Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catechism of the Catholic Church

III. HUMAN SOLIDARITY

1939 The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of "friendship" or "social charity," is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood. 45

An error, "today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity." 46

1940 Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation.

1941 Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this.

1942 The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord's saying been verified: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well": 47

For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and endured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civilization, and science to all generations and all peoples for the sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian. 48

IN BRIEF:

1943 Society ensures social justice by providing the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain their due.

1944 Respect for the human person considers the other "another self." It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person.

1945 The equality of men concerns their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it.

1946 The differences among persons belong to God's plan, who wills that we should need one another. These differences should encourage charity.

1947 The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. It gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities.

1948 Solidarity is an eminently Christian virtue. It practices the sharing of spiritual goods even more than material ones.

NOTES:

1 Cf. GS 24 § 3.

2 Cf. GS 25 § 1.

3 Cf. Lk 19:13, 15.

4 GS 25 § 1.

5 John XXIII, MM 60.

6 Cf. GS 25 § 2; CA 12.

7 CA 48 § 4; cf. Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno I, 184-186.

8 CA 36 § 2.

9 John XXIII, PT 36.

10 Cf. CA 41.

11 Pius XII, Address at Pentecost, June 1, 1941.

12 Cf. LG 36.

13 CA 25.

14 Lk 17:33.

15 John XXIII, PT 46.

16 Cf. Leo XIII, Immortale Dei; Diuturnum illud.

17 Rom 13:1-2; cf. I Pet 2:13-17.

18 Cf. as early as I Tim 2:1-2.

19 St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 61: SCh 167,198-200.

20 GS 74 § 3.

21 GS 74 § 2.

22 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 93, 3, ad 2.

23 John XXIII PT 51.

24 CA 44.

25 Ep. Barnabae, 4,10: PG 2, 734.

26 GS 26 § 1; cf. GS 74 § 1.

27 GS 26 § 2.

28 Cf. GS 26 § 2.

29 GS 84 § 2.

30 GS 26 § 3.

31 Cf. CA 43.

32 GS 31 § 3.

33 Cf. GS 30 § 1.

34 GS 31 § 3.

35 John Paul II, SRS 47.

36 Cf. John XXIII, PT 65.

37 GS 27 § 1.

38 Mt 25:40.

39 Cf. Mt 5:43-44.

40 GS 29 § 2.

41 Cf. GS 29 § 2.

42 Cf. Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:27.

43 St. Catherine of Siena, Dial. I, 7.

44 CS 29 § 3.

45 Cf. John Paul II, SRS 38-40; CA 10.

46 Pius XII, Summi pontificatus, October 20, 1939; AAS 31 (1939) 423 ff.

47 Mt 6:33.

48 Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.

Notes:

45 Cf. John Paul II, SRS 38-40; CA 10.

46 Pius XII, Summi pontificatus, October 20, 1939; AAS 31 (1939) 423 ff.

47 Mt 6:33.

48 Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All 2 hours ago
Introducing the Church Fathers 18 hours ago
Straws in the Wind July 25
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters July 25
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21