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Catholic Dictionary




The ownership of a great quantity of material possessions or resources. The Church's teaching on wealth is that: 1. riches of themselves do not help to gain eternal life, but are rather an obstacle to salvation; 2. the rich should have a salutary fear in the light of what Christ said about those who make evil use of their wealth; 3. the practice of charity is a commandment, and all the more pressing as a person has a great deal of this world's goods. The Second Vatican Council added the strong injunction that the more wealthy nations and societies are to share with the less developed peoples of the world (Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Part Two, III, 69).