cent. Consolidated Bearer Bonds, with coupon payable on June 30 of the current year attached, as shall represent the nominal value of 1,000,000,000 Italian lire.
Art. 2. The Holy See declares that it accepts the above conditions as a final settlement of its financial relations with Italy, arising out of the events of 1870.
Art. 3. All the acts necessary for the execution of the Treaty [i.e. the Treaty of the Lateran], of the present Convention and of the Concordat shall be exempt from every form of taxation.
(Given at) Rome, on the eleventh of February, one thousand nine hundred and twenty nine.
(Signed) Pietro Cardinal Gasparri
2. Encyclical "Quadragesimo anno" of Pope Pius XI on the Reconstruction of the Social Order, May 15, 1931 Original latin text in Acia Apostolicae Sedis, year 1931, p. 177
This Encylical (unique in that it is addressed "to all the faithful of the Catholic world" as well as to the ecclesiastical hierarchy) was issued to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Rerum novarum (see Doc. No. 10 in Chap. VII).
It is, however, more than a merely commemorative document; striking changes had taken place in the world of politics and economics since 1891 and Pope Pius XI takes full account of these in his reassertion of Catholic social principles.
The first main section of the Encyclical (16-40) is devoted to an assessment of the beneficial results of Rerum novarum. Among Catholics had been evolved "a truly Catholic social science" (20), while Catholic principles had been brought into non-Catholic circles to whom they had previously been unknown. In international relations the provisions about labour set out in the Peace Treaties concluded after the First World War and resulting in the foundation of the International Labour Organization at Geneva are declared by Pius XI to have been influenced by Leo XIII's doctrine. The encyclical Rerum novarum has been partially responsible for a whole new branch of legislation dealing with social security and protection for the worker (28). The growth of workingmen's associations desired by Leo III has become a reality (3036), though in some cases it has not been possible to obtain completely Catholic organizations which had been ideal of Rerum novarum. The farming and middle classes have been able to form similar associations (37); associations of employers have not been so successful (38). Surveying in the field as a whole, Pius XI feels justified in hailing his predecessor's Encyclical as the "Magna Charta" for all Christian social activity (39).
The longest section of the Encyclical (41-98) is devoted to a restatement and defence of the principles of Rerum novarum in the light of new conditions. Leo XIII's defence private property is emphasized (44), but Pius XI points out that the Church has always taught that property must be used for the common good. He condemns, however, a school of Catholic thinkers who had asserted that the right to private property depends on its moral use, and who had criticized the traditional teaching of the Church for being too influenced by "pagan" concepts of Roman Civil Law (46). In certain circumstances the State may enforce the requirement of Divine and Natural Law on the owners of private property, but it must not abuse this function (49). Surplus income should not be used entirely at individual discretion but the wealthy are subject to grave obligations of almsgiving, charity, liberality, among which the provision of employment for other may be an important part (5051). Property, says the Pope, may be acquired "both by first occupancy and by labour" (52), he Socialist contention that private property is a usurpation of the rights of community (a contention expressed most strongly in the dictum French nineteenthcentury thinker Proudhon: "Property is theft") is thus explicitly rejected.
Pius XI points out the futility of setting up Capital and Labour as irreconcilable opposites. In reality each has need of the other (53). Unjust claims by both--the liberal capitalist claim to all profits on the one hand, and the Marxist assertion that all surplus profits belong to the workers on the other--are criticized (54-55). Wealth must be distributed in equitable proportions and present-day injustices removed (56-58).
The continued progress in industry during the past forty years had resulted in the increase of the numbers of the proletariat whose unhappy condition had been described in the Encyclical Rerum novarum. The only way of permanently alleviating the lot of these unfortunates is to give them the opportunity of becoming small property-owners themselves (61). But this can only be achieved by the provision of a just and living wage (63).
The plea for a wage sufficient to enable a worker to bring up his family in a decent standard of health and comfort had been made by Leo XIII in Rerum novarum and reiterated briefly by Pius XI in his Encyclical Casti connubii on Christian marriage ( December 31, 1930), in which the Pope cites the absence of a living wage as one of the chief agencies working in favour of un-Christian views on family limitation. Now, in Quadragesimo anno, Pius XI returns to the concept and gives it its fullest expansion. The wage contract is not in itself unjust, but the present state of society demands modification of it in favour of a system of partnership by which workers may participate in owning or managing an industry or in sharing its profits (64-65). Wages should be paid in such a proportion as to remove the necessity for work on the part of mothers and children; but wages should not be asked for on so excessive a scale as to cripple the business which has to pay them (71-72). The raising and lowering of wages and prices to suit private ends causes the evil of unemployment and hence is an attack on the common good (74-75).
In the most novel section of the Encyclical (76-96), Pius XI outlines the ideal Catholic programme for the re-organization of the social order. It is based on the concept of the "communitas communitatum" (advocated by Leo XIII in Rerum novarum ); subordinate associations are to take much of the burden of regulating economic conditions from the State, though the Pope agrees that modern conditions demand that the State alone should retain final supervisory authority (79 and 80). The new associations thus suggested are called by the Pope "vocational groups" (82) or "corporations" (85). These would include representatives of both Capital and Labour in respective trades and industries; by meeting on equal collaborative terms the antagonism engendered by past divisions would be subordinated to the common interest (84-85). The form of such corporations could be determined by their members, provided that justice and common good were taken into account (86); Pius XI here explicitly follows Leo XIII's declaration of the lawfulness of all forms of political government with the same proviso (see the Encyclical Immortale Dei, Doc. No. 9 in Chap. VII). The Pope points out that the corporations he advocates would be voluntary in character (87). With such institutions, and with similar institutions on an international scale, the evils of unrestricted competition would be checked (88-89).
It was to be expected that the "corporative" system outlined by Pius XI in the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno might be confused with the contemporary experiment in Fascist Italy, in which Mussolini's dictatorship had set up a "corporation" for each trade and industry, this corporation being recognized by the State as the sole medium for arranging wage and labour conditions. Pius XI takes pains, however, to point out the differences which underlie the similarities between the Christian and the Fascist corporative systems. The crucial distinction (95) is that the Fascist Corporations are mere mouthpieces of the central State organization and not genuinely autonomous bodies, such as would be the associations envisaged by Quadragesimo anno. Another essential difference, which is not mentioned in the Encyclical, but which is obvious from a comparison of the two systems, is that, whereas membership of the Fascist corporations was in practice compulsory (contributions to them were exacted from all whether they joined them or not, while labour agreements made by them were binding on all members of the industry or profession), the Catholic organizations were expressly, according to par. 87 of the Encyclical, to be placed on a voluntary basis (see the Corporative Order, built up subsequently in Portugal on these lines, Doc. No. 5 in this chapter). Here the model for Pius XI's system were the recommendations of the Christian Trade Union International, published in 1922, which anticipate several of the features of this section of Quadragesimo anno.
Pius XI then turns to an examination of the two great antiChristian modern economic systems (Capitalism and Socialism) and discusses the changes which both have undergone since the time of Leo XIII's Encyclical. Since 1891 the modern capitalist structure has enlarged its scope to include the whole world, while unrestricted competition has led to monopolistic concentration of economic power in the hands of a few individuals, "the trustees and directors of invested funds," and particularly of the financiers who dominate the credit system (103-6). Struggle to control this economic machine leads to both civil and international strife. "Free competition has destroyed itself; economic domination has taken the place of the open market" (108-9).
Socialism has obtained remarkable political successes since the Encyclical Rerum novarum ; but it has split into two hostile factions, the first being the extreme dictatorial movement of Communism and the other being a more moderate "Social Democratic" section which has renounced violent class welfare and qualifies the unrestricted condemnation of private property (112-5). It was natural that some Catholics should raise the question of possible collaboration with this more moderate section, particularly as Catholic teaching would agree that in certain circumstances complete State control ("nationalization") of some industries is legitimate. Later, on November 22, 1934, the Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican paper, was to name as examples hydro-electric power stations, public utility services, or the ammunition industry.
The Pope asserts, however, that true Socialism, even in its "democratic" form, remains incompatible with Christianity. The reason for this is that Socialism is based on a materialist philosophy which entirely ignores, or treats as indifferent, Man's supernatural destiny (118). Furthermore, it treats the individual as a mere unit in the organization of collective society and is hence derogatory of human personal dignity. Therefore, "no one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a Socialist properly so called" (11920). The Pope also warns against Socialist and semi-Socialist cultural organizations, particularly among young people (121). The section concludes with an invitation to lapsed Catholics who have gone over to the Socialist cause to return (123-26), and Pius XI points out that the abuses which have driven them into a sincere belief in Socialism are not a consequence of Catholicism, but of the behaviour of Catholic employers who have failed to live up to the moral demands of their religion.
The applications of this condemnation of theoretical Socialism to individual Socialist Parties have been variable. The Socialist Parties on the European Continent are in general Marxist in ideology and were strongly anti-clerical in feeling until after the Second World War; hence they would appear to fall under the Papal condemnation. On the other hand, the British Labour Party, although it would officially claim the title of "Socialist," might also claim a certain exception from the Papal condemnation. Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster and head of the British Catholic hierarchy, said about it in June 1931 (a month after Quadragesimo anno ): "I think it will be generally admitted that very few members of the Labour Party would base their desire for social reform on the principles which His Holiness has so rightly and so strongly condemned." The Cardinal's interpretation is borne out by the fact that the Labour Party still includes many Catholics among its supporters.
The concluding section (127-1420) of the Encyclical emphasizes, as Leo XIII had done, the fact that the essential problem of the achievement of a juster social order is a moral one. The "unquenchable thirst for riches and temporal possessions" has led to monopolistic exploitation; the Pope singles out for special condemnation the abuses often practised by joint-stock companies, and the exploitation of human passions and desires for commercial gain (132). It is not surprising, says Pius XI, that men actuated by such purely selfish motives should think nothing of exploiting their own workers, treating them as tools and exposing them to moral dangers: ". . . from the factory dead matter goes out improved, whereas men there are corrupted and degraded" (135).
What are the remedies for this deplorable situation? Economic life must be inspired by the principles of Christian justice and (an even more important requirement) Christian charity, without which all reforms will be futile, must dominate men's minds and hearts (136). The Pope indicates with special approval some movements, such as "Catholic Action" and the "Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrètienne" (Young Christian Workers), who are furthering these ends (138-39). The clergy must be prepared to show an active interest in social affairs (142), but "the first and immediate apostles" of the working class, and of the industrial and commercial worlds must themselves come from those milieux (141). The spiritual training of such men must not be forgotten (143). The Pope concludes with an impressive appeal for unity among Catholics in the disturbed times of the world-wide economic crisis which had commenced in the late twenties and during which the Encyclical was published (144-47).
It is still too soon to assess adequately the effects of the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno. Attempts have been made to put its social teaching into practice; the most striking of these were the Corporative Constitutions of Austria and Portugal of 1934 and 1933-35 respectively (see Doc. No. 5 of this chapter), while influences can be seen also in the Irish Constitution of 1937 (see Doc. No. 9 of this chapter). The failure in Austria can be plausibly traced to the peculiarly explosive character of the internal conditions there in the years before 1938, whereas in Portugal the evolution towards the ideal of a Corporative State has been in a steady and hopeful progress since the enactment of the Constitution.
In his exposition of the fallacies of both Capitalism and Socialism, Pius XI continued the social "middle way" enunciated by his predecessor in the Encyclical Rerum novarum. Meditating over the Papal recommendations, a number of competent observers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, have come to believe that the solution to modern economic problems actually lies in a system of corporative organizations which would curb individualist excesses while guarding against undue encroachments by the State. If they are right, the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno may be regarded in future epochs as one of the most significant documents of the twentieth century.
(The following copyright English translation is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
To our Venerable Brethren
the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries
in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See,
and to all the Faithful of the Catholic World,
on Reconstructing the Social Order
and Perfecting it Conformably to the Precepts
of the Gospel,
in Commemoration of the Fortieth Anniversary
of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII.
POPE PIUS XI
Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children:
Greeting and Apostolic Benediction
1. Forty years have elapsed since the incomparable Encyclical of Leo XIII of happy memory, Rerum Novarum, first saw the light. The whole Catholic world gratefully recalls the event, and prepares to celebrate it with befitting solemnity.
2. The way for this remarkable document of pastoral solicitude, it is true, had been in a measure prepared by other pronouncements of Our Predecessor. His Letters on the foundation of human society, namely the family and the holy Sacrament of matrimony, 1 on the origin of civil power 2 and its proper coordination with the Church, 3 on the chief duties of Christian citizens, 4 against the tenets of Socialism 5 and the false notions of human liberty, 6 these and others of the kind had unmistakably revealed the mind of Leo XIII. Rerum Novarum, however, stood out in this, that it laid down for all mankind very sure guidance for the right solution of the difficult problem of human fellowship, called "the social question," at the very time when such guidance was most opportune and necessary.
1 Encycl. Arcanum, February 10, 1880.
2 Encycl. Diuturnum, June 29, 1881.
3 Encycl. Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.
4 Encycl. Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.
5 Encycl. Quod Apostolici muneris, December 28, 1878.
6 Encycl. Libertas, June 20, 1888.
3. For, towards the close of the nineteeth century, new economic methods and a new expansion of industry had in most countries resulted in a growing division of the population into two classes. The first, small in numbers, enjoyed practically all the advantages so plentifully supplied by modern invention; the second class, comprising the immense multitude of working-men, was made up of those who, oppressed by dire poverty, struggled in vain to escape from the difficulties which encompassed them.
4. This state of things was quite satisfactory to the wealthy, who looked upon it as the consequence of inevitable economic laws, and who therefore were content to leave to charity alone the full care of helping the unfortunate; as though it were the task of charity to make amends for the open violation of justice, a violation not merely tolerated, but sometimes even ratified, by legislators. On the other hand, the working-classes, victims of these harsh conditions, were very restive, and refused to bear the heavy yoke any longer. Some, carried away by the heat of evil counsels, sought a general revolution. Others, whom Christian training restrained from such a perverse policy, maintained that there was much in all this that needed a radical and speedy reform.
5. Such also was the opinion of the many Catholics, priests and laymen, whom a really wonderful charity had long spurred on to the relief of the undeserved indigence of the labouring classes, and who could in no way persuade themselves that so enormous and unjust a difference in the distribution of temporal goods was truly in harmony with the designs of an All-wise Creator.
6. There can be no doubt that these men sought in all sincerity an immediate remedy for this lamentable social disorder, and a firm barrier against worse dangers. But such is the infirmity of even the best of minds, that these men, on the one hand repelled as dangerous innovators, on the other hampered by fellow-workers in the same good cause, who held different views, hesitated between various opinions, and were at a loss which way to turn.
7. In this grave conflict of opinions, accompanied by discussions not always of a peaceful nature, the eyes of all, as often in the past, turned towards the Chair of Peter, that sacred depository of all truth, whence words of salvation are dispensed to the whole world. To the feet of Christ's Vicar on earth there came in unusual numbers sociologists, employers, working-men themselves, begging with one voice that at last a safe road might be pointed out to them.
8. Long did the prudent Pontiff study the matter before God, carefully considering it in all its aspects and seeking the advice of the most experienced counsellors. At last, "urged by the responsibility of the Apostolic Office," 1 and lest by keeping silence he should seem to neglect his duty, 2 he decided in virtue of the authority to teach divinely committed to him, to address himself to the Universal Church of Christ, nay, to the whole human race.
9. On May 15, 1891, therefore, the long-desired message was given to the world. Undaunted by the difficulty of the undertaking or by the weight of years, with commanding energy the venerable Pontiff taught mankind new methods of dealing with social problems.
Chief headings 10. You know, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, and you are well acquainted with the admirable teaching which has made the Encyclical Rerum Novarum for ever memorable. In this document the Supreme Shepherd, grieving for "the misery and wretchedness pressing unjustly" on such a large proportion of mankind, with lofty courage took upon himself to defend the cause of "working-men, surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition." 3 He sought help neither from liberalism nor socialism; the former had already shown its utter impotence to find a right solution of the social question, while the latter would have exposed human society to still graver dangers, by offering a remedy much more disastrous than the evil it designed to cure.
11. But, exercising his manifest rights, and rightly holding that to himself were primarily entrusted the guardianship of religion and the charge of whatever is intimately connected with it, the Pontiff approached the question as one to which "no solution could be found apart from the intervention of religion and of the Church." 4 Relying solely upon the unchangeable principles drawn from right reason and divine revelation, he indicated and proclaimed with confidence and "as one having power," 5 "the relative rights and mutual duties of the rich and of the poor, of capital and of labour," 6 and at the same time the part that must be taken by the Church, by the State and by the parties concerned.
12. Nor was the Apostolic voice raised in vain. It was listened to with admiration and greeted with profound sympathy not only by the loyal children of the Church, but by many also who were wandering far from the truth or from the unity of faith; nay more,
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891, §1.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §13.
3 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §2.
4 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §13.
5 Matt. vii, 29.
6 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §1.
by wellnigh everyone who, either as private student or as legislator, was thereafter interested in social and economic questions.
13. With particular enthusiasm was the Pontifical Letter welcomed by Christian working-men, who felt themselves vindicated and defended by the highest authority on earth; and by all those devoted men whose concern it had long been to better the conditions of labour, and who heretofore had found hardly anything but general indifference, not to say vexatious distrust, or even open hostility. All these have ever deservedly held the Encyclical in the highest esteem, to the extent of solemnizing its memory in various ways year after year throughout the world in token of gratitude.
14. Despite this widespread agreement, however, some minds were not a little disturbed, with the result that the noble and exalted teaching of Leo XIII, quite novel to worldly ears, was looked upon with suspicion by some, even amongst Catholics, and gave offence to others. For it boldly attacked and overthrew the idols of liberalism, swept aside inveterate prejudices, and was so unexpectedly in advance of its time, that the slow of heart scorned the study of this new social philosophy, and the timid feared to scale its lofty heights. Nor were there wanting those who, while professing their admiration for this message of light, regarded it as a utopian ideal, desirable rather than attainable in practice.
The scope of the present Encyclical 15. Now, therefore, that the solemn commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum is being enthusiastically celebrated in every country, but particularly by Catholic working-men who are gathering from all sides to the Holy City, We deem it opportune, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, first, to recall the great benefits which this Encyclical has brought to the Catholic Church and to the world at large; secondly, to vindicate the social and economic doctrine of so great a Master against certain doubts which have arisen, and to develop more fully some of its points; finally, after passing judgment on the modern economic règime and examining the position of socialism, to expose the root of the present social disorder, and at the same time to point out the only way to a salutary cure, a reform of conduct on Christian lines. Such are the three topics to the treatment of which the present Letter is dedicated.
BENEFITS DUE TO "RERUM NOVARUM"
16. Beginning, then, with the topic We have mentioned first, We cannot refrain from paying to Almighty God the tribute of Our
earnest gratitude for the immense benefits to the Church and to human society which have come from the Encyclical of Leo XIII. For We remember the counsel of St. Ambrose: "No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks." 1 Were We to enumerate these benefits even in a cursory way, it would be necessary to recall almost the whole history of the past forty years in its relation to the social question. We may summarize them conveniently under three heads, corresponding to the three forms of intervention for which Our Predecessor pleaded in order to bring about his great work of reconstruction.
I. What has been done by the Church
17. In the first place, Leo himself clearly stated what could be expected from the Church: "The Church insists, on the authority of the Gospel, upon those teachings whereby the conflict can be brought to an end, or rendered, at least, far less bitter; the Church uses her efforts not only to enlighten the mind, but to direct by her precepts the life and conduct of each and all; the Church improves and betters the condition of the working-man by means of numerous organizations." 2
In the matter of teaching
18. This mighty power for good the Church did not suffer to remain unprofitably stored away, but drew upon it freely in the cause of a peace that was so universally desired. Time and again the social and economic doctrine of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum was proclaimed and emphasized in spoken and written word by Leo XIII himself and by his Successors, who were ever careful to adapt it to the changing conditions of the times, and who never relaxed their paternal solicitude and pastoral constancy, particularly in defence of the poor and of the weak. 3 With like zeal and skill did numerous Bishops of the Catholic world interpret and comment upon this doctrine, and apply it, according to the mind and instructions of the Holy See, to the special circumstances of the various nations. 4
19. It is not surprising, therefore, that under the teaching and
1 St. Ambrose, On the passing of his brother Satyrus, Book I, Chap. 44.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 13.
3 We give a few references only: Leo XIII, Litt. Apost. Praeclara, June 20, 1894; Encycl. Graves de communi, January 18, 1901.-- Pius X, Motu proprio De Actione populari Christiana, December 18, 1903.-- Benedict XV, Encycl. Ad Beatissimi, November 11, 1914.-- Pius XI, Encycl. Ubi Arcano, December 23, 1922; Encycl. Rite expiatis, April 30, 1926.
4 Cf. La Hiérarchie catholique et le probléme social depuis l'Encyclique "Rerum Novarum" 1891-1931, pp. xvi-335: "Union Internationale d'Etudes Sociales fondée à Malines, en 1920, sous la présidence du Card. Mercier" Paris, Editions "Spes," 1931.
guidance of the Church, many learned priests and laymen earnestly devoted themselves to the problem of elaborating social and economic science in accordance with the conditions of our age, for the chief purpose of adapting to modern needs the unchanging and unchangeable doctrine of the Church.
20. Under the guidance and in the light of Leo's Encyclical was thus evolved a truly Catholic social science, which continues to be fostered and enriched daily by the tireless labours of those picked men whom We have named auxiliaries of the Church. They do not allow it to remain hidden in learned obscurity, but bring it forth into the full view of public life, as is clearly shown by the valuable and well-known courses founded in Catholic universities, academies and seminaries; by social congresses or "weeks" held at frequent intervals and with gratifying success; by study circles; by sound and timely publications spread far and wide.
21. Nor were these the only benefits which followed from the Encyclical. The doctrine of Rerum Novarum began little by little to penetrate among those also who, being outside Catholic unity, do not recognize the authority of the Church; and thus Catholic principles of sociology gradually became part of the intellectual heritage of the whole human race. Thus We rejoice that the eternal truths proclaimed so vigorously by Our illustrious Predecessor are advanced and advocated, not merely in non-Catholic books and journals, but frequently also in legislative assemblies and in courts of justice.
22. Moreover, when after the great war the rulers of the leading nations wished to restore peace by an entire reform of social conditions, and among other measures drew up regulations for the just rights of labour, many of their conclusions agreed so perfectly with the principles and directions of Leo XIII, as to seem expressly deduced from them. The Encyclical Rerum Novarum has become in truth a memorable document to which may well be applied the words of Isaias: "He shall raise a standard unto the nations!" 1
In practical application
23. In the meantime, while study and investigation were causing Pope Leo's teaching to become widely known throughout the world, steps were taken to apply it to practical use. In the first place, in a spirit of active beneficence, every effort was made to lift up a class of men, who, owing to the expansion of modern industry, had enormously increased in numbers, but whose rightful position in society had not yet been obtained, and who in consequence were almost neglected and despised. These were the working-men, to whose
1 Isaias, xi, 12.
betterment priests, both secular and regular, though burdened by other pastoral cares, at once devoted themselves energetically, under the guidance of the Bishops, with great advantage to souls. This constant endeavour to imbue the minds of the working-men with the Christian spirit, did much to awaken in them at the same time a sense of their true dignity. By keeping clearly before their mind the rights and duties of their class, it rendered them capable of legitimate and genuine progress, and of becoming leaders of their fellows.
24. From that time onward, provision for welfare was forthcoming in larger measure and with greater security. In answer to the appeal of the Pontiff, not only did works of beneficence and charity begin to multiply, but also under the direction of the Church, and frequently under the guidance of her priests, there sprang up in addition an ever increasing number of new associations by which workingmen, craftsmen, husbandmen, wage-earners of every kind could give and receive mutual assistance and support.
2. What has been done by the civil authority
25. With regard to the civil authority, Leo XIII boldly passed beyond the restrictions imposed by liberalism, and fearlessly proclaimed the doctrine that the civil power is more than the mere guardian of law and order, and that it must strive with all zeal "to make sure that the laws and institutions, the general character and administration of the commonwealth, should be such as of themselves to realize public well-being and private prosperity." 1 It is true, indeed, that a just freedom of action should be left to individual citizens and families; but this principle is only valid as long as the common good is secure, and no injustice is entailed. The duty of rulers, however, is to protect the community and its various elements; and in protecting private rights, they must have special regard for the weak and the needy. "For the richer classes have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the poorer classes have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State. And for this reason wage-earners, since they mostly belong to that class, should be specially cared for and protected by the government." 2
26. We do not, of course, deny that even before the Encyclical of Leo some rulers had provided for the more urgent needs of the working-classes, and had checked the more flagrant acts of injustice perpetrated against them. But after the Apostolic voice had sounded from the Chair of Peter throughout the world, the leaders of the
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §26.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 29.
nations became at last more fully conscious of their obligations, and set to work seriously to promote a more fruitful social policy.
27. In fact, the Encyclical Rerum Novarum completely overthrew those tottering tenets of liberalism which had long hampered effective interference by the government. It prevailed upon the peoples themselves to develop a social policy more intensely and on truer lines, and so encouraged leading men among Catholics to give efficacious help and assistance to rulers of the State that in legislative assemblies they were not infrequently the foremost advocates of the new policy. Furthermore, not a few recent laws dealing with social questions were originally proposed to the suffrages of the people's representatives by ecclesiastics thoroughly imbued with Leo's teaching, who afterwards with watchful care promoted and fostered their execution.
28. As a result of these steady and tireless efforts, there has arisen a new branch of law unknown to earlier times, securing those sacred rights of the working-man which proceed from his dignity as a man and as a Christian. These laws concern the soul, health, strength, the family, housing, workshops, wages, workpeople's risks; in a word, all that affects the wage-earners, with particular regard to women and children. Even though these regulations do not agree always and in every detail with the recommendations of Pope Leo, it is none the less certain that much which they contain is strongly suggestive of Rerum Novarum, to which in large measure must be attributed the improved condition of the workers.
3. What has been done by the parties concerned
29. In the last place, the wise Pontiff pointed out that employers and workmen may of themselves effect much in the matter we are treating "by means of such organizations as afford opportune aid to those who are in distress, and draw the two classes more closely together." 1 Among these, he attributed prime importance to societies consisting either of workmen alone, or of workmen and employers together. He devotes much space to describing and commending these societies, and expounds with remarkable prudence their nature, cause and opportuneness, their rights, duties and regulations.
30. The lesson was well timed. For at that period rulers of not a few nations were deeply infected with liberalism, and regarded such unions of workmen with disfavour, indeed with open hostility. While readily recognizing and patronizing similar associations amongst other classes, with criminal injustice they denied the innate right of forming associations to those who needed them most for
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 36.
self-protection against oppression by the more powerful. There were even Catholics who viewed with suspicion the efforts of the workers to form such unions, as if they savoured of a sort of socialist or revolutionary spirit.
31. Worthy of all praise, therefore, are the directions authoritatively promulgated by Leo XIII, which served to break down this opposition and dispel these suspicions. They have a still higher distinction, however; that of encouraging Christian working-men to form unions according to their various trades, and of teaching them how to do it. Many were thus confirmed in the path of duty, in spite of the vehement attractions of socialist unions, which claimed to be the sole defenders and champions of the lowly and oppressed.
32. The Encyclical Rerum Novarum declared most appropriately that "these working-men's associations should be so organized and governed as to furnish the best and most suitable means for attaining what is aimed at, that is to say, for helping each member to better his condition to the utmost in body, soul and property"; yet that it is clear "that they must pay special and chief attention to the duties of religion and morality, and that social policy should have this chiefly in view." For "the foundation of social laws being thus laid in religion, it is not hard to establish the relations of members one to another, in order that they may live together in concord and achieve prosperity." 1
33. Eager to carry out to the full the programme of Leo XIII, the clergy and many of the laity devoted themselves everywhere with admirable zeal to the creation of such unions, which in turn formed truly Christian working-men. These happily combined the diligent plying of their trade with deep religious convictions; they learned to defend their temporal rights and interests energetically and efficiently, retaining at the same time a due respect for justice and a sincere desire to collaborate with other classes. Thus they prepared the way for a Christian renewal of all social life.
34. These counsels and instructions of Leo XIII were reduced to practice differently in different places according to circumstances. In some countries, one and the same association included within its scope all the ends and purposes proposed by him. In others, according as circumstances suggested or required, a division of functions developed, and separate associations were founded. Of these some undertook the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of their members in the hiring of their labour; others had as their
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 42, 43.
object the provision of mutual help in economic matters; while still others were exclusively concerned with religious and moral duties and pursuits of a similar kind.
35. The latter method was chiefly used whenever the laws of the country, or certain established economic institutions, or the lamentable discord of minds and hearts so prevalent in modern society, and the urgent necessity of uniting forces to combat the massed ranks of revolutionaries, made it impossible for Catholics to form Catholic unions. Under such circumstances they seem to have no choice but to enrol themselves in neutral trade unions. These, however, must always respect justice and equity, and leave to their Catholic members full freedom to follow the dictates of their conscience, and to obey the precepts of the Church. It belongs to the Bishops to approve of Catholic working-men joining these unions, where they judge that circumstances render it necessary, and there appears no danger for religion, observing however the rules and precautions recommended by Our Predecessor of saintly memory, Pius X. 1 Among these precautions the first and most important is that, side by side with these trade unions, there must always be associations which aim at giving their members a thorough religious and moral training, that these in turn may impart to the labour unions to which they belong the upright spirit which should direct their entire conduct. Thus will these associations exert a beneficent influence far beyond the ranks of their own members.
36. It must be set to the credit of the Encyclical that these unions of working-men have everywhere so flourished that in our days, though unfortunately still inferior in number to the unions of socialists and communists, they already muster an imposing body of wage-earners able to maintain successfully, both in national and international assemblies, the rights and legitimate demands of Catholic workers, and to urge salutary Christian principles about social life.
Organizations among other classes
37. There is the further fact that the doctrine concerning the innate right of association, which Leo XIII treated so learnedly and defended so vigorously, began to find ready application to associations other than those of working-men. It would seem therefore that the Encyclical is in no small measure responsible for the gratifying prosperity and increase of associations amongst farmers and others of the middle classes. These excellent organizations, with others of a similar kind, happily combine economic advantages with spiritual culture.
1 Encycl. Singulari quadam, September 24, 1912.
Associations of employers
38. Associations of employers and directors of industry, the establishment of which Our Predecessor earnestly desired, did not meet with the same success; they are, We regret to say, still few in number. This must not be entirely attributed to men's want of goodwill, but to the far more serious obstacles which stand in the way of associations of this kind, the nature and gravity of which We well know and appreciate to the full. There are, however, well-founded hopes that these obstacles also will shortly be removed. We hail even now with deep joy of heart certain experiments, far from negligible, which have been made in this regard, and which have already produced much fruit and give rich promise for the future. 1
4. Conclusion: "Rerum Novarum" the Magna Charta of the social order 39. These beneficent results of Leo's Encyclical, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, which We have here outlined rather than described, are so many and so great as to prove beyond question that this immortal document exhibits more than a merely beautiful but imaginary picture of human society. On the contrary, Our illustrious Predecessor drew from the Gospel, as from a living and life-giving source, doctrines capable, if not of settling at once, at least of considerably mitigating, the fatal internal strife which rends the human family. That the good seed, sown with a lavish hand forty years ago, fell in part on good ground, is shown by the rich harvest which, by God's favour, the Church of Christ and the whole human race have reaped unto salvation. It would not be rash to say that during the long years of its existence Leo's Encyclical has proved itself the Magna Charta on which all Christian activities in social matters ought to be based. Those who seem to attach slight importance to this Encyclical and its commemoration either blaspheme what they know not, or they understand nothing of what they may happen to know, or if they do understand, are openly convicted of injustice and ingratitude. 40. In the course of these years, however, doubts have arisen concerning the correct interpretation of certain passages of the Encyclical, or the conclusions to be drawn from it, and these doubts have led to controversies, even among Catholics, not always of a peaceful character. On the other hand, the new needs of our age and the changed conditions of affairs have rendered necessary a more precise application and some amplification of Leo's doctrine. We therefore gladly seize this opportunity of answering those doubts, so far as in Us lies, and of satisfying the demands of the present day.
____________________ 1 See letter of the S. Congregation of the Council to the Bishop of Lille, June 5, 1929.
This We do in virtue of Our Apostolic office, by which We are a debtor to all. 1
VINDICATED AND EXPLAINED
The authority of the Church in the social and economic spheres
41. But before proceeding to discuss these problems, We must lay down the principle, long since clearly established by Leo XIII, that it is Our right and Our duty to deal authoritatively with social and economic problems. 2 It is not, of course, the office of the Church to lead men to transient and perishable happiness only, but to that which is eternal; indeed "the Church believes that it would be wrong for her to interfere without just cause in such earthly concerns." 3 But she never can relinquish her God-given task of interposing her authority, not indeed in matters of technique, for which she has neither the equipment nor the mission, but in all those that fall under the moral law. With regard to these, the deposit of truth entrusted to Us by God, and Our weighty office of declaring, interpreting and urging, in season and out of season, the entire moral law, demand that both the social order and economic life be brought within Our supreme jurisdiction.
42. For though economic life and moral conduct are guided each by its own principles in its own sphere, it is false to maintain that the two orders are so dissociated and so alien to each other that the former in no way depends on the latter. While the so-called laws of economics, derived from the nature of things and of the body and mind of man, do indeed determine what human effort cannot attain in the economic field, what it can attain and by what means; so reason itself also clearly deduces from the individual and social nature of man and things, what in the designs of God the Creator is the end and object of the whole economic order.
43. Now the same moral law which commands us to seek in our general conduct our supreme and final end, also commands us in every particular kind of activity to aim at those ends which nature, or rather the Author of nature, has established for that order of action, and to subordinate particular aims to our last end. If this law be faithfully obeyed, the result will be that particular economic ends, whether of society as a body or of individuals, will fall into their proper place in the universal order of ends, and we shall rise by them as by steps to the final end of all, God, who is to Himself and to us the supreme and lasting good.
1 Rom. i, 14.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §13.
3 Encycl. Ubi arcano, December 23, 1922.
1. Of ownership or the right of Property
44. Descending now to details, We commence with ownership, or the right of property. You are aware, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, how strenuously Our Predecessor of happy memory defended the right of property against the teachings of the socialists of his time, showing that the abolition of private ownership would prove to be, not beneficial, but grievously harmful to the working-classes. Yet since there are some who falsely and unjustly accuse the Supreme Pontiff and the Church of upholding, both then and now, the wealthier classes against the proletariat, and since controversy has arisen among Catholics as to the true sense of Pope Leo's teaching, We have thought it well to defend from calumny the Leonine doctrine in this matter, which is also the Catholic doctrine, and to safeguard it against false interpretations.
Its individual and social character
45. First, let it be made clear beyond all doubt that neither Leo XIII, nor those theologians who have taught under the guidance and direction of the Church, have ever denied or called in question the two-fold aspect of ownership, which is individual or social according as it regards individuals or concerns the common good. Their unanimous assertion has always been that the right to own private property has been given to man by nature, or rather by the Creator Himself, both in order that individuals may be able to provide for their own needs and those of their families, and also that by means of it the goods which the Creator has destined for the whole human race may truly serve this purpose. Now these ends cannot be secured, unless some definite and stable order is maintained.
46. A double danger must therefore be carefully avoided. On the one hand, if the social and public aspect of ownership be denied or minimized, one falls into "individualism," as it is called, or at least come near to it; on the other hand, the rejection or diminution of its private and individual character necessarily leads to "collectivism" or to something approaching to it. To disregard these dangers would be to rush headlong into the quicksands of modernism in the moral, juridical and social order, which We condemned in the Encyclical Letter issued at the beginning of Our Pontificate. 1 Let this be noted particularly by those innovators who launch against the Church the odious calumny that she has allowed a pagan concept of ownership to creep into the teachings of her theologians, and who assert that another concept must be substituted, which in their astounding ignorance they call Christian.
1 Encycl. Ubi Arcano, December 23, 1922.
The obligations of ownership
47. That We may keep within bounds the controversies which have arisen concerning ownership and the duties attaching to it, We re-assert in the first place the fundamental principle, laid down by Leo XIII, that the right of property must be distinguished from its use. 1 It belongs to what is called commutative justice, faithfully to respect private ownership, and not to encroach on the rights of another by exceeding the limits of one's own right of property. The prohibition of wrongful use of one's own possessions, however, does not fall under this form of justice, but under certain other virtues, the obligations of which are "not enforced by courts of justice." 2 Hence it is a mistake to contend that the right of ownership and its proper use are bounded by the same limits; and it is even less true that the right of property is destroyed or lost by its mere non-use or abuse.
48. Most helpful therefore and worthy of all praise are the efforts of those who, in a spirit of harmony and with due regard for the traditions of the Church, seek to determine the precise nature of these duties, and to define the boundaries imposed by the needs of social life upon the right of ownership itself or upon its use. On the contrary, it is a grievous error so to weaken the individual character of ownership, as actually to destroy it.
The Power of the State
49. It follows from the twofold character of ownership which, as We have said, is both individual and social, that men must take into account in this matter, not only their own advantage, but also the common good. To define in detail these duties, when the need occurs, and when the natural law does not do so, is the function of the civil ruler. Provided that the natural and divine law be observed, the public authority, in view of the true necessities of the common welfare, may specify more accurately what is licit and what is illicit for property-owners in the use of their possessions. Moreover, Leo XIII had wisely taught that "the defining of private possession has been left by God to man's own industry and to the laws of individual peoples." 3 History proves that ownership, like other elements of social life, is not absolutely rigid, and this doctrine We Ourselves have given utterance to on a previous occasion in the following terms: "How varied are the forms which property has assumed. First the primitive form in use amongst rude and savage peoples, which still exists in certain localities even in our own day; then that of the patriarchal age; later various tyrannical types (We use the
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §19.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §19.
3 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 7.
word "tyrannical" in its classical meaning); finally, the feudal and monarchic systems down to the varieties of more recent times." 1 It is plain, however, that the State may not discharge this duty in an arbitrary manner. Man's natural right of possessing private property, and transmitting it by inheritance, must remain intact and inviolate, and cannot be taken away by the State; "for man precedes the State" 2 and "the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community." 3 Hence the prudent Pontiff had already declared it unlawful for the State to exhaust the means of individuals by crushing taxes and tributes. "The right to possess private property is derived from nature, not from man; and the State has by no means the right to abolish it, but only to control its use and bring it into harmony with the interests of the public good." 4 When civil authority adjusts ownership to meet the needs of the public good, it acts not as an enemy, but as the friend, of private owners; for thus it effectively prevents the possession of private property, intended by nature's Author in His wisdom for the support of human life, from creating intolerable disadvantages and so rushing to its own destruction; it does not break down private ownership but protects it; and far from weakening the right of private property, it gives it new strength.
Obligations regarding surplus income
50. At the same time a man's surplus income is not left entirely to his own discretion. We speak of that portion of his income which he does not need in order to live fittingly and becomingly. On the contrary, the grave obligations of alms-giving, beneficence and liberality which rest upon the wealthy are constantly insisted upon in explicit terms by Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.
51. However, the employment of a large income in increasing the opportunities for remunerative work, provided the work is devoted to the production of really useful goods, is to be considered, according to the teaching of the Angelic Doctor, 5 an excellent act of liberality, particularly appropriate to the needs of our time.
Titles in acquiring ownership 52. The original acquisition of property takes place both by first occupancy and by labour, or, as it is called, specification. This is the universal teaching of tradition and the doctrine of Our Predecessor, Leo. Despite unreasonable assertions to the contrary, no wrong is done to any man by taking possession of goods which belong to
1 Allocution to the A.C.I., May 16, 1926.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 6.
3 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 10.
4 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 35.
5 St. Thomas, 2a 2æ, q. 134.
nobody. The only form of labour, however, which gives to him who labours a title to its fruits is that which a man exercises as his own master, and by which some new form or new value is produced.
2. Capital and labour
53. Altogether different is the labour one man hires out to another, and which is applied to the capital of another. To it most especially refer the words of Leo XIII: "It is only by the labour of working-men that States grow rich." 1 Is it not indeed apparent that the huge possessions which constitute human wealth are begotten by and flow from the hands of the working-man, toiling either unaided or with the assistance of tools and machinery which wonderfully intensify his efficiency? Universal experience teaches us that no nation has ever risen from want and poverty to a better and higher condition of life without the unremitting toil of all its citizens, both those who direct labour and those who perform it. But it is no less self-evident that these ceaseless labours would have remained ineffective, indeed could never have been attempted, had not God, the Creator of all things, in his goodness bestowed in the first instance the wealth and resources of nature, its treasures and its powers. For what else is work but the use or exercise of the powers of mind and body on or by means of these gifts of nature? Now, the natural law, or rather, God's will manifested by it, demands that right order be observed in the application of natural resources to human needs; and this order consists in everything having its proper owner. Hence it follows that unless a man apply his labour to his own property, an alliance must be formed between his toil and his neighbour's property; for each is helpless without the other. This is what Leo XIII had in mind when he wrote: "Capital cannot do without labour, nor labour without capital." 2 It is therefore entirely false to ascribe the results of their combined efforts to either capital or labour alone; and it is flagrantly unjust that either should deny the efficacy of the other, and claim all the product.
Unjust claims of capital
54. Capital, however, was long able to appropriate too much to itself; it claimed all the products and profits, and left to the worker the barest minimum necessary to repair his strength and to ensure the continuance of his class. For by an inexorable economic law, it was held, all accumulation of capital falls to the wealthy, while by the same law the workers are doomed to perpetual want or to a very low standard of life. It is indeed true that the course of things did not always and everywhere correspond with this thesis of the
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §27.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §15.
so-called Manchester school; but it cannot be denied that the steady pressure of economic and social tendencies was in this direction. That these erroneous opinions and deceitful axioms should have been vehemently assailed, and not merely by those whom they deprived of their innate right to better their condition, will assuredly surprise no one.
Unjust claims of labour
55. The cause of the exasperated workers was espoused by the "intellectuals," as they are called, who set up in opposition to this fictitious law a moral principle equally false: that all products and profits, excepting those required to repair and replace capital, belong by every right to the workers. This error, more plausible than that of certain socialists, who hold that all means of production should be transferred to the State (or, as they term it, "socialized"), is for that reason more dangerous and apt to deceive the unwary. It is an alluring poison, consumed with avidity by many not deceived by open socialism.
Principle of just distribution
56. It is easy to see that in order to keep these false doctrines from blocking for them the path that leads to justice and peace, both parties had only to hearken to the wise words of Our Predecessor: "The earth even though apportioned amongst private owners, ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all." 1 This teaching We Ourselves have reaffirmed above, when We wrote that the division of goods, which is effected by private ownership, is confirmed by nature itself, to the end that created things may minister to man's needs in an orderly and stable fashion; and this must be constantly borne in mind, if we would not wander from the path of truth.
57. Now, not every kind of distribution of wealth and property amongst men is such that it can at all, and still less can properly, attain the end intended by God. Wealth therefore, which is constantly being augmented by social and economic progress, must be so distributed amongst the various individuals and classes of society, that the needs of all, of which Leo XIII spoke, be thereby satisfied. In other words, the good of the whole community must be safeguarded. By this principle of social justice, one class is forbidden to exclude the other from a share of the benefits. This principle is violated by those of the wealthy who, practically free from care in their own possessions, consider it perfectly right that they should receive everything and the worker nothing; it is violated also by
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 7.
those of the proletariat who demand for themselves all the fruits of production, as being the work of their hands. Such men, vehemently incensed by the violation of justice, go too far in vindicating the one right of which they are conscious; they attack and seek to abolish all forms of ownership and all incomes not obtained by labour, whatever be their nature or whatever social function they represent, for the sole reason that they are not obtained by labour. In this connection it must be noted that the appeal made by some to the words of the Apostle: "If any man will not work, neither let him eat," 1 is as inept as it is unfounded. The Apostle is here passing judgment on those who refuse to work though they can and ought to work; he admonishes us to use diligently our time and our powers of body and mind, and not to become burdensome to others as long as we are able to provide for ourselves. In no sense does he teach that labour is the sole title which gives a right to a living or to an income. 2
58. Each one, therefore, must receive his due share, and the distribution of created goods must be brought into conformity with the demands of the common welfare or social justice. For every sincere observer is conscious that, on account of the vast difference between the few who hold excessive wealth and the many who live in destitution, the distribution of wealth is to-day gravely defective.
3. Emancipation of the proletariat
59. This is the aim which Our Predecessor urged as the necessary object of our efforts: the emancipation of the proletariat. It calls for more emphatic assertion and more insistent repetition, because these salutary injunctions of the Pontiff have not infrequently been forgotten, deliberately ignored, or deemed impracticable, though they were both feasible and imperative. They have lost none of their force or wisdom for our own age, even though the horrible pauperism of Leo's time is less prevalent to-day. The condition of the working-man has indeed been improved and rendered more equitable, particularly in the larger and more civilized States, where the workers can no longer be said to be universally in misery and want. But, when the use of machinery and the expansion of industry progressed with astonishing speed and overran and took possession of many countries in the new world, no less than of the ancient civilizations of the Far East, the number of needy proletarians, whose groans rise from earth to heaven, increased beyond all measure. Moreover, there is the immense army of agricultural wage-earners whose condition is depressed in the extreme, and who
1 II Thess., iii, 10.
2 Cf. II Thess., iii, 8-10.
have no hope of ever obtaining "any share in the land." 1 These also, unless appropriate and efficacious remedies be applied, will remain perpetually sunk in their proletarian condition.
60. It is very true that proletarianism must be carefully distinguished from pauperism; nevertheless, the immense number of proletarians on the one hand, and the enormous wealth of the very rich on the other, are an unanswerable argument that the material goods so abundantly produced in this age of industrialism are far from rightly distributed and equitably shared among the various classes of men.
Proletarian conditions to be overcome by letting wage-earners attain to property 61. Every effort therefore must be made that at least in future a just share only of the fruits of production be permitted to accumulate in the hands of the wealthy, and that an ample sufficiency be supplied to the workers. The purpose is not that these become negligent about working, for man is born to labour as the bird to fly, but that by thrift they may increase their possessions, and by the prudent management of the same may be enabled to bear family burdens with greater ease and security; and that being freed from that uncertainty which is the lot of the proletarian, they may not only be in a position to support life's changing fortunes, but may also have the confidence that, when their own lives are ended, some provision will remain for those whom they leave behind them.
62. These ideas were not merely suggested, but stated in frank and open terms, by Our Predecessor. We emphasize them with renewed insistence in this present Encyclical; for unless serious attempts be made, with all energy and without delay, to put them into practice, let nobody persuade himself that public order and the peace and tranquillity of human society can be effectively defended against the forces of revolution.
4. A just wage
63. This programme cannot, however, be realized unless the proletarians be placed in such circumstances that by skill and thrift they can acquire a certain moderate ownership, as We have just implied, following the teaching of Our Predecessor. But how can he ever save money, except from his wages and by the practice of thrift, who has nothing but his labour by which to obtain food and the necessaries of life? Let us turn, therefore, to the question of wages, which Leo XIII held to be "of great importance," 2 declaring and developing where necessary his principles and precepts.
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 35.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §34.
Wage-contract not essentially unjust
64. And first of all, those who hold that the wage-contract is essentially unjust, and that therefore in its place must be introduced the contract of partnership, are certainly in error. They do a grave injury to Our Predecessor, whose Encyclical not only admits the legitimacy of the wage-system, but devotes much space to bringing it into accordance with justice.
65. Nevertheless, in the present state of human society, We deem it advisable that the wage-contract should, when possible, be modified somewhat by a contract of partnership, as is already being tried in various ways to the no small gain both of the wage-earners and of the employers. In this way wage-earners and other employees participate in the ownership or the management, or in some way share in the profits.
66. In estimating a just wage, not one consideration alone but many must be taken into account, according to the wise words of Leo XIII: "Before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered." 1
67. In this way he refuted the irresponsible view of those who declare that this momentous question can easily be solved by the application of a single principle, and that far from a true one.
68. For entirely false is the principle, widely propagated to-day, that the worth of labour, and therefore the equitable return to be made for it, should equal the value of its product, and that therefore the worker has a right to claim the whole of what his labour produces. How erroneous this is appears from what We have written above concerning capital and labour.
Individual and social character of labour
69. Now it is evident that in labour, especially hired labour, as in ownership, there is a social as well as a personal or individual aspect to be considered. For unless a truly social and organic body is established; unless a social and juridical order protects the exercise of labour; unless the various branches of industry, some of which depend upon others, co-operate and complete each other; unless above all, intelligence, capital and labour combine together for common effort, man's toil cannot produce its adequate fruit. Hence if the social and individual character of labour be overlooked, it can be neither justly valued nor recompensed according to equivalence.
Three points to be considered
70. From this double aspect, naturally inherent in human labour, follow important conclusions for the regulation and fixing of wages.
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §17.
(a) Support of the working-man and his family
71. In the first place, the wage paid to the working man must be sufficient for the support of himself and of his family. 1 It is right indeed that the rest of the family contribute according to their power towards the common maintenance, as we see particularly in the families of peasants, but also in those of many artisans and small tradesmen. But it is wrong to abuse the tender years of children, or the weakness of women. Mothers should carry on their work chiefly at home, or near to it, occupying themselves in caring for the household. Intolerable and at all costs to be abolished is the abuse whereby mothers of families, because of the insufficiency of the father's salary, are forced to engage in gainful occupations outside the domestic walls, to the neglect of their own proper cares and duties, particularly the upbringing of their children. Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a wage sufficient to meet adequately normal domestic needs. If under present circumstances this is not always feasible, social justice demands that reforms be introduced without delay, which will guarantee such a wage to every adult working-man. In this connection We praise those who have most prudently and usefully attempted various methods by which an increased wage is paid in view of increased family burdens, and special provision made for special needs.
(b) The state of the business
72. In settling the amount of wages one must also take into account the business and those in charge of it; for it would be unjust to demand excessive wages, which a business cannot pay without ruin, and without consequent distress amongst the working-people themselves: though if the business make smaller profit on account of want of energy and enterprise, or from neglect of technical and economic progress, this is not a just reason for reducing the workers' wages. If, however, the business does not make enough money to pay the workman a just wage, either because it is overwhelmed with unjust burdens, or because it is compelled to sell its products at an unjustly low price, those who thus injure it are guilty of grievous wrong; for it is they who deprive the workers of a just wage, and force them to accept terms which are unjust.
73. Let employers, therefore, and employed join in plans and efforts to overcome all difficulties and obstacles, and let them be aided in this wholesome endeavour by the wise measures of the public authority. In the last extreme, counsel must be taken whether the business can continue, or whether some other provision should
1 Encycl. Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930.
be made for the workers. The guiding spirit in this crucial decision should be one of mutual understanding and Christian harmony between employers and workers.
(c) The exigencies of the common good
74. Finally wage-rates must be regulated with a view to the economic welfare of the whole people. We have already shown how conducive it is to this common welfare that wage-earners of all kinds be enabled, by setting aside some portion of their wage after having made provision for necessary expenses, to attain gradually to the possession of a certain modest fortune. Another point, however, of scarcely less importance must not be overlooked, in these our days especially, namely that opportunities for work be provided for those who are willing and able to work. This depends in no small measure upon the level of wages, which multiplies opportunities for work as long as it is fixed at a proper amount, and reduces them if allowed to depart from this limit. All are aware that a rate of wages too low or too high causes unemployment. Now unemployment, particularly if widespread and of long duration, as We have known it during Our Pontificate, causes misery and temptation to the workers, ruins the prosperity of nations, and endangers public order, peace and tranquillity the world over. To lower or raise wages unduly, with a view to private advantage, and with no consideration for the common good, is therefore contrary to social justice which demands that, so far as possible by concerted plans and union of wills, wages be so regulated as to offer to as many as possible opportunities of employment and of securing for themselves suitable means of livelihood.
75. A proper proportion between different wages is also a matter of importance; and with this is intimately connected proper proportion between the prices charged for the products of the various economic groups, agricultural, industrial, and so forth. Where this harmonious proportion is kept, the various branches of production will combine and unite into one single organism, and as members of a common body will aid and perfect one another. For then only will the economic and social order be soundly established and attain its ends, when it offers to all and each all those goods which the wealth and resources of nature, technique, and the social organization of economic affairs can give. These goods should be sufficient both to supply all necessities and reasonable comforts, and to uplift men to that higher standard of life which, provided it be used with prudence, is not only of no hindrance, but is of singular help, to virtue. 1
1 Cf. St. Thomas, De Regimine Principum, i, 15. Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 27.
5. The reconstruction of the social order
76. What We have written thus far regarding a right distribution of property and just wages concerns directly the individual, and only indirectly the social order. To this latter, however, Our Predecessor Leo XIII devoted every thought and care, in his efforts to reconstruct it according to the principles of sound philosophy, and to perfect it according to the sublime precepts of the Gospel.
77. But in order that what he happily began may be rendered stable, that what has not yet been accomplished may now be achieved, and that still more abundant benefits may accrue to mankind, two things are particularly necessary: the reform of social institutions and the improvement of conduct.
78. When we speak of the reform of institutions, it is principally the State that comes to mind. Not indeed that all salvation is to be hoped from its intervention; but because on account of the evil of "individualism," as We called it, things have come to such a pass that the highly developed social life which once flourished in a variety of associations organically linked with each other, has been damaged and all but ruined, leaving thus virtually only individuals and the State, to the no small detriment of the State itself. Social life has entirely lost its organic form; the State, to-day encumbered with all the burdens once borne by those associations now destroyed, has been submerged and overwhelmed by an infinity of occupations and duties.
79. It is indeed true, as history clearly proves, that owing to changed circumstances much that was formerly done by small groups can nowadays only be done by large associations. None the less, just as it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to a group what private enterprise and industry can accomplish, so too it is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order, for a larger and higher association to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower societies. This is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, unshaken and unchangeable. Of its very nature the true aim of all social activity should be to help members of the social body, but never to destroy or absorb them.
80. The State therefore should leave to smaller groups the settlement of business of minor importance, which otherwise would greatly distract it; it will thus carry out with greater freedom, power and success the tasks belonging to it alone, because it alone can effectively accomplish these: directing, watching, stimulating, restraining, as circumstances suggest and necessity demands. Let those in power, therefore, be convinced that the more faithfully this principle of subsidiary function be followed, and a graded hierarchical order exist between various associations, the greater will be both social authority and social efficiency, and the happier and more prosperous the condition of the commonwealth.
Collaboration between vocational groups
81. Now this is the primary duty of the State and of all good citizens, to abolish disputes between opposing classes, and to create and foster harmony between vocational groups.
82. The aim of social policy must therefore be the re-establishment of vocational groups. Society to-day still remains in a strained and therefore unstable and uncertain state, because it is founded on classes with divergent aims and hence opposed to each other, and consequently prone to enmity and strife.
83. Labour, indeed, as has been well said by Our Predecessor in his Encyclical, is not a mere chattel; 1 the human dignity of the working-man must be recognized in it, and consequently it cannot be bought and sold like any piece of merchandise. None the less, as things are now, the wage-system divides men on what is called the labour-market into two sections, resembling armies, and the disputes between these sections transform this labour-market into an arena where the two armies are engaged in fierce combat. To this grave disorder which is leading society to ruin, a remedy must evidently be applied as speedily as possible. But there cannot be question of any perfect cure unless this opposition be done away with, and well-organized members of the social body be constituted; vocational groups namely, claiming the allegiance of men, not according to the position they occupy in the labour-market, but according to the diverse functions which they exercise in society. For it is natural that just as those who dwell in close proximity constitute townships, so those who practise the same trade or profession, in the economic field or any other, form corporate groups. These groups, with powers of self-government, are considered by many to be, if not essential to civil society, at least natural to it.
84. Order, as St. Thomas well defines, 2 is unity arising from the proper arrangement of a number of objects; hence, true and genuine social order demands that the various members of a society be joined together by some firm bond. Such a bond of union is provided both by the production of goods or the rendering of services in which employers and employees of one and the same vocational group collaborate; and by the common good which all such groups should unite to promote, each in its own sphere, with friendly harmony. Now
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §16.
2 St. Thomas, Cont. Gent. . iii, 71; cf. Summ. Theol. , 1a, q. 65, art. 2c.
this union will become powerful and efficacious in proportion to the fidelity with which the individuals and the vocational groups strive to discharge their professional duties and to excel in them.
85. From this it is easy to conclude that in these corporations the common interests of the whole vocational group must predominate; and among these interests the most important is to promote as much as possible the contribution of each trade or profession to the common good of the State. Regarding cases which may occur in which the particular interests of employers or employees call for special care and protection, the two parties will be able to deliberate separately, or to come to such decisions as the matter may require.
86. It is hardly necessary to note that what Leo XIII taught concerning the form of political government can in due measure be applied also to professional corporations. Here, too, men may choose whatever form they please, provided that both justice and the common good be taken into account. 1
87. Just as the citizens of the same township are wont to form associations with very diverse aims, which each citizen is perfectly free to join or not, similarly, those who are engaged in the same trade or profession will form equally voluntary associations among themselves, for purposes connected in some way with their occupation. Our Predecessor of illustrious memory has explained clearly and lucidly the nature of these voluntary associations. We are content, therefore, to emphasize this one point: not only is man free to institute these unions which are of a private character, but he has "the further right to adopt such rules and regulations as may best conduce to the attainment of the end in view." 2 The same liberty must be asserted for the founding of associations which extend beyond the limits of a single trade or profession. Let those voluntary associations which already flourish and produce salutary fruits make it the goal of their endeavours, in accordance with Christian social doctrine, to prepare the way and to do their best towards the realization of those higher corporations or vocational groups which We have mentioned above.
The restoration of a guiding principle for economic life
88. Still another matter, intimately connected with the preceding, must be kept in view. Just as the unity of human society cannot be built upon opposition between classes, so the proper ordering of economic life cannot be left to free competition. From this contaminated source have proceeded in the past all the errors of the economic individualist school. This school, ignorant or forgetful
1 Encycl. Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.
2 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 42.
of the social and moral aspect of economic life, held that this must be considered and treated by the State as absolutely free and independent, because it possesses in free competition and open markets a principle of self-direction better able to control it than any human ingenuity. Free competition, however, though within certain limits right and productive of good results, cannot be the guiding principle of economic life; this has been abundantly proved by the consequences that have followed from the practical application of these dangerous individualist ideas. It is therefore very necessary that economic life be once more subjected to and governed by a true and effective guiding principle. Still less can this function be exercised by the economic dictatorship which within recent times has taken the place of free competition; for this is a headstrong and vehement power, which, if it is to prove beneficial to mankind, needs to be curbed strongly, and ruled with prudence. It cannot, however, be curbed and governed by itself. More lofty and noble principles must therefore be sought in order to control this dictatorship sternly and uncompromisingly; to wit, social justice and social charity. To that end all the institutions of public and social life must be imbued with the spirit of this justice, which must be truly operative, must build up a juridical and social order pervading the whole economic regime. Social charity should be, as it were, the soul of this order, an order which the State must actively defend and vindicate. This task the State will perform the more easily, if it free itself from those burdens which, as We have already declared, are not properly its own.
89. Further, it would be well if the various nations in common counsel and endeavour strove to promote a happy international co-operation in economic matters by prudent pacts and institutions, since economically they are largely dependent one upon the other, and need one another's help.
90. If then the members of the social body be thus restored, and if a true directive principle of social and economic activity be reestablished, it will be possible to say, in a sense, of this body what the Apostle said of the mystical body of Christ: "From Him the whole body, welded and compacted together throughout every joint of the system, part working in harmony with part--(from Him) the body deriveth its increase, unto the building up of itself in charity." 1
91. Within recent times, as all are aware, a special syndical and corporative organization has been inaugurated which, in view of the subject of the present Encyclical, demands of Us some mention and opportune comment.
1 Eph. iv, 16. (Westminster Version.)
99. The State here grants juridical personality to the union, and thereby confers on it some of the features of a monopoly; for in virtue of this grant, it alone can uphold the rights of the workers or employers (according to the kind of union), and it alone can negotiate wage-terms and make labour agreements. Membership of the union is optional, but only to this extent can the union be said to be voluntary; because contribution to the union and other special taxes are obligatory for all who belong to each trade or profession, whether workers or employers, and the labour agreements made by the legally established union are likewise binding on all. It is true that it has been authoritatively declared that the legally established union does not exclude the existence of other professional associations, which, however, are not legally recognized.
93. The corporations are composed of delegates of the unions of workers and employers of the same trade or profession, and, as true and genuine organs and institutions of the State, they direct and coordinate the activities of the unions in all matters of common interest.
94. Strikes and lock-outs are forbidden. If the contending parties cannot come to an agreement, public authority intervenes.
95. Little reflection is required to perceive the advantage of the institution thus summarily described: peaceful collaboration of various classes, repression of socialist organizations and efforts, the moderating influence of a special magistracy. But in order to overlook nothing in a matter of such importance, and in the light of the general principles stated above, as well as of those shortly to be added, We feel bound to say that to Our knowledge there are some who fear that the State is substituting itself in the place of private initiative, instead of limiting itself to necessary and sufficient assistance. It is feared that the new syndical and corporative organization tends to have an excessively bureaucratic and political character, and that, notwithstanding the general advantages referred to above, it ends in serving particular political aims rather than in contributing to the initiation and promotion of a better social order.
96. We believe that to attain this last named lofty purpose, for the true and permanent advantage of the commonwealth, there is need before and above all else of the blessing of God, and in the second place of the co-operation of all men of good will. We believe, moreover, as a necessary consequence, that the end intended will be the more certainly attained, the greater the number of those who are ready to contribute their technical, professional and social competence to this, and, more still, the greater the contribution made by Catholic principles and their practical application. We look for this contribution, not to Catholic Action (which excludes from its programme strictly syndical or political activities), but to those sons of Ours whom Catholic Action imbues with these principles and trains for the apostolate under the guidance and direction of the Church--of the Church, We say, which in the above mentioned sphere, as in all others where moral questions arise, cannot forget or neglect its God-given mandate as custodian and teacher.
97. However, all that We have taught about reconstructing and perfecting the social order will be of no avail without a reform of conduct; of this, history affords the clearest evidence. At one period there existed a social order which, though by no means perfect in every respect, corresponded nevertheless in a certain measure to right reason according to the needs and conditions of the times. That this order has long since perished is not due to the fact that it was incapable of development and adaptation to changing needs and circumstances, but it is due to the fact that men were hardened in excessive self-love, and refused to extend that order, as was their duty, to the increasing numbers of the population; or else, deceived by the attractions of false liberty and other errors, they grew impatient of every authority, and endeavoured to throw off all government.
98. It remains for Us then once again to call up for judgment the economic order as it actually exists, and socialism its bitterest accuser; and to pronounce upon them a frank and just sentence. We shall more thoroughly investigate the root of so many evils; and shall indicate the first and most necessary remedy, which lies in a reform of conduct.
III (1) AN EXAMINATION OF MODERN ECONOMIC RÉGIME AND OF SOCIALISM
99. Since the time of Leo XIII important changes have taken place both in the economic régime and in socialism.
1. The change in economic conditions
In the first place, it is obvious to all that the entire economic scene has greatly changed. You are aware, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, that Our Predecessor of happy memory had chiefly in mind that economic regime in which the capital and labour jointly needed for production were usually provided by different people. He described it in a happy phrase: "Capital cannot do without labour, nor labour without capital." 1 To adjust this economic régime to the standards of right order was the entire preoccupation of Leo XIII; and hence it follows that it is in itself not to be condemned. And certainly it is not vicious
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, §15.
of its very nature; but it violates right order whenever capital employs the workers or the proletariat with a view and on such terms as to direct business and economic activity entirely at its own arbitrary will and to its own advantage, without any regard to the human dignity of the workers, the social character of the economic régime, social justice and the common good.
102. It is true that even to-day this economic régime does not everywhere exist exclusively, for there is another régime which still embraces a very large and important group of men. There is, for instance, the agricultural class in which the larger portion of the human race provides itself with an honourable livelihood. This class too has its difficulties and problems, of which Our Predecessor spoke repeatedly in his Encyclical, and to which We Ourselves have more than once referred in the present Letter.
103. But it is the capitalist economic régime that, with the world-wide diffusion of industry, has spread everywhere, particularly since the publication of Leo XIII's Encyclical. It has invaded and pervaded the economic and social circumstances even of those who live outside its ambit, effectively influencing them, and to some extent imposing on them its advantages, disadvantages and vices.
104. When We turn our attention, therefore, to the changes which the capitalist economic régime has undergone since the days of Leo XIII, We have in view the interests, not of those only who live in countries where capital and industry prevail, but of the whole human race.
Domination has followed from free competition
105. In the first place, then, it is patent that in our days not wealth alone is accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination are concentrated in the hands of a few, who for the most part are not the owners, but only the trustees and directors of invested funds, which they administer at their own good pleasure.
106. This domination is most powerfully exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, also govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the life-blood to the entire economic body, and grasping in their hands, as it were, the very soul of production, so that no one can breathe against their will.
107. This accumulation of power, the characteristic note of the modern economic order, is a natural result of limitless free competition, which permits the survival of those only who are the strongest, and this often means those who fight most relentlessly, who pay least heed to the dictates of conscience.
108. This concentration of power has, in its turn, led to a threefold struggle. First, there is the struggle for economic supremacy itself; then the fierce battle to acquire control of the State, so that its resources and authority may be abused in economic struggles; finally, the clash between States themselves. This latter arises from two causes: because the nations apply their power and political influence to promote the economic advantages of their citizens; and because economic forces and economic domination are used to decide political controversies between nations.
109. You assuredly know, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, and you lament the ultimate consequences of this individualist spirit in economic life. Free competition has destroyed itself; economic domination has taken the place of the open market. Unbridled ambition for domination has succeeded the desire for gain; the whole economic régime has become hard, cruel and relentless in a ghastly measure. Furthermore, the intermingling and scandalous confusing of the functions and duties of civil authority and of the economic organization have produced crying evils, and have gone so far as to degrade the majesty of the State. The State which should be the supreme arbiter, ruling in kingly fashion far above all party contention, intent only upon justice and the common good, has become instead a slave, bound over to the service of human passion and greed. As regards the relations of peoples among themselves, a double stream has issued forth from this one fountainhead; on the one hand, economic nationalism or even economic imperialism; on the other, a no less noxious and detestable internationalism or international imperialism in financial affairs, which holds that where a man's fortune is, there is his country.
110. The remedies for these great evils We have exposed in the second part of the present Encyclical, where We explicitly dealt with the matter; it will therefore be sufficient to recall them briefly here. Since the present economic régime is based mainly upon capital and labour, it follows that the principles of right reason, or Christian social philosophy, regarding capital, labour and their mutual co-operation, must be accepted in theory and reduced to practice. In the first place, due consideration must be had for the double character, individual and social, of capital and labour, in order that the dangers of individualism and of collectivism be avoided. The mutual relations between capital and labour must be
determined according to the laws of the strictest justice, called commutative justice, supported, however, by Christian charity. Free competition, kept within just and definite limits, and still more economic power, must be brought under the effective control of the public authority in matters appertaining to the latter's competence. The public institutions of the nations must be such as to make the whole of human society conform to the needs of the common good, that is, to the standard of social justice. If this is done, the economic régime, that most important branch of social life, will necessarily be restored to right and healthy order.
2. The changes in socialism
111. Since the days of Leo XIII, socialism too, the chief enemy with which his battles were waged, has, no less than the economic régime, undergone profound changes. At that time socialism could almost be termed a single system, which defended certain definite and mutually coherent doctrines. Nowadays it has in the main become divided into two opposing and often bitterly hostile camps, neither of which, however, has abandoned the anti-Christian basis which was ever characteristic of socialism.
(a) The more violent section: Communism
112. One section of socialism has undergone approximately the same change as that through which, as We have described, the capitalist economic régime has passed; it has degenerated into communism. Communism teaches and pursues a twofold aim: merciless class warfare, and complete abolition of private ownership; and this it does, not in secret and by hidden methods, but openly, publicly, and by every means, even the most violent. To obtain these ends, communists shrink from nothing and fear nothing; and when they have acquired power, it is monstrous beyond belief how cruel and inhuman they show themselves to be. Evidence for this is the ghastly destruction and ruin with which they have laid waste immense tracts of Eastern Europe and Asia; while their antagonism and open hostility to Holy Church and to God Himself are too well, alas! only too well proved by facts and perfectly known to all. We do not think it necessary to warn upright and faithful children of the Church against the impious and nefarious character of communism. But We cannot contemplate without sorrow the heedlessness of those who seem to despise these imminent dangers, and with a sort of indolent apathy allow the propagation far and wide of those doctrines, which seek by violence and bloodshed the destruction of the whole of society. Even more severely must be condemned the foolhardiness of those who neglect to remove or modify such conditions as exasperate the hearts of the people, and so prepare the way for the overthrow and ruin of the social order.
(b) The more moderate section which has retained the name of socialism 113. The other section, which has retained the name of socialism, is much less radical in its views. Not only does it condemn recourse to violence; it even mitigates class warfare and the abolition of private property and qualifies them to some extent, if it does not actually reject them. It would seem as if socialism were afraid of its own principles and of the conclusions drawn therefrom by communists, and in consequence were tending towards the truths which Christian tradition has always held in respect; for it cannot be denied that its opinions sometimes closely approach the just demands of Christian social reformers.
It recedes somewhat from class warfare and the abolition of private property 114. For class warfare, provided it abstains from enmities and mutual hatred, changes little by little into a justifiable dispute, based upon the desire of justice. If this is by no means the happy social peace which we all long for, it can be and ought to be a point of departure for the mutual co-operation of vocational groups. The war waged against private ownership has more and more abated, and is being so limited that ultimately it is not the possession of the means of production which is attacked, but a form of social authority which property has usurped in violation of all justice. This authority in fact pertains not to individual owners, but to the State. If these changes continue, it may well come about that gradually these tenets of mitigated socialism will no longer be different from the programme of those who seek to reform human society according to Christian principles. For it is rightly contended that certain forms of property must be reserved to the State, since they carry with them a power too great to be left to private individuals without injury to the community at large.
115. Just demands and desires of this kind contain nothing opposed to Christian truth; much less are they peculiar to socialism. Those therefore who look for nothing else, have no reason for becoming socialists.
Is a middle course possible?
116. It must not be imagined, however, that all the socialist sects or factions which are not communist have, in fact or in theory, uniformly returned to this position. For the most part they do not reject class warfare or the abolition of property, but merely introduce qualifications. Now when false principles are thus mitigated and in some sense waived, the question arises, or rather is unwarrantably proposed in certain quarters, whether the principles of Christian truth also could not be somewhat moderated and attenuated, so as to meet socialism as it were halfway upon common ground. Some are enticed by the empty hope of gaining in this way the socialists to our cause. But such hope is vain. Those who wish to be apostles amongst the socialists must preach the Christian truth whole and entire, openly and sincerely, without any connivance at error. If they wish in truth to be heralds of the Gospel, let their first endeavour be to convince socialists that their demands, in so far as they are just, are defended much more cogently by the principles of Christian faith, and are promoted much more efficaciously by the power of Christian charity.
117. But what if, in the matter of class war and private ownership, socialism is so mitigated and amended, that on these points nothing reprehensible can any longer be found in it? Has it thereby freed itself from its natural opposition to the Christian religion? This is a question which holds many minds in suspense; and many are the Catholics who, realizing clearly that Christian principles can never be either sacrificed or minimized, seem to be raising their eyes towards the Holy See, and earnestly beseeching Us to decide whether or not this form of socialism has retracted so far its false doctrines that it can now be accepted without the loss of any Christian principles, and be in a sense baptized. In Our fatherly solicitude We desire to satisfy these petitions, and Our pronouncement is as follows: Whether considered as a doctrine, or as an historical fact, or as a movement, socialism, if it really remains socialism, cannot be brought into harmony with the dogmas of the Catholic Church, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points We have mentioned; the reason being that it conceives human society in a way utterly alien to Christian truth.
Socialism has a concept of society and the social character of men utterly foreign to Christian truth 118. For according Christian doctrine man, endowed with a social nature, is placed here on earth in order that, spending his life in society and under an authority ordained by God, 1 he may cultivate and evolve to the full all his faculties to the praise and glory of his Creator; and that, by fulfilling faithfully the functions of his trade or other calling, he may attain both to temporal and eternal happiness. Socialism, on the contrary, entirely ignorant of and unconcerned about this sublime end both of individuals and of society,
1 Cf. Rom., xiii, 1.
affirms that human society was instituted merely for the sake of material well-being.
119. For from the fact that goods are produced more efficiently by a suitable division of labour than by the scattered efforts of individuals, socialists argue that economic activity, of which they see only the material side, must necessarily be carried on collectively, and that because of this necessity men must surrender and submit themselves wholly to society, so far as the production of wealth is concerned. Indeed, the possession of the greatest possible amount of goods which serve for the conveniences of this life is esteemed so highly, that man's higher goods, not even excepting liberty, must, they claim, be subordinated and even sacrificed to the exigencies of the most efficient production. They affirm that the loss of human dignity, resulting from these socialized methods of production, will be easily compensated for by the abundance of goods socially produced and poured forth to individuals, in order that they may be freely used at choice for the conveniences and comforts of life. Society, therefore, as socialism conceives it, is on the one hand impossible and unthinkable without the use of obviously excessive compulsion; on the other it no less fosters a false liberty, since in such a scheme no place is found for true social authority, which is not based on temporal and material well-being, but descends from God alone, the Creator and last end of all things. 1
Catholic and socialist are contradictory terms
120. If, like all errors, socialism contains a certain element of truth (and this the Sovereign Pontiffs have never denied), it is nevertheless founded upon a doctrine of human society peculiarly its own, which is opposed to true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are expressions implying a contradiction in terms. Noone can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a socialist properly so called.
121. All that We have thus far renewed and confirmed by Our sovereign authority, applies equally to a certain new socialist activity hitherto little known, but nowadays common to many sections of socialism. Its chief aim is the formation of mind and character. With an appearance of friendly interest, in a special way it attracts even little children and wins them over to itself, though it extends its efforts to people of all ages, in order to make of them convinced socialists who are to mould society on socialist lines.
1 Encycl. Diuturnum illud, June 29, 1881.
122. In Our Encyclical Letter Divini illius Magistri 1 We have expounded at length the principles on which Christian education rests and the end which it pursues; the contradiction between these and the activities and aims of cultural socialism, is so clear and evident as to require no comment. Nevertheless, the formidable dangers which this form of socialism brings in its train, seem to be ignored or underestimated by those who are little concerned to resist it with strength and zeal, as the gravity of the situation demands. It is a duty of Our pastoral office to warn these men of the grave danger which threatens. Let all bear in mind that the parent of this cultural socialism was liberalism, and that its offspring will be bolshevism.
Catholic deserters to socialism
123. This being so, you can understand, Venerable Brethren, with what grief We perceive, in certain countries particularly, not a few of Our children, who, while still preserving, as We are convinced, their true faith and good will, have deserted the camp of the Church and passed over to the ranks of socialism. Some openly glory in the name of socialist and profess socialist doctrines; others, either through thoughtlessness, or even almost in spite of themselves, join associations which professedly or actually are socialist.
124. In Our paternal solicitude, therefore, We turn over in Our mind and try to understand what can have been the reason of their going so far astray; and We seem to hear what many of them allege in excuse: the Church and those professing attachment to the Church favour the rich, and neglect the workers and have no care for them; they were obliged, therefore, in their own interest to join the socialist ranks.
125. It is certainly lamentable, Venerable Brethren, that there have been, and that there are even now, some who, while professing themselves to be Catholics, are well-nigh unmindful of that sublime law of justice and charity which binds us not only to give each man his due, but to succour our needy brethren as Christ our Lord Himself, 2 worse still, that there are those who, out of greed for gain, do not fear to oppress the workers. Indeed there are some who even abuse religion itself, trying to cloak their own unjust impositions under its name, that they may protect themselves against the manifestly just protests of their employees. We shall never desist from gravely censuring such conduct. Such men are the cause that the Church, without deserving it, may have had the appearance and might be accused of taking sides with the wealthy, and of being unmoved by the needs and the sufferings of the disinherited. That this appearance and this accusation are undeserved and unjust, the
1 Encycl. Divini illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.
2 St. James, ch. 2.
whole history of the Church clearly shows; the very Encyclical, the anniversary of which we are celebrating, affords the clearest evidence that these calumnies and contumelies have been most unjustly cast upon the Church and upon her teaching.
An invitation to return
126. But We are far indeed from being exasperated by these injustices, or dejected by Our fatherly sorrow. We have no wish to drive away or repel Our children who have been so unhappily deceived, and who are wandering so far from the paths of truth and salvation. On the contrary, We invite them with all possible solicitude to return to the maternal bosom of the Church. God grant that they listen to Our voice. God grant that whence they set out, thither they may return, to their Father's house; that where their true place is, there they may remain, amongst the ranks of those who, zealously following directions promulgated by Leo XIII and solemnly repeated by Ourselves, strive to reform society according to the mind of the Church, on a firm basis of social justice and social charity. Let it be their firm persuasion that nowhere, even on earth, can they find greater happiness than in company with Him, who being rich became poor for our sakes, that through His poverty we might become rich; 1 who was poor and in labours from His youth; who invites to Himself all who labour and are burdened, that He may refresh them bounteously in the love of His Heart; 2 who, in fine, without any respect for persons, will require more of him to whom more has been given, 3 and will render to every man according to his works. 4
(2) THE ROOT OF SOCIAL DISORDER AND THE REMEDY
3. Moral renovation
127. However, if we examine matters more diligently and more thoroughly, we shall perceive clearly that this longed-for social reconstruction must be preceded by a renewal of the Christian spirit from which so many people engaged in industry have at times lamentably departed. Otherwise, all our endeavours will be futile, and our house will be built, not upon a rock, but upon shifting sand. 5
128. We have passed in review, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, the state of the modern economic régime, and have found very serious defects in it. We have investigated anew socialism and communism, and have found them, even in their mitigated forms, far removed from the precepts of the Gospel.
1 II Cor. viii, 9.
2 Matt., xi, 28.
3 Cf. Luke, xii, 48.
4 Matt., xvi, 27.
5 Cf. Matt., vii, 24 ff.
129. "And if society is to be healed now"--We use the words of Our Predecessor--"in no way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian institutions." 1 For Christianity alone can supply an efficacious remedy for the excessive solicitude for transitory things, which is the origin of all vices. When men are fascinated by and completely absorbed in the things of the world, it alone can draw away their attention and raise it heavenwards. And who will deny that this remedy is now urgently needed by society?
The chief disorder of the modern régime--ruin of souls
130. For the minds of all men are impressed almost exclusively by temporal upheavals, disasters and ruins. If we view these evils with Christian eyes, as we should, what are they in comparison with the ruin of souls? Nevertheless it is not rash to say that the present conditions of social and economic life are such as to create for vast multitudes of souls very serious obstacles in the pursuit of the one thing necessary, their eternal salvation. 131. Constituted Pastor and Protector of these innumerable sheep by the Prince of Pastors who redeemed them by His Blood, We can scarcely restrain our tears when we reflect upon this the greatest of the dangers which threaten them. Our Pastoral office, moreover, reminds Us to search constantly with paternal solicitude for means of coming to their assistance, and to appeal also to the unwearying zeal of others who are bound to this cause by justice and charity. For what will it profit men that a wiser employment of wealth makes it possible for them to gain even the whole world, if thereby they suffer the loss of their own souls? 2 What will it profit to teach them sound economic principles, if they permit themselves to be so swept away by selfishness, by unbridled and sordid greed, that "hearing the commandments of the Lord, they do all things contrary." 3 The cause of this loss of souls
132. The fundamental cause of this defection from the Christian law in social and economic matters, and of the apostasy of many working men from the Catholic faith which has resulted from it, lies in the disorderly affections of the soul, a sad consequence of original sin. By original sin the marvellous harmony of man's faculties has been so deranged, that now he is easily led astray by evil desires, and strongly tempted to prefer the transient goods of this world to the lasting goods of heaven. Hence comes that unquenchable thirst for riches and temporal possessions, which has
1 Encycl. Rerum Novarum, § 22.
2 Cf. Matt., xvi, 26.
3 Cf. Judges, ii, 17.
indeed at all times impelled men to break the law of God and trample on the rights of their neighbour; but which, owing to the condition of the economic world to-day, lays more snares than ever for human weakness. For the uncertainty of economic life and especially of the economic régime demands the keenest, uninterrupted straining of energy on the part of those engaged therein; and as a result some have become so hardened against the stings of conscience as to hold all means good which enable them to increase their profits, and to safeguard against sudden changes of fortune the wealth amassed by great and assiduous efforts. Easy returns, which an unregulated market offers indiscriminately, attract to the buying and selling of goods very many whose one aim is to make rapid profits with the least labour. By their unchecked dealings, prices are raised and lowered out of mere greed for gain so frequently as to frustrate the most prudent calculations of manufacturers. The laws enacted for joint-stock companies with limited liability have given occasion to abominable abuses. For responsibility thus weakened makes little impression, as is evident, upon the conscience: very serious injustices and frauds are perpetrated beneath the shelter of the company's name; boards of directors, unmindful of their trust, betray the rights of those whose savings they administer. Finally, We must not omit to mention those crafty men who, absolutely indifferent as to whether their trade provides anything really useful, do not hesitate to stimulate human desires and, when these have been aroused, make use of them for their own profit.
133. A stern insistence on the moral law, enforced with vigour by civil authority, could have dispelled or even averted these enormous evils. This, however, was too often lamentably wanting. For at the time when the new economic order was beginning, the doctrines of rationalism had already taken firm hold of large numbers, and an economic science alien to the true moral law quickly arose, and consequently free rein was given to man's inordinate desires.
134. As a result, a much greater number than ever before, solely concerned with adding to their wealth by any means whatsoever, sought their own selfish interests above all things; they had no scruple in committing the gravest crimes against others. Those who first entered upon this broad way which leads to destruction, 1 easily found many imitators of their iniquity because of their apparent success, their extravagant display of wealth, their derision of what they called the baseless scruples of others, and the crushing of more conscientious competitors.
1 Cf. Matt., vii, 13.
135. With the leaders of business abandoning the true path, it was easy for the working-class also to fall at times into the same abyss; all the more so, because very many employers treated their workmen as mere tools, without any concern for the welfare of their souls, indeed, without the slightest thought of spiritual things. We are appalled if we consider the frightful perils to which the morals of workers (particularly of young people) and the virtue of girls and women are exposed in modern factories; if we recall how the present economic régime and above all the disgraceful housing conditions create obstacles to the family tie and family life; if we remember the insuperable difficulties placed in the way of a proper observance of the holy days; and if we reflect on the universal weakening of that really Christian spirit which formerly produced such lofty sentiments, even in uncultured and illiterate men. In its stead, man's one solicitude is to obtain his daily bread in any way he can. And so bodily labour, which even after original sin was decreed by Providence for the good of man's body and soul, is in many instances changed into an instrument of perversion; for from the factory dead matter goes out improved, whereas men there are corrupted and degraded.
The remedies: (a) Economic life must be inspired by Christian principles
136. For this deplorable ruin of souls which, if it continues, will frustrate all efforts to reform society, there can be no genuine remedy other than an open and sincere return to the teaching of the Gospel. Men must observe anew the precepts of Him who alone has the words of external life, 1 words which, even when heaven and earth pass, shall not pass. 2 All those versed in social matters earnestly demand a rational reorganization in order to bring back economic life to sound and true order. But this order, which We Ourselves most earnestly desire and make every effort to promote, will be quite faulty and imperfect, unless all man's activities harmoniously unite to imitate and, as far as it is humanly possible, attain the marvellous unity of the Divine plan. This is the perfect order which the Church preaches with intense earnestness, and which right reason demands; which places God as the first and supreme end of all created activity, and regards all created goods as mere instruments under God, to be used only in so far as they help towards the attainment of our supreme end. Nor is it to be imagined that the gainful occupations are thereby belittled or deemed less consonant with human dignity. On the contrary, we are taught to recognize and reverence in them the manifest will of God the Creator, who placed man upon earth to work it and use it in various ways, in order to
1 Cf. John, vi, 70.
2 Cf. Matt, xxiv, 35. supply his needs. Those who are, engaged in production are not forbidden to increase their fortunes in a lawful and just manner; indeed it is right that he who renders service to society and enriches it, should himself have his proportionate share of the increased social wealth, provided always that in seeking this he respects the laws of God and the rights of others, and uses his property in accord with faith and right reason. If these principles be observed by all, everywhere and at all times, not merely the production and acquisition of goods, but also the use of wealth, now often so wrongful, will within a short time be brought back again to the standards of equity and just distribution. Mere sordid selfishness, which is the disgrace and the great sin of the present age, will be opposed in very deed by the kindly yet forcible law of Christian moderation, whereby man is commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, confiding in God's liberality and definite promise that temporal goods also, in so far as he has need of them, will be added unto him. 1
(b) The law of charity must operate
137. Now, in effecting this reform, charity, "which is the bond of perfection," 2 must always play a leading part. How completely deceived are those rash reformers who, zealous only for commutative justice, proudly disdain the help of charity! Certainly charity cannot take the place of justice unfairly withheld. But, even though a state of things be pictured in which every man receives at last all that is his due, a wide field will always remain open for charity. For justice alone, however faithfully observed, though it can indeed remove the cause of social strife, can never bring about a union of hearts and minds. Yet this union, binding men together, is the main principle of stability in all institutions, no matter how perfect they may seem, which aim at establishing social peace and promoting mutual aid. In its absence, as repeated experience proves, the wisest regulations come to nothing. Then only will it be possible to unite all in harmonious striving for the common good, when all sections of society have the intimate conviction that they are members of one great family, and children of the same Heavenly Father, and further, that they are "one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another," 3 So that "if one member suffer anything, all members suffer with it." 4 Then the rich and others in power will change their former neglect of their poorer brethren into solicitous and effective love; will listen readily to their just demands, and will willingly forgive them the faults and mistakes they may possibly make. The
1 Cf. Matt., vi, 33.
2 Coloss., iii, 14.
3 Rom. xii, 5.
4 Cor. I, xii, 26.
workers too will lay aside all feelings of hatred or envy, which the instigators of social strife exploit so skilfully. Not only will they cease to feel discontent at the position assigned them by divine Providence in human society; they will become proud of it, well aware that they are working usefully and honourably for the common good, each according to his office and function, and are following more closely in the footsteps of Him who, being God, chose to become a carpenter among men, and to be known as the son of a carpenter.
A difficult task
138. Because of this new diffusion throughout the world of the Gospel spirit, which is a spirit of Christian moderation and of universal charity, We confidently look forward to that complete and much desired renewal of human society, and to "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ," to which We firmly resolved at the very beginning of Our Pontificate to devote all Our care and Our pastoral solicitude. 1 You, Venerable Brethren, who by ordinance of the Holy Spirit rule with Us the Church of God, 2 are labouring strenuously and with admirable zeal, in all parts of the world, including missions among pagans, towards this same end of capital importance and necessity to-day. To you be the well-deserved meed of praise; and at the same time to all those, clergy and laity, whom We rejoice to see daily taking part in this great work, and affording valuable help, Our beloved sons devoted to Catholic Action, who with extraordinary zeal aid Us in the solution of social problems, in so far as the Church in virtue of her divine institution has the right and the duty to concern herself with them. With repeated insistence We exhort all these in the Lord to spare no labour and be overcome by no difficulty, but daily more to take courage and be valiant. 3 The task We propose to them is indeed difficult, for well do We know that many are the obstacles to be overcome on either side, whether amongst the higher classes of society or the lower. Still let them not lose heart. To face stern combats is the part of a Christian; and to endure severe labour is the lot of those who, as good soldiers of Christ, 4 follow more closely in His footsteps. 139. Relying therefore solely on the assistance of Him who "will have all men to be saved," 5 let us devote all our energies to helping those unhappy souls who are turned away from God; let us withdraw them from the temporal cares in which they are too much involved, and teach them to aspire with confidence to things that are
1 Encycl. Ubi Arcano, December 23, 1922.
2 Cf. Acts, xx, 28.
3 Cf. Deut., xxxi, 7.
4 Tim. II, ii, 3.
5 Tim. I, ii, 4.
eternal. At times, indeed, this will be easier to accomplish than appears at first sight; for if in the depths of even the most abandoned hearts there lurk, like sparks beneath the ashes, spiritual forces of unexpected strength--a clear testimony of a naturally Christian soul--how much more must these abide in the hearts of the many who, largely through ignorance or external circumstances, have been led into error. 140. For the rest, the associations of the workers themselves provide glad signs of coming social reconstruction. To the great joy of Our heart we discern amongst them dense masses of young workers, who listen readily to the call of divine grace and strive with splendid zeal to win their fellows to Christ. No less praise is due to those leaders of working-men's organizations who, sacrificing their own interests, and anxious only for the good of their companions, strive with prudence to promote their just demands and to bring them into harmony with the prosperity of their trade or profession, and who do not permit themselves to be deterred from this noble task by any obstacle or any distrust. Further, many young men, destined soon by reason of their talents or their wealth to hold distinguished places in the foremost ranks of society, are studying social problems with growing earnestness. These youths encourage the fairest hopes that they will devote themselves wholly to social reconstruction.
The course to be followed
141. Present circumstances therefore, Venerable Brethren, indicate clearly the course to be followed. Nowadays, as more than once in the history of the Church, We are confronted with a world which in large measure has almost relapsed into paganism. In order to bring back to Christ these whole classes of men who have denied Him, we must gather and train from amongst their very ranks auxiliary soldiers of the Church, men who well know their mentality and their aspirations, and who by kindly fraternal charity will be able to win their hearts. Undoubtedly the first and immediate apostles of the working-men must themselves be working-men, while the apostles of the industrial and commercial world should themselves be employers and merchants.
142. It is especially your duty, Venerable Brethren, and that of your clergy, to seek diligently, to select prudently, and train suitably these lay apostles amongst working men and amongst employers. No easy task is here imposed upon the clergy, wherefore all candidates for the sacred priesthood must be adequately prepared to meet it by intense study of social matters; but it is particularly necessary that they whom you specially select and devote to this work should show themselves endowed with a keen sense of justice, ready to oppose with manly constancy unjust claims and unjust actions; who avoid every extreme with consummate prudence and discretion; who are, above all, thoroughly imbued with the charity of Christ, which alone has power to incline men's hearts and wills firmly yet gently to the laws of equity and justice. This course, already productive of success in the past, we must follow now with alacrity.
143. Further, We earnestly exhort in the Lord the beloved sons who are chosen for this task, to devote themselves whole-heartedly to the formation of the men entrusted to them. In the execution of this most priestly and apostolic work, let them make opportune use of the powerful resources of Christian training, by instructing youth, by founding Christian associations, by forming study-circles on Christian lines. Above all, let them hold in high esteem and employ with diligence for the benefit of their disciples, the Spiritual Exercises, a most precious means of personal and of social reform, as We said in Our Encyclical Mens Nostra. 1 These Exercises We declared in express terms to be most useful for the laity in general and especially for the workers, and We warmly recommended them; for in that school of the spirit, not only are excellent Christians formed, but real apostles of every state of life are trained and enkindled with the fire of the Heart of Christ. From that school they will go forth, as the Apostles from the Cenacle in Jerusalem, strong in faith, unconquerable in steadfastness under trials, aflame with zeal, eager only for the spread in every way of the Kingdom of Christ.
144. And in truth, the world has nowadays sore need of valiant soldiers of Christ ready to work with all their strength to preserve the human family from the dire havoc which would befall it, were the teachings of the Gospel to be flouted, and a social order permitted to prevail, which spurns no less the laws of nature than those of God. For herself, the Church of Christ built upon the solid rock, has nothing to fear, for she knows that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her; 2 and the experience of centuries has taught her that storms, even the most violent, will pass away, leaving her stronger and triumphantly victorious. But her maternal heart cannot but be stirred at the thought of the countless ills which tempests of the kind would bring to so many thousands; at the thought, above all, of the immense spiritual evils which would ensue, entailing the eternal ruin of so many souls redeemed by the blood of Christ.
145. No stone then must be left unturned to avert these grave misfortunes from human society; towards this one aim must tend all our effort and endeavour, supported by assiduous and fervent
1 Encycl. Mens Nostra, December 20, 1929.
2 Matt., xvi, 18.
prayers to God. For, with the assistance of Divine Grace, the destiny of the human family lies in our hands.
146. Let us not permit, Venerable Brethren, the children of this world to seem wiser in their generation than we, who by God's goodness are children of Light. 1 We see these men most shrewdly select and train resolute disciples, who spread their false doctrines every day more widely amongst men of every station and of every clime. And when it becomes a question of attacking more vehemently the Church of Christ, we see them lay aside their internal quarrels, link up harmoniously into a single battle-line, and strive with united forces towards this common aim.
Intimate union and harmony
147. No one indeed is unaware of the many and splendid works in the social and economic field, as well as in education and religion, laboriously set in motion with indefatigable zeal by Catholics. But this admirable and self-sacrificing activity not infrequently loses some of its effectiveness by being directed into too many different channels. Let, then, all men of good will stand united. Let all those who, under the pastors of the Church, wish to fight this good and peaceful fight of Christ, as far as talents, powers and station allow, strive to play their part in the Christian reconstruction of human society which Leo XIII inaugurated in his immortal Encyclical Rerum Novarum. Let them seek, not themselves and the things that are their own, but the things that are Jesus Christ's. 2 Let them not urge their own ideas with undue persistence, but be ready to abandon them, however admirable, should the greater common good seem to require it: that in all and above all Christ may reign and rule, to whom be honour and glory and power for ever and ever. 3
That this happy result may be attained, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, We impart to you all, members of the great Catholic family entrusted to Our care, but with special affection of Our heart to artisans and other workers engaged in manual labour, by divine Providence committed to Us in a particular manner, and to Christian employers and masters, with paternal affection, the Apostolic Benediction.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on the fifteenth day of May, in the year 1931, the tenth of our Pontificate.
PIUS PP. XI
1 Luke, xvi, 8.
2 Philipp., ii, 21.
3 Apoc., v, 13.
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