The s in Australia, as in other industrialised nations, were years of rapid economic and industrial change. They were characterised by the combined impact. John Paul II, The encyclical Laborem Exercens was written by Pope John Paul II in to celebrate 90 years since the publication of. Issued by Pope John Paul II on the ninetieth anniversary of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, Laborem Exercens expands and reshapes the corpus of.

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They too are fully human subjects with corresponding innate, sacred and inviolable rights, and, in spite of the limitations and sufferings affecting their bodies and faculties, they point up more clearly the dignity and greatness of man. As for the question of emigration for work reasons, he affirms that man has the right to leave his country to seek better living conditions in another.

Catholic Social Teaching: John Paul II, Laborem Exercens

Discuss this idea with reference to paragraph 3. Work which demanded from the worker the exercise of physical strength, the work of muscles and hands, was considered unworthy of free men, and was therefore given to slaves. And if the solution-or rather the gradual solution-of the social question, which keeps coming up and becomes ever more complex, must be sought in the direction of “making life more human” 8then the key, namely human work, acquires fundamental and decisive importance.

And this dimension, that is to say, the concrete reality of the worker, takes precedence over the objective dimension. These grants should correspond to the actual needs, that is, to the number of dependents for as long as they are not in a position to assume proper responsibility for their own lives.

Even though it bears the mark of a bonum arduum, in the terminology of Saint Thomas 18this does not take away the fact that, as such, it is a good thing for man. This method is recognized by Catholic social teaching as legitimate in the proper conditions and within just limits. In a sense, unions go back to the mediaeval guilds of artisans, insofar as those organizations brought together people belonging to the same craft and thus on the basis of their work.

If one wishes to define more clearly the ethical meaning of work, it is this truth that one must particularly keep in mind. The error of thinking in the categories of economism went hand in hand with the formation of a materialist philosophy, as this philosophy developed from the most elementary and common phase also called common materialism, because it professes to reduce spiritual reality to a superfluous phenomenon to the phase of what is called dialectical materialism.

Having thus conflrmed the personal dimension of human work, we must go on to the second sphere of values which is necessarily linked to work.

Summary of “Laborem Exercens” | Pope John Paul II | Catholic Documents Archive |

And yet, in spite of all this toil-perhaps, in a sense, because of it-work is a good thing for man. It can be a question of general unemployment or of unemployment in certain sectors of work. On the contrary, it is respect for the objective rights of the worker-every kind of worker: Each and every individual is at the same time embraced by it. This unemployment of intellectuals occurs or increases when the education available is not oriented towards the types of employment or service required by the true needs of society, or when there is less demand for work which requires education, at least professional education, than for manual labour, or when it is less well paid.


He discusses the need to take action against unemployment, which is a true social calamity and a problem of a moral as well as an economic nature. In other words, we cannot understand work without understanding man, and since man was created by God, by seeing the original plan for man, as revealed in the opening of the book of Genesis, we can get some insight into mans nature and purpose.

Materialism subordinates people to property; while economism regards the value of human labour only according to its economic purpose. And to be able through his work to make these resources bear fruit, man takes over ownership of small parts of the various riches of nature: Work in the objective sense is simply the external aspects of work, the actual job one does, with its necessary tools or machines.

This fact in no way alters our justifiable anxiety that in work, whereby matter gains in nobility, man himself should not experience a lowering of his own dignity Epistle to the Colossians, 3: Precisely this reversal of order, whatever the programme or name under which it occurs, should rightly be called “capitalism”-in the sense more fully explained below.

The document contains a philosophical analysis and critique of both Marxist and capitalist systems. The Church finds in the very first pages ofthe Book of Genesis the source of her conviction that work is a fundamental dimension of human existence on earth.

Such remuneration can be given either through what is called a family wage- that is, a single salary given to the head of the family fot his work, sufficient for the needs of the family without the other spouse having to take up gainful employment outside the home-or through other social measures such as family allowances or grants to mothers devoting themselves exclusively to their families.

Understood in this case not as a capacity or aptitude for work, but rather as a whole set of instruments which man uses in his work, technology is undoubtedly man’s ally. All these are part of what John Paul calls the indirect employer. In this connection workers should be assured the right to strike, without being subjected to personal penal sanctions for taking part in a strike. The only chance there seems to be for radically overcoming this error is through adequate changes both in theory and summart practice, changes in line with the definite conviction of the primacy of the person over things, and of human labour over capital as a whole collection of means of production.

Long days of hard physical work are paid miserably. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense it constitutes its very sumamry. It is familiar to those doing physical work under sometimes exceptionally laborious conditions. Starting with the concept of the “indirect employer,” in other words, “all the agents at exercenx national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labor policy,” he notes symmary in order to solve the problem of unemployment, these agents “must make provision for overall planning.


This awareness is extinguished within him in a system of excessive bureaucratic centralization, which makes the worker feel that he is just a cog in a huge machine moved from above Nevertheless, these two aspects of work are linked to one another and are mutually complementary in various points.

This labofem of stating the issue contained a fundamental error, what we can call the suummary of economism, that of considering human labour solely according to its economic purpose. Each country should have laws to protect the rights of immigrant workers, so that they receive equal treatment. It is determined, in a sense, by all the elements that are decisive for economic life within a given society and state, but also by much wider links and forms of dependence.

This way of looking at work was widespread especially in laborm first half of the nineteenth century.

Laborem Exercens

In it he develops the concept of man’s ssummary in work, structuring it in four points: This context shaped both the proclamation and reception of this important Encyclical. Next John Paul introduces the concept of the direct and indirect employer. Workers can often share in running businesses and in controlling their productivity, and lahorem fact do so. This is to look only at the objective aspect of work the kind of work to be done or the economic value of the job rather than at the subject of the work, man the worker.

Nevertheless, even if emigration is in some aspects an evil, in certain circumstances it is, as the phrase goes, a necessary evil. Man is the image of God partly through the mandate received from his Creator to subdue, to dominate, the earth. Besides wages, various social benefits intended to ensure the life and health of workers and their families sxercens a part here. The Pope observes that during the period which has passed since the publication of “Rerum Novarum””which is by no means yet over, the issue of work has of course been posed on the basis of the great conflict that in the age of, and together with, industrial development emerged between ‘capital’ and ‘labor’.

And if the solution-or rather the gradual solution-of the social question, which keeps coming up and becomes ever more complex, must be sought in the direction of “making life more human”, then the key, namely human work, acquires fundamental and decisive importance LE 3 However true it may be that man is destined for work and called to it, in the first place work is “for man” and not man “for work”.

St Pauls Publications, But at the same time various ideological or power systems, and new relationships which have arisen at various levels of society, have allowed exercebs injustices to persist or have created new ones.

If we follow the main line of development of the documents of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, we find in them an explicit confirmation of precisely such a statement of the question.