[E] Gaudium et spes, luctus et angor hominum huius temporis, pauperum praesertim et quorumvis afflictorum, gaudium sunt et spes, luctus et angor etiam Christi discipulorum, nihilque vere humanum invenitur, quod in corde eorum non resonet. Ipsorum enim communitas ex hominibus coalescit, qui, in Christo coadunati, a Spiritu Sancto diriguntur in sua ad Regnum Patris peregrinatione et nuntium salutis omnibus proponendum acceperunt. Quapropter ipsa cum genere humano eiusque historia se revera intime coniunctam experitur.
[E] Ideo Concilium Vaticanum Secundum, mysterio Ecclesiae penitius investigato, iam non ad solos Ecclesiae filios omnesque Christi nomen invocantes, sed ad universos homines incunctanter sermonem convertit, omnibus exponere cupiens quomodo Ecclesiae praesentiam ac navitatem in mundo hodierno concipiat.
[E]Mundum igitur hominum prae oculis habet seu universam familiam humanam cum universitate rerum inter quas vivit; mundum, theatrum historiae generis humani, eiusque industria, cladibus ac victoriis signatum; mundum, quem christifideles credunt ex amore Creatoris conditum et conservatum, sub peccati quidem servitute positum, sed a Christo crucifixo et resurgente, fracta potestate Maligni, liberatum, ut secundum propositum Dei transformetur et ad consummationem perveniat.
[E] Nostris autem diebus, genus humanum, de propriis inventis propriaque potentia admiratione commotum, saepe tamen anxias agitat quaestiones de hodierna mundi evolutione, de loco et munere hominis in orbe universo, de sui individualis et collectivi conaminis sensu, denique de ultimo rerum hominumque fine. Quapropter Concilium, fidem universi populi Dei, a Christo congregati, testificans et exponens, ipsius coniunctionem, observantiam ac dilectionem erga totam hominum familiam, cui inseritur, eloquentius demonstrare non valet quam instituendo cum ea de variis illis problematibus colloquium, lumen afferendo ex Evangelio depromptum, atque humano generi salutares vires suppeditando, quas ipsa Ecclesia, Spiritu Sancto ducente, a Fundatore suo accipit. Hominis enim persona salvanda est humanaque societas instauranda. Homo igitur, et quidem unus ac totus, cum corpore et anima, corde et conscientia, mente et voluntate, totius nostrae explanationis cardo erit.
[E] Ideo Sacra Synodus, altissimam vocationem hominis profitens et divinum quoddam semen in eo insertum asseverans, generi humano sinceram cooperationem Ecclesiae offert ad instituendam eam omnium fraternitatem quae huic vocationi respondeat. Nulla ambitione terrestri movetur Ecclesia, sed unum tantum intendit: nempe, Spiritus Paracliti ductu, opus ipsius continuare Christi, qui in mundum venit ut testimonium perhiberet veritati, ut salvaret, non ut iudicaret, ut ministraret, non ut sibi ministraretur.
[E] Ad tale munus exsequendum, per omne tempus Ecclesiae officium incumbit signa temporum perscrutandi et sub Evangelii luce interpretandi; ita ut, modo unicuique generationi accommodato, ad perennes hominum interrogationes de sensu vitae praesentis et futurae deque earum mutua relatione respondere possit. Oportet itaque ut mundus in quo vivimus necnon eius exspectationes, appetitiones et indoles saepe dramatica cognoscantur et intelligantur. Quaedam autem principaliores mundi hodierni notae sequenti modo delineari possunt.
[E] Hodie genus humanum in nova historiae suae aetate versatur in qua profundae et celeres mutationes ad universum orbem gradatim extenduntur. Ab hominis intelligentia et creativa industria excitatae, in ipsum hominem recidunt, in eius iudicia et desideria individualia et collectiva, in eius modum cogitandi et agendi tum circa res tum circa homines. Ita iam de vera sociali et culturali transformatione loqui possumus, quae etiam in vitam religiosam redundat.
[E] Ut in quavis accretionis crisi contingit, haec transformatio non leves secumfert difficultates. Ita, dum homo potentiam suam tam late extendit, eam tamen non semper ad suum servitium redigere valet. Proprii animi intimiora altius penetrare satagens, saepe de seipso magis incertus apparet. Leges vitae socialis pedetentim clarius detegens, de directione ei imprimenda anceps haeret.
[E] Numquam genus humanum tantis divitiis, facultatibus et potentia oeconomica abundavit, et tamen adhuc ingens pars incolarum orbis fame et egestate torquetur atque innumeri litterarum ignorantia plane laborant. Numquam homines tam acutum ut hodie sensum libertatis habuerunt, dum nova interea genera socialis et psychicae servitutis exsurgunt. Dum mundus suam unitatem necnon singulorum ab invicem dependentiam in necessaria solidarietate tam vivide persentit, viribus tamen inter se pugnantibus gravissime in opposita distrahitur; etenim acres dissensiones politicae, sociales, oeconomicae, raciales et ideologicae adhuc perseverant, nec periculum deest belli omnia usque ad ima destructuri. Dum idearum communicatio augetur, verba ipsa quibus magni momenti conceptus exprimuntur sensus sat diversos in distinctis ideologiis induunt. Tandem sedulo perfectior quaeritur temporalis ordinatio, quin spirituale incrementum pariter progrediatur.
[E] Tot implexis condicionibus affecti, plurimi coaevi nostri impediuntur quominus valores perennes vere dignoscant et simul cum noviter inventis rite componant; exinde, inter spem et angorem agitati, de praesenti rerum cursu sese interrogantes, inquietudine premuntur. Qui rerum cursus homines ad respondendum provocat, immo et constringit.
[E] Hodierna animorum commotio et in vitae condicionibus immutatio cum ampliori rerum transmutatione connectuntur, qua efficitur ut in mentibus efformandis scientiae mathematicae et naturales vel de ipso homine tractantes, in ordine vero agendi technicae artes ex illis scientiis profluentes, crescens pondus acquirant. Haec mens scientifica rationem culturalem modosque cogitandi aliter quam antea fingit. Technicae artes eo progrediuntur ut faciem terrae transforment et etiam spatium ultraterrestre subigere conentur.
[E] Super tempora quoque humanus intellectus dominium suum quodammodo dilatat: in praeteritum ope cognitionis historicae, in futurum arte prospectiva et planificatione. Progredientes scientiae biologicae, psychologicae et sociales non solum homini ad meliorem sui cognitionem opem ferunt, sed ipsum etiam adiuvant ut, technicis methodis adhibitis, in vitam societatum directe influxum exerceat. Insimul genus humanum de proprio demographico incremento iam praevidendo et ordinando magis magisque cogitat.
[E] Ipsa historia tam rapido cursu acceleratur ut singuli eam vix prosequi valeant. Consortionis humanae sors una efficitur et non amplius inter varias velut historias dispergitur. Ita genus humanum a notione magis statica ordinis rerum ad notionem magis dynamicam atque evolutivam transit, unde quam maxima nascitur problematum nova complexio, quae ad novas analyses et syntheses provocat.
[E] Eo ipso communitates locales traditionales, uti sunt familiae patriarchales, «clans», tribus, pagi, varii coetus et consortionis socialis necessitudines, pleniores in dies immutationes experiuntur.
[E] Typus industrialis societatis paulatim diffunditur, quasdam nationes ad oeconomicam opulentiam adducens, et notiones et condiciones vitae socialis a saeculis constitutas penitus transformans. Similiter vitae urbanae cultus ac studium augentur sive per urbium earumque incolarum augmentum, sive per motum quo vita urbana ad ruricolas dilatatur.
[E] Nova et aptiora communicationis socialis instrumenta ad eventus cognoscendos et ad modos cogitandi et sentiendi quam citissime latissimeque diffundendos conferunt, plures connexas repercussiones excitando.
Nec parvipendendum est quot homines, ex variis causis, ad migrandum inducti, vitae suae rationem immutent.
Sic necessitudines hominis cum similibus suis indesinenter multiplicantur ac simul ipsa socializatio novas necessitudines inducit, quin tamen congruentem personae maturationem et relationes vere personales (personalizationem) semper promoveat.
[E] Huiusmodi quidem evolutio clarius apparet in nationibus quae commodis progressus oeconomici et technici iam gaudent, sed populos quoque movet adhuc ad progressionem nitentes qui, pro suis regionibus, beneficia industrializationis et urbanizationis obtinere cupiunt. Qui populi, praesertim antiquioribus traditionibus addicti, simul motum experiuntur ad maturius magisque personale libertatis exercitium.
[E] Mutatio mentis et structurarum bona recepta frequenter in controversiam vocat, maxime apud iuvenes qui non semel impatientes, immo angore rebelles fiunt, et conscii de proprio momento in vita sociali, citius in eadem partes habere cupiunt. Exinde non raro parentes et educatores in muneribus suis adimplendis in dies maiores difficultates experiuntur.
[E] Instituta vero, leges atque modi cogitandi et sentiendi a maioribus tradita non semper statui rerum hodierno bene aptari videntur; inde gravis perturbatio in modo et in ipsis agendi normis.
[E] Ipsam denique vitam religiosam novae condiciones afficiunt. Ex una parte acrior diiudicandi facultas eam a magico mundi conceptu et a superstitionibus adhuc vagantibus purificat atque magis personalem et actuosam adhaesionem fidei in dies exigit; quo fit ut non pauci ad vividiorem Dei sensum accedant. Ex altera vero parte crebriores turbae a religione practice discedunt. Secus ac transactis temporibus, Deum religionemve negare, aut ab iisdem abstrahere, non amplius quid insolitum et individuale sunt: hodie enim non raro quasi exigentia progressus scientifici vel cuiusdam novi humanismi exhibentur. Haec omnia in pluribus regionibus non tantum in philosophorum placitis exprimuntur, sed latissime litteras, artes, scientiarum humanarum et historiae interpretationem, ipsasque leges civiles afficiunt ita ut exinde multi perturbentur.
[E] Tam rapida rerum mutatio inordinate saepe progrediens, immo et ipsa discrepantiarum in mundo vigentium acrior conscientia, contradictiones et inaequilibria gignunt vel augent.
[E] In ipsa persona frequentius oritur inaequilibrium inter modernum intellectum practicum et theoreticam cogitandi rationem, quae summam cognitionum suarum neque sibi subigere neque in syntheses apte ordinare valet. Oritur pariter inaequilibrium inter sollicitudinem efficientiae practicae et exigentias conscientiae moralis, necnon multoties inter condiciones vitae collectivas et requisita cogitationis personalis, immo et contemplationis. Oritur tandem inaequilibrium inter activitatis humanae specializationem et universalem rerum visionem.
[E] In familia autem discrepantiae oriuntur, sive ex prementibus condicionibus demographicis, oeconomicis et socialibus, sive ex difficultatibus inter generationes quae sibi subsequuntur exsurgentibus, sive ex novis necessitudinibus socialibus inter viros ac mulieres.
[E] Magnae oriuntur etiam discrepantiae inter stirpes, immo inter varii generis societatis ordines; inter nationes opulentas et minus valentes egentesque; denique, inter instituta internationalia, ex pacis desiderio populorum exorta, et ambitionem propriae ideologiae disseminandae nec non cupiditates collectivas in nationibus aliisve coetibus exsistentes.
[E] Inde mutuae diffidentiae et inimicitiae, conflictationes et aerumnae, quarum ipse homo simul causa est et victima.
[E] Interea crescit persuasio genus humanum non tantum imperium suum super res creatas in dies magis roborare posse ac debere; sed insuper eius esse ordinem politicum, socialem et oeconomicum statuere qui in dies melius homini inserviat et singulos ac coetus adiuvet ad dignitatem sibi propriam affirmandam et excolendam.
[E] Hinc plurimi acerrime exigunt illa bona quibus, per iniustitiam vel non aequam distributionem, orbatos se esse vivida conscientia iudicant. Nationes in via progressus sicut illae recenter sui iuris factae, bona civilizationis hodiernae non tantum in campo politico sed etiam oeconomico participare et libere partibus suis in mundo fungi cupiunt, dum tamen in dies augetur earumdem distantia simul ac persaepe dependentia etiam oeconomica ab aliis ditioribus nationibus citius progredientibus. Populi fame pressi populos opulentiores interpellant. Mulieres sibi vindicant, ubi eam nondum sunt consecutae, paritatem de iure et de facto cum viris. Opifices et ruricolae non solum victui necessaria comparare, sed laborando dotes suae personae excolere, immo in ordinanda vita oeconomica, sociali, politica et culturali suas partes agere volunt. Nunc primum in historia humana universi populi iam persuasum sibi habent culturae beneficia reapse ad cunctos extendi posse ac debere.
[E] Sub omnibus autem istis exigentiis latet profundior et universalior appetitio: personae scilicet atque coetus plenam atque liberam vitam, homine dignam, sitiunt, omnia quae hodiernus mundus eis tam abundanter praebere potest proprio servitio subicientes. Nationes praeterea in dies fortius enituntur ut universalem quamdam communitatem assequantur.
[E] Quae cum ita sint, mundus hodiernus simul potentem ac debilem se exhibet, capacem optima vel pessima patrandi, dum ipsi ad libertatem aut servitutem, ad progressum aut regressum, ad fraternitatem aut odium prostat via. Praeterea, homo conscius fit ipsius esse recte dirigere vires, quas ipse suscitavit et quae eum opprimere aut ei servire possunt. Unde seipsum interrogat.
[E] Revera inaequilibria quibus laborat mundus hodiernus cum inaequilibrio illo fundamentaliori connectuntur, quod in hominis corde radicatur. In ipso enim homine plura elementa sibi invicem oppugnant. Dum enim una ex parte, utpote creatura, multipliciter sese limitatum experitur, ex altera vero in desideriis suis illimitatum et ad superiorem vitam vocatum se sentit. Multis sollicitationibus attractus, iugiter inter eas seligere et quibusdam renuntiare cogitur. Immo infirmus ac peccator, non raro illud quod non vult facit et illud quod facere vellet non facit. Unde in seipso divisionem patitur, ex qua etiam tot ac tantae discordiae in societate oriuntur. Plurimi sane, quorum vita materialismo practico inficitur, a clara huiusmodi dramatici status perceptione avertuntur, vel autem, miseria oppressi, impediuntur quominus illum considerent. Multi in interpretatione rerum multifarie proposita quietem se invenire existimant. Quidam vero a solo conatu humano veram plenamque generis humani liberationem exspectant, sibique persuasum habent futurum regnum hominis super terram omnia vota cordis eius expleturum esse. Nec desunt qui, de sensu vitae desperantes, audaciam laudant eorum qui, exsistentiam humanam omnis significationis propriae expertem existimantes, ei totam significationem ex solo proprio ingenio conferre nituntur. Attamen, coram hodierna mundi evolutione, in dies numerosiores fiunt qui quaestiones maxime fundamentales vel ponunt vel nova acuitate persentiunt: quid est homo? Quinam est sensus doloris, mali, mortis, quae, quamquam tantus progressus factus est, subsistere pergunt? Ad quid victoriae illae tanto pretio acquisitae? Quid societati homo afferre, quid ab ea exspectare potest? Quid post vitam hanc terrestrem subsequetur?
[E] Credit autem Ecclesia Christum, pro omnibus mortuum et resuscitatum, homini lucem et vires per Spiritum suum praebere ut ille summae suae vocationi respondere possit; nec aliud nomen sub caelo datum esse hominibus, in quo oporteat eos salvos fieri. Similiter credit clavem, centrum et finem totius humanae historiae in Domino ac Magistro suo inveniri. Affirmat insuper Ecclesia omnibus mutationibus multa subesse quae non mutantur, quaeque fundamentum suum ultimum in Christo habent, qui est heri, hodie, Ipse et in saecula. Sub lumine ergo Christi, Imaginis Dei invisibilis, Primogeniti omnis creaturae, Concilium, ad mysterium hominis illustrandum atque ad cooperandum in solutionem praecipuarum quaestionum nostri temporis inveniendam, omnes alloqui intendit.
[E] Populus Dei, fide motus, qua credit se a Spiritu Domini duci qui replet orbem terrarum, in eventibus, exigentiis atque optatis, quorum una cum ceteris nostrae aetatis hominibus partem habet, quaenam in illis sint vera signa praesentiae vel consilii Dei, discernere satagit. Fides enim omnia novo lumine illustrat et divinum propositum de integra hominis vocatione manifestat, ideoque ad solutiones plene humanas mentem dirigit.
Concilium imprimis illos valores, qui hodie maxime aestimantur, sub hoc lumine diiudicare et ad fontem suum divinum referre intendit. Hi enim valores, prout ex hominis ingenio eidem divinitus collato procedunt, valde boni sunt; sed ex corruptione humani cordis a sua debita ordinatione non raro detorquentur, ita ut purificatione indigeant.
Quid Ecclesia de homine sentit? Quaenam ad societatem hodiernam aedificandam commendanda videntur? Quaenam est significatio ultima humanae navitatis in universo mundo? Ad has quaestiones responsio exspectatur. Exinde luculentius apparebit populum Dei et genus humanum, cui ille inseritur, servitium sibi mutuo praestare, ita ut Ecclesiae missio religiosam et ex hoc ipso summe humanam se exhibeat.
[E] Secundum credentium et non credentium fere concordem sententiam, omnia quae in terra sunt ad hominem, tamquam ad centrum suum et culmen, ordinanda sunt.
Quid est autem homo? Multas opiniones de seipso protulit et profert, varias et etiam contrarias, quibus saepe vel se tamquam absolutam regulam exaltat vel usque ad desperationem deprimit, exinde anceps et anxius. Quas quidem difficultates Ecclesia persentiens, a Deo revelante instructa eisdem responsum afferre potest, quo vera hominis condicio delineetur, explanentur eius infirmitates, simulque eius dignitas et vocatio recte agnosci possint.
Sacrae enim Litterae docent hominem «ad imaginem Dei» creatum esse, capacem suum Creatorem cognoscendi et amandi, ab eo tamquam dominum super omnes creaturas terrenas constitutum, ut eas regeret, eisque uteretur, glorificans Deum. «Quid est homo quod memor es eius? aut filius hominis, quoniam visitas eum? Minuisti eum paulo minus ab angelis, gloria et honore coronasti eum, et constituisti eum super opera manuum tuarum. Omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius» (Ps 8,5-7).
At Deus non creavit hominem solum: nam inde a primordiis «masculum et feminam creavit eos» (Gen 1,27), quorum consociatio primam formam efficit communionis personarum. Homo etenim ex intima sua natura ens sociale est, atque sine relationibus cum aliis nec vivere nec suas dotes expandere potest.
Deus igitur, sicut iterum in sacra Pagina legimus, vidit «cuncta quae fecerat, et erant valde bona» (Gen 1,31).
[E] In iustitia a Deo constitutus, homo tamen, suadente Maligno, inde ab exordio historiae, libertate sua abusus est, seipsum contra Deum erigens et finem suum extra Deum attingere cupiens. Cum cognovissent Deum, non sicut Deum glorificaverunt, sed obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum et servierunt creaturae potius quam Creatori. Quod Revelatione divina nobis innotescit, cum ipsa experientia concordat. Nam homo, cor suum inspiciens, etiam ad malum inclinatum se comperit et in multiplicibus malis demersum, quae a bono suo Creatore provenire non possunt. Deum tamquam principium suum saepe agnoscere renuens, etiam debitum ordinem ad finem suum ultimum, simul ac totam suam sive erga seipsum sive erga alios homines et omnes res creatas ordinationem disrupit.
Ideo in seipso divisus est homo. Quapropter tota vita hominum, sive singularis sive collectiva, ut luctationem et quidem dramaticam se exhibet inter bonum et malum, inter lucem et tenebras. Immo incapacem se invenit homo per seipsum mali impugnationes efficaciter debellandi, ita ut unusquisque se quasi catenis vinctum sentiat. At ipse Dominus venit ut hominem liberaret et confortaret, eum interius renovans ac principem huius mundi (cf. Io 12,31) foras eiiciens qui eum in servitute peccati retinebat. Peccatum autem minuit ipsum hominem, a plenitudine consequenda eum repellens.
In lumine huius Revelationis simul sublimis vocatio et profunda miseria, quas homines experiuntur, rationem suam ultimam inveniunt.
[E] Corpore et anima unus, homo per ipsam suam corporalem condicionem elementa mundi materialis in se colligit, ita ut, per ipsum, fastigium suum attingant et ad liberam Creatoris laudem vocem attollant. Vitam ergo corporalem homini despicere non licet, sed e contra ipse corpus suum, utpote a Deo creatum et ultima die resuscitandum, bonum et honore dignum habere tenetur. Peccato tamen vulneratus, corporis rebelliones experitur. Ipsa igitur dignitas hominis postulat ut Deum glorificet in corpore suo, neve illud pravis cordis sui inclinationibus inservire sinat.
Homo vero non fallitur, cum se rebus corporalibus superiorem agnoscit, et non tantum ut particulam naturae aut anonymum elementum civitatis humanae seipsum considerat. Interioritate enim sua universitatem rerum excedit: ad hanc profundam interioritatem redit, quando convertitur ad cor, ubi Deus eum exspectat, qui corda scrutatur, et ubi ipse sub oculis Dei de propria sorte decernit. Itaque, animam spiritualem et immortalem in seipso agnoscens, non fallaci figmento illuditur, a physicis tantum et socialibus condicionibus fluente, sed e contra ipsam profundam rei veritatem attingit.
[E] Recte iudicat homo, divinae mentis lumen participans, se intellectu suo universitatem rerum superare. Ingenium suum per saecula impigre exercendo ipse in scientiis empiricis, artibus technicis et liberalibus sane profecit. Nostris autem temporibus in mundo materiali praesertim investigando et sibi subiiciendo egregios obtinuit successus. Semper tamen profundiorem veritatem quaesivit et invenit. Intelligentia enim non ad sola phaenomena coarctatur, sed realitatem intelligibilem cum vera certitudine adipisci valet, etiamsi, ex sequela peccati, ex parte obscuratur et debilitatur.
Humanae tandem personae intellectualis natura per sapientiam perficitur et perficienda est, quae mentem hominis ad vera bonaque inquirenda ac diligenda suaviter attrahit, et qua imbutus homo per visibilia ad invisibilia adducitur.
Aetas autem nostra, magis quam saecula anteacta, tali sapientia indiget ut humaniora fiant quaecumque nova ab homine deteguntur. Periclitatur enim sors futura mundi nisi sapientiores suscitentur homines. Insuper notandum est plures nationes, bonis quidem oeconomicis pauperiores, sapientia vero ditiores, ceteris eximium emolumentum praestare posse.
Spiritus Sancti dono, homo ad mysterium consilii divini contemplandum et sapiendum fide accedit.
[E] In imo conscientiae legem homo detegit, quam ipse sibi non dat, sed cui obedire debet, et cuius vox, semper ad bonum amandum et faciendum ac malum vitandum eum advocans, ubi oportet auribus cordis sonat: fac hoc, illud devita. Nam homo legem in corde suo a Deo inscriptam habet, cui parere ipsa dignitas eius est et secundum quam ipse iudicabitur. Conscientia est nucleus secretissimus atque sacrarium hominis, in quo solus est cum Deo, cuius vox resonat in intimo eius. Conscientia modo mirabili illa lex innotescit, quae in Dei et proximi dilectione adimpletur. Fidelitate erga conscientiam christiani cum ceteris hominibus coniunguntur ad veritatem inquirendam et tot problemata moralia, quae tam in vita singulorum quam in sociali consortione exsurgunt, in veritate solvenda. Quo magis ergo conscientia recta praevalet, eo magis personae et coetus a caeco arbitrio recedunt et normis obiectivis moralitatis conformari satagunt. Non raro tamen evenit ex ignorantia invincibili conscientiam errare, quin inde suam dignitatem amittat. Quod autem dici nequit cum homo de vero ac bono inquirendo parum curat, et conscientia ex peccati consuetudine paulatim fere obcaecatur.
[E] At nonnisi libere homo ad bonum se convertere potest, quam libertatem coaevi nostri magni faciunt ardenterque prosequuntur: et recte sane. Saepe tamen eam pravo modo fovent, tamquam licentiam quidquid faciendi dummodo delectet, etiam malum. Vera autem libertas eximium est divinae imaginis in homine signum. Voluit enim Deus hominem relinquere in manu consilii sui, ita ut Creatorem suum sponte quaerat et libere ad plenam et beatam perfectionem ei inhaerendo perveniat. Dignitas igitur hominis requirit ut secundum consciam et liberam electionem agat, personaliter scilicet ab intra motus et inductus, et non sub caeco impulsu interno vel sub mera externa coactione. Talem vero dignitatem obtinet homo cum, sese ab omni passionum captivitate liberans, finem suum in boni libera electione persequitur et apta subsidia efficaciter ac sollerti industria sibi procurat. Quam ordinationem ad Deum libertas hominis, a peccato vulnerata, nonnisi gratia Dei adiuvante, plene actuosam efficere potest. Unicuique autem ante tribunal Dei propriae vitae ratio reddenda erit, prout ipse sive bonum sive malum gesserit.
[E] Coram morte aenigma condicionis humanae maximum evadit. Non tantum cruciatur homo dolore et corporis dissolutione progrediente, sed etiam, immo magis, perpetuae extinctionis timore. Recte autem instinctu cordis sui iudicat, cum totalem ruinam et definitivum exitum suae personae abhorret et respuit. Semen aeternitatis quod in se gerit, ad solam materiam cum irreductibile sit, contra mortem insurgit. Omnia technicae artis molimina, licet perutilia, anxietatem hominis sedare non valent: prorogata enim biologica longaevitas illi ulterioris vitae desiderio satisfacere nequit, quod cordi eius ineluctabiliter inest.
Dum coram morte omnis imaginatio deficit, Ecclesia tamen, Revelatione divina edocta, hominem ad beatum finem, ultra terrestris miseriae limites, a Deo creatum esse affirmat. Mors insuper corporalis, a qua homo si non peccasset subtractus fuisset, fides christiana docet fore ut vincatur, cum homo in salutem, culpa sua perditam, ab omnipotente et miserante Salvatore restituetur. Deus enim hominem vocavit et vocat ut Ei in perpetua incorruptibilis vitae divinae communione tota sua natura adhaereat. Quam victoriam Christus, hominem a morte per mortem suam liberando, ad vitam resurgens adeptus est. Cuicumque igitur recogitanti homini, fides, cum solidis argumentis oblata, in eius anxietate de sorte futura responsum offert; simulque facultatem praebet cum dilectis fratribus iam morte praereptis in Christo communicandi, spem conferens eos veram vitam apud Deum adeptos esse.
[E] Dignitatis humanae eximia ratio in vocatione hominis ad communionem cum Deo consistit. Ad colloquium cum Deo iam inde ab ortu suo invitatur homo: non enim exsistit, nisi quia, a Deo ex amore creatus, semper ex amore conservatur; nec plene secundum veritatem vivit, nisi amorem illum libere agnoscat et Creatori suo se committat. Multi tamen ex coaevis nostris hanc intimam ac vitalem cum Deo coniunctionem nequaquam perspiciunt aut explicite reiiciunt, ita ut atheismus inter gravissimas huius temporis res adnumerandus sit ac diligentiori examini subiiciendus.
Voce atheismi phaenomena inter se valde diversa designantur. Dum enim a quibusdam Deus expresse negatur, alii censent hominem nihil omnino de Eo asserere posse; alii vero quaestionem de Deo tali methodo examini subiiciunt, ut illa sensu carere videatur. Multi, scientiarum positivarum limites indebite praetergressi, aut omnia hac sola scientifica ratione explicari contendunt aut e contra nullam omnino veritatem absolutam iam admittunt. Quidam hominem tantopere exaltant, ut fides in Deum quasi enervis fiat, magis proclives, ut videntur, ad affirmationem hominis quam ad Dei negationem. Alii Deum sibi ita effingunt, ut illud figmentum, quod repudiant, nullo modo Deus sit Evangelii. Alii quaestiones de Deo ne aggrediuntur quidem, quippe qui inquietudinem religiosam non experiri videantur nec percipiant quare de religione iam sibi curandum sit. Atheismus praeterea non raro oritur sive ex violenta contra malum in mundo protestatione, sive ex nota ipsius absoluti quibusdam humanis bonis indebite adiudicata, ita ut ista iam loco Dei habeantur. Ipsa civilizatio hodierna, non ex se, sed utpote nimis rebus terrestribus intricata accessum ad Deum saepe difficiliorem reddere potest.
Sane qui voluntarie Deum a corde suo arcere et quaestiones religiosas devitare conantur, dictamen conscientiae suae non secuti, culpae expertes non sunt; attamen et ipsi credentes quamdam de hoc responsabilitatem saepe ferunt. Atheismus enim, integre consideratus, non est quid originarium, sed potius ex diversis causis oritur, inter quas adnumeratur etiam reactio critica contra religiones et quidem, in nonnullis regionibus, praesertim contra religionem christianam. Quapropter in hac atheismi genesi partem non parvam habere possunt credentes, quatenus, neglecta fidei educatione, vel fallaci doctrinae expositione, vel etiam vitae suae religiosae, moralis ac socialis defectibus, Dei et religionis genuinum vultum potius velare quam revelare dicendi sint.
[E] Atheismus modernus formam etiam systematicam saepe praebet, quae, praeter alias causas, optatum autonomiae hominis eo usque perducit ut contra qualemcumque a Deo dependentiam difficultatem suscitet. Qui talem atheismum profitentur, libertatem in eo esse contendunt quod homo sibi ipse sit finis, propriae suae historiae solus artifex et demiurgus: quod componi non posse autumant cum agnitione Domini, omnium rerum auctoris et finis, vel saltem talem affirmationem plane superfluam reddere. Cui doctrinae favere potest sensus potentiae quem hodiernus progressus technicus homini confert.
Inter formas hodierni atheismi illa non praetermittenda est, quae liberationem hominis praesertim ex eius liberatione oeconomica et sociali exspectat. Huic autem liberationi religionem natura sua obstare contendit, quatenus, in futuram fallacemque vitam spem hominis erigens, ipsum a civitatis terrestris aedificatione deterreret. Unde fautores talis doctrinae, ubi ad regimen reipublicae accedunt, religionem vehementer oppugnant, atheismum diffundentes etiam adhibitis, praesertim in iuvenum educatione, illis pressionis mediis, quibus potestas publica pollet.
[E] Ecclesia, fideliter tum Deo tum hominibus addicta, desistere non potest quin dolenter perniciosas illas doctrinas actionesque, quae rationi et communi experientiae humanae contradicunt hominemque ab innata eius excellentia deiiciunt, omni firmitate reprobet, sicut antehac reprobavit .
Abditas tamen in atheorum mente negationis Dei causas deprehendere conatur et, de gravitate quaestionum quas atheismus excitat conscia necnon caritate erga omnes homines ducta, eas serio ac profundiori examini subiiciendas esse censet.
Tenet Ecclesia agnitionem Dei dignitati hominis nequaquam opponi, cum huiusmodi dignitas in ipso Deo fundetur et perficiatur: homo enim a Deo creante intelligens ac liber in societate constituitur; sed praesertim ad ipsam Dei communionem ut filius vocatur et ad Ipsius felicitatem participandam. Docet praeterea per spem eschatologicam momentum munerum terrestrium non minui, sed potius eorum adimpletionem novis motivis fulciri. Deficientibus e contra fundamento divino et spe vitae aeternae, hominis dignitas gravissime laeditur, ut saepe hodie constat, atque vitae et mortis, culpae et doloris aenigmata sine solutione manent, ita ut homines in desperationem non raro deiiciantur.
Omnis homo interea sibi ipsi remanet quaestio insoluta, subobscure percepta. Nemo enim quibusdam momentis, praecipue in maioribus vitae eventibus, praefatam interrogationem omnino effugere valet. Cui quaestioni solus Deus plene et omni certitudine responsum affert, qui ad altiorem cogitationem et humiliorem inquisitionem hominem vocat.
Remedium autem atheismo afferendum, cum a doctrina apte exposita, tum ab integra Ecclesiae eiusque membrorum vita exspectandum est. Ecclesiae enim est Deum Patrem eiusque Filium incarnatum praesentem et quasi visibilem reddere, ductu Spiritus Sancti sese indesinenter renovando et purificando . Id imprimis obtinetur testimonio fidei vivae et maturae, ad hoc scilicet educatae ut difficultates lucide perspicere valeat easque superare. Huius fidei testimonium praeclarum plurimi martyres reddiderunt et reddunt. Quae fides suam fecunditatem manifestare debet, credentium integram vitam, etiam profanam, penetrando, eosque ad iustitiam et amorem, praesertim erga egentes, movendo. Ad praesentiam Dei manifestandam maxime denique confert caritas fraterna fidelium, qui spiritu unanimes collaborant fidei Evangelii , et signum unitatis se exhibent.
Ecclesia vero, etiamsi atheismum omnino reiicit, sincere tamen profitetur homines omnes, credentes et non credentes, ad hunc mundum, in quo communiter vivunt, recte aedificandum opem conferre debere: quod certe fieri non potest sine sincero et prudenti colloquio. Conqueritur igitur de discrimine inter credentes et non credentes, quod quidam civitatum rectores, personae humanae iura fundamentalia non agnoscentes, iniuste inducunt. Pro credentibus vero actuosam libertatem expostulat ut in hoc mundo etiam Dei templum exstruere sinantur. Atheos autem humaniter invitat ut Evangelium Christi corde aperto considerent.
Apprime etenim novit Ecclesia nuntium suum cum secretissimis humani cordis desideriis concordare, cum vocationis humanae dignitatem vindicat, illis qui iam de altiore sua sorte desperant spem restituens. Nuntium eius, nedum hominem minuat, lucem, vitam et libertatem ad eius profectum fundit; atque praeter illud nihil cordi hominis satisfacere valet: «Fecisti nos ad Te», Domine, «et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in Te» .
[E] Reapse nonnisi in mysterio Verbi incarnati mysterium hominis vere clarescit. Adam enim, primus homo, erat figura futuri, scilicet Christi Domini. Christus, novissimus Adam, in ipsa revelatione mysterii Patris Eiusque amoris, hominem ipsi homini plene manifestat eique altissimam eius vocationem patefacit. Nil igitur mirum in Eo praedictas veritates suum invenire fontem atque attingere fastigium.
Qui est «imago Dei invisibilis» (Col 1,15), Ipse est homo perfectus, qui Adae filiis similitudinem divinam, inde a primo peccato deformatam, restituit. Cum in Eo natura humana assumpta, non perempta sit , eo ipso etiam in nobis ad sublimem dignitatem evecta est. Ipse enim, Filius Dei, incarnatione sua cum omni homine quodammodo Se univit. Humanis manibus opus fecit, humana mente cogitavit, humana voluntate egit, humano corde dilexit. Natus de Maria Virgine, vere unus ex nostris factus est, in omnibus nobis similis excepto peccato.
Agnus innocens, sanguine suo libere effuso, vitam nobis meruit, in Ipsoque Deus nos Sibi et inter nos reconciliavit et a servitute diaboli ac peccati eripuit, ita ut unusquisque nostrum cum Apostolo dicere possit: Filius Dei «dilexit me et tradidit semetipsum pro me» (Gal 2,20). Pro nobis patiendo non solummodo exemplum praebuit ut sequamur vestigia Eius , sed et viam instauravit, quam dum sequimur, vita et mors sanctificantur novumque sensum accipiunt.
Christianus autem homo, conformis imagini Filii factus qui est Primogenitus in multis fratribus, «primitias Spiritus» (Rom 8,23) accipit, quibus capax fit legem novam amoris adimplendi. Per hunc Spiritum, qui est «pignus hereditatis» (Eph 1,14), totus homo interius restauratur, usque ad «redemptionem corporis» (Rom 8,23): «Si Spiritus Eius, qui suscitavit Iesum a mortuis, habitat in vobis: qui suscitavit Iesum Christum a mortuis, vivificabit et mortalia corpora vestra, propter inhabitantem Spiritum eius in vobis» (Rom 8,11). Christianum certe urgent necessitas et officium contra malum per multas tribulationes certandi necnon mortem patiendi; sed mysterio paschali consociatus, Christi morti configuratus, ad resurrectionem spe roboratus occurret.
Quod non tantum pro christifidelibus valet, sed et pro omnibus hominibus bonae voluntatis in quorum corde gratia invisibili modo operatur. Cum enim pro omnibus mortuus sit Christus cumque vocatio hominis ultima revera una sit, scilicet divina, tenere debemus Spiritum Sanctum cunctis possibilitatem offerre ut, modo Deo cognito, huic paschali mysterio consocientur.
Tale et tantum est hominis mysterium, quod per Revelationem christianam credentibus illucescit. Per Christum et in Christo, igitur, illuminatur aenigma doloris et mortis, quod extra Eius Evangelium nos obruit. Christus resurrexit, morte sua mortem destruens, vitamque nobis largitus est ut, filii in Filio, clamemus in Spiritu: Abba, Pater!
[E] Inter praecipuos mundi hodierni aspectus, mutuarum inter homines necessitudinum multiplicatio adnumeratur, ad quam evolvendam hodierni technici progressus plurimum conferunt. Tamen fraternum hominum colloquium non in istis progressibus, sed profundius in personarum communitate perficitur, quae mutuam reverentiam erga plenam earum dignitatem spiritualem exigit. Ad hanc vero communionem inter personas promovendam, Revelatio christiana magnum subsidium affert, simulque ad altiorem vitae socialis legum intelligentiam nos perducit quas Creator in natura spirituali ac morali hominis inscripsit.
Quoniam autem recentiora Ecclesiae Magisterii documenta christianam de societate humana doctrinam fusius exposuerunt, Concilium quasdam tantum principaliores veritates in memoriam revocat earum que fundamenta sub luce Revelationis exponit. Deinde in quaedam consectaria insistit quae nostris diebus maioris sunt momenti.
[E] Deus, qui paternam curam omnium habet, voluit ut cuncti homines unam efficerent familiam fraternoque animo se invicem tractarent. Omnes enim creati ad imaginem Dei, qui fecit «ex uno omne genus hominum inhabitare super universam faciem terrae» (Act 17,26), ad unum eumdemque finem, id est ad Deum ipsum, vocantur.
Quapropter dilectio Dei et proximi primum et maximum mandatum est. A Sacra autem Scriptura docemur Dei amorem a proximi amore seiungi non posse: «... si quod est aliud mandatum, in hoc verbo instauratur: Diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum... Plenitudo ergo legis est dilectio» (Rom 13,9-10; Cf 1Io 4,20). Quod vero hominibus magis in dies ab invicem dependentibus atque mundo magis in dies unificato maximi comprobatur esse momenti.
Immo Dominus Iesus, quando Patrem orat ut «omnes unum sint..., sicut et nos unum sumus» (Io 17,21-22), prospectus praebens humanae rationi impervios, aliquam similitudinem innuit inter unionem personarum divinarum et unionem filiorum Dei in veritate et caritate. Haec similitudo manifestat hominem, qui in terris sola creatura est quam Deus propter seipsam voluerit, plene seipsum invenire non posse nisi per sincerum sui ipsius donum.
[E] Ex sociali hominis indole apparet humanae personae profectum et ipsius societatis incrementum ab invicem pendere. Etenim principium, subiectum et finis omnium institutorum socialium est et esse debet humana persona, quippe quae, suapte natura, vita sociali omnino indigeat. Cum igitur vita socialis non sit homini quid adventicium, ideo commercio cum aliis, mutuis officiis, colloquio cum fratribus, quoad omnes suas dotes grandescit homo, et suae vocationi respondere potest.
Ex socialibus vinculis, quae homini excolendo necessaria sunt, alia, uti familia et communitas politica, intimae eius naturae immediatius congruunt; alia potius ex eius libera voluntate procedunt. Nostra hac aetate, variis de causis, mutuae necessitudines et interdependentiae in dies multiplicantur; unde diversa oriuntur consociationes et instituta sive publici sive privati iuris. Hoc autem factum, quod socializatio nuncupatur, licet periculis sane non careat, multa tamen secum emolumenta affert ad confirmandas et augendas humanae personae qualitates eiusque iura tuenda.
Sed si personae humanae ad suam vocationem adimplendam, etiam religiosam, ex hac vita sociali multum accipiunt, negari tamen nequit homines ex adiunctis socialibus in quibus vivunt et, inde ab infantia, immerguntur, saepe a bono faciendo averti et ad malum impelli. Certum est perturbationes, tam frequenter in ordine sociali occurrentes, ex ipsa formarum oeconomicarum, politicarum et socialium tensione pro parte provenire. Sed penitius ex hominum superbia et egoismo oriuntur, quae etiam ambitum socialem pervertunt. Ubi autem ordo rerum sequelis peccati afficitur, homo, proclivis ad malum natus, nova deinde ad peccatum incitamenta invenit, quae, sine strenuis gratia adiuvante conatibus, superari nequeunt.
[E] Ex interdependentia in dies strictiore et paulatim ad mundum universum diffusa sequitur bonum commune - seu summam eorum vitae socialis condicionum quae tum coetibus, tum singulis membris permittunt ut propriam perfectionem plenius atque expeditius consequantur - hodie magis magisque universale evadere, et exinde iura officiaque implicare, quae totum humanum genus respiciunt. Quilibet coetus necessitatum et legitimarum appetitionum aliorum coetuum, immo boni communis totius familiae humanae, rationem habere debet .
Simul vero conscientia crescit eximiae dignitatis quae personae humanae competit, cum ipsa rebus omnibus praestet, et eius iura officiaque universalia sint atque inviolabilia. Oportet ergo ut ea omnia homini pervia reddantur, quibus ad vitam vere humanam gerendam indiget, ut sunt victus, vestitus, habitatio, ius ad statum vitae libere eligendum et ad familiam condendam, ad educationem, ad laborem, ad bonam famam, ad reverentiam, ad congruam informationem, ad agendum iuxta rectam suae conscientiae normam, ad vitae privatae protectionem atque ad iustam libertatem etiam in re religiosa.
Ordo socialis igitur eiusque progressus in bonum personarum indesinenter cedere debent, siquidem rerum ordinatio ordini personarum subiicienda est et non e converso, ipso Domino id innuente cum dixerit sabbatum propter hominem factum esse et non hominem propter sabbatum. Ordo ille in dies evolvendus, in veritate fundandus, in iustitia aedificandus, amore vivificandus est; in libertate autem aequilibrium in dies humanius invenire debet. Ad haec autem implenda mentis renovatio atque amplae societatis immutationes inducendae sunt.
Spiritus Dei, qui mirabili providentia temporum cursum dirigit et faciem terrae renovat, huic evolutioni adest. Evangelicum autem fermentum in corde hominis irrefrenabilem dignitatis exigentiam excitavit atque excitat.
[E] Ad practica urgentioraque consectaria descendens, Concilium reverentiam inculcat erga hominem, ita ut singuli proximum, nullo excepto, tamquam alterum seipsum considerare debeant, de eius vita et de mediis ad illam digne degendam necessariis rationem imprimis habentes, ne divitem illum imitentur, qui pauperis Lazari nullam curam egit.
Nostris praesertim diebus urget obligatio nosmetipsos cuiuslibet omnino hominis proximos efficiendi et illi occurrenti actuose inserviendi, sive sit senex ab omnibus derelictus, sive alienigena operarius iniuste despectus, sive exsul, sive infans ex illegitima unione natus, immerito patiens propter peccatum a se non commissum, vel esuriens qui conscientiam nostram interpellat Domini vocem revocans: «Quamdiu fecistis uni ex his fratribus meis minimis, mihi fecistis» (Mt 25,40).
Quaecumque insuper ipsi vitae adversantur, ut cuiusvis generis homicidia, genocidia, abortus, euthanasia et ipsum voluntarium suicidium; quaecumque humanae personae integritatem violant, ut mutilationes, tormenta corpori mentive inflicta, conatus ipsos animos coërcendi; quaecumque humanam dignitatem offendunt, ut infrahumanae vivendi condiciones, arbitrariae incarcerationes, deportationes, servitus, prostitutio, mercatus mulierum et iuvenum; condiciones quoque laboris ignominiosae, quibus operarii ut mera quaestus instrumenta, non ut liberae et responsabiles personae tractantur: haec omnia et alia huiusmodi probra quidem sunt, ac dum civilizationem humanam inficiunt, magis eos inquinant qui sic se gerunt, quam eos qui iniuriam patiuntur et Creatoris honori maxime contradicunt.
[E] Ad illos etiam qui in rebus socialibus, politicis vel etiam religiosis aliter ac nos sentiunt aut faciunt, reverentia et caritas extendi debent; quo magis quidem humanitate et caritate modos sentiendi eorum intimius comprehendemus, eo facilius cum ipsis colloquium inire poterimus.
Haec sane caritas et benignitas nequaquam indifferentes erga veritatem et bonum nos reddere debent. Immo caritas ipsa discipulos Christi urget ad veritatem salutarem omnibus hominibus annuntiandam. Sed distinguere oportet inter errorem, semper reiciendum, et errantem, qui dignitatem personae iugiter servat, etiam ubi falsis minusve accuratis notionibus religiosis inquinatur. Deus solus iudex est et scrutator cordium: unde nos vetat de interiore cuiusvis culpa iudicare.
Doctrina Christi ut etiam iniuriis ignoscamus postulat praeceptumque amoris ad inimicos omnes extendit, quod est Novae Legis mandatum: «Audistis quia dictum est: Diliges proximum tuum, et odio habebis inimicum tuum. Ego autem dico vobis: Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos: et orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos» (Mt 5,43-44) .
[E] Cum omnes homines, anima rationali pollentes et ad imaginem Dei creati, eamdem naturam eamdemque originem habeant, cumque, a Christo redempti, eadem vocatione et destinatione divina fruantur, fundamentalis aequalitas inter omnes magis magisque agnoscenda est.
Sane varia capacitate physica viriumque intellectualium et moralium diversitate non omnes homines aequiparantur. Omnis tamen discriminandi modus in iuribus personae fundamentalibus, sive socialis sive culturalis, ob sexum, stirpem, colorem, socialem condicionem, linguam aut religionem, superandus et removendus est, utpote Dei proposito contrarius. Vere enim dolendum est iura illa fundamentalia personae adhuc non ubique sarta tecta servari. Ut si mulieri denegetur facultas libere sponsum eligendi et vitae statum amplectendi, vel ad parem educationem et culturam quae viro agnoscitur accedendi.
Insuper, quamquam inter homines iustae diversitates adsunt, aequalis personarum dignitas postulat ut ad humaniorem et aequam vitae condicionem deveniatur. Etenim nimiae inter membra vel populos unius familiae humanae inaequalitates oeconomicae et sociales scandalum movent, atque iustitiae sociali, aequitati, personae humanae dignitati, necnon paci sociali et internationali adversantur.
Humanae autem institutiones, sive privatae sive publicae, dignitati ac fini hominis subservire nitantur, simul adversus quamlibet servitutem tum socialem tum politicam strenue decertantes, et iura hominum fundamentalia sub omni regimine politico servantes. Immo, huiusmodi institutiones spiritualibus rebus, omnium altissimis, paulatim congruant oportet, etiamsi interdum sat longo tempore opus sit ut ad optatum finem perveniant.
[E] Profunda et velox rerum immutatio urgentius postulat ut nemo sit qui, ad rerum cursum non attendens vel inertia torpens, ethicae mere individualisticae indulgeat. Iustitiae ac caritatis officium magis ac magis adimpletur per hoc quod unusquisque, ad bonum commune iuxta proprias capacitates et aliorum necessitates conferens, etiam institutiones sive publicas sive privatas promovet et adiuvat quae hominum vitae condicionibus in melius mutandis inserviunt. Sunt autem qui, largas generosioresque opiniones profitentes, ita tamen semper reapse vivunt ac si nullam societatis necessitatum curam habeant. Immo, plures, in variis regionibus, leges et praescriptiones sociales minimi faciunt. Non pauci, variis fraudibus ac dolis, iusta vectigalia vel alia quae societati debentur effugere non verentur. Alii normas quasdam vitae socialis, e. gr., ad valetudinem tuendam, aut ad vehiculorum ductum moderandum statutas, parvi aestimant, non animadvertentes se tali incuria vitae suae et aliorum periculum inferre.
Sanctum sit omnibus necessitudines sociales inter praecipua hominis hodierni officia recensere easque observare. Quo magis enim mundus unitur, eo apertius hominum munera particulares coetus superant et ad universum mundum paulatim extenduntur. Quod fieri nequit nisi et singuli homines et ipsorum coetus virtutes morales et sociales in seipsis colant et in societate diffundant, ita ut vere novi homines et artifices novae humanitatis exsistant cum necessario auxilio divinae gratiae.
[E] Ut singuli homines suum conscientiae officium accuratius impleant tum erga seipsos, tum erga varios coetus quorum membra sunt, diligenter ad ampliorem animi culturam educandi sunt, ingentibus adhibitis subsidiis quae hodie generi humano praesto sunt. Praeprimis educatio iuvenum cuiuslibet socialis originis ita instituenda est, ut viri mulieresque suscitentur qui non tantum exculti ingenii sed et magni animi sint, utpote qui a nostro tempore vehementer postulentur.
Sed ad hunc responsabilitatis sensum homo vix pervenit, nisi vitae condiciones ei permittant ut suae dignitatis conscius fiat, et vocationi suae, seipsum pro Deo et pro aliis impendendo, respondeat. Humana vero libertas saepe debilior fit, ubi homo in extremam incidit egestatem, sicut vilescit, ubi ipse, nimiis vitae facilitatibus indulgens, in aurea veluti solitudine seipsum includit. E contra roboratur, cum homo inevitabiles vitae socialis necessitates accipit, multiformes exigentias humanae coniunctionis assumit atque humanae communitatis servitio se obstringit.
Ideo omnium exstimulanda est voluntas inceptorum communium suas partes assumendi. Laudanda est autem ratio agendi nationum, in quibus pars quam maxima civium in vera libertate rerum publicarum particeps fit. Ratio tamen habenda est condicionis realis uniuscuiusque gentis et necessarii vigoris publicae auctoritatis. Ut vero omnes cives proni sint ad participandam vitam variorum coetuum, quibus corpus sociale constat, necesse est ut his in coetibus bona inveniant, quae ipsos attrahant eosque ad aliorum servitium disponant. Iure arbitrari possumus futuram humanitatis sortem in illorum manibus reponi, qui posteris generationibus vivendi et sperandi rationes tradere valent.
[E] Sicut Deus homines non ad singulatim vivendum, sed ad socialem unionem efformandam creavit, ita Ipsi etiam «placuit... homines non singulatim, quavis mutua connexione seclusa, sanctificare et salvare, sed eos in populum constituere, qui in veritate Ipsum agnosceret Ipsique sancte serviret» . Inde ab initio historiae salutis Ipse homines elegit non ut individuos tantum sed ut membra cuiusdam communitatis. Illos enim electos Deus, suum aperiens consilium, vocavit «populum suum» (Ex 3,7-12), quocum insuper in Sinai foedus pepigit.
Quae indoles communitaria opere Iesu Christi perficitur et consummatur. Ipsum enim Verbum incarnatum humanae consortionis particeps esse voluit. Canae nuptiis interfuit, in domum Zachaei descendit, cum publicanis et peccatoribus manducavit. Patris amorem hominumque eximiam vocationem, communissimas res sociales commemorando et locutiones figurasque vitae plane cotidianae adhibendo, revelavit. Necessitudines humanas, imprimis familiares, ex quibus rationes sociales oriuntur, sanctificavit, legibus suae patriae voluntarie subditus. Vitam opificis sui temporis et regionis propriam ducere voluit.
In sua praedicatione clare mandavit filiis Dei ut tamquam fratres ad invicem se gererent. In sua oratione rogavit ut omnes discipuli sui unum essent. Immo Ipse usque ad mortem sese pro omnibus obtulit, omnium Redemptor. «Maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat quis pro amicis suis» (Io 15,13). Apostolos autem iussit praedicare omnibus gentibus nuntium evangelicum ut genus humanum familia Dei fieret, in qua plenitudo legis esset dilectio.
Primogenitus in multis fratribus, inter omnes qui Eum fide ac caritate recipiunt, post mortem et resurrectionem suam, dono sui Spiritus novam fraternam communionem instituit, in Corpore scilicet suo, quod est Ecclesia, in quo omnes, inter se invicem membra, secundum dona diversa concessa, mutua sibi praestarent servitia.
Quae solidarietas semper augenda erit, usque ad illam diem qua consummabitur, et qua homines, gratia salvati, tamquam familia a Deo et Christo Fratre dilecta, perfectam gloriam Deo praestabunt.
[E] Suo labore atque ingenio homo suam vitam amplius evolvere semper conatus est; hodie autem, praesertim ope scientiae et artis technicae, suum dominium in universam fere naturam dilatavit ac iugiter dilatat, et adiuvantibus imprimis auctis inter nationes multimodi commercii mediis, familia humana paulatim tamquam unam in universo mundo communitatem sese agnoscit atque constituit. Quo fit, ut multa bona, quae olim homo a supernis viribus praesertim exspectabat, hodie iam propria industria sibi procuret.
Coram immenso hoc conamine, quod totum humanum genus iam pervadit, multae exsurgunt inter homines interrogationes. Quinam est illius operositatis sensus et valor? Quomodo omnibus his rebus utendum est? Ad quem finem assequendum nisus sive singulorum sive societatum tendunt? Ecclesia, quae depositum verbi Dei custodit, ex quo principia in ordine religioso et morali hauriuntur, quin semper de singulis quaestionibus responsum in promptu habeat, lumen revelationis cum omnium peritia coniungere cupit, ut iter illuminetur, quod humanitas nuper ingressa est.
[E] Hoc credentibus ratum est, navitatem humanam individualem et collectivam, seu ingens illud conamen, quo homines decursu saeculorum suae vitae condiciones in melius mutare satagunt, in seipso consideratum, Dei proposito respondere. Homo enim, ad imaginem Dei creatus, mandatum accepit ut, terram cum omnibus quae in ea continentur sibi subiciens, mundum in iustitia et sanctitate regeret utque, Deum omnium Creatorem agnoscens, seipsum ac rerum universitatem ad Ipsum referret, ita ut rebus omnibus homini subiectis, admirabile sit nomen Dei in universa terra.
Quod etiam opera penitus quotidiana respicit. Viri namque et mulieres qui, dum vitae sustentationem sibi et familiae comparant, navitates suas ita exercent ut societati opportune ministrent, iure existimare possunt se suo labore opus Creatoris evolvere, commodis fratrum suorum consulere, et ad consilium divinum in historia adimplendum personali industria conferre.
Christiani itaque, nedum arbitrentur opera, quae homines suo ingenio et virtute pepererunt, Dei potentiae opponi, creaturamque rationalem quasi aemulam Creatoris exsistere, potius persuasum habent humani generis victorias signum esse magnitudinis Dei et fructus ineffabilis Ipsius consilii. Quo magis vero hominum potentia crescit, eo latius ipsorum responsabilitas, sive singulorum sive communitatum extenditur. Unde apparet christiano nuntio homines ab exstruendo mundo non averti, nec ad bonum sui similium negligendum impelli, sed potius officio haec operandi arctius obstringi.
[E] Humana vero navitas, sicut ex homine procedit, ita ad hominem ordinatur. Homo enim, cum operatur, non tantum res et societatem immutat, sed et seipsum perficit. Multa discit, facultates suas excolit, extra se et supra se procedit. Huiusmodi incrementum, si recte intelligatur, maioris pretii est quam externae quae colligi possunt divitiae. Magis valet homo propter id quod est quam propter id quod habet. Pariter, omnia quae homines, ad maiorem iustitiam, ampliorem fraternitatem, humanioremque ordinationem in socialibus necessitudinibus obtinendam agunt, plus quam progressus technici valent. Hi enim progressus quasi materiam humanae promotioni praebere possunt, illam autem per se solos ad actum nequaquam deducunt.
Unde haec est humanae navitatis norma, quod iuxta consilium et voluntatem divinam cum genuino humani generis bono congruat, et homini individuo vel in societate posito integrae suae vocationis cultum et impletionem permittat.
[E] Multi tamen coaevi nostri timere videntur, ne ex arctiore humanae navitatis et religionis coniunctione autonomia hominum vel societatum vel scientiarum impediatur.
Si per terrenarum rerum autonomiam intelligimus res creatas et ipsas societates propriis legibus valoribusque gaudere, ab homine gradatim dignoscendis, adhibendis et ordinandis, eamdem exigere omnino fas est: quod non solum postulatur ab hominibus nostrae aetatis, sed etiam cum Creatoris voluntate congruit. Ex ipsa enim creationis condicione res universae propria firmitate, veritate, bonitate propriisque legibus ac ordine instruuntur, quae homo revereri debet, propriis singularum scientiarum artiumve methodis agnitis. Ideo inquisitio methodica in omnibus disciplinis, si modo vere scientifico et iuxta normas morales procedit, numquam fidei revera adversabitur, quia res profanae et res fidei ab eodem Deo originem ducunt . Immo, qui humili et constanti animo abscondita rerum perscrutari conatur, etsi inscius quasi manu Dei ducitur qui, res omnes sustinens, facit ut sint id quod sunt. Hinc deplorare liceat quosdam animi habitus, qui aliquando inter christianos ipsos, ob non satis perspectam legitimam scientiae autonomiam, non defuerunt et, contentionibus controversiisque exinde suscitatis, plurium animos eo perduxerunt ut fidem et scientiam inter se opponi censerent.
At si verbis rerum temporalium autonomia intelligitur res creatas a Deo non pendere, eisque hominem sic uti posse ut easdem ad Creatorem non referat, nemo qui Deum agnoscit non sentit quam falsa huiusmodi placita sint. Creatura enim sine Creatore evanescit. Ceterum, omnes credentes, cuiuscumque sint religionis, vocem et manifestationem Eius in creaturarum loquela semper audierunt. Immo, per oblivionem Dei ipsa creatura obscuratur.
[E] Sacra vero Scriptura, cui saeculorum consentit experientia, humanam familiam edocet progressum humanum, qui magnum hominis bonum est, magnam tamen tentationem secumferre: ordine enim valorum turbato et malo cum bono permixto, singuli homines ac coetus solummodo quae propria sunt considerant, non vero aliorum. Quo fit ut mundus non iam spatium verae fraternitatis exsistat, dum aucta humanitatis potentia iam ipsum genus humanum destruere minatur.
Universam enim hominum historiam ardua colluctatio contra potestates tenebrarum pervadit, quae inde ab origine mundi incepta, usque ad ultimum diem, dicente Domino, perseverabit. In hanc pugnam insertus, homo ut bono adhaereat iugiter certare debet, nec sine magnis laboribus, Dei gratia adiuvante, in seipso unitatem obtinere valet.
Quapropter Ecclesia Christi, Creatoris consilio fidens, dum agnoscit progressum humanum verae hominum felicitati inservire posse, non potest tamen quin illud Apostoli resonare faciat: «Nolite conformari huic saeculo» (Rom 12,2), illi scilicet vanitatis et malitiae spiritui qui humanam navitatem, ad servitium Dei et hominis ordinatam, in instrumentum peccati transmutat.
Si quis ergo quaerit, qua ratione miseria illa superari possit, christiani profitentur, omnes hominis navitates, quae per superbiam et inordinatum sui ipsius amorem cotidie in discrimine versantur, Christi cruce et resurrectione purificandas et ad perfectionem deducendas esse. A Christo enim redemptus et in Spiritu Sancto nova creatura effectus, homo ipsas res a Deo creatas amare potest et debet. A Deo enim illas accipit et quasi de manu Dei fluentes respicit et reveretur. Pro illis Benefactori gratias agens et in paupertate et libertate spiritus creaturis utens ac fruens, in veram mundi possessionem introducitur, tamquam nihil habens et omnia possidens . «Omnia enim vestra sunt: vos autem Christi, Christus autem Dei» (1 Cor 3,22-23).
[E] Verbum enim Dei, per quod omnia facta sunt, Ipsum caro factum et in hominum terra habitans, perfectus homo in historiam mundi intravit, eam in Se assumens et recapitulans. Ipse nobis revelat, «quoniam Deus caritas est» (1 Io 4,8), simulque nos docet legem fundamentalem perfectionis humanae, ac proinde transformationis mundi, novum dilectionis esse mandatum. Eos igitur, qui divinae credunt caritati, certos facit, viam dilectionis omnibus hominibus aperiri et conamen fraternitatem universalem instaurandi non esse inane. Simul monet, hanc caritatem non in solis magnis rebus sectandam esse, sed et imprimis in ordinariis vitae adiunctis. Pro nobis omnibus peccatoribus mortem sustinens, suo exemplo nos docet crucem etiam baiulandam esse, quam caro et mundus pacem et iustitiam sectantium humeris imponunt. Sua resurrectione Dominus constitutus, Christus, cui omnis potestas in caelo et in terra data est, per virtutem Spiritus Sui in cordibus hominum iam operatur, non solum venturi saeculi desiderium suscitans, sed eo ipso illa etiam generosa vota animans, purificans et roborans, quibus familia humana suam ipsius vitam humaniorem reddere et totam terram huic fini subiicere satagit. Diversa autem sunt Spiritus dona: dum alios vocat ut caelestis habitationis desiderio manifestum testimonium reddant illudque in humana familia vividum conservent, alios vocat ut terreno hominum servitio se dedicent, hoc suo ministerio materiam regni caelestis parantes. Omnes tamen liberat ut, proprio amore abnegato omnibusque terrenis viribus in vitam humanam assumptis, ad futura se extendant, quando humanitas ipsa fiet oblatio accepta Deo.
Cuius spei arrham et itineris viaticum Dominus suis reliquit in illo sacramento fidei, in quo naturae elementa, ab hominibus exculta, in Corpus et Sanguinem gloriosum convertuntur, coena communionis fraternae et caelestis convivii praelibatione.
[E] Terrae ac humanitatis consummandae tempus ignoramus , nec universi transformandi modum novimus. Transit quidem figura huius mundi per peccatum deformata, sed docemur Deum novam habitationem novamque terram parare in qua iustitia habitat, et cuius beatitudo omnia pacis desideria, quae in cordibus hominum ascendunt, implebit ac superabit. Tunc, morte devicta, filii Dei in Christo resuscitabuntur, et id quod seminatum fuit in infirmitate ac corruptione, incorruptionem induet; et, manente caritate eiusque opere , a servitute vanitatis liberabitur tota creatura illa, quam Deus propter hominem creavit.
Monemur sane nihil prodesse homini, si universum mundum lucretur, seipsum autem perdat. Exspectatio tamen novae terrae extenuare non debet, sed potius excitare, sollicitudinem hanc terram excolendi, ubi Corpus illud novae familiae humanae crescit quod aliqualem novi saeculi adumbrationem iam praebere valet. Ideo, licet progressus terrenus a Regni Christi augmento sedulo distinguendus sit, inquantum tamen ad societatem humanam melius ordinandam conferre potest, Regni Dei magnopere interest.
Bona enim humanae dignitatis, communionis fraternae et libertatis, hos omnes scilicet bonos naturae ac industriae nostrae fructus, postquam in Spiritu Domini et iuxta Eius mandatum in terris propagaverimus, postea denuo inveniemus, mundata tamen ab omni sorde, illuminata ac transfigurata, cum Christus Patri reddet regnum aeternum et universale: «regnum veritatis et vitae, regnum sanctitatis et gratiae, regnum iustitiae, amoris et pacis». His in terris Regnum iam in mysterio adest; adveniente autem Domino consummabitur.
[E] Omnia quae a nobis dicta sunt de dignitate personae humanae, de hominum communitate, de profundo sensu navitatis humanae, fundamentum relationis Ecclesiam inter et mundum necnon basim eorum mutui dialogi constituunt. Ideo in hoc capite, omnibus praesuppositis ab hoc Concilio de mysterio Ecclesiae iam edictis, eadem Ecclesia nunc consideranda venit prout ipsa, in hoc mundo exsistit et cum eo vivit atque agit.
Procedens ex amore Patris aeterni, in tempore fundata a Christo Redemptore, coadunata in Spiritu Sancto, Ecclesia finem salutarem et eschatologicum habet, qui nonnisi in futuro saeculo plene attingi potest. Ipsa autem iam hic in terris adest, ex hominibus collecta, terrestris nempe civitatis membris quae ad hoc vocantur ut iam in generis humani historia familiam filiorum Dei, usque ad adventum Domini semper augendam, efforment. Unita quidem propter bona caelestia iisque ditata, haec familia a Christo «in hoc mundo ut societas constituta et ordinata» est, atque «aptis mediis unionis visibilis et socialis» instructa. Ita Ecclesia, insimul «coetus adspectabilis et communitas spiritualis», una cum tota humanitate incedit eamdemque cum mundo sortem terrenam experitur, ac tamquam fermentum et veluti anima societatis humanae in Christo renovandae et in familiam Dei transformandae exsistit.
Haec quidem terrestris et caelestis civitatis compenetratio nonnisi fide percipi potest, immo mysterium manet historiae humanae, quae usque ad plenam revelationem claritatis filiorum Dei peccato perturbatur. Ecclesia quidem, proprium suum finem salutarem persequens, non solum vitam divinam cum homine communicat, sed etiam lumen eius repercussum quodammodo super universum mundum fundit, potissimum per hoc quod personae humanae dignitatem sanat et elevat, humanae societatis compaginem firmat, atque cotidianam hominum navitatem profundiori sensu et significatione imbuit. Ita Ecclesia per singula sua membra et totam suam communitatem multa se conferre posse credit ad hominum familiam eiusque historiam humaniorem reddendam.
Libenter insuper Ecclesia Catholica ea magni aestimat quae ad idem munus adimplendum aliae Ecclesiae christianae vel communitates ecclesiasticae socia opera contulerunt ac conferunt. Simul sibi firmiter persuasum habet se multum varioque modo a mundo, sive a singulis hominibus sive ab humana societate, eorum dotibus ac navitate, in praeparatione Evangelii iuvari posse. Mutui huius commercii atque adiutorii, in illis quae Ecclesiae et mundo quodammodo sunt communia, rite promovendi, principia quaedam generalia exponuntur.
[E] Homo hodiernus in via est ad personalitatem suam plenius evolvendam iuraque sua in dies magis detegenda et affirmanda. Cum autem Ecclesiae concreditum sit manifestare mysterium Dei, qui est ultimus finis hominis, ipsa homini simul aperit sensum propriae eius exsistentiae, intimam scilicet de homine veritatem. Vere novit Ecclesia solum Deum cui ipsa inservit, profundissimis respondere desideriis humani cordis, quod nutrimentis terrestribus numquam plene satiatur. Novit praeterea hominem, incessanter a Spiritu Dei incitatum, numquam circa problema religionis prorsus indifferentem fore, sicut non solum experientia saeculorum anteactorum, sed multiplici etiam testimonio nostrorum temporum comprobatur. Semper enim homo scire desiderabit, saltem confuse, quae sit significatio suae vitae, suae navitatis ac suae mortis. Ipsa praesentia Ecclesiae haec problemata in eius mentem revocat. Solus autem Deus, qui hominem ad imaginem suam creavit atque a peccato redemit, his quaestionibus plenissimum responsum praebet, idque per revelationem in Filio suo qui homo factus est. Quicumque Christum sequitur, Hominem perfectum, et ipse magis homo fit.
Ex hac fide Ecclesia dignitatem naturae humanae omnibus opinionum mutationibus subtrahere potest, quae, exempli gratia, corpus humanum aut nimis deprimunt aut immoderate extollunt. Nulla lege humana personalis dignitas atque libertas hominis tam apte in tuto collocari possunt quam Evangelio Christi Ecclesiae concredito. Hoc enim Evangelium libertatem filiorum Dei annuntiat et proclamat, omnem servitutem ex peccato ultimatim fluentem respuit, dignitatem conscientiae eiusque liberam decisionem sancte veretur, omnia talenta humana in Dei servitium hominumque bonum reduplicare indesinenter monet, omnes denique omnium commendans caritati. Quod legi fundamentali oeconomiae christianae correspondet. Etsi enim idem Deus sit Salvator qui et Creator, idem quoque Dominus et historiae humanae et historiae salutis, tamen in hoc ipso ordine divino iusta creaturae autonomia et praesertim hominis nedum auferatur, potius in suam dignitatem restituitur atque in ipsa firmatur.
Ecclesia ergo, vi Evangelii sibi concrediti, iura hominum proclamat et hodierni temporis dynamismum, quo haec iura undique promoventur, agnoscit et magni aestimat. Qui motus tamen spiritu Evangelii imbuendus et adversus omnem speciem falsae autonomiae tutandus est. Tentationi enim subiicimur, iudicandi nostra iura personalia tunc tantum plene servari, cum ab omni norma Legis divinae solvimur. Hac autem via, personae humanae dignitas, nedum salvetur, potius perit.
[E] Unio familiae humanae unitate familiae filiorum Dei in Christo fundata  multum roboratur et completur.
Missio quidem propria, quam Christus Ecclesiae suae concredidit, non est ordinis politici, oeconomici vel socialis: finis enim quem ei praefixit ordinis religiosi est. At sane ex hac ipsa missione religiosa munus, lux et vires fluunt quae communitati hominum secundum Legem divinam constituendae et firmandae inservire possunt. Item, ubi opus fuerit, secundum temporum et locorum circumstantias, et ipsa suscitare potest, immo et debet, opera in servitium omnium, praesertim vero egentium destinata, uti opera misercordiae vel alia huiusmodi.
Ecclesia insuper agnoscit quidquid boni in dynamismo sociali hodierno invenitur: praesertim evolutionem versus unitatem, processum sanae socializationis et consociationis civilis et oeconomicae. Promotio enim unitatis cum intima Ecclesiae missione cohaeret, cum ipsa sit «in Christo veluti sacramentum seu signum et instrumentum intimae cum Deo unionis totiusque generis humani unitatis». Ita ipsa mundo ostendit veram unionem socialem externam ex unione mentium et cordium fluere, ex illa scilicet fide et caritate, quibus in Spiritu Sancto eius unitas indissolubiliter condita est. Vis enim, quam Ecclesia hodiernae hominum societati iniicere valet, in illa fide et caritate, ad effectum vitae adductis, consistit, non autem in dominio aliquo externo mediis mere humanis exercendo.
Cum insuper vi suae missionis et naturae ad nullam alligetur particularem culturae humanae formam aut systema politicum, oeconomicum vel sociale, Ecclesia ex hac sua universalitate ligamen arctissimum inter diversas hominum communitates et nationes exsistere potest, dummodo ipsae ei fidant eiusque veram libertatem ad hanc suam missionem adimplendam reapse agnoscant. Qua de causa Ecclesia filios suos, sed etiam omnes homines monet, ut in hoc familiali spiritu filiorum Dei, omnes dissensiones inter nationes et stirpes superent et iustis associationibus humanis internam firmitatem praebeant.
Quaecumque igitur vera, bona, iustaque inveniuntur in diversissimis institutionibus, quae genus humanum sibi condidit incessanterque condit, eadem Concilium magna cum reverentia considerat. Declarat insuper Ecclesiam omnes tales institutiones adiuvare et promovere velle, quatenus hoc ab ea dependet et cum eius missione coniungi potest. Ipsa nihil ardentius desiderat quam ut omnium bono inserviens, se libere sub quovis regimine evolvere possit quod iura fundamentalia personae ac familiae et boni communis necessitates agnoscat.
[E] Concilium christianos, cives utriusque civitatis, adhortatur ut sua terrestria officia fideliter implere studeant, idque spiritu Evangelii ducti. A veritate discedunt qui, scientes nos non habere hic manentem civitatem sed futuram inquirere, putent se proinde officia sua terrestria negligere posse, non attendentes se per ipsam fidem ad eadem implenda magis teneri, secundum vocationem qua quisque vocatus est. At non minus errant qui, e contrario, opinentur se ita seipsos negotiis terrestribus immergere posse, quasi ista omnino aliena sint a vita religiosa, quippe quia ipsam in solius cultus actibus et officiis quibusdam moralibus implendis consistere arbitrentur. Discidium illud inter fidem quam profitentur et vitam quotidianam multorum, inter graviores nostri temporis errores recensendum est. Scandalum hoc iam in Vetere Testamento Prophetae vehementer redarguebant et multo magis in Novo Testamento ipse Iesus Christus gravibus poenis minabatur. Ne igitur perperam inter se opponantur activitates professionales et sociales ex una parte, vita religiosa ex altera. Christianus, officia sua temporalia negligens, officia sua erga proximum, immo et ipsum Deum negligit suamque aeternam salutem in discrimen adducit. Gaudeant potius christiani, exemplum Christi secuti, qui fabrilem artem exercuit, se omnes suas navitates terrestres exercere posse, conatus humanos, domesticos, professionales, scientificos vel technicos in unam synthesim vitalem cum bonis religiosis colligendo, sub quorum altissima ordinatione omnia in Dei gloriam coordinantur.
Laicis proprie, etsi non exclusive, saecularia officia et navitates competunt. Cum igitur, sive singuli sive consociati, ut cives mundi agunt, non solum leges proprias uniuscuiusque disciplinae servabunt, sed veram peritiam in illis campis sibi comparare studebunt. Libenter cum hominibus eosdem fines prosequentibus cooperabuntur. Agnoscentes exigentias fidei eiusque virtute praediti, incunctanter, ubi oportet, nova incepta excogitent atque ad effectum deducant. Ad ipsorum conscientiam iam apte formatam spectat, ut lex divina in civitatis terrenae vita inscribatur. A sacerdotibus vero laici lucem ac vim spiritualem exspectent. Neque tamen ipsi censeant pastores suos semper adeo peritos esse ut, in omni quaestione exsurgente, etiam gravi, solutionem concretam in promptu habere queant, aut illos ad hoc missos esse: ipsi potius, sapientia christiana illustrati et ad doctrinam Magisterii observanter attendentes, partes suas proprias assumant.
Pluries ipsa visio christiana rerum eos ad aliquam determinatam solutionem in quibusdam rerum adiunctis inclinabit. Alii tamen fideles, non minore sinceritate ducti, ut saepius et quidem legitime accidit, aliter de eadem re iudicabunt. Quodsi solutiones hinc inde propositae, etiam praeter partium intentionem, a multis facile connectantur cum nuntio evangelico, meminerint oportet nemini licere in praefatis casibus pro sua sententia auctoritatem Ecclesiae sibi exclusive vindicare. Semper autem colloquio sincero se invicem illuminare satagant, mutuam caritatem servantes et boni communis imprimis solliciti.
Laici vero, qui in tota vita Ecclesiae actuosas partes gerendas habent, non solum mundum spiritu christiano imbuere tenentur, sed etiam ad hoc vocantur ut in omnibus, in media quidem humana consortione, Christi sint testes.
Episcopi vero, quibus munus moderandi Ecclesiam Dei commissum est, cum presbyteris suis nuntium Christi ita praedicent, ut omnes fidelium terrestres activitates Evangelii luce perfundantur. Insuper pastores omnes memores sint se sua cotidiana conversatione et sollicitudine mundo faciem Ecclesiae exhibere, ex qua homines vim et veritatem nuntii christiani iudicant. Vita et verbo, una cum religiosis atque suis fidelibus, demonstrent Ecclesiam sola sua praesentia, cum omnibus quae continet donis, inexhaustum fontem esse illarum virtutum, quibus mundus hodiernus maxime indiget. Studiis assiduis se ita aptos reddant, ut in dialogo cum mundo et hominibus cuiuscumque opinionis instituendo partes suas agere possint. Imprimis vero in corde verba huius Concilii habeant: «Quia genus humanum hodie magis magisque in unitatem civilem, oeconomicam et socialem coalescit, eo magis oportet ut Sacerdotes, coniuncta cura et ope sub ductu Episcoporum et Summi Pontificis, omnem rationem dispersionis elidant, ut in unitatem familiae Dei totum genus humanum adducatur».
Quamvis Ecclesia ex virtute Spiritus Sancti fidelis sponsa Domini sui manserit et numquam cessaverit esse signum salutis in mundo, ipsa tamen minime ignorat inter membra sua, sive clericos sive laicos, decurrente multorum saeculorum serie, non defuisse qui Spiritui Dei infideles exstiterint. Etiam hac nostra aetate Ecclesiam non fugit, quantum inter se distent nuntius a se prolatus et humana debilitas eorum quibus Evangelium concreditur. Quidquid de istis defectibus historia iudicet, eorum conscii esse debemus eosdemque strenue impugnare, ne Evangelio diffundendo detrimentum afferant. Pariter novit Ecclesia quantopere ipsa, in sua cum mundo relatione excolenda, ex saeculorum experientia iugiter maturescere debeat. A Spiritu Sancto ducta, Ecclesia Mater indesinenter filios suos «ad purificationem et renovationem exhortatur, ut signum Christi super faciem Ecclesiae clarius effulgeat».
[E] Sicut autem mundi interest Ecclesiam ut socialem realitatem historiae eiusque fermentum agnoscere, ita ipsa Ecclesia non ignorat, quantum ex humani generis historia et evolutione acceperit.
Praeteritorum saeculorum experientia, scientiarum profectus, thesauri in variis culturae humanae formis absconditi, quibus ipsius hominis natura plenius manifestatur novaeque viae ad veritatem aperiuntur, Ecclesiae quoque prosunt. Ipsa enim, inde ab initio suae historiae, nuntium Christi, ope conceptuum et linguarum diversorum populorum exprimere didicit, eumdemque sapientia insuper philosophorum illustrare conata est: in hunc finem nempe ut Evangelium tum omnium captui tum sapientium exigentiis, in quantum par erat, aptaret. Quae quidem verbi revelati accommodata praedicatio lex omnis evangelizationis permanere debet. Ita enim in omni natione facultas nuntium Christi suo modo exprimendi excitatur simulque vivum commercium inter Ecclesiam et diversas populorum culturas promovetur. Ad tale commercium augendum Ecclesia, imprimis nostris temporibus, in quibus res celerrime mutantur et cogitandi modi valde variantur, peculiariter eorum auxilio indiget qui, viventes in mundo, varias institutiones et disciplinas callent earumque intimam mentem intelligunt, sive de credentibus sive de non credentibus agatur. Totius Populi Dei est, praesertim pastorum et theologorum, adiuvante Spiritu Sancto, varias loquelas nostri temporis auscultare, discernere et interpretari easque sub lumine verbi divini diiudicare, ut revelata Veritas semper penitius percipi, melius intelligi aptiusque proponi possit.
Ecclesia, cum visibilem structuram socialem habeat, signum quidem suae unitatis in Christo, etiam evolutione vitae socialis humanae ditari potest et ditatur, non quasi aliquid in constitutione a Christo sibi data deesset, sed ad eamdem profundius cognoscendam, melius exprimendam atque temporibus nostris felicius accommodandam. Ipsa grato animo percipit se, in sua communitate non minus quam in singulis suis filiis, varium adiutorium ab hominibus cuiusvis gradus vel condicionis accipere. Quicumque enim communitatem humanam in ordine familiae, culturae, vitae oeconomicae et socialis, necnon politicae tam nationalis quam internationalis, promovent, secundum consilium Dei communitati quoque ecclesiali, in quantum haec ab externis dependet, adiutorium non parvum afferunt. Immo Ecclesia, ex ipsa oppositione eorum qui ei adversantur vel eam persequuntur, se multum profecisse et proficere posse fatetur.
[E] Ecclesia, dum ipsa mundum adiuvat et ab eo multa accipit, ad hoc unum tendit ut Regnum Dei adveniat et totius humani generis salus instauretur. Omne vero bonum, quod Populus Dei in suae peregrinationis terrestris tempore hominum familiae praebere potest, ex hoc profluit quod Ecclesia est «universale salutis sacramentum», mysterium amoris Dei erga hominem manifestans simul et operans.
Verbum enim Dei, per quod omnia facta sunt, Ipsum caro factum est, ita ut, perfectus Homo, omnes salvaret et universa recapitularet. Dominus finis est humanae historiae, punctum in quod historiae et civilizationis desideria vergunt, humani generis centrum, omnium cordium gaudium eorumque appetitionum plenitudo. Ille est quem Pater a mortuis suscitavit, exaltavit et a dextris suis collocavit, Eum vivorum atque mortuorum iudicem constituens. In Eius Spiritu vivificati et coadunati, versus historiae humanae peregrinamur consummationem, quae cum consilio Eius dilectionis plene congruit: «Instaurare omnia in Christo, quae in caelis et quae in terra sunt» (Eph 1,10).
Dicit Ipse Dominus: «Ecce venio cito, et merces mea mecum est, reddere unicuique secundum opera sua. Ego sum alpha et omega, primus et novissimus, principium et finis» (Apoc 22,12-13).
[E] Concilium, postquam exposuit cuiusnam dignitatis sit persona hominis necnon ad quodnam munus, sive individuale sive sociale, in universo mundo adimplendum sit vocata, sub luce Evangelii et humanae experientiae omnium nunc animos ad quasdam urgentiores huius temporis necessitates convertit, quae maxime genus humanum afficiunt.
Inter multa quae hodie sollicitudinem omnium excitant haec praesertim recolere iuvat: matrimonium et familiam, culturam humanam, vitam oeconomicam-socialem ac politicam, coniunctionem familiae populorum et pacem. Circa haec singula clarescant principia et lumina a Christo manantia, quibus christifideles ducantur omnesque homines illuminentur in tot implicatorum problematum solutione quaerenda.
[E] Salus personae et societatis humanae ac christianae arcte cum fausta condicione communitatis coniugalis et familiaris connectitur. Ideo christiani, una cum omnibus qui eandem communitatem magni aestimant, sincere gaudent de variis subsidiis quibus homines, in hac communitate amoris fovenda et in vita colenda, hodie progrediuntur, et coniuges atque parentes in praecellenti suo munere adiuvantur; meliora insuper exinde beneficia exspectant atque promovere student.
Non ubique vero huius institutionis dignitas eadem claritate illucescit, siquidem polygamia, divortii lue, amore sic dicto libero, aliisve deformationibus obscuratur; insuper amor nuptialis saepius egoismo, hedonismo et illicitis usibus contra generationem profanatur. Praeterea hodiernae condiciones oeconomicae, socio-psychologicae et civiles non leves in familiam perturbationes inducunt. In certis denique orbis partibus non absque sollicitudine problemata ex incremento demographico exorta observantur. Quibus omnibus conscientiae anguntur. Verumtamen matrimonialis familiarisque instituti vis et robur ex eo quoque apparent, quod profundae immutationes societatis hodiernae, non obstantibus difficultatibus inde prorumpentibus, saepe saepius veram eiusdem instituti indolem vario modo manifestant.
Quapropter Concilium, quaedam doctrinae Ecclesiae capita in clariorem lucem ponendo, christianos hominesque universos illuminare et confortare intendit, qui nativam status matrimonialis dignitatem eiusque eximium valorem sacrum tueri et promovere conantur.
[E] Intima communitas vitae et amoris coniugalis, a Creatore condita suisque legibus instructa, foedere coniugii seu irrevocabili consensu personali instauratur. Ita actu humano, quo coniuges sese mutuo tradunt atque accipiunt, institutum ordinatione divina firmum oritur, etiam coram societate; hoc vinculum sacrum intuitu boni, tum coniugum et prolis tum societatis, non ex humano arbitrio pendet. Ipse vero Deus est auctor matrimonii, variis bonis ac finibus praediti; quae omnia pro generis humani continuatione, pro singulorum familiae membrorum profectu personali ac sorte aeterna, pro dignitate, stabilitate, pace et prosperitate ipsius familiae totiusque humanae societatis maximi sunt momenti. Indole autem sua naturali, ipsum institutum matrimonii amorque coniugalis ad procreationem et educationem prolis ordinantur iisque veluti suo fastigio coronantur. Vir itaque et mulier, qui foedere coniugali «iam non sunt duo, sed una caro» (Mt 19,6), intima personarum atque operum coniunctione mutuum sibi adiutorium et servitium praestant, sensumque suae unitatis experiuntur et plenius in dies adipiscuntur. Quae intima unio, utpote mutua duarum personarum donatio, sicut et bonum liberorum, plenam coniugum fidem exigunt atque indissolubilem eorum unitatem urgent.
Christus Dominus huic multiformi dilectioni, e divino caritatis fonte exortae et ad exemplar suae cum Ecclesia unionis constitutae, abundanter benedixit. Sicut enim Deus olim foedere dilectionis et fidelitatis populo suo occurrit, ita nunc hominum Salvator Ecclesiaeque Sponsus, per sacramentum matrimonii christifidelibus coniugibus obviam venit. Manet porro cum eis, ut quemadmodum Ipse dilexit Ecclesiam et Semetipsum pro ea tradidit, ita et coniuges, mutua deditione, se invicem perpetua fidelitate diligant. Germanus amor coniugalis in divinum amorem assumitur atque virtute redemptiva Christi et salvifica actione Ecclesiae regitur ac ditatur, ut coniuges efficaciter ad Deum ducantur atque in sublimi munere patris et matris adiuventur et confortentur. Quapropter coniuges christiani ad sui status officia et dignitatem peculiari sacramento roborantur et veluti consecrantur; cuius virtute munus suum coniugale et familiare explentes, spiritu Christi imbuti, quo tota eorum vita, fide, spe et caritate pervaditur, magis ac magis ad propriam suam perfectionem mutuamque sanctificationem, ideoque communiter ad Dei glorificationem accedunt.
Unde, ipsis parentibus exemplo et oratione familiari praegredientibus, filii, immo et omnes in familiae convictu degentes, humanitatis, salutis atque sanctitatis viam facilius invenient. Coniuges autem, dignitate ac munere paternitatis et maternitatis ornati, officium educationis praesertim religiosae, quod ad ipsos imprimis spectat, diligenter adimplebunt.
Liberi, ut viva familiae membra, ad sanctificationem parentum suo modo conferunt. Gratae enim mentis affectu, pietate atque fiducia beneficiis parentum respondebunt ipsisque in rebus adversis necnon in senectutis solitudine filiorum more assistent. Viduitas, in continuitate vocationis coniugalis forti animo assumpta, ab omnibus honorabitur. Familia suas divitias spirituales cum aliis quoque familiis generose communicabit. Proinde familia christiana, cum e matrimonio, quod est imago et participatio foederis dilectionis Christi et Ecclesiae, exoriatur, vivam Salvatoris in mundo praesentiam atque germanam Ecclesiae naturam omnibus patefaciet, tum coniugum amore, generosa fecunditate, unitate atque fidelitate, tum amabili omnium membrorum cooperatione.
[E] Pluries verbo divino sponsi atque coniuges invitantur, ut casto amore sponsalia et indivisa dilectione coniugium nutriant atque foveant. Plures quoque nostrae aetatis homines verum amorem inter maritum et uxorem variis rationibus secundum honestos populorum et temporum mores manifestatum magni faciunt. Ille autem amor, utpote eminenter humanus, cum a persona in personam voluntatis affectu dirigatur, totius personae bonum complectitur ideoque corporis animique expressiones peculiari dignitate ditare easque tamquam elementa ac signa specialia coniugalis amicitiae nobilitare valet. Hunc amorem Dominus, speciali gratiae et caritatis dono, sanare, perficere et elevare dignatus est. Talis amor, humana simul et divina consocians, coniuges ad liberum et mutuum sui ipsius donum, tenero affectu et opere probatum, conducit totamque vitam eorum pervadit; immo ipse generosa sua operositate perficitur et crescit. Longe igitur exsuperat meram eroticam inclinationem, quae, egoistice exculta, citius et misere evanescit.
Haec dilectio proprio matrimonii opere singulariter exprimitur et perficitur. Actus proinde, quibus coniuges intime et caste inter se uniuntur, honesti ac digni sunt et, modo vere humano exerciti, donationem mutuam significant et fovent, qua sese invicem laeto gratoque animo locupletant. Amor ille mutua fide ratus, et potissimum sacramento Christi sancitus, inter prospera et adversa corpore ac mente indissolubiliter fidelis est, et proinde ab omni adulterio et divortio alienus remanet. Aequali etiam dignitate personali cum mulieris tum viri agnoscenda in mutua atque plena dilectione, unitas matrimonii a Domino confirmata luculenter apparet. Ad officia autem huius vocationis christianae constanter exsequenda virtus insignis requiritur: quapropter coniuges, gratia ad vitam sanctam roborati, firmitatem amoris, magnitudinem animi et spiritum sacrificii assidue colent et oratione impetrabunt.
Germanus autem amor coniugalis altius aestimabitur atque sana circa eum opinio publica efformabitur, si coniuges christiani testimonio fidelitatis et harmoniae in eodem amore necnon sollicitudine in filiis educandis, eminent atque in necessaria renovatione culturali, psychologica et sociali in favorem matrimonii et familiae partes suas agunt. Iuvenes de amoris coniugalis dignitate, munere et opere, potissimum in sinu ipsius familiae, apte et tempestive instruendi sunt, ut, castitatis cultu instituti, convenienti aetate ab honestis sponsalibus ad nuptias transire possint.
[E] Matrimonium et amor coniugalis indole sua ad prolem procreandam et educandam ordinantur. Filii sane sunt praestantissimum matrimonii donum et ad ipsorum parentum bonum maxime conferunt. Ipse Deus qui dixit: «non est bonum esse hominem solum» (Gen 2,18) et qui «hominem ab initio masculum et feminam... fecit» (Mt 19,4), volens ei participationem specialem quamdam in Suiipsius opere creativo communicare, viro et mulieri benedixit dicens: «crescite et multiplicamini» (Gen 1,28). Unde verus amoris coniugalis cultus totaque vitae familiaris ratio inde oriens, non posthabitis ceteris matrimonii finibus, eo tendunt ut coniuges forti animo dispositi sint ad cooperandum cum amore Creatoris atque Salvatoris, qui per eos Suam familiam in dies dilatat et ditat.
In officio humanam vitam transmittendi atque educandi, quod tamquam propria eorum missio considerandum est, coniuges sciunt se cooperatores esse amoris Dei Creatoris eiusque veluti interpretes. Ideo humana et christiana responsabilitate suum munus adimplebunt ac docili erga Deum reverentia, communi consilio atque conatu, rectum iudicium sibi efformabunt, attendentes tum ad suum ipsorum bonum tum ad bonum liberorum, sive iam nati sint sive futuri praevideantur, dignoscentes temporum et status vitae condiciones tum materiales tum spirituales, ac denique rationem servantes boni communitatis familiaris, societatis temporalis ipsiusque Ecclesiae. Hoc iudicium ipsi ultimatim coniuges coram Deo ferre debent. In sua vero agendi ratione coniuges christiani conscii sint se non ad arbitrium suum procedere posse, sed semper regi debere conscientia ipsi legi divinae conformanda, dociles erga Ecclesiae Magisterium, quod illam sub luce Evangelii authentice interpretatur. Lex illa divina plenam amoris coniugalis significationem ostendit, illum protegit et ad eiusdem vere humanam perfectionem impellit. Ita coniuges christiani, divinae Providentiae confidentes et spiritum sacrificii excolentes, Creatorem glorificant atque ad perfectionem in Christo contendunt, cum procreandi munere generosa, humana atque christiana responsabilitate funguntur. Inter coniuges qui tali modo muneri sibi a Deo commisso satisfaciunt, peculiariter memorandi sunt illi qui, prudenti communique consilio, magno animo prolem congruenter educandam etiam numerosiorem suscipiunt.
Matrimonium vero, non est tantum ad procreationem institutum; sed ipsa indoles foederis inter personas indissolubilis atque bonum prolis exigunt, ut mutuus etiam coniugum amor recto ordine exhibeatur, proficiat et maturescat. Ideo etsi proles, saepius tam optata, deficit, matrimonium ut totius vitae consuetudo et communio perseverat, suumque valorem atque indissolubilitatem servat.
[E] Concilium novit coniuges, in vita coniugali harmonice ordinanda, saepe quibusdam hodiernis vitae condicionibus praepediri atque in circumstantiis versari posse in quibus numerus prolis, saltem ad tempus, augeri nequit, et fidelis amoris cultus atque plena vitae consuetudo non sine difficultate conservantur. Ubi autem intima vita coniugalis abrumpitur, bonum fidei non raro in discrimen vocari et bonum prolis pessumdari possunt: tunc enim educatio liberorum necnon fortis animus ad prolem ulteriorem suscipiendam periclitantur.
Sunt qui his problematibus solutiones inhonestas afferre praesumunt, immo ab occisione non abhorrent; at Ecclesia in memoriam revocat veram contradictionem inter divinas leges vitae transmittendae et germani amoris coniugalis fovendi adesse non posse.
Deus enim, Dominus vitae, praecellens servandi vitam ministerium hominibus commisit, modo homine digno adimplendum. Vita igitur inde a conceptione, maxima cura tuenda est; abortus necnon infanticidium nefanda sunt crimina. Indoles vero sexualis hominis necnon humana generandi facultas mirabiliter exsuperant ea quae in inferioribus vitae gradibus habentur; proinde ipsi actus vitae coniugali proprii, secundum germanam dignitatem humanam ordinati, magna observantia reverendi sunt. Moralis igitur indoles rationis agendi, ubi de componendo amore coniugali cum responsabili vitae transmissione agitur, non a sola sincera intentione et aestimatione motivorum pendet, sed obiectivis criteriis, ex personae eiusdemque actuum natura desumptis, determinari debet, quae integrum sensum mutuae donationis ac humanae procreationis in contextu veri amoris observant; quod fieri nequit nisi virtus castitatis coniugalis sincero animo colatur. Filiis Ecclesiae, his principiis innixis, in procreatione regulanda, vias inire non licet, quae a Magisterio, in lege divina explicanda, improbantur.
Omnibus vero compertum sit vitam hominum et munus eam transmittendi non ad hoc saeculum tantum restringi neque eo tantum commensurari et intelligi posse, sed ad aeternam hominum destinationem semper respicere.
[E] Familia schola quaedam uberioris humanitatis est. Ut autem vitae ac missionis suae plenitudinem attingere valeat, benevola animi communicatio communeque coniugum consilium necnon sedula parentum cooperatio in filiorum educatione requiruntur. Praesentia actuosa patris eorumdem efformationi magnopere prodest, sed et cura domestica matris, qua liberi praesertim iuniores indigent, in tuto ponenda est, quin legitima mulieris promotio socialis posthabeatur. Liberi ita educatione instruantur ut ad aetatem adultam provecti pleno responsabilitatis sensu vocationem etiam sacram sequi ac vitae statum eligere queant, in quo, si nuptiis iungantur, familiam propriam, in condicionibus moralibus, socialibus et oeconomicis eidem propitiis, condere possint. Parentum vel tutorum est se iunioribus, in fundanda familia, prudenti consilio, ab eis libenter audiendo, duces praebere, caventes tamen ne eos coactione directa vel indirecta ad matrimonium ineundum aut ad electionem compartis adigant.
Ita familia, in qua diversae generationes conveniunt ac sese mutuo adiuvant ad pleniorem sapientiam acquirendam atque iura personarum cum aliis vitae socialis exigentiis componenda, fundamentum societatis constituit. Ideoque omnes qui influxum in communitates et coetus sociales exercent, ad promotionem matrimonii et familiae efficaciter conferre debent. Potestas civilis veram eorumdem indolem agnoscere, protegere et provehere, moralitatem publicam tueri atque prosperitati domesticae favere, ut sacrum suum munus consideret. Ius parentum prolem procreandi et in sinu familiae educandi tutandum est. Provida legislatione variisque inceptis etiam illi protegantur aptoque adiumento subleventur qui bono familiae infeliciter carent.
Christifideles, praesens tempus redimentes atque aeterna a mutabilibus formis discernentes, bona matrimonii et familiae, tum propriae vitae testimonio tum concordi actione cum hominibus bonae voluntatis, diligenter promoveant, et sic, interceptis difficultatibus, providebunt familiae necessitatibus et commodis, quae novis temporibus conveniunt. Ad quem finem obtinendum sensus christianus fidelium, recta hominum conscientia moralis necnon sapientia ac peritia eorum qui in sacris disciplinis versati sunt, magno auxilio erunt.
Qui scientiis, praecipue biologicis, medicis, socialibus et psychologicis eruditi sunt, multum bono matrimonii et familiae, pacique conscientiarum inservire possunt, si collatis studiis diversas condiciones honestae ordinationi procreationis humanae faventes, penitius elucidare conentur.
Sacerdotum est, debita de re familiari eruditione accepta, vocationem coniugum diversis mediis pastoralibus, verbi Dei praedicatione, cultu liturgico aliisve adiumentis spiritualibus in vita eorum coniugali et familiari fovere, eosque humaniter et patienter in difficultatibus roborare atque in caritate confortare ut vere radiosae familiae efformentur.
Varia opera, praesertim familiarum consociationes, iuvenes ipsosque coniuges, praecipue nuper iunctos, doctrina et actione confirmare eosque ad vitam familiarem, socialem et apostolicam formare satagent.
Ipsi denique coniuges, ad imaginem Dei vivi facti et in vero ordine personarum constituti, affectu compari, mente consimili et mutua sanctitate adunati sint, ut Christum, vitae principium secuti, in gaudiis et sacrificiis vocationis suae, per suum fidelem amorem, illius testes fiant mysterii dilectionis, quod Dominus morte et resurrectione sua mundo revelavit.
[E] Ad ipsam personam hominis pertinet ut nonnisi per culturam, hoc est bona naturae valoresque colendo, ad veram plenamque humanitatem accedat. Ubicumque ergo de vita humana agitur, natura et cultura quam intime connectuntur.
Voce cultura sensu generali indicantur omnia quibus homo multifarias dotes animi corporisque perpolit atque explicat; ipsum orbem terrarum cognitione et labore in suam potestatem redigere studet; vitam socialem, tam in familia quam in tota consortione civili, progressu morum institutorumque humaniorem reddit; denique magnas experientias spirituales atque appetitiones decursu temporum in operibus suis exprimit, communicat atque conservat, ut ad profectum multorum, quinimmo totius generis humani, inserviant.
Inde sequitur culturam humanam aspectum historicum atque socialem necessario prae se ferre, atque vocem cultura saepe sensum sociologicum necnon ethnologicum assumere. Hoc autem sensu de culturarum pluralitate sermo fit. Ex diverso enim modo utendi rebus, laborem praestandi et sese exprimendi, religionem colendi moresque formandi, statuendi leges et iuridica instituta, augendi scientias et artes atque colendi pulchrum, diversae oriuntur communes vivendi condiciones et diversae formae bona vitae componendi. Ita ex traditis institutis efficitur patrimonium cuique humanae communitati proprium. Ita etiam constituitur ambitus definitus et historicus, in quem homo cuiusque gentis vel aetatis inseritur, et ex quo bona ad humanum civilemque cultum promovendum haurit.
[E] Condiciones vitae hominis moderni sub respectu sociali et culturali profunde immutatae sunt, ita ut de nova historiae humanae aetate loqui liceat. Exinde ad culturam perficiendam ampliusque spargendam novae patent viae. Quas paraverunt ingens augmentum scientiarum naturalium et humanarum, etiam socialium, incrementum technicarum artium, necnon progressus in excolendis et recte disponendis instrumentis quibus homines inter se communicant. Hinc cultura hodierna particularibus signatur notis: scientiae, quae exactae nuncupantur, iudicium criticum maxime excolunt; recentiora psychologiae studia humanam activitatem profundius explicant; disciplinae historicae valde conferunt ut res sub specie suae mutabilitatis atque evolutionis adspiciantur; vitae consuetudines et mores in dies magis uniformes efficiuntur; industrializatio, urbanizatio aliaeque causae quae vitam communitariam promovent, novas culturae formas creant (mass-culture), ex quibus novi modi sentiendi, agendi otioque utendi nascuntur; aucta simul inter varias gentes societatisque coetus commercia thesauros diversarum culturae formarum omnibus et singulis latius aperiunt, et sic paulatim universalior paratur culturae humanae forma, quae eo magis humani generis unitatem promovet ac exprimit, quo melius diversarum culturarum particularitates observat.
[E] Maior in dies fit numerus virorum ac mulierum cuiusvis coetus vel nationis, qui conscii sunt suae communitatis culturae artifices se esse atque auctores. In universo mundo magis magisque crescit autonomiae simulque responsabilitatis sensus, quod pro spirituali ac morali maturitate generis humani maximi est momenti. Illud clarius apparet, si ante oculos unificationem mundi ponimus atque munus nobis impositum, ut in veritate et iustitia meliorem aedificemus mundum. Tali ergo modo testes sumus novum humanismum nasci, in quo homo imprimis sua responsabilitate erga suos fratres historiamque definitur.
[E] Quibus in condicionibus, non est mirandum, hominem, qui responsabilitatem suam sentit pro culturae progressu, altiorem spem nutrire, sed etiam anxio animo adspicere multiplices antinomias exsistentes, quas ipse resolvere debet.
Quid faciendum est, ne frequentiora culturarum commercia, quae inter diversos coetus et nationes ad verum et fructuosum dialogum adducere deberent, vitam communitatum perturbent, neve sapientiam maiorum evertant, neve propriam populorum indolem in discrimen adducant?
Quomodo dynamismo atque expansioni novae culturae est favendum, quin fidelitas viva erga traditionum haereditatem pereat? Quod particulari modo urget ubi cultura, quae ex ingenti scientiarum artiumque technicarum progressu oritur, componenda est cum eo ingenii cultu qui studiis secundum varias traditiones classicis alitur.
Quomodo tam velox atque progrediens disciplinarum particularium dispersio conformari potest cum necessitate formandi earum synthesim, necnon servandi apud homines facultates contemplationis ac admirationis, quae ad sapientiam adducunt?
Quid faciendum est, ut universi homines bonorum culturalium participes fiant in mundo, cum insimul cultus humanus peritiorum semper sublimior atque complexior evadat?
Quomodo denique prout legitima agnoscenda est autonomia, quam cultura sibi vindicat, quin ad humanismum mere terrestrem, immo ipsi religioni adversantem deveniatur?
In medio quidem illarum antinomiarum cultura humana ita hodie evolvatur oportet, ut integram personam humanam aequo ordine excolat atque homines iuvet in muneribus, ad quae adimplenda omnes, praecipue autem christifideles, in una familia humana fraterne uniti, vocantur.
[E] Christifideles, ad civitatem caelestem peregrinantes, ea quae sursum sunt quaerere et sapere debent; quo tamen nedum minuatur, potius crescit momentum muneris eorum una cum omnibus hominibus adlaborandi ad aedificationem mundi humanius exstruendi. Et revera fidei christianae mysterium praestantia incitamenta et adiumenta eis praebet ad munus illud impensius adimplendum et praesertim ad plenum huiusmodi operis sensum detegendum, quo cultus humanus in integra hominis vocatione suum eximium obtineat locum.
Cum enim homo opere manuum suarum vel ope technicarum artium terram excolit, ut fructum afferat et dignum universae familiae humanae habitaculum fiat, et cum conscie partes assumit in socialium coetuum vita, ipse exsequitur consilium Dei, initio temporum patefactum, terrae subiiciendae  creationisque perficiendae, atque seipsum excolit; insimul magnum Christi mandatum servat, sese in servitium fratrum impendendi.
Insuper homo cum in varias philosophiae, historiae atque scientiae mathematicae et naturalis disciplinas incumbit et artibus versatur, maxime conferre potest, ut familia humana ad sublimiores veri, boni et pulchri rationes atque ad iudicium universi valoris elevetur et sic clarius illuminetur mirabili Sapientia, quae ab aeterno cum Deo erat, cuncta cum Eo componens, ludens in orbe terrarum, esse cum filiis hominum in deliciis habens.
Eo ipso animus hominis, a rerum servitute magis solutus, expeditius ad ipsum Creatoris cultum et contemplationem evehi potest. Immo impulsu gratiae ad agnoscendum Dei Verbum disponitur, quod, antequam caro fieret ad omnia salvanda et in Se recapitulanda, iam in mundo erat, tamquam «lux vera quae illuminat omnem hominem» (Io 1,9).
Sane hodiernus progressus scientiarum artiumque technicarum, quae vi methodi suae usque ad intimas rerum rationes penetrare nequeunt, cuidam phaenomenismo et agnosticismo favere potest, quando methodus investigandi, qua disciplinae istae utuntur, immerito pro suprema totius veritatis inveniendae regula habetur. Immo periculum adest, ne homo, inventis hodiernis nimis fidens, se sibi sufficere aestimet et altiora amplius iam non quaerat.
Haec tamen infausta non necessario ex hodierna cultura sequuntur, nec nos in tentationem inducere debent, ne eius valores positivos non agnoscamus. Inter quos adnumerantur: scientiarum studium atque exacta fidelitas erga veritatem in inquisitionibus scientificis, necessitas laborandi una cum aliis in coetibus technicis, sensus solidarietatis internationalis, conscientia in dies vividior responsabilitatis peritorum erga homines adiuvandos immo et protegendos, voluntas faustiores reddendi vitae condiciones omnibus, praesertim illis qui vel responsabilitatis privatione vel culturae paupertate laborant. Haec omnia aliquam praeparationem ad nuntium Evangelii accipiendum afferre valent, quae informari potest caritate divina ab Eo qui venit ut mundum salvaret.
[E] Inter nuntium salutis et culturam humanam multiplices nexus inveniuntur. Nam Deus, populo suo sese revelans usque ad plenam sui manifestationem in Filio incarnato, locutus est secundum culturam diversis aetatibus propriam.
Pariter Ecclesia, decursu temporum variis in condicionibus vivens, diversarum culturarum inventa adhibuit, ut nuntium Christi in sua praedicatione ad omnes gentes diffundat et explicet, illud investiget et altius intelligat, in celebratione liturgica atque in vita multiformis communitatis fidelium melius exprimat.
At simul, ad omnes populos cuiusvis aetatis et regionis missa, Ecclesia nulli stirpi aut nationi, nulli particulari morum rationi, nulli antiquae aut novae consuetudini exclusive et indissolubiliter nectitur. Propriae traditioni inhaerens et insimul missionis suae universalis conscia, communionem cum diversis culturae formis inire valet, qua tum ipsa Ecclesia tum variae culturae ditescunt.
Bonum Christi nuntium hominis lapsi vitam et cultum continenter renovat, et errores ac mala, ex semper minaci peccati seductione manantia, impugnat et removet. Mores populorum indesinenter purificat et elevat. Animi ornamenta dotesque cuiuscumque populi vel aetatis supernis divitiis velut ab intra fecundat, communit, complet atque in Christo restaurat. Sic Ecclesia, proprium implendo munus, iam eo ipso ad humanum civilemque cultum impellit atque confert, et actione sua, etiam liturgica, hominem ad interiorem libertatem educat.
[E] Supradictis rationibus, Ecclesia in mentem omnium revocat culturam ad integram personae humanae perfectionem, ad bonum communitatis et totius humanae societatis esse referendam. Quare oportet animum ita excolere, ut promoveatur facultas admirandi, intus legendi, contemplandi atque efformandi iudicium personale et excolendi sensum religiosum, moralem ac socialem.
Cultura enim, cum ex hominis indole rationali et sociali immediate fluat, indesinenter indiget iusta libertate ad sese explicandam atque legitima, secundum propria principia, sui iuris agendi facultate. Iure merito ergo postulat reverentiam et quadam gaudet inviolabilitate, servatis utique iuribus personae et communitatis, sive particularis sive universalis, intra fines boni communis.
Sacra Synodus, recolens ea quae Concilium Vaticanum Primum docuit, declarat «duplicem esse ordinem cognitionis» distinctum, nempe fidei et rationis, nec sane Ecclesiam vetare ne «humanarum artium et disciplinarum culturae... in suo quaeque ambitu propriis utantur principiis et propria methodo»; quare «iustam hanc libertatem agnoscens», cultus humani et praesertim scientiarum legitimam autonomiam affirmat.
Haec omnia postulant quoque ut homo, morali ordine communique utilitate servatis, libere possit verum inquirere et opinionem suam declarare ac vulgare, atque artem qualemcumque colere; ut denique secundum veritatem de publicis eventibus certior fiat.
Ad publicam vero auctoritatem pertinet, non propriam cultus humani formarum indolem determinare, sed condiciones et subsidia ad vitam culturalem inter omnes promovendam fovere, etiam intra minoritates alicuius nationis. Ideo praeprimis instandum est, ne cultura, a proprio fine aversa, potestatibus politicis vel oeconomicis servire cogatur.
Sectio III: De quibusdam urgentioribus christianorum muneribus circa culturam
[E] Cum nunc facultas praebeatur plurimos homines ab ignorantiae miseria liberandi, officium nostrae aetati maxime consentaneum est, praesertim pro christianis, strenue adlaborandi ut, tam in re oeconomica quam in re politica, tam in campo nationali quam internationali, ferantur iudicia fundamentalia, quibus ius omnium ad humanum civilemque cultum, personae dignitati congruum, sine discrimine stirpis, sexus, nationis, religionis aut socialis condicionis, ubique terrarum agnoscatur et ad rem deducatur. Ideo sufficiens bonorum culturalium copia omnibus providenda est, praesertim eorum quae constituunt culturam sic dictam fundamentalem, ne plurimi litterarum ignorantia responsabilisque actuositatis privatione a cooperatione vere humana ad bonum commune impediantur.
Contendendum est itaque ut homines, quorum ingenii vires id ferant, ad altiores studiorum ordines ascendere queant; ita quidem ut iidem, quoad fieri possit, in humana societate ad munera, officia et servitia emergant, tum suo ingenio, tum peritiae quam acquisierint consentanea. Sic quilibet homo et coetus sociales cuiuscumque populi ad plenam vitae suae culturalis explicationem, suis dotibus atque traditionibus congruam, pertingere valebunt.
Enixe insuper adlaborandum est ut omnes conscii fiant tum iuris ad culturam, tum officii quo astringuntur sese excolendi aliosque adiuvandi. Condiciones enim vitae et laboris quandoque exstant, quae impediunt contentiones culturales hominum et in ipsis studium culturae destruunt. Res speciali ratione pro ruricolis et opificibus valet, quibus praebeantur oportet tales condiciones operam suam praestandi, quae humanam eorum culturam non praepediant sed promoveant. Mulieres in fere omnibus vitae campis iam adlaborant; convenit autem ut partes suas secundum propriam indolem plene assumere valeant. Omnium erit, ut mulierum propria necessariaque participatio vitae culturalis agnoscatur atque promoveatur.
[E] Maior hodie adest difficultas quam olim varias cognitionis disciplinas et artes in synthesim redigendi. Dum enim crescunt moles et diversitas elementorum, quae culturam constituunt, insimul minuitur facultas pro singulis hominibus eadem percipiendi et organice componendi, ita ut imago hominis universalis magis ac magis evanescat. Attamen unicuique homini remanet officium retinendi rationem totius personae humanae, in qua eminent intelligentiae, voluntatis, conscientiae et fraternitatis valores, qui omnes in Deo Creatore fundantur et in Christo mirabiliter sanati et elevati sunt.
Quasi mater et nutrix huius educationis est imprimis familia, in qua liberi, amore foti, rectum rerum ordinem facilius condiscunt, dum probatae cultus humani formae quasi naturaliter in progredientis adolescentiae animum transfunduntur.
Pro eadem educatione in societatibus hodiernis exstant opportunitates, praesertim ex aucta librorum diffusione atque novis instrumentis communicationis culturalis et socialis, quae universali culturae favere possunt. Imminuto enim passim laboris spatio in dies augescunt pro pluribus hominibus commoda. Otia ad animum relaxandum et mentis ac corporis sanitatem roborandam rite insumantur, per liberas industrias et studia, versus alias regiones itinera (turismus), quibus ingenium hominis expolitur, sed et homines mutua cognitione locupletantur, per exercitationes quoque et manifestationes sportivas, quae ad animi aequilibrium, etiam in communitate, servandum necnon ad fraternas relationes inter homines omnium condicionum, nationum vel diversae stirpis statuendas, adiumentum praebent. Christifideles ergo cooperentur ut culturae manifestationes actionesque collectivae, quae nostrae aetatis sunt propriae, spiritu humano et christiano imbuantur.
Haec autem omnia commoda educationem hominis ad integrum sui cultum perficere non valent, si insimul profunda interrogatio de sensu culturae et scientiae pro persona humana negligitur.
[E] Quamvis Ecclesia ad culturae progressum multum contulerit, experientia tamen constat compositionem culturae cum christiana institutione ex causis contingentibus non semper sine difficultatibus procedere.
Istae difficultates non necessario vitae fidei damnum afferunt, immo ad accuratiorem et altiorem intelligentiam fidei mentem excitare possunt. Etenim scientiarum, necnon historiae ac philosophiae recentiora studia et inventa novas suscitant quaestiones, quae sequelas pro vita quoque secumferunt et etiam a theologis novas investigationes postulant. Praeterea theologi, servatis propriis scientiae theologicae methodis et exigentiis, invitantur ut aptiorem modum doctrinam cum hominibus sui temporis communicandi semper inquirant, quia aliud est ipsum depositum Fidei seu veritates, aliud modus secundum quem enuntiantur, eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia. In cura pastorali non tantum principia theologica, sed etiam inventa scientiarum profanarum, imprimis psychologiae et sociologiae, satis agnoscantur et adhibeantur, ita ut etiam fideles ad puriorem et maturiorem fidei vitam ducantur.
Suo quoque modo litterae et artes pro vita Ecclesiae magni sunt momenti. Indolem enim propriam hominis, eius problemata eiusque experientiam in conatu ad seipsum mundumque cognoscendum et perficiendum ediscere contendunt; situationem eius in historia et in universo mundo detegere necnon miserias et gaudia, necessitates et vires hominum illustrare atque sortem hominis meliorem adumbrare satagunt. Ita vitam humanam, multiplicibus formis secundum tempora et regiones expressam, elevare valent.
Exinde adlaborandum est ut artium illarum cultores se ab Ecclesia in sua navitate agnitos sentiant et, ordinata libertate fruentes, faciliora commercia cum communitate christiana instituant. Novae quoque formae artis, quae coaevis nostris aptantur iuxta variarum nationum et regionum indolem, ab Ecclesia agnoscantur. In sanctuario autem recipiantur, cum, modo dicendi accommodato et liturgiae exigentiis conformi, mentem ad Deum erigunt.
Sic notitia Dei melius manifestatur ac praedicatio evangelica in intellectu hominum magis perspicua fit et eorum condicionibus quasi insita apparet.
Fideles ergo coniunctissime cum aliis suae aetatis hominibus vivant, et perfecte eorum cogitandi atque sentiendi modos, qui per ingenii cultum exprimuntur, percipere studeant. Novarum scientiarum et doctrinarum necnon novissimorum inventorum notitias cum christianis moribus christianaeque doctrinae institutione coniungant, ut religionis cultus animique probitas apud ipsos pari gressu procedant cum scientiarum cognitione et cotidie progredientibus technicorum artibus, et ideo ipsi valeant res omnes integro christiano sensu probare atque interpretari.
Qui theologicis disciplinis in Seminariis et Studiorum Universitatibus incumbunt, cum hominibus qui in aliis scientiis excellunt, collatis viribus atque consiliis, cooperari studeant. Theologica inquisitio insimul profundam veritatis revelatae cognitionem prosequatur et coniunctionem cum proprio tempore ne negligat, ut homines variis disciplinis excultos ad pleniorem fidei scientiam iuvare possit. Haec socia opera plurimum proderit institutioni sacrorum ministrorum qui Ecclesiae doctrinam de Deo, de homine et de mundo aptius coaevis nostris explanare poterunt, ita ut verbum illud etiam libentius ab eis suscipiatur. Immo optandum ut plures laici congruam in disciplinis sacris institutionem adipiscantur, nec pauci inter eos haec studia, data opera, colant et altius producant. Ut vero munus suum exercere valeant, agnoscatur fidelibus, sive clericis sive laicis, iusta libertas inquirendi, cogitandi necnon mentem suam in humilitate et fortitudine aperiendi in iis in quibus peritia gaudent.
[E] Etiam in vita oeconomica-sociali personae humanae dignitas eiusque integra vocatio, totiusque societatis bonum, honoranda atque promovenda sunt. Homo enim totius vitae oeconomicae-socialis auctor, centrum et finis est.
Oeconomia hodierna, non secus atque aliae vitae socialis provinciae, crescenti super naturam hominis dominatione notatur, densioribus impensioribusque relationibus atque mutua dependentia, inter cives, coetus et populos, necnon frequentiori politicae potestatis interventione. Insimul progressus in rationibus producendi atque in bonis ac servitiis commutandis, oeconomiam aptum effecerunt instrumentum, quo adauctis familiae humanae necessitatibus melius provideri possit.
Non desunt tamen rationes inquietudinis. Homines non pauci, praesertim in regionibus oeconomice progressis, re oeconomica quasi regi videntur, ita ut fere tota eorum vita personalis ac socialis spiritu quodam oeconomistico imbuatur, tam in nationibus quae oeconomiae collectivisticae favent quam in aliis. Eo temporis momento quo vitae oeconomicae incrementum, dummodo rationabiliter humaniterque dirigatur atque coordinetur, inaequalitates sociales mitigare posset, saepe saepius in earum exasperationem, vel etiam alic-ubi in regressum condicionis socialis debilium et in despectum pauperum vertitur. Dum rebus omnino necessariis ingens multitudo adhuc caret, aliqui, etiam in regionibus minus progressis, opulenter vivunt vel bona dissipant. Luxus et miseria simul exsistunt. Dum pauci maxima deliberandi potestate fruuntur, multi omni paene possibilitate carent propria initiativa ac responsabilitate agendi, saepe etiam in condicionibus vitae et laboris persona humana indignis versantes.
Similes aequilibrii oeconomici socialisque defectus inter agriculturam, industriam ac servitia, sicut etiam inter diversas regiones unius eiusdemque nationis advertuntur. Inter nationes oeconomice magis progressas aliasque nationes gravior in dies oppositio fit, quae ipsam pacem mundi in discrimen vocare potest.
Has disparitates coaevi nostri conscientia in dies vividiore persentiunt, cum eis persuasissimum sit, ampliores technicas et oeconomicas facultates, quibus mundus hodiernus gaudet, hunc infaustum statum rerum corrigere posse atque debere. Inde autem reformationes multae in vita oeconomica-sociali atque mentis et habitudinis conversio ab omnibus requiruntur. Ad hoc Ecclesia iustitiae et aequitatis principia, tam pro vita individuali et sociali, quam pro vita internationali, a recta ratione postulata, in decursu saeculorum sub luce Evangelii exaravit atque his praesertim ultimis temporibus protulit. Sacrum Concilium haec principia secundum adiuncta huius aetatis roborare orientationesque quasdam proferre intendit, exigentias progressionis oeconomicae imprimis respiciens.
Sectio I: De progressione oeconomica
[E] Hodie, magis quam antea, ut augmento populi consulatur et crescentibus generis humani optatis satisfiat, incrementum productionis bonorum agriculturae et industriae necnon praestationis servitiorum iure intenditur. Ideo favendum est progressui technico, spiritui innovationis, studio inceptuum creandorum atque ampliandorum, methodis productionis aptandis, ac strenuis quorumcumque productionem exercentium conatibus: omnibus nempe elementis quae huic progressioni inserviunt. Huius autem productionis finalitas fundamentalis non est merum productorum incrementum, neque lucrum vel dominatus, sed hominis servitium, hominis quidem integri, attento ordine materialium eius necessitatum atque eius vitae intellectualis, moralis, spiritualis ac religiosae exigentiarum, hominis, dicimus, cuiuscumque, et cuiuscumque hominum coetus, cuiusvis stirpis vel mundi regionis. Itaque navitas oeconomica, secundum methodos et leges proprias, intra fines ordinis moralis exercenda est ita ut Dei de homine consilium adimpleatur.
[E] Progressio oeconomica sub hominis consilio manere debet; nec soli arbitrio paucorum hominum aut coetuum nimia potentia oeconomica pollentium, nec solius communitatis politicae, nec quarundam potentiorum nationum remittenda est. Oportet e contra ut, in quocumque gradu, homines quam plurimi atque, ubi de relationibus internationalibus agitur, omnes nationes in ea dirigenda activas partes habeant. Pariter opus est ut opera spontanea singulorum hominum liberorumque coetuum cum auctoritatum publicarum conatibus coordinentur atque apte et cohaerenter componantur.
Incrementum nec soli cursui quasi mechanico activitatis oeconomicae singulorum nec soli potestati auctoritatis publicae relinquendum est. Quare erroris arguendae sunt, tam doctrinae quae specie falsae libertatis reformationibus necessariis obstant, quam illae quae iura fundamentalia personarum singularum et coetuum organizationi productionis collectivae postponunt.
Meminerint ceterum cives suum esse ius et officium, etiam a potestate civili agnoscendum, ad verum propriae communitatis progressum pro sua possibilitate conferre. Praesertim in regionibus oeconomice minus progressis, ubi omnes opes urgenter adhibendae sunt, bonum commune graviter in discrimen vocant qui opes suas infructuosas retinent vel - salvo iure personali migrationis - communitatem suam subsidiis sive materialibus sive spiritualibus privant quibus illa eget.
[E] Ut exigentiis iustitiae et aequitatis satisfiat, strenue enitendum est ut, servatis iuribus personarum atque propria indole cuiusque populi, ingentes quae nunc sunt et saepe crescunt inaequalitates oeconomicae cum discriminatione individuali et sociali coniunctae, quam citius removeantur. Pariter, in pluribus regionibus, attentis peculiaribus agriculturae difficultatibus sive in gignendis sive in vendendis bonis, adiuvandi sunt ruricolae cum ad productionem augendam et vendendam, tum ad necessarias evolutiones ac innovationes inducendas, tum ad aequum redditum consequendum, ne, ut saepius accidit, in condicione civium inferioris ordinis maneant. Ipsi autem agricolae, praesertim iuvenes, sese sollerter applicent ad suam peritiam professionalem perficiendam, sine qua progressio agriculturae dari nequit.
Iustitia et aequitas item requirunt ut mobilitas, quae in progredientibus rebus oeconomicis necessaria est, ita ordinetur, ne vita hominum singulorum eorumque familiarum incerta et praecaria fiat. Erga opifices vero, qui ex alia natione vel regione oriundi, ad promotionem oeconomicam populi vel provinciae labore suo conferunt, quaevis discriminatio quoad condiciones remunerationis vel laboris sedulo vitanda est. Insuper universi, imprimis publicae potestates, illos non simpliciter veluti mera productionis instrumenta sed ut personas habere debent, eosque adiuvare ut familiam suam apud se arcessere et decentem habitationem sibi providere possint, atque eorum insertioni in vitam socialem populi vel regionis recipientis favere. Attamen, quantum fieri potest, in propriis regionibus fontes laboris creentur.
In rebus oeconomicis hodie mutationi obnoxiis uti in novis societatis industrialis formis in quibus e.g. automatio progreditur, curandum est ut labor sufficiens et unicuique conveniens simul ac possibilitas congruae formationis technicae et professionalis praebeatur, et in tuto collocentur victus atque dignitas humana eorum praesertim qui ob morbum vel aetatem gravioribus laborant difficultatibus.
Sectio II: De quibusdam principiis totam vitam oeconomicam-socialem regentibus
[E] Labor humanus, qui in bonis gignendis ac commutandis vel in servitiis oeconomicis suppeditandis exercetur, ceteris elementis vitae oeconomicae praestat, quippe quae tantum rationem instrumentorum habeant.
Hic enim labor, sive proprio marte assumatur sive ab alio conducatur, a persona immediate procedit, quae res naturae quasi suo sigillo signat easque suae voluntati submittit. Labore suo, homo ordinarie suam suorumque vitam sustentat, cum fratribus suis coniungitur eisque inservit, germanam caritatem exercere potest atque creationi divinae perficiendae sociam operam praebere. Immo, per laborem Deo oblatum, tenemus hominem ipsi redemptionis operi Iesu Christi consociari, qui praecellentem labori detulit dignitatem, cum in Nazareth propriis manibus operaretur. Exinde oritur pro unoquoque officium fideliter laborandi atque etiam ius ad laborem; societatis vero est, iuxta adiuncta in ea vigentia, pro sua parte cives adiuvare ut sufficientis laboris occasionem invenire possint. Denique ita remunerandus est labor ut homini facultates praebeantur suam suorumque vitam materialem, socialem, culturalem spiritualemque digne excolendi, spectatis uniuscuiusque munere et productivitate necnon officinae condicionibus et bono communi .
Cum navitas oeconomica plerumque consociato hominum labore fiat, iniquum et inhumanum est illam ita componere et ordinare ut quibusvis laborantibus detrimento sit. Saepius autem accidit, etiam nostris diebus, ut opus facientes quodammodo in servitutem proprii operis redigantur. Quod sic dictis legibus oeconomicis nequaquam iustificatur. Universus igitur fructuosi laboris processus necessitatibus personae eiusque vitae vivendi rationibus accommodandus est; imprimis eius vitae domesticae, praesertim quod ad matres familiae spectat, respectu semper habito et sexus et aetatis. Laborantibus praebeatur insuper facultas proprias qualitates personamque suam in ipso laboris exercitio explicandi. Huic exercitio tempus viresque suas debita cum responsabilitate applicantes, tamen ad vitam familiarem, culturalem, socialem et religiosam colendam etiam sufficienti quiete et otio omnes gaudeant. Immo opportunitatem habeant vires ac potentias libere evolvendi, quas fortasse in labore professionali parum excolere valent.
[E] In inceptis oeconomicis personae consociantur, homines scilicet liberi et sui iuris, ad imaginem Dei creati. Ideo, attentis muneribus uniuscuiusque, sive proprietariorum, sive conductorum operis, sive dirigentium, sive operariorum, atque salva necessaria directionis operis unitate, promoveatur, modis apte determinandis, omnium actuosa participatio in inceptorum curatione. Cum autem saepius non iam in ipso incepto, sed altius a superioris ordinis institutis de oeconomicis et socialibus condicionibus decernatur, e quibus sors futura laborantium eorumque liberorum pendet, etiam in his statuendis partem habeant, et quidem per seipsos vel per delegatos libere electos.
Inter fundamentalia personae humanae iura adnumerandum est ius pro laborantibus consociationes libere condendi, quae eos vere repraesentare et ad vitam oeconomicam recto ordine disponendam conferre possint, necnon ius earum navitatem sine ultionis periculo libere participandi. Per huiusmodi ordinatam participationem, cum progrediente formatione oeconomica et sociali iunctam, in dies augebitur apud omnes proprii muneris onerisque conscientia, qua ipsi eo adducantur ut, secundum capacitates aptitudinesque sibi proprias, totius operis progressionis oeconomicae et socialis necnon universi boni communis procurandi socios se sentiant.
Cum vero conflictus oeconomici-sociales oriuntur, ut ad pacificam eorum solutionem deveniatur enitendum est. Licet autem semper praeprimis ad sincerum inter partes colloquium sit recurrendum, operistitium tamen, et in hodiernis adiunctis, ad propria iura defendenda et ad iusta laborantium quaesita implenda, adiumentum necessarium, etsi ultimum, manere potest. Quamprimum vero viae ad negotiationem et conciliationis colloquium resumendum quaerantur.
[E] Deus terram cum omnibus quae in ea continentur in usum universorum hominum et populorum destinavit, ita ut bona creata aequa ratione ad omnes affluere debeant, iustitia duce, caritate comite. Quaecumque formae proprietatis sint, legitimis institutis populorum accommodatae, secundum diversa atque mutabilia adiuncta, ad hanc bonorum universalem destinationem semper attendendum est. Quapropter homo, illis bonis utens, res exteriores quas legitime possidet non tantum tamquam sibi proprias, sed etiam tamquam communes habere debet, eo sensu ut non sibi tantum sed etiam aliis prodesse queant. Ceterum, ius habendi partem bonorum sibi suisque familiis sufficientem omnibus competit. Ita Patres Doctoresque Ecclesiae senserunt, docentes ad pauperes sublevandos homines obligari, et quidem, non tantum ex superfluis. Qui autem in extrema necessitate degit, ius habet ut ex aliorum divitiis necessaria sibi procuret. Cum tot sint in mundo fame oppressi, Sacrum Concilium omnes sive singulos sive auctoritates urget ut, illius sententiae Patrum memores: Pasce fame morientem, quia si non pavisti occidisti, pro uniuscuiusque facultate, bona sua revera communicent et impendant, praesertim illos, sive singulos sive populos, auxiliis muniendo, quibus ipsi sese adiuvare atque evolvere possint.
In societatibus oeconomice minus progressis non raro destinationi communi bonorum ex parte per consuetudines et traditiones communitati proprias satis fit, quibus unicuique membro bona prorsus necessaria praebentur. Vitandum tamen est ne consuetudines quaedam ut omnino immutabiles habeantur, si novis exigentiis huius temporis non iam respondeant; altera vero parte, ne contra honestas consuetudines imprudenter agatur quae, dummodo hodiernis adiunctis apte accommodentur, perutiles esse non desinunt. Similiter in nationibus oeconomice valde progressis, corpus quoddam socialium institutionum, ad cautionem et securitatem spectantium, communem bonorum destinationem pro sua parte ad actum adducere potest. Ulterius promovenda sunt servitia familiaria et socialia, praesertim quae animi cultui atque educationi consulunt. In his omnibus instituendis, invigilandum tamen est ne cives ad quamdam erga societatem inertiam inducantur neve suscepti officii onus reiiciant et servitium repudient.
[E] Bonorum collocationes, ex sua parte, tendere debent ad occasiones laboris redditusque sufficientes tam populo hodierno quam futuro procurandos. Quicumque de his collocationibus et vitae oeconomicae ordinatione decernunt - sive singuli, sive coetus, sive auctoritates publicae -, hos fines prae oculis habere tenentur, atque gravem suam obligationem agnoscere ex una parte invigilandi, ut necessariis ad vitam decentem requisitis, sive singulorum sive totius communitatis, provideatur, ex altera parte futura praevidendi et iustum aequilibrium constituendi inter necessitates hodiernae consumptionis, sive individualis sive collectivae, et exigentias collocandi bona pro generatione ventura. Semper etiam prae oculis habeantur urgentes nationum vel regionum oeconomice minus progressarum necessitates. In re autem monetaria caveatur ne propriae nationis necnon aliarum nationum bono offendatur. Provideatur insuper ne oeconomice debiles ex valoris pecuniae immutatione iniuste detrimentum patiantur.
[E] Cum proprietas ac aliae in bona exteriora dominii privati formae ad expressionem personae conferant, cum insuper occasionem ei praebeant suum munus in societate et oeconomia exercendi, valde interest ut, sive singolorum sive communitatum, ad quoddam bonorum exteriorum dominium accessio foveatur.
Proprietas privata aut dominium quoddam in bona exteriora spatium plane necessarium ad personalem et familiarem autonomiam unicuique conferunt, et velut libertatis humanae extensio considerari debent. Demum, quia ad munus onusque exercendum stimulos addunt, condicionem quamdam libertatum civilium constituunt.
Formae talis dominii vel proprietatis sunt hodie diversae et in dies adhuc magis diversificantur. Omnes autem, non obstantibus fundis socialibus, iuribus et ministeriis a societate procuratis, causa non parvipendenda securitatis manent. Quod non tantum de proprietatibus materialibus dicendum est, sed etiam de immaterialibus bonis, uti sunt capacitates professionales.
Ius autem privati dominii illi iuri non obstant quod variis formis proprietatum publicarum inest. Translatio quidem bonorum in publicam proprietatem non nisi a competenti auctoritate, iuxta boni communis exigentias et intra eius limites, aequa compensatione oblata, fieri potest. Praeterea, ad publicam auctoritatem pertinet praecavere ne quis privata proprietate contra bonum commune abutatur.
Ipsa autem proprietas privata et indolem socialem natura sua habet, quae in communis destinationis bonorum lege fundatur. Qua sociali indole neglecta, proprietas multoties occasio cupiditatum et gravium perturbationum fieri accidit, ita ut ad ipsum ius in discrimen vocandum impugnatoribus praetextus detur.
In pluribus regionibus oeconomice minus progressis, magni vel etiam latissimi rustici fundi existunt, mediocriter exculti vel lucri causa sine ulla cultura manentes, dum maior pars populi vel terris caret vel minimis tantum agris gaudet, atque, ex altera parte, incrementum fructificationis agrorum evidenter urgens apparet. Non raro ii qui a dominis ad laborem conducuntur, vel qui partem illorum titulo locationis colunt, nonnisi stipendium vel proventum homine indignum recipiunt, decenti habitatione privantur, necnon a mediatoribus exspoliantur. Omni securitate carentes, sub tali personali famulatu vivunt, ut fere omnis facultas sponte et cum responsabilitate agendi eis tollatur, omnisque promotio in cultu humano et omnis pars in vita sociali et politica illis prohibeantur. Pro variis igitur casibus reformationes necessariae sunt: ut crescant reditus, emendentur condiciones laboris, augeatur securitas in conductione, deturque incitamentum ad sponte operandum; immo ut distribuantur fundi non satis exculti iis qui easdem terras fructuosas reddere valeant. Quo in casu suppeditanda sunt res et media necessaria, praesertim educationis subsidia et iustae ordinationis cooperativae facultates. Quoties autem proprietatis ademptionem bonum commune exegerit, compensatio ex aequitate, omnibus adiunctis perpensis, aestimanda est.
[E] Christiani qui activas partes in hodierna progressione oeconomica-sociali agunt et iustitiam caritatemque propugnant, persuasum sibi habeant se multum ad humanitatis prosperitatem et mundi pacem conferre posse. In his activitatibus sive singuli sive consociati exemplo fulgeant. Acquisitis quidem peritia experientiaque omnino necessariis, inter terrestres navitates rectum ordinem servent, in fidelitate erga Christum Eiusque Evangelium, ita ut integra eorum vita, tam individualis quam socialis, spiritu Beatitudinum, notabiliter paupertatis, imbuatur.
Quicumque Christo obediens, primum quaerit Regnum Dei, inde validiorem ac puriorem amorem suscipit, ad omnes fratres suos adiuvandos et ad opus iustitiae, inspirante caritate, perficiendum.
[E] Nostris temporibus profundae advertuntur transformationes etiam in compage et institutionibus populorum, quae ipsorum evolutionem culturalem, oeconomicam ac socialem consequuntur; quae transformationes magnum influxum in communitatis politicae vitam exercent, praesertim quod attinet ad omnium iura et officia in libertatis civilis exercitio ac in bono communi attingendo et ad civium relationes inter se et cum publica auctoritate ordinandas.
Ex vividiore humanae dignitatis conscientia exoritur, in variis mundi regionibus, studium ordinem politicum-iuridicum instaurandi, in quo personae iura in vita publica melius protegantur, ut sunt iura libere sese coadunandi, consociandi, proprias opiniones exprimendi ac religionem privatim publiceque profitendi. Tutamen enim personae iurium condicio necessaria est ut cives, sive singuli sive consociati, in rei publicae vita et moderamine actuose participare possint.
Una cum progressu culturali, oeconomico ac sociali apud plures roboratur desiderium assumendi maiorem partem in communitatis politicae vita ordinanda. In multorum conscientia studium augetur ut iura minorum alicuius nationis partium serventur, earum officiis erga communitatem politicam non neglectis; insuper reverentia in dies increscit erga homines aliam opinionem vel aliam religionem profitentes; simul latior instituitur cooperatio, ut omnes cives, et non tantum quidam privilegiis ornati, iuribus personalibus reapse frui possint.
Reprobantur autem quaecumque formae politicae, in aliquibus regionibus vigentes, quae libertatem civilem vel religiosam praepediunt, victimas cupiditatum et criminum politicorum multiplicant ac exercitium auctoritatis a bono communi ad commodum cuiusdam factionis vel ipsorum moderatorum detorquent.
Ad vitam politicam vere humanam instaurandam nihil melius est quam interiorem iustitiae et benevolentiae ac servitii boni communis sensum fovere atque persuasiones fundamentales circa veram indolem communitatis politicae necnon circa finem, rectum exercitium et limites publicae auctoritatis corroborare.
[E] Homines, familiae et varii coetus, qui communitatem civilem constituunt, propriae insufficientiae ad vitam plene humanam instituendam conscii sunt et necessitatem amplioris communitatis percipiunt, in qua omnes, ad commune bonum semper melius procurandum, cotidie proprias vires conferant. Quapropter communitatem politicam secundum varias formas constituunt. Communitas ergo politica propter illud commune bonum exsistit, in quo suam plenam iustificationem et sensum obtinet, et ex quo ius suum primigenum et proprium depromit. Bonum vero commune summam complectitur earum vitae socialis condicionum, quibus homines, familiae et consociationes, suam ipsorum perfectionem plenius atque expeditius consequi possint.
Multi autem et diversi sunt homines, qui in communitatem politicam conveniunt et legitime in diversa consilia declinare possunt. Ne igitur, unoquoque in suam sententiam abeunte, communitas politica distrahatur, auctoritas requiritur, quae omnium civium vires in bonum commune dirigat, non mechanice nec despotice, sed imprimis ut vis moralis, quae libertate et suscepti officii onerisque conscientia nititur.
Patet ergo communitatem politicam et auctoritatem publicam in natura humana fundari ideoque ad ordinem a Deo praefinitum pertinere; etsi regiminis determinatio et moderatorum designatio liberae civium voluntati relinquantur.
Sequitur item auctoritatis politicae exercitium sive in communitate ut tali, sive in institutis rem publicam repraesentantibus, semper intra fines ordinis moralis ad effectum deducendum esse, ad commune bonum - et quidem dynamice conceptum - procurandum, secundum ordinem iuridicum legitime statutum vel statuendum. Tunc cives ad obedientiam praestandam ex conscientia obligantur. Exinde vero patet responsabilitas, dignitas et momentum eorum, qui praesunt.
Ubi autem a publica auctoritate, suam competentiam excedente, cives premuntur, ipsi, quae a bono communi obiective postulantur, ne recusent; fas vero sit eis contra abusum huius auctoritatis sua conciviumque suorum iura defendere, illis servatis limitibus, quos lex naturalis et evangelica delineat.
Modi vero concreti, quibus communitas politica propriam compagem et publicae auctoritatis temperationem ordinat, varii esse possunt secundum diversam populorum indolem et historiae progressum; semper autem ad hominem excultum, pacificum et erga omnes beneficum efformandum inservire debent, ad totius familiae humanae emolumentum.
[E] Cum humana natura plene congruit ut structurae politicae-iuridicae inveniantur, quae omnibus civibus semper melius ac sine ulla discriminatione possibilitatem effectivam praebeant libere et actuose participandi tum in fundamentis iuridicis communitatis politicae statuendis, tum in rei publicae moderamine et variorum institutorum campis et finibus determinandis, tum in moderatorum electione. Memores ergo omnes cives sint iuris simul et officii suo libero suffragio utendi ad bonum commune promovendum. Ecclesia laude et consideratione dignum opus illorum habet, qui in hominum servitium rei publicae bono se devovent et huius officii onera suscipiunt.
Ut civium cooperatio, cum officii conscientia coniuncta, in cotidiana publicae rei vita effectum suum felicem attingat, requiritur positivus ordo iuris, in quo conveniens divisio munerum et institutorum auctoritatis publicae atque simul efficax tuitio iurium, neminique obnoxia, instaurentur. Omnium personarum, familiarum ac coetuum iura eorumque exercitium agnoscantur, serventur et promoveantur, simul cum officiis, quibus cuncti cives obstringuntur. Inter quae officium meminisse oportet rei publicae materialia et personalia servitia praestandi, quae ad bonum commune requiruntur. Caveant moderatores ne coetus familiares, sociales aut culturales, corpora aut instituta intermedia, impediant, neve ea sua legitima et efficaci actione privent, quam potius libenter et ordinatim promovere satagant. Cives vero, sive singuli sive consociati, caveant ne nimiam potestatem publicae auctoritati tribuant, neve nimia commoda et utilitates ab ipsa inopportune postulent, ita ut personarum, familiarum necnon coetuum socialium officii onus imminuant.
Ab implicatioribus nostrae aetatis adiunctis publica auctoritas saepius in res sociales et oeconomicas atque culturales se interponere cogitur ad aptiores inducendas condiciones, quibus cives ac coetus ad integrum humanum bonum libere prosequendum efficacius iuventur. Secundum autem diversas regiones et populorum evolutionem diverso modo intellegi possunt relationes inter socializationem et personae autonomiam ac progressum. Sed ubi exercitium iurium propter bonum commune ad tempus restringitur, libertas, circumstantiis mutatis, quam primum restituatur. At inhumanum est quod auctoritas politica incidat in formas totalitarias vel in formas dictatorias quae iura personae vel socialium coetuum laedant.
Cives pietatem erga patriam magnanimiter et fideliter excolant, sine tamen mentis angustia, ita scilicet ut ad bonum totius familiae humanae, quae variis nexibus inter stirpes, gentes ac nationes coniungitur, semper simul animum intendant.
Christifideles omnes in communitate politica specialem et propriam vocationem sentiant, qua exemplo praefulgere debent quatenus officii conscientia sunt adstricti et communi bono excolendo inserviunt, ita ut factis quoque commonstrent quomodo auctoritas cum libertate, inceptio personalis cum totius corporis socialis coniunctione ac necessitudine, unitas opportuna cum proficua diversitate componantur. Circa rem temporalem ordinandam legitimas, at inter se discrepantes, opiniones agnoscant, civesque, etiam consociatos, qui eas honeste defendunt, revereantur. Partes autem politicae ea promovere debent, quae earum iudicio ad bonum commune requiruntur; numquam vero propriam utilitatem communi bono praeponere licet.
Educatio vero civilis et politica, hodie tum populo tum praesertim iuvenibus maxime necessaria, sedulo curanda est, ut omnes cives in communitatis politicae vita partes suas agere valeant. Qui idonei sunt aut fieri possunt ad artem politicam, difficilem simul et nobilissimam, sese praeparent et eam, proprii commodi et venalis beneficii immemores, exercere satagant. Contra iniuriam et oppressionem, unius hominis vel partis politicae arbitrarium dominatum et intolerantiam, integritate morum ac prudentia agant; sinceritate autem et aequitate, immo caritate et fortitudine politica, bono omnium se devoveant.
[E] Magni momenti est, praesertim ubi societas pluralistica viget, ut rectus respectus relationis inter communitatem politicam et Ecclesiam habeatur, utque inter ea, quae christifideles, sive singuli sive consociati, suo nomine tamquam cives, christiana conscientia ducti, et ea, quae nomine Ecclesiae una cum pastoribus suis agunt, clare distinguatur.
Ecclesia, quae, ratione sui muneris et competentiae, nullo modo cum communitate politica confunditur, neque ad ullum systema politicum alligatur, simul signum est et tutamentum transcendentiae humanae personae.
Communitas politica et Ecclesia in proprio campo ab invicem sunt independentes et autonomae. Ambae autem, licet diverso titulo, eorumdem hominum vocationi personali et sociali inserviunt. Quod servitium eo efficacius in omnium bonum exercebunt, quo ambae melius sanam cooperationem inter se colunt, attentis quoque locorum temporumque adiunctis. Homo enim ad solum ordinem temporalem non coarctatur, sed in historia humana vivens aeternam suam vocationem integre servat. Ecclesia vero, in Redemptoris amore fundata, ad hoc confert ut intra nationis terminos et inter nationes iustitia et caritas latius vigeant. Evangelicam veritatem praedicando atque omnes navitatis humanae provincias, per suam doctrinam et testimonium a christifidelibus exhibitum, illuminando, etiam politicam civium libertatem et responsabilitatem reveretur atque promovet.
Apostoli ipsorumque successores et horum cooperatores, cum mittantur ut hominibus Christum mundi Salvatorem annuntient, in suo apostolatu exercendo Dei potentia innituntur, qui persaepe in testium infirmitate virtutem Evangelii manifestat. Quicumque enim Dei verbi ministerio se devovent, utantur oportet viis et subsidiis Evangelio propriis, quae in pluribus a terrenae civitatis subsidiis differunt.
Res quidem terrenae et ea, quae in hominum condicione hunc mundum exsuperant, arcte inter se iunguntur, et ipsa Ecclesia rebus temporalibus utitur quantum propria eius missio id postulat. Spem vero suam in privilegiis ab auctoritate civili oblatis non reponit; immo quorundam iurium legitime acquisitorum exercitio renuntiabit, ubi constiterit eorum usu sinceritatem sui testimonii vocari in dubium aut novas vitae condiciones aliam exigere ordinationem. Semper autem et ubique ei fas sit cum vera libertate fidem praedicare, socialem suam doctrinam docere, munus suum inter homines expedite exercere necnon iudicium morale ferre, etiam de rebus quae ordinem politicum respiciunt, quando personae iura fundamentalia aut animarum salus id exigant, omnia et sola subsidia adhibendo, quae Evangelio et omnium bono secundum temporum et condicionum diversitatem congruant.
Fideliter Evangelio adhaerens et suam missionem in mundo exercens, Ecclesia, cuius est, quidquid verum, bonum et pulchrum in communitate humana invenitur, fovere ac elevare, pacem inter homines ad Dei gloriam roborat.
[E] Hisce nostris annis, quibus aerumnae et angustiae ex grassante vel impendente bello profluentes adhuc gravissimae inter homines perdurant, universa familia humana ad horam summi discriminis in suae maturitatis processu pervenit. In unum paulatim congregata atque ubivis suae unitatis melius iam conscia, opus quod ei incumbit, mundum scilicet pro omnibus hominibus ubique terrarum vere humaniorem aedificandi, peragere nequit nisi cuncti ad veritatem pacis renovato animo convertantur. Hinc fit ut evangelicum nuntium, cum altioribus generis humani studiis atque optatis congruens, nostris temporibus nova claritate elucescat dum pacis artifices beatos proclamat, «quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur» (Mt 5,9).
Ideo Concilium veram et nobilissimam pacis rationem illustrans, belli immanitate damnata, christianos ferventer evocare intendit ut, auxiliante Christo auctore pacis, cum omnibus hominibus ad pacem in iustitia et amore inter eos firmandam et ad instrumenta pacis apparanda cooperentur.
[E] Pax non est mera absentia belli, neque ad solum adversarum virium aequilibrium stabiliendum reducitur neque ex imperioso dominatu oritur, sed recte proprieque dicitur «opus iustitiae» (Is 32,17). Fructus exsistit ordinis humanae societati a divino suo Fundatore insiti et ab hominibus perfectiorem semper iustitiam sitientibus in actum deducendi. Cum enim generis humani bonum commune primaria quidem sua ratione lege aeterna regatur, sed, quoad id quod concrete exigit, progrediente tempore incessantibus mutationibus subiciatur, numquam pax pro semper acquisita est, sed perpetuo aedificanda. Cum insuper labilis sit humana voluntas necnon peccato sauciata, procuratio pacis constantem uniuscuiusque exposcit passionum dominationem et legitimae auctoritatis invigilantiam.
Hoc tamen non sufficit. Pax haec in terris obtineri non potest nisi bonum personarum in tuto collocetur et homines cum fiducia divitias sui animi atque ingenii inter se sponte communicent. Firma voluntas alios homines et populos eorumque dignitatem reverendi studiosumque fraternitatis exercitium ad pacem construendam omnino necessaria sunt. Ita pax fructus etiam amoris exsistit, qui ultra ea progreditur quae iustitia praestare valet.
Pax autem terrena, quae ex dilectione proximi oritur, figura et effectus est pacis Christi, a Deo Patre promanantis. Ipse enim Filius incarnatus, princeps pacis, per crucem suam omnes homines Deo reconciliavit ac, restituens omnium unitatem in uno Populo et uno Corpore, in propria sua carne occidit odium et, resurrectione exaltatus, Spiritum caritatis in corda hominum diffudit.
Quapropter omnes christiani enixe evocantur ut, «veritatem facientes in caritate» (Eph 4,15), cum hominibus vere pacificis sese uniant ad pacem implorandam et instaurandam.
Eodem spiritu moti, non possumus non laudare eos, qui in iuribus vindicandis actioni violentae renuntiantes, ad media defensionis recurrunt quae ceteroquin etiam debilioribus praesto sunt, dummodo hoc sine laesione iurium et obligationum aliorum vel communitatis fieri possit.
Quatenus homines peccatores sunt, eis imminet periculum belli, et usque ad adventum Christi imminebit; quatenus autem, caritate coniuncti, peccatum superant, superantur et violentiae, donec impleatur verbum: «Conflabunt gladios suos in vomeres et lanceas suas in falces. Non levabit gens contra gentem gladium, nec exercebuntur ultra ad praelium» (Is 2,4).
Sectio I: De bello vitando
[E] Quamvis recentia bella nostro mundo gravissima damna tum materialia tum moralia intulerint, adhuc cotidie in aliqua terrarum parte bellum suas vastationes persequitur. Immo, dum arma scientifica cuiuslibet generis in bello adhibentur, saeva eius indoles proeliantes ad barbariem adducere minatur quae illam anteactorum temporum longe superet. Porro condicionis hodiernae complexitas ac relationum inter nationes intricatio permittunt ut novis methodis, iisque insidiosis et subversivis, bella larvata protrahantur. In pluribus adiunctis usus methodorum terrorismi tamquam nova ratio bellandi habetur.
Deiectum istum humanitatis statum prae oculis habens, Concilium ante omnia in memoriam revocare intendit permanentem vim iuris naturalis gentium eiusque principiorum universalium. Ipsa generis humani conscientia haec principia firmiter magis magisque proclamat. Actiones ergo quae iisdem deliberate adversantur necnon iussa quibus tales actiones praescribuntur scelesta sunt, nec caeca obedientia illos qui iis parent excusare valet. Inter has actiones illae ante omnia recensendae sunt quibus, ratione quadam et methodo, universa gens, natio aut minoritas ethnica exterminantur: quae tamquam crimina horrenda vehementer condemnandae sunt. Maxime vero probandus est animus illorum qui talia praecipientibus aperte resistere non timescunt.
Exstant de rebus bellicis variae conventiones internationales quibus sat multae nationes subscripserunt, ut minus inhumanae efficiantur actiones militares earumque sequelae: huiusmodi sunt conventiones quae pertinent ad militum vulneratorum aut captivorum sortem, variaeque huius generis stipulationes. Quae pactiones servandae sunt; immo tenentur omnes, praesertim auctoritates publicae et de his rebus periti, quantum possunt conari ut illae perficiantur sicque melius et efficacius ad bellorum immanitatem refrenandam conducant. Insuper aequum videtur ut leges humaniter provideant pro casu illorum qui ex motivo conscientiae arma adhibere recusant, dum tamen aliam formam communitati hominum serviendi acceptant.
Utique bellum non est e rebus humanis eradicatum. Quamdiu autem periculum belli aderit, auctoritasque internationalis competens congruisque viribus munita defuerit, tamdiu, exhaustis quidem omnibus pacificae tractationis subsidiis, ius legitimae defensionis guberniis denegari non poterit. Civitatum rectoribus aliisque qui rei publicae responsabilitatem participant, incumbit igitur officium ut populorum sibi commissorum salutem tueantur, res tam graves graviter gerentes. At aliud est res militares gerere ut populi iuste defendantur, aliud alias nationes subiugare velle. Nec potentia bellica omnem eiusdem militarem vel politicum usum legitimum facit. Nec bello infeliciter iam exorto, eo ipso omnia inter partes adversas licita fiunt.
Qui vero, patriae servitio addicti, in exercitu versantur, et ipsi tamquam securitatis libertatisque populorum ministros sese habeant, et, dum hoc munere recte funguntur, vere ad pacem stabiliendam conferunt.
[E] Horror pravitasque belli scientificorum armorum incremento in immensum augentur. Bellicae enim actiones, his armis adhibitis, ingentes indiscriminatasque inferre possunt destructiones quae proinde limites legitimae defensionis longe excedunt. Immo, si haec media, qualia iam in magnarum nationum armamentariis inveniuntur, penitus adhiberentur, ex eo internecio fere plena et omnino reciproca uniuscuiusque partis a parte adversa haberetur praetermissis multis vastationibus in mundo oboriundis et exitialibus effectibus ex usu huiusmodi armorum consequentibus.
Quae omnia nos cogunt ut de bello examen mente omnino nova instituamus . Sciant huius aetatis homines se de suis bellicis actionibus gravem rationem esse reddituros. Ab eorum enim hodiernis consiliis temporum futurorum decursus multum pendebit.
His attentis, haec Sacrosancta Synodus, suas faciens condemnationes belli totalis iam a recentibus Summis Pontificibus enuntiatas, declarat:
Omnis actio bellica quae in urbium integrarum vel amplarum regionum cum earum incolis destructionem indiscriminatim tendit, est crimen contra Deum et ipsum hominem, quod firmiter et incunctanter damnandum est.
Singulare belli hodierni periculum in hoc consistit quod illis qui recentiora arma scientifica possident quasi occasionem praebet talia scelera perpetrandi et, connexione quadam inexorabili, hominum voluntates ad atrocissima consilia impellere potest. Ne vero hoc in futurum unquam eveniat, Episcopi totius orbis terrarum in unum congregati, omnes, nationum moderatores praesertim, necnon eos qui rei militari praesunt, obsecrant, ut tantam responsabilitatem coram Deo et coram universa humanitate incessanter perpendant.
[E] Arma quidem scientifica non ad hoc unice accumulantur ut tempore belli adhibeantur. Cum enim firmitas uniuscuiusque partis defensionis a capacitate fulminea adversarium repercutiendi dependere aestimetur, haec armorum accumulatio, quae quotannis ingravescit, inconsueto quidem modo ad deterrendos adversarios forte insurgentes inservit. Quod a multis habetur tamquam omnium mediorum efficacissimum quibus nunc pax quaedam inter nationes in tuto poni possit.
Quidquid sit de illo dissuasionis modo, persuasum habeant homines cursum ad arma apparanda, ad quem sat multae nationes confugiunt, non securam esse viam ad pacem firmiter servandam, neque sic dictum aequilibrium ex illo manans certam ac veram esse pacem. Belli exinde causae quin eliminentur, potius paulatim aggravari minantur. Dum in arma semper nova apparanda perabundantes divitiae erogantur, tot miseriis hodiernis mundi universi remedium sufficiens praeberi non potest. Potius quam dissensiones inter nationes vere ac funditus sanentur, iisdem aliae mundi partes inficiuntur. Novae viae, ex reformato animo initium sumentes, eligendae erunt ut hoc scandalum removeatur et, mundo ab anxietate qua opprimitur liberato, vera pax restitui possit.
Quapropter denuo declarandum est: cursum ad arma apparanda gravissimam plagam humanitatis esse, ac pauperes intolerabiliter laedere. Valde autem timendum est ne, si perduret, aliquando omnes exitiales clades pariat, quarum media iam praeparat.
Calamitatibus commonefacti quas humanum genus possibiles effecit, moram, nobis desuper concessam, qua gaudemus, adhibeamus ut propriae responsabilitatis magis conscii, vias inveniamus quibus controversias nostras modo homine digniore componere possimus. Providentia divina a nobis instanter requirit ut nosmetipsos ab antiqua belli servitute liberemus. Quod si huiusmodi conamen facere renuerimus, quo ducamur in hac via mala quam ingressi sumus, nescimus.
[E] Patet ergo nobis enitendum esse ut viribus omnibus tempora praeparemus quibus, consentientibus nationibus, bellum quodlibet omnino interdici possit. Quod sane requirit ut quaedam publica auctoritas universalis, ab omnibus agnita, instituatur, quae efficaci potestate polleat ut pro omnibus tum securitas, tum iustitiae observantia, tum iurium reverentia in tuto ponantur. Antequam vero haec optanda auctoritas institui possit, opus est ut hodierna suprema gremia internationalia studiis mediorum ad securitatem communem procurandam aptiorum acriter se dedicent. Cum pax e mutua gentium fiducia nasci oporteat potius quam armorum terrore nationibus imponi, omnibus adlaborandum est ut cursus ad arma apparanda finem tandem habeat; ut diminutio armorum re incipiat, non unilateraliter quidem sed pari passu ex condicto progrediatur, veris efficacibusque cautionibus munita.
Interea non parvipendenda sunt conamina quae iam facta sunt et adhuc fiunt ut periculum belli amoveatur. Potius adiuvanda est bona voluntas permultorum qui, ingentibus suorum supremorum munerum curis onerati, gravissimo autem quo obstringuntur officio moti, bellum quod abhorrent eliminare satagunt, etiamsi a complexitate rerum quales sunt, praescindere non possunt. Deum autem enixe rogare oportet ut illis vim det perseveranter aggrediendi ac fortiter perficiendi hoc summi amoris hominum opus quo pax viriliter aedificatur. Quod hodie certissime ab eis exigit ut mentem et spiritum ultra fines propriae nationis extendant, egoismum nationalem atque ambitionem aliis nationibus dominandi deponant, profundamque reverentiam erga totam humanitatem nutriant, quae iam ad maiorem sui unitatem tam laboriose properat.
Circa pacis et armorum depositionis problemata perscrutationes iam strenue et indesinenter protractae, internationalesque congressus, qui hac de re egerunt, tamquam primi passus ad solvendas tantopere graves quaestiones consideranda sunt atque urgentiori modo ad obtinendos effectus practicos in futurum promovenda. Nihilominus caveant homines ne solummodo conatibus quorumdam se committant quin de propriis mentibus curent. Nam populorum moderatores, qui boni communis propriae gentis sponsores sunt et simul boni universi orbis promotores, ex multitudinum opinionibus et animi sensibus quam maxime pendent. Nihil eis prodest ut paci aedificandae instent, quamdiu hostilitatis, contemptus et diffidentiae sensus, racialia odia necnon obstinatae ideologiae, homines dividunt atque inter se opponunt. Hinc maxima necessitas urget renovatae mentium educationis novaeque in publica opinione inspirationis. Qui operi educationis se devovent, praesertim iuvenum, aut opinionem publicam efformant, tamquam gravissimum officium reputent curam mentes omnium ad novos pacificos sensus instituendi. Nos omnes quidem commutare corda nostra oportet, universum orbem et illa munera prospicientes quae nos, una simul, agere possumus ut genus nostrum ad meliora proficiat.
Nec falsa spes nos decipiat. Nisi enim, dimissis inimicitiis et odiis, firma honestaque pacta de pace universali in futuro concludantur, humanitas quae iam in gravi discrimine versatur, quamvis scientia mirabili praedita, forsan funeste ad illam horam adducetur in qua non aliam pacem quam horrendam mortis pacem experiatur. Attamen, dum haec profert, Ecclesia Christi, in media anxietate huius temporis constituta, firmissime sperare non cessat. Aetati nostrae iterum iterumque, opportune importune, nuntium apostolicum proponere intendit: «ecce nunc tempus acceptabile» ut mutentur corda, «ecce nunc dies salutis».
Sectio II: De communitate internationali aedificanda
[E] Ad pacem aedificandam ante omnia requiritur ut eradicentur causae discordiarum inter homines, quibus bella aluntur, praesertim iniustitiae. Non paucae earum ex nimiis inaequalitatibus oeconomicis proveniunt, necnon ex necessariis remediis retardatis. Aliae vero ex spiritu dominationis et personarum contemptu oriuntur et, si in causas profundiores inquirimus, ex humana invidia, diffidentia, superbia aliisque egoisticis passionibus. Cum tot ordinis defectus homo ferre non possit, ex iis consequitur ut, etiam bello non saeviente, mundus indesinenter contentionibus inter homines et violentiis inficiatur. Cum insuper eadem mala in relationibus inter ipsas nationes inveniantur, necessarium omnino est ut, ad illa vincenda vel praevenienda, et ad effrenatas violentias coercendas, melius et firmius cooperentur et coordinentur institutiones internationales necnon indefesse stimuletur creatio organismorum qui pacem promoveant.
[E] Ut, crescentibus hoc tempore arctis mutuae necessitudinis nexibus inter omnes cives et omnes populos orbis terrarum, bonum commune universale apte quaeratur et efficacius obtineatur, iam necesse est communitatem gentium sibi constituere ordinem qui cum hodiernis muneribus congruat, praesertim relate ad illas numerosas regiones quae intolerabilem egestatem adhuc patiuntur.
Ad hos fines assequendos, institutiones communitatis internationalis variis hominum necessitatibus pro sua parte providere debent, tam in vitae socialis campis ad quos pertinent victus, sanitas, educatio, labor, quam in nonnullis condicionibus particularibus quae alicubi oriri possunt, ut sunt necessitas generali nationum progredientium incremento fovendi, aerumnis profugorum per universum mundum dispersorum occurrendi, vel etiam migrantes eorumque familias adiuvandi.
Institutiones internationales, universales vel regionales, quae iam exsistunt certe de genere humano bene merentur. Eaedem tamquam primi conatus apparent fundamenta internationalia totius communitatis humanae ponendi ut gravissimae nostrorum temporum quaestiones solvantur, et quidem ad progressum ubique terrarum promovendum et ad bella in quacumque forma praecavenda. In omnibus istis campis gaudet Ecclesia de spiritu verae fraternitatis inter christianos et non christianos florentis qui enititur ut conamina semper intensiora fiant ad ingentem miseriam sublevandam.
[E] Hodierna generis humani coniunctio etiam instaurationem maioris cooperationis internationalis in campo oeconomico expostulat. Etenim, etsi omnes fere populi sui iuris facti sunt, longe tamen abest ut a nimiis inaequalitatibus et ab omni indebitae dependentiae forma iam liberi sint omneque gravium difficultatum internarum periculum effugiant.
Incrementum alicuius nationis ex adiumentis humanis et pecuniariis pendet. Cives uniuscuiusque nationis per educationem et formationem professionalem ad varia munera vitae oeconomicae et socialis obeunda praeparandi sunt. Ad hoc autem requiritur auxilium peritorum alienigenarum qui, dum opem ferunt, non ut dominatores se gerant sed ut adiutores et cooperatores. Auxilium materiale nationibus progredientibus non procurabitur, nisi consuetudines hodierni commercii in mundo profunde mutentur. Alia insuper auxilia a nationibus progressis praestanda sunt sub forma sive donorum sive mutuorum sive pecuniarum collocationum; quae praestentur cum generositate et sine cupiditate ex una parte, accipiantur cum omni honestate ex altera.
Ad verum ordinem oeconomicum universalem instaurandum abolenda sunt nimia lucrorum studia, ambitiones nationales, appetitus dominationis politicae, calculi ordinis militaristici necnon machinationes ad ideologias propagandas et imponendas. Plura oeconomica et socialia systemata proponuntur; optandum est ut in his periti communia fundamenta sani commercii mundialis inveniant; quod facilius continget si singuli propria praeiudicia abnuant et ad dialogum sincere gerendum promptos se praebeant.
[E] Pro hac cooperatione sequentes normae opportunae videntur:
a) Gentes progredientes valde cordi habeant ut tamquam finem progressus expresse et firmiter plenam perfectionem humanam suorum civium appetant. Meminerint ex labore ante omnia et ingenio ipsarum gentium oriri et crescere progressum quippe qui non solis opibus alienis, sed propriis plene explicandis necnon ingenio et traditione propria colendis imprimis inniti debeat. Qua in re illi excellant oportet, qui maiorem influxum in alios exercent.
b) Gentium autem progressarum officium gravissimum est progredientes populos ad supradicta munera implenda adiuvandi. Quapropter mentales et materiales accommodationes, quae ad hanc universalem cooperationem stabiliendam requiruntur, apud seipsas perficiant.
Ita in negotiatione cum debilioribus et pauperioribus nationibus bonum illarum sedulo respiciant; nam hae proventibus quos ex venditione rerum a se productarum accipiunt, ad propriam suam sustentationem indigent.
c) Communitatis vero internationalis est incrementum componere et stimulare, ita tamen ut de opibus ad hoc ordinatis quam efficacissime et plena cum aequitate disponatur. Ad hanc quoque communitatem pertinet, principio subsidiarietatis utique servato, rationes oeconomicas in toto mundo ordinare ut ad normam iustitiae explicentur.
Condantur instituta apta ad promovenda et ordinanda negotia internationalia, praesertim cum nationibus minus progressis et ad compensandos defectus qui ex nimia inaequalitate potentiae inter nationes manant. Huiusmodi ordinatio, cum adiumentis technicis, culturalibus et nummariis coniuncta, nationibus ad progressum intendentibus subsidia necessaria praestare debet ut incrementa oeconomiae suae convenienter consequi valeant.
d) In multis casibus urget necessitas recognoscendi oeconomicas socialesque structuras; sed cavendum est a solutionibus technicis immature propositis, imprimis ab illis quae, dum homini commoda materialia praebent, eius spirituali indoli ac profectui adversantur. Nam «non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei» (Mt 4,4). Quaelibet autem humanae familiae pars in seipsa et in suis melioribus traditionibus aliquam partem thesauri spiritualis a Deo humanitati concrediti secumfert, etsi multi nesciunt ex qua origine procedat.
[E] Maxime necessaria evadit cooperatio internationalis relate ad illos populos qui hodie sat frequenter, praeter tot alias difficultates, ea peculiariter premuntur quae ex rapido incremento populationis oritur. Urget necessitas ut per plenam et impensam cooperationem omnium, praesertim ditiorum nationum, exploretur quomodo ea quae ad victum et ad congruam instructionem hominum necessaria sunt, parari et cum tota communitate humana communicari possint. Nonnulli vero populi suae vitae condiciones multo meliores reddere possent si, debita instructione exculti, a methodis antiquis pro bonis agrariis gignendis ad novas artes technicas transirent, eas cum necessaria prudentia suis condicionibus applicantes, ordine sociali meliori insuper instaurato et terrarum possessionis distributione aequius ordinata.
Gubernii quidem sunt iura et officia, problema populationis in sua natione quod attinet, intra propriae competentiae limites; ut puta in ordine ad legislationem socialem et ad familias respicientem, ad transitum ruricolarum ad urbes, ad informationes circa statum et necessitates nationis. Cum hodie mentes hominum de hoc problemate tam vehementer agitentur, optandum quoque est ut de his omnibus periti catholici, praesertim in Universitatibus, studia et incepta sollerter prosequantur et latius evolvant.
Cum autem a multis affirmetur incolarum orbis incrementum, vel saltem quarumdam nationum, omnibus mediis et cuiusvis generis interventu auctoritatis publicae funditus omnino minuendum esse, Concilium omnes hortatur ut caveant a solutionibus publice vel privatim promotis et quandoque impositis, quae legi morali contradicunt. Nam iuxta inalienabile hominis ius ad matrimonium et generationem prolis, deliberatio circa numerum prolis gignendae a recto iudicio parentum pendet ac nullo modo auctoritatis publicae iudicio committi potest. Cum autem parentum iudicium conscientiam recte formatam supponat, magni momenti est ut omnibus aditus praebeatur ad colendam rectam et vere humanam responsabilitatem quae legem divinam, attentis adiunctis rerum et temporum, respiciat; hoc vero exigit ut passim condiciones paedagogicae et sociales in melius mutentur et imprimis ut formatio religiosa vel saltem integra moralis institutio praebeatur. De progressibus porro scientificis in explorandis methodis quibus coniuges iuvari possint in ordinando numero prolis, quarum firmitas bene probata est et congruentia cum ordine morali comperta habetur, homines sapienter certiores fiant.
[E] Ad ordinem internationalem cum vera observantia legitimarum libertatum et amica fraternitate omnium aedificandum, christiani libenter et toto corde cooperentur, idque eo magis quod maior pars mundi tanta adhuc egestate laborat ut in pauperibus Christus Ipse quasi alta voce caritatem suorum discipulorum evocet. Ne igitur scandalo sit hominibus aliquas nationes, quarum saepius maior numerus civium christiano nomine ornatur, bonorum copia abundare, dum aliae rebus ad vitam necessariis priventur ac fame, morbis omnimodaque miseria cruciantur. Sunt enim spiritus paupertatis et caritatis gloria et testimonium Ecclesiae Christi.
Laudandi igitur et adiuvandi sunt illi christiani, iuvenes praesertim, qui sponte seipsos ad aliis hominibus et populis auxilia praestanda offerunt. Immo totius Populi Dei est, Episcopis verbo et exemplo praeeuntibus, miserias huius temporis pro viribus sublevare, idque, ut antiquus mos ferebat Ecclesiae, non ex superfluis tantum, sed etiam ex substantia.
Modus subsidia colligendi et distribuendi, quin sit rigide et uniformiter ordinatus, recto tamen ordine disponatur in dioecesibus, nationibus et in universo mundo, coniuncta, ubicumque opportunum videtur, actione catholicorum cum ceteris fratribus christianis. Spiritus enim caritatis providum ordinatumque actionis socialis et caritativae exercitium nedum prohibeat, potius id imponit. Quare necesse est eos qui se ad nationibus progredientibus inserviendum devovere intendunt, idoneis etiam institutis apte efformari.
[E] Ecclesia, cum, divina sua missione innixa, omnibus hominibus Evangelium praedicat et thesauros gratiae elargitur, ubique terrarum ad pacem firmandam et solidum fundamentum ponendum consortionis fraternae hominum et populorum confert: cognitionem scilicet legis divinae et naturalis. Quapropter Ecclesia in ipsa communitate gentium omnino praesens esse debet ad cooperationem inter homines fovendam et excitandam; et quidem tam per suas institutiones publicas quam per plenam ac sinceram collaborationem omnium christianorum, solo desiderio omnibus inserviendi inspiratam.
Quod efficacius attingetur si ipsi fideles, suae responsabilitatis humanae et christianae conscii, iam in proprio ambitu vitae voluntatem prompte cooperandi cum communitate internationali excitare satagunt. Cura peculiaris hac in re iuvenibus formandis impendatur, tam in educatione religiosa quam civili.
[E] Praecellens quaedam forma navitatis internationalis christianorum absque dubio socia opera est quam, sive singuli sive consociati, in ipsis Institutis ad cooperationem inter nationes provehendam conditis vel condendis praestant. Communitati gentium in pace et fraternitate aedificandae insuper multipliciter inservire possunt variae consociationes catholicae internationales, quae roborandae sunt, auctis numero cooperatorum bene formatorum, subsidiis quibus indigent et apta virium coordinatione. Nostris enim temporibus et actionum efficacitas et colloquii necessitas consociata incepta postulant. Tales consociationes insuper haud parum conferunt ad universalem sensum excolendum, catholicis certe congruum, et ad formandam conscientiam vere universalis solidarietatis et responsabilitatis.
Optandum denique est ut catholici, ad munus suum in communitate internationali rite implendum, actuose et positive cooperare studeant sive cum fratribus seiunctis qui una cum eis evangelicam caritatem profitentur, sive cum omnibus hominibus veram pacem sitientibus.
Concilium vero, ratione habita immensitatis aerumnarum quibus maior pars generis humani etiam nunc vexatur, et ad iustitiam simul ac amorem Christi erga pauperes ubique fovendum, valde opportunum aestimat creationem alicuius Ecclesiae universalis organismi, cuius sit catholicorum communitatem excitare ut progressus indigentium regionum necnon iustitia socialis inter nationes promoveantur.
[E] Ea quae ab hac Sacra Synodo ex thesauris doctrinae Ecclesiae proponuntur, omnes homines nostrorum temporum, sive in Deum credant sive Eum non explicite agnoscant, adiuvare intendunt ut, suam integram vocationem clarius percipientes, mundum praecellenti dignitati hominis magis conforment, universalem altiusque fundatam fraternitatem appetant atque, sub impulsu amoris, generoso atque consociato conamine, urgentibus nostrae aetatis postulationibus respondeant.
Sane coram immensa diversitate tum rerum status tum culturae humanae formarum in mundo, propositio haec in compluribus suis partibus consulto nonnisi indolem generalem prae se fert: immo, licet doctrinam iam in Ecclesia receptam proferat, cum non raro de rebus incessanti evolutioni subiectis agatur, adhuc prosequenda et amplianda erit. Confidimus vero multa quae verbo Dei et spiritu Evangelii innixi protulimus, omnibus validum adiutorium conferre posse, praesertim postquam adaptatio ad singulas gentes et mentalitates a christifidelibus sub Pastorum moderamine ad actum deducta fuerit.
[E] Ecclesia, vi suae missionis universum orbem nuntio evangelico illuminandi et omnes homines cuiusvis nationis, stirpis vel culturae in unum Spiritum coadunandi, signum evadit illius fraternitatis quae sincerum dialogum permittit atque roborat.
Quod autem requirit ut imprimis in ipsa Ecclesia mutuam aestimationem, reverentiam et concordiam promoveamus, omni legitima diversitate agnita, ad fructuosius semper colloquium inter omnes instituendum qui unum Populum Dei constituunt, sive pastores sive ceteri christifideles sint. Fortiora enim sunt ea quibus uniuntur fideles quam ea quibus dividuntur: sit in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.
Animus autem noster simul complectitur fratres nondum nobiscum in plena communione viventes eorumque communitates, quibus tamen coniungimur confessione Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti ac vinculo caritatis, memores scilicet christianorum unitatem hodie etiam a multis in Christum non credentibus exspectari et desiderari. Quo magis enim haec unitas, sub potenti virtute Spiritus Sancti, in veritate et caritate proficiet, eo magis universo mundo erit praesagium unitatis et pacis. Quare, unitis viribus et in formis huic praeclaro fini hodie efficaciter assequendo magis magisque aptatis, studeamus ut, Evangelio in dies melius conformati, fraterne cooperemur ad servitium familiae humanae praestandum quae, in Christo Iesu, in familiam filiorum Dei vocatur.
Animum nostrum proin etiam ad omnes convertimus qui Deum agnoscunt et in traditionibus suis pretiosa elementa religiosa et humana conservant, optantes ut apertum colloquium omnes nos adigat ad impulsiones Spiritus fideliter accipiendas et alacriter implendas.
Desiderium talis colloquii, quod sola caritate erga veritatem ducatur, servata utique congrua prudentia, ex nostra parte neminem excludit, neque illos qui praeclara animi humani bona colunt, eorum vero Auctorem nondum agnoscunt, neque illos qui Ecclesiae opponuntur eamque variis modis persequuntur. Cum Deus Pater principium omnium exsistat et finis, omnes, ut fratres simus, vocamur. Et ideo, hac eadem humana et divina vocatione vocati, sine violentia, sine dolo ad aedificandum mundum in vera pace cooperari possumus et debemus.
[E] Christiani, memores verbi Domini «in hoc cognoscent omnes quia discipuli mei estis, si dilectionem habueritis ad invicem» (Io 13,35), nihil ardentius optare possunt quam ut hominibus mundi huius temporis semper generosius et efficacius inserviant. Itaque, Evangelio fideliter adhaerentes eiusque viribus fruentes, cum omnibus qui iustitiam diligunt et colunt coniuncti, ingens opus in his terris adimplendum susceperunt, de quo Ei, qui omnes iudicabit ultimo die, rationem reddere debent. Non omnes qui dicunt: «Domine, Domine», intrabunt in regnum caelorum, sed ii qui faciunt voluntatem Patris validamque manum operi apponunt. Vult autem Pater ut in omnibus hominibus Christum fratrem agnoscamus et efficaciter diligamus, tam verbo quam opere, ita testimonium perhibentes Veritati, et cum aliis mysterium amoris Patris caelestis communicemus. Hac via in toto orbe terrarum homines ad vivam spem excitabuntur, quae Spiritus Sancti donum est, ut tandem aliquando in pace ac beatitudine summa suscipiantur, in patria quae gloria Domini effulget.
«Ei autem qui potens est omnia facere superabundanter quam petimus aut intelligimus, secundum virtutem quae operatur in nobis, Ipsi gloria in Ecclesia et in Christo Iesu, in omnes generationes saeculorum. Amen.» (Eph 3, 20-21)
Haec omnia et singula quae in hac Constitutione pastorali edicta sunt, placuerunt Sacrosancti Concilii Patribus. Et Nos, Apostolica a Christo Nobis tradita potestate, illa, una cum Venerabilibus Patribus, in Spiritu Sancto approbamus, decernimus ac statuimus et quae ita synodaliter statuta sunt ad Dei gloriam promulgari iubemus.
Romae, apud S. Petrum
die VII mensis decembris anno MCMLXV.
Ego PAULUS Catholicae Ecclesiae Episcopus
Sequuntur Patrum subsignationes.
PRO DECRETIS PROMULGATIS IN SESSIONE IX
Beatissimus Pater pro novis legibus, quae in modo promulgatis decretis continentur, statuit vacationem usque ad diem vigesimam nonam mensis iunii anni MCMLXVI, nempe usque ad festum Ss. Apostolorum Petri et Pauli proximi anni.
Interea Summus Pontifex normas edet ad praedictas leges exsequendas.
† PERICLES FELICI
Archiepiscopus tit. Samosatensis
Ss. Concilii Secretarius Generalis
Ego PAULUS Catholicae Ecclesiae Episcopus
† Ego EUGENIUS Episcopus Ostiensis ac Portuensis et S. Rufinae Cardinalis TISSERANT, Sacri Collegii Decanus.
† Ego IOSEPHUS Episcopus Albanensis Cardinalis PIZZARDO.
† Ego BENEDICTUS Episcopus Praenestinus Cardinalis ALOISI MASELLA.
† Ego FERDINANDUS Episcopus tit. Veliternus Cardinalis CENTO.
† Ego HAMLETUS IOANNES Episcopus tit. Tusculanus Cardinalis CICOGNANI.
† Ego IOSEPHUS Episcopus tit. Sabinensis et Mandelensis Cardinalis FERRETTO.
† Ego IGNATIUS GABRIEL Cardinalis TAPPOUNI, Patriarcha Antiochenus Syrorum.
† Ego MAXIMUS IV Cardinalis SAIGH, Patriarcha Antiochenus Melkitarum.
† Ego PAULUS PETRUS Cardinalis MEOUCHI, Patriarcha Antiochenus Maronitarum.
† Ego STEPHANUS I Cardinalis SIDAROUSS, Patriarcha Alexandrinus Coptorum.
† Ego EMMANUEL TIT. Ss. Marcellini et Petri Presbyter Cardinalis GONÇALVES CEREJEIRA, Patriarcha Lisbonensis.
† Ego ACHILLES titulo S. Sixti Presbyter Cardinalis LIÉNART, Episcopus Insulensis.
Ego IACOBUS ALOISIUS titulo S. Laurentii in Damaso Presbyter Cardinalis COPELLO, S. R. E. Cancellarius.
Ego GREGORIUS PETRUS titulo S. Bartholomaei in Insula Presbyter Cardinalis AGAGIANIAN.
† Ego VALERIANUS titulo S. Mariae in Via Lata Presbyter Cardinalis GRACIAS, Archiepiscopus Bombayensis.
† Ego IOANNES titulo S. Marci Presbyter Cardinalis URBANI, Patriarcha Venetiarum.
Ego PAULUS titulo S. Mariae in Vallicella Presbyter Cardinalis GIOBBE, S. R. E. Datarius.
† Ego IOSEPHUS titulo S. Honuphrii in Ianiculo Presbyter Cardinalis GARIBI Y RIVERA, Archiepiscopus Guadalajarensis.
Ego CAROLUS titulo S. Agnetis extra moenia Presbyter Cardinalis CONFALONIERI.
† Ego PAULUS titulo Ss. Quirici et Iulittae Presbyter Cardinalis RICHAUD, Archiepiscopus Burdigalensis.
† Ego IOSEPHUS M. titulo Ss. Viti, Modesti et Crescentiae Presbyter Cardinalis BUENO Y MONREAL, Archiepiscopus Hispalensis.
† Ego FRANCISCUS titulo S. Eusebii Presbyter Cardinalis KÖNIG, Archiepiscopus Vindobonensis.
† Ego IULIUS titulo S. Mariae Scalaris Presbyter Cardinalis DÖPFNER, Archiepiscopus Monacensis et Frisingensis.
Ego PAULUS titulo S. Andreae Apostoli de Hortis Presbyter Cardinalis MARELLA.
Ego GUSTAVUS titulo S. Hieronymi Illyricorum Presbyter Cardinalis TESTA.
Ego ALOISIUS titulo S. Andreae de Valle Presbyter Cardinalis TRAGLIA.
† Ego PETRUS TATSUO titulo S. Antonii Patavini de Urbe Presbyter Cardinalis DOI, Archiepiscopus Tokiensis.
† Ego IOSEPHUS titulo S. Ioannis Baptistae Florentinorum Presbyter Cardinalis LEFEBVRE, Archiepiscopus Bituricensis.
† Ego BERNARDUS titulo S. Ioachimi Presbyter Cardinalis ALFRINK, Archiepiscopus Ultraiectensis.
† Ego RUFINUS I. titulo S. Mariae ad Montes Presbyter Cardinalis SANTOS, Archiepiscopus Manilensis.
† Ego LAUREANUS titulo S. Francisci Assisiensis ad Ripam Maiorem Presbyter Cardinalis RUGAMBWA, Episcopus Bukobaënsis.
† Ego IOSEPHUS titulo Ssmi Redemptoris et S. Alfonsi in Exquiliis Presbyter Cardinalis RITTER, Archiepiscopus S. Ludovici.
† Ego IOANNES titulo S. Silvestri in Capite Presbyter Cardinalis HEENAN, Archiepiscopus Vestmonasteriensis, Primas Angliae.
† Ego IOANNES titulo Ssmae Trinitatis in Monte Pincio Presbyter Cardinalis VILLOT, Archiepiscopus Lugdunensis et Viennensis, Primas Galliae.
† Ego PAULUS titulo S. Camilli de Lellis ad Hortos Sallustianos Presbyter Cardinalis ZOUNGRANA, Archiepiscopus Uagaduguensis.
† Ego HENRICUS titulo S. Agathae in Urbe Presbyter Cardinalis DANTE.
Ego CAESAR titulo D.nae N.ae a Sacro Corde in Circo Agonali Presbyter Cardinalis ZERBA.
† Ego AGNELLUS titulo Praecelsae Dei Matris Presbyter Cardinalis ROSSI, Archiepiscopus S. Pauli in Brasilia.
† Ego IOANNES titulo S. Martini in Montibus Presbyter Cardinalis COLOMBO, Archiepiscopus Mediolanensis.
† Ego GUILLELMUS titulo S. Patricii ad Villam Ludovisi Presbyter Cardinalis CONWAY, Archiepiscopus Armachanus, totius Hiberniae Primas.
† Ego ANGELUS titulo Sacri Cordis Beatae Mariae Virginis ad forum Euclidis Presbyter Cardinalis HERRERA, Episcopus Malacitanus.
Ego ALAPHRIDUS S. Mariae in Domnica Protodiaconus Cardinalis OTTAVIANI.
Ego ALBERTUS S. Pudentianae Diaconus Cardinalis DI JORIO.
Ego FRANCISCUS S. Mariae in Cosmedin Diaconus Cardinalis ROBERTI.
Ego ARCADIUS SS. Blasii et Caroli ad Catinarios Diaconus Cardinalis LARRAONA.
Ego FRANCISCUS SS. Cosmae et Damiani Diaconus Cardinalis MORANO.
Ego GUILLELMUS THEODORUS S. Theodori in Palatio Cardinalis HEARD.
Ego AUGUSTINUS S. Sabae Diaconus Cardinalis BEA.
Ego ANTONIUS S. Eugenii Diaconus Cardinalis BACCI.
Ego FRATER MICHAEL S. Pauli in Arenula Diaconus Cardinalis BROWNE.
Ego FRIDERICUS S. Ioannis Bosco in via Tusculana Diaconus Cardinalis Callori DI VIGNALE.
1. Constitutio Pastoralis «De Ecclesia in mundo huius temporis» duabus partibus constans, unum quid tamen efficit. «Pastoralis» autem dicitur Constitutio ex eo quod, principiis doctrinalibus innixa, habitudinem Ecclesiae ad mundum et ad homines hodiernos exprimere intendit. Ideo nec in priori parte pastoralis deest intentio, nec vero in secunda intentio doctrinalis. In parte quidem priori, Ecclesia doctrinam suam evolvit de homine, de mundo in quem homo inseritur, et de habitudine sua ad ipsos. In secunda autem diversos aspectus hodiernae vitae et societatis humanae pressius considerat, et quidem speciatim quaestiones et problemata quae nostris temporibus hac in re urgentiora videntur. Unde fit ut, in hac posteriori parte, materia, principiis doctrinalibus subiecta, non tantum elementis permanentibus, sed etiam contingentibus constet. Interpretanda est igitur Constitutio iuxta normas generales theologicae interpretationis, et quidem ratione habita, praesertim in secunda eius parte, adiunctorum mutabilium cum quibus res de quibus agitur natura sua connectuntur.
24. Cf. PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Divini Redemptoris, 19 martii 1937: AAS 29 (1937), pp. 65-106; PIUS XII, Litt. Encycl. Ad Apostolorum Principis, 29 iunii 1958: AAS 50 (1958), pp. 601-614; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra, 15 maii 1961: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 451-453; PAULUS VI, Litt. Encycl. Ecclesiam Suam, 6 augusti 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 651-653.
30. Cf. CONC. CONSTANTINOP. II, can. 7: «Neque Deo Verbo in carnis naturam transmutato, neque Carne in Verbi naturam transducta»: DENZ. 219 (428). - Cf. etiam CONC. CONSTANTINOP. III: «Quemadmodum enim sanctissima atque immaculata animata eius caro deificata non est perempta ( theótheisa ouk anèrethè), sed in proprio sui statu et ratione permansit»: DENZ. 291 (556). - Cf. CONC. CHALCED.: «in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, indivise, inseparabiliter agnoscendum»: DENZ. 148 (302).
43. Cf. IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra, 15 maii 1961: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 401-464, et Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris, 11 aprilis 1963: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 257-304; PAULUS VI, Litt. Encycl. Ecclesiam Suam, 6 augusti 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 609-659.
91. Cf. PIUS XII, Allocutio ad cultores historiae et artis, 9 martii 1956: AAS 48 (1956), p. 212: «Son Divin Fondateur, Jésus-Christ, ne lui a donné aucun mandat ni fixé aucune fin d'ordre culturel. Le but que le Christ lui assigne est strictement religieux (...). L'Eglise doit conduire les hommes à Dieu, afin qu'ils se livrent à lui sans réserve (...). L'Eglise ne peut jamais perdre de vue ce but strictement religieux, surnaturel. Le sens de toutes ses activités, jusqu'au dernier canon de son Code, ne peut être que d'y concourir directement ou indirectement».
103. Cf. IUSTINUS, Dialogus cum Tryphone, cap. 110: PG 6, 729; ed. Otto, 1897, pp. 391-393: «... sed quanto magis talia nobis infliguntur, tanto plures alii fideles et pii per nomen Iesu fiunt». Cf. TERTULLIANUS, Apologeticus, cap. L, 13: PL 1, 534; Corpus Christ., ser. lat. I, p. 171: «Etiam plures efficimur, quoties metimus a vobis: semen est sanguis Christianorum!». Cf. Const. dogm. de Ecclesia, Lumen gentium, cap. II, n. 9: AAS 57 (1965), p. 14.
106. Cf. S. AUGUSTINUS, De bono coniugali, PL 40, 375-376 et 394; S. THOMAS, Summa Theol., Suppl. Quaest. 49, art. 3 ad 1; Decretum pro Armenis: DENZ. 702 (1327); PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930), pp. 543-555; DENZ. 2227-2238 (3703-3714).
119. Cf. PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930), pp. 559-561; DENZ.-SCHÖN. 3716-3718; PIUS XII, Allocutio Conventui Unionis Italicae inter Obstetrices, 29 oct. 1951: AAS 43 (1951), pp. 835-854; PAULUS VI, Allocutio ad Em.mos Patres Purpuratos, 23 iunii 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 581-589. Quaedam quaestiones quae aliis ac diligentioribus investigationibus indigent, iussu Summi Pontificis, Commissioni pro studio populationis, familiae et natalitatis traditae sunt, ut postquam illa munus suum expleverit, Summus Pontifex iudicium ferat. Sic stante doctrina Magisterii, S. Synodus solutiones concretas immediate proponere non intendit.
130. Cf. verba PII XI ad Exc.mum D.num Roland-Gosselin: «Il ne faut jamais perdre de vue que l'objectif de l'Eglise est d'evangéliser et non de civiliser. Si elle civilise, c'est par l'évangélisation» (Semaine Sociale de Versailles, 1936, pp. 461-462).
140. Cf. PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 190 ss.; PIUS XII, Nuntius, 23 martii 1952: AAS 44 (1952), p. 276 ss.; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 450; CONC. VAT. II, Decretum de instrum. communic. socialis, Inter mirifica, cap. I, n. 6: AAS 56 (1964), p. 147.
142. Cf. LEO XIII, Litt. Encycl. Libertas praestantissimum, 20 iunii 1888: ASS 20 (1887-88), pp. 597 ss.; PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 191 ss.; ID., Divini Redemptoris: AAS 29 (1937), p. 65 ss.; PIUS XII, Nuntius natalicius 1941: AAS 34 (1942), p. 10 ss.; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 401-464.
144. Cf. LEO XIII, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Novarum: ASS 23 (1890-91), pp. 649-662; PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno: AAS 23 (1931), pp. 200-201; ID., Litt. Encycl. Divini Redemptoris: AAS 29 (1937), p. 92; PIUS XII, Nuntius radiophonicus in pervigilio Natalis Domini 1942: AAS 35 (1943), p. 20; ID., Allocutio 13 iunii 1943: AAS 35 (1943), p. 172; ID., Nuntius radiophonicus operariis Hispaniae datus, 11 martii 1951: AAS 43 (1951), p. 215; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 419.
145. Cf. IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 408, 424, 427; verbum autem «curatione» desumptum est ex textu latino Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 199. Sub aspectu evolutionis quaestionis cf. etiam: PIUS XII, Allocutio 3 iunii 1950: AAS 42 (1950), pp. 485-488; PAULUS VI, Allocutio 8 iunii 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 574-579.
146. Cf. PIUS XII, Epist. Encycl. Sertum laetitiae: AAS 31 (1939), p. 642; IOANNES XXIII, Allocutio concistorialis: AAS 52 (1960), pp. 5-11; ID., Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 411.
147. Cf. S. THOMAS, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 32, a. 5 ad 2; Ibid. q. 66, a. 2: cf. explicationem in LEO XIII, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Novarum: ASS 23 (1890-91), p. 651; cf. etiam PIUS XII, Allocutio 1 iunii 1941: AAS 33 (1941), p. 199; ID., Nuntius radiophonicus natalicius 1954: AAS 47 (1955), p. 27.
148. Cf. S. BASILIUS, Hom. in illud Lucae «Destruam horrea mea», n. 2: PG 31, 263; LACTANTIUS, Divinarum Institutionum, lib. V, de iustitia: PL 6, 565 B; S. AUGUSTINUS, In Ioann. Ev. tr. 50, n. 6: PL 35, 1760; ID., Enarratio in Ps. CXLVII, 12: PL 37, 1922; S. GREGORIUS M., Homiliae in Ev., hom. 20, 12: PL 76, 1165: ID., Regulae Pastoralis liber, pars III, c. 21: PL 77, 87; S. BONAVENTURA, In III Sent. d. 33, dub. I: ed. Quaracchi III, 728; ID., In IV Sent. d. 15, p. II, a. 2, q. 1: ibid IV, 371 b; Quaest. de superfluo: ms. Assisi, Bibl. comun. 186, ff. 112ª-113ª; S. ALBERTUS M., In III Sent., d. 33, a. 3, sol. 1: ed. Borgnet XXVIII, 611; ID., In IV Sent. d. 15, a. 16: ibid. XXIX, 494-497. Quod autem ad determinationem superflui nostris temporibus: cf. IOANNES XXIII, Nuntius radiotelevisificus 11 sept. 1962: AAS 54 (1962), p. 682: «Dovere di ogni uomo, dovere impellente del cristiano è di considerare il superfluo con la misura delle necessità altrui, e di ben vigilare perché l'amministrazione e la distribuzione dei beni creati venga posta a vantaggio di tutti».
149. Valet in illo casu antiquum principium: «in extrema necessitate omnia sunt communia, id est communicanda». Alia ex parte pro ratione, extensione et modo quo applicatur principium in textu proposito, praeter modernos probatos auctores: cf. S. THOMAS, Summa Theol. II-II, q. 66, a. 7. Ut patet, pro recta applicatione principii, omnes condiciones moraliter requisitae servandae sunt.
151. Cf. LEO XIII, Litt. Encycl. Rerum Novarum: ASS 23 (1890-91), pp. 643-646; PIUS XI, Litt. Encycl. Quadragesimo anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 191; PIUS XII, Nuntius radiophonicus 1 iunii 1941: AAS 33 (1941), p. 199; ID., Nuntius radiophonicus in pervigilio Natalis Domini 1942: AAS 35 (1943), p. 17; ID., Nuntius radiophonicus 1 sept. 1944: AAS 36 (1944), p. 253; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 428-429.
159. Cf. PIUS XII, Nuntius radioph., 24 dec. 1942: AAS 35 (1943), pp. 9-24; 24 dec. 1944: AAS 37 (1945), pp. 11-17; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris:: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 263, 271, 277-278.
166. Cf. IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris, 11 aprilis 1963: AAS 55 (1963), p. 291: «Quare aetate hac nostra, quae vi atomica gloriatur, alienum est a ratione, bellum iam aptum esse ad violata iura sarcienda».
167. Cf. PIUS XII, Allocutio 30 sept. 1954: AAS 46 (1954), p. 589; Nuntius radiophonicus, 24 dec. 1954: AAS 47 (1955), pp. 15 ss.; IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 286-291; S. PAULUS VI, Allocutio in Consilio Nationum Unitarum 4 oct. 1965: AAS 57 (1965), pp. 877-885.
168. Cf. IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris, ubi de diminutione armorum sermo est: AAS 55 (1963), p. 287. 168 Cf. IOANNES XXIII, Litt. Encycl. Pacem in terris, ubi de diminutione armorum sermo est: AAS 55 (1963), p. 287.
[L] The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of men. United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man. That is why this community realizes that it is truly linked with mankind and its history by the deepest of bonds.
2. Hence this Second Vatican Council, having probed more profoundly into the mystery of the Church, now addresses itself without hesitation, not only to the sons of the Church and to all who invoke the name of Christ, but to the whole of humanity. For the council yearns to explain to everyone how it conceives of the presence and activity of the Church in the world of today.
Therefore, the council focuses its attention on the world of men, the whole human family along with the sum of those realities in the midst of which it lives; that world which is the theater of man's history, and the heir of his energies, his tragedies and his triumphs; that world which the Christian sees as created and sustained by its Maker's love, fallen indeed into the bondage of sin, yet emancipated now by Christ, Who was crucified and rose again to break the strangle hold of personified evil, so that the world might be fashioned anew according to God's design and reach its fulfillment.
3. Though mankind is stricken with wonder at its own discoveries and its power, it often raises anxious questions about the current trend of the world, about the place and role of man in the universe, about the meaning of its individual and collective strivings, and about the ultimate destiny of reality and of humanity. Hence, giving witness and voice to the faith of the whole people of God gathered together by Christ, this council can provide no more eloquent proof of its solidarity with, as well as its respect and love for the entire human family with which it is bound up, than by engaging with it in conversation about these various problems. The council brings to mankind light kindled from the Gospel, and puts at its disposal those saving resources which the Church herself, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, receives from her Founder. For the human person deserves to be preserved; human society deserves to be renewed. Hence the focal point of our total presentation will be man himself, whole and entire, body and soul, heart and conscience, mind and will.
Therefore, this sacred synod, proclaiming the noble destiny of man and championing the Godlike seed which has been sown in him, offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men which corresponds to this destiny of theirs. Inspired by no earthly ambition, the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served.(2)
[L] To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. Some of the main features of the modern world can be sketched as follows.
Today, the human race is involved in a new stage of history. Profound and rapid changes are spreading by degrees around the whole world. Triggered by the intelligence and creative energies of man, these changes recoil upon him, upon his decisions and desires, both individual and collective, and upon his manner of thinking and acting with respect to things and to people. Hence we can already speak of a true cultural and social transformation, one which has repercussions on man's religious life as well.
As happens in any crisis of growth, this transformation has brought serious difficulties in its wake. Thus while man extends his power in every direction, he does not always succeed in subjecting it to his own welfare. Striving to probe more profoundly into the deeper recesses of his own mind, he frequently appears more unsure of himself. Gradually and more precisely he lays bare the laws of society, only to be paralyzed by uncertainty about the direction to give it.
Never has the human race enjoyed such an abundance of wealth, resources and economic power, and yet a huge proportion of the worlds citizens are still tormented by hunger and poverty, while countless numbers suffer from total illiteracy. Never before has man had so keen an understanding of freedom, yet at the same time new forms of social and psychological slavery make their appearance. Although the world of today has a very vivid awareness of its unity and of how one man depends on another in needful solidarity, it is most grievously torn into opposing camps by conflicting forces. For political, social, economic, racial and ideological disputes still continue bitterly, and with them the peril of a war which would reduce everything to ashes. True, there is a growing exchange of ideas, but the very words by which key concepts are expressed take on quite different meanings in diverse ideological systems. Finally, man painstakingly searches for a better world, without a corresponding spiritual advancement.
Influenced by such a variety of complexities, many of our contemporaries are kept from accurately identifying permanent values and adjusting them properly to fresh discoveries. As a result, buffeted between hope and anxiety and pressing one another with questions about the present course of events, they are burdened down with uneasiness. This same course of events leads men to look for answers; indeed, it forces them to do so.
5. Today's spiritual agitation and the changing conditions of life are part of a broader and deeper revolution. As a result of the latter, intellectual formation is ever increasingly based on the mathematical and natural sciences and on those dealing with man himself, while in the practical order the technology which stems from these sciences takes on mounting importance.
This scientific spirit has a new kind of impact on the cultural sphere and on modes of thought. Technology is now transforming the face of the earth, and is already trying to master outer space. To a certain extent, the human intellect is also broadening its dominion over time: over the past by means of historical knowledge; over the future, by the art of projecting and by planning.
Advances in biology, psychology, and the social sciences not only bring men hope of improved self-knowledge; in conjunction with technical methods, they are helping men exert direct influence on the life of social groups.
At the same time, the human race is giving steadily-increasing thought to forecasting and regulating its own population growth. History itself speeds along on so rapid a course that an individual person can scarcely keep abreast of it. The destiny of the human community has become all of a piece, where once the various groups of men had a kind of private history of their own.
Thus, the human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one. In consequence there has arisen a new series of problems, a series as numerous as can be, calling for efforts of analysis and synthesis.
6. By this very circumstance, the traditional local communities such as families, clans, tribes, villages, various groups and associations stemming from social contacts, experience more thorough changes every day.
The industrial type of society is gradually being spread, leading some nations to economic affluence, and radically transforming ideas and social conditions established for centuries.
Likewise, the cult and pursuit of city living has grown, either because of a multiplication of cities and their inhabitants, or by a transplantation of city life to rural settings.
New and more efficient media of social communication are contributing to the knowledge of events; by setting off chain reactions they are giving the swiftest and widest possible circulation to styles of thought and feeling.
It is also noteworthy how many men are being induced to migrate on various counts, and are thereby changing their manner of life. Thus a man's ties with his fellows are constantly being multiplied, and at the same time "socialization" brings further ties, without however always promoting appropriate personal development and truly personal relationships.
This kind of evolution can be seen more clearly in those nations which already enjoy the conveniences of economic and technological progress, though it is also astir among peoples still striving for such progress and eager to secure for themselves the advantages of an industrialized and urbanized society. These peoples, especially those among them who are attached to older traditions, are simultaneously undergoing a movement toward more mature and personal exercise of liberty.
7. A change in attitudes and in human structures frequently calls accepted values into question, especially among young people, who have grown impatient on more than one occasion, and indeed become rebels in their distress. Aware of their own influence in the life of society, they want a part in it sooner. This frequently causes parents and educators to experience greater difficulties day by day in discharging their tasks. The institutions, laws and modes of thinking and feeling as handed down from previous generations do not always seem to be well adapted to the contemporary state of affairs; hence arises an upheaval in the manner and even the norms of behavior.
Finally, these new conditions have their impact on religion. On the one hand a more critical ability to distinguish religion from a magical view of the world and from the superstitions which still circulate purifies it and exacts day by day a more personal and explicit adherence to faith. As a result many persons are achieving a more vivid sense of God. On the other hand, growing numbers of people are abandoning religion in practice. Unlike former days, the denial of God or of religion, or the abandonment of them, are no longer unusual and individual occurrences. For today it is not rare for such things to be presented as requirements of scientific progress or of a certain new humanism. In numerous places these views are voiced not only in the teachings of philosophers, but on every side they influence literature, the arts, the interpretation of the humanities and of history and civil laws themselves. As a consequence, many people are shaken.
8. This development coming so rapidly and often in a disorderly fashion, combined with keener awareness itself of the inequalities in the world beget or intensify contradictions and imbalances.
Within the individual person there develops rather frequently an imbalance between an intellect which is modern in practical matters and a theoretical system of thought which can neither master the sum total of its ideas, nor arrange them adequately into a synthesis. Likewise an imbalance arises between a concern for practicality and efficiency, and the demands of moral conscience; also very often between the conditions of collective existence and the requisites of personal thought, and even of contemplation. At length there develops an imbalance between specialized human activity and a comprehensive view of reality.
As for the family, discord results from population, economic and social pressures, or from difficulties which arise between succeeding generations, or from new social relationships between men and women.
Differences crop up too between races and between various kinds of social orders; between wealthy nations and those which are less influential or are needy; finally, between international institutions born of the popular desire for peace, and the ambition to propagate one's own ideology, as well as collective greeds existing in nations or other groups.
What results is mutual distrust, enmities, conflicts and hardships. Of such is man at once the cause and the victim.
9. Meanwhile the conviction grows not only that humanity can and should increasingly consolidate its control over creation, but even more, that it devolves on humanity to establish a political, social and economic order which will growingly serve man and help individuals as well as groups to affirm and develop the dignity proper to them.
As a result many persons are quite aggressively demanding those benefits of which with vivid awareness they judge themselves to be deprived either through injustice or unequal distribution. Nations on the road to progress, like those recently made independent, desire to participate in the goods of modern civilization, not only in the political field but also economically, and to play their part freely on the world scene. Still they continually fall behind while very often their economic and other dependence on wealthier nations advances more rapidly.
People hounded by hunger call upon those better off. Where they have not yet won it, women claim for themselves an equity with men before the law and in fact. Laborers and farmers seek not only to provide for the necessities of life, but to develop the gifts of their personality by their labors and indeed to take part in regulating economic, social, political and cultural life. Now, for the first time in human history all people are convinced that the benefits of culture ought to be and actually can be extended to everyone.
Still, beneath all these demands lies a deeper and more widespread longing: persons and societies thirst for a full and free life worthy of man; one in which they can subject to their own welfare all that the modern world can offer them so abundantly. In addition, nations try harder every day to bring about a kind of universal community.
Since all these things are so, the modern world shows itself at once powerful and weak, capable of the noblest deeds or the foulest; before it lies the path to freedom or to slavery, to progress or retreat, to brotherhood or hatred. Moreover, man is becoming aware that it is his responsibility to guide aright the forces which he has unleashed and which can enslave him or minister to him. That is why he is putting questions to himself.
10. The truth is that the imbalances under which the modern world labors are linked with that more basic imbalance which is rooted in the heart of man. For in man himself many elements wrestle with one another. Thus, on the one hand, as a creature he experiences his limitations in a multitude of ways; on the other he feels himself to be boundless in his desires and summoned to a higher life. Pulled by manifold attractions he is constantly forced to choose among them and renounce some. Indeed, as a weak and sinful being, he often does what he would not, and fails to do what he would.(1) Hence he suffers from internal divisions, and from these flow so many and such great discords in society. No doubt many whose lives are infected with a practical materialism are blinded against any sharp insight into this kind of dramatic situation; or else, weighed down by unhappiness they are prevented from giving the matter any thought. Thinking they have found serenity in an interpretation of reality everywhere proposed these days, many look forward to a genuine and total emancipation of humanity wrought solely by human effort; they are convinced that the future rule of man over the earth will satisfy every desire of his heart. Nor are there lacking men who despair of any meaning to life and praise the boldness of those who think that human existence is devoid of any inherent significance and strive to confer a total meaning on it by their own ingenuity alone.
Nevertheless, in the face of the modern development of the world, the number constantly swells of the people who raise the most basic questions or recognize them with a new sharpness: what is man? What is this sense of sorrow, of evil, of death, which continues to exist despite so much progress? What purpose have these victories purchased at so high a cost? What can man offer to society, what can he expect from it? What follows this earthly life?
The Church firmly believes that Christ, who died and was raised up for all,(2) can through His Spirit offer man the light and the strength to measure up to his supreme destiny. Nor has any other name under the heaven been given to man by which it is fitting for him to be saved.(3) She likewise holds that in her most benign Lord and Master can be found the key, the focal point and the goal of man, as well as of all human history. The Church also maintains that beneath all changes there are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, Who is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.(4) Hence under the light of Christ, the image of the unseen God, the firstborn of every creature,(5) the council wishes to speak to all men in order to shed light on the mystery of man and to cooperate in finding the solution to the outstanding problems of our time.
[L] The People of God believes that it is led by the Lord's Spirit, Who fills the earth. Motivated by this faith, it labors to decipher authentic signs of God's presence and purpose in the happenings, needs and desires in which this People has a part along with other men of our age. For faith throws a new light on everything, manifests God's design for man's total vocation, and thus directs the mind to solutions which are fully human.
This council, first of all, wishes to assess in this light those values which are most highly prized today and to relate them to their divine source. Insofar as they stem from endowments conferred by God on man, these values are exceedingly good. Yet they are often wrenched from their rightful function by the taint in man's heart, and hence stand in need of purification.
What does the Church think of man? What needs to be recommended for the upbuilding of contemporary society? What is the ultimate significance of human activity throughout the world? People are waiting for an answer to these questions. From the answers it will be increasingly clear that the People of God and the human race in whose midst it lives render service to each other. Thus the mission of the Church will show its religious, and by that very fact, its supremely human character.
[L] According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.
But what is man? About himself he has expressed, and continues to express, many divergent and even contradictory opinions. In these he often exalts himself as the absolute measure of all things or debases himself to the point of despair. The result is doubt and anxiety. The Church certainly understands these problems. Endowed with light from God, she can offer solutions to them, so that man's true situation can be portrayed and his defects explained, while at the same time his dignity and destiny are justly acknowledged.
For Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created "to the image of God," is capable of knowing and loving his Creator, and was appointed by Him as master of all earthly creatures(1) that he might subdue them and use them to God's glory.(2) "What is man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet" (Ps. 8:5-7).
But God did not create man as a solitary, for from the beginning "male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). Their companionship produces the primary form of interpersonal communion. For by his innermost nature man is a social being, and unless he relates himself to others he can neither live nor develop his potential.
Therefore, as we read elsewhere in Holy Scripture God saw "all that he had made, and it was very good" (Gen. 1:31).
13. Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very onset of his history man abused his liberty, at the urging of the Evil One. Man set himself against God and sought to attain his goal apart from God. Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, but their senseless minds were darkened and they served the creature rather than the Creator.(3) What divine revelation makes known to us agrees with experience. Examining his heart, man finds that he has inclinations toward evil too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his beginning, man has disrupted also his proper relationship to his own ultimate goal as well as his whole relationship toward himself and others and all created things.
Therefore man is split within himself. As a result, all of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. Indeed, man finds that by himself he is incapable of battling the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though he is bound by chains. But the Lord Himself came to free and strengthen man, renewing him inwardly and casting out that "prince of this world" (John 12:31) who held him in the bondage of sin.(4) For sin has diminished man, blocking his path to fulfillment.
The call to grandeur and the depths of misery, both of which are a part of human experience, find their ultimate and simultaneous explanation in the light of this revelation.
14. Though made of body and soul, man is one. Through his bodily composition he gathers to himself the elements of the material world; thus they reach their crown through him, and through him raise their voice in free praise of the Creator.(6) For this reason man is not allowed to despise his bodily life, rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and honorable since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day. Nevertheless, wounded by sin, man experiences rebellious stirrings in his body. But the very dignity of man postulates that man glorify God in his body and forbid it to serve the evil inclinations of his heart.
Now, man is not wrong when he regards himself as superior to bodily concerns, and as more than a speck of nature or a nameless constituent of the city of man. For by his interior qualities he outstrips the whole sum of mere things. He plunges into the depths of reality whenever he enters into his own heart; God, Who probes the heart,(7) awaits him there; there he discerns his proper destiny beneath the eyes of God. Thus, when he recognizes in himself a spiritual and immortal soul, he is not being mocked by a fantasy born only of physical or social influences, but is rather laying hold of the proper truth of the matter.
15. Man judges rightly that by his intellect he surpasses the material universe, for he shares in the light of the divine mind. By relentlessly employing his talents through the ages he has indeed made progress in the practical sciences and in technology and the liberal arts. In our times he has won superlative victories, especially in his probing of the material world and in subjecting it to himself. Still he has always searched for more penetrating truths, and finds them. For his intelligence is not confined to observable data alone, but can with genuine certitude attain to reality itself as knowable, though in consequence of sin that certitude is partly obscured and weakened.
The intellectual nature of the human person is perfected by wisdom and needs to be, for wisdom gently attracts the mind of man to a quest and a love for what is true and good. Steeped in wisdom. man passes through visible realities to those which are unseen.
Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser men are forthcoming. It should also be pointed out that many nations, poorer in economic goods, are quite rich in wisdom and can offer noteworthy advantages to others.
It is, finally, through the gift of the Holy Spirit that man comes by faith to the contemplation and appreciation of the divine plan.(8)
16. In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.(9) Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.(10) In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor.(11) In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. Hence the more right conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality. Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance without losing its dignity. The same cannot be said for a man who cares but little for truth and goodness, or for a conscience which by degrees grows practically sightless as a result of habitual sin.
17. Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain "under the control of his own decisions,"(12) so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man's dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skilful action, apt helps to that end. Since man's freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God's grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil.(13)
18. It is in the face of death that the riddle a human existence grows most acute. Not only is man tormented by pain and by the advancing deterioration of his body, but even more so by a dread of perpetual extinction. He rightly follows the intuition of his heart when he abhors and repudiates the utter ruin and total disappearance of his own person. He rebels against death because he bears in himself an eternal seed which cannot be reduced to sheer matter. All the endeavors of technology, though useful in the extreme, cannot calm his anxiety; for prolongation of biological life is unable to satisfy that desire for higher life which is inescapably lodged in his breast.
Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned(14) will be vanquished, according to the Christian faith, when man who was ruined by his own doing is restored to wholeness by an almighty and merciful Saviour. For God has called man and still calls him so that with his entire being he might be joined to Him in an endless sharing of a divine life beyond all corruption. Christ won this victory when He rose to life, for by His death He freed man from death. Hence to every thoughtful man a solidly established faith provides the answer to his anxiety about what the future holds for him. At the same time faith gives him the power to be united in Christ with his loved ones who have already been snatched away by death; faith arouses the hope that they have found true life with God.
19. The root reason for human dignity lies in man's call to communion with God. From the very circumstance of his origin man is already invited to converse with God. For man would not exist were he not created by Gods love and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator. Still, many of our contemporaries have never recognized this intimate and vital link with God, or have explicitly rejected it. Thus atheism must be accounted among the most serious problems of this age, and is deserving of closer examination.
The word atheism is applied to phenomena which are quite distinct from one another. For while God is expressly denied by some, others believe that man can assert absolutely nothing about Him. Still others use such a method to scrutinize the question of God as to make it seem devoid of meaning. Many, unduly transgressing the limits of the positive sciences, contend that everything can be explained by this kind of scientific reasoning alone, or by contrast, they altogether disallow that there is any absolute truth. Some laud man so extravagantly that their faith in God lapses into a kind of anemia, though they seem more inclined to affirm man than to deny God. Again some form for themselves such a fallacious idea of God that when they repudiate this figment they are by no means rejecting the God of the Gospel. Some never get to the point of raising questions about God, since they seem to experience no religious stirrings nor do they see why they should trouble themselves about religion. Moreover, atheism results not rarely from a violent protest against the evil in this world, or from the absolute character with which certain human values are unduly invested, and which thereby already accords them the stature of God. Modern civilization itself often complicates the approach to God not for any essential reason but because it is so heavily engrossed in earthly affairs.
Undeniably, those who willfully shut out God from their hearts and try to dodge religious questions are not following the dictates of their consciences, and hence are not free of blame; yet believers themselves frequently bear some responsibility for this situation. For, taken as a whole, atheism is not a spontaneous development but stems from a variety of causes, including a critical reaction against religious beliefs, and in some places against the Christian religion in particular. Hence believers can have more than a little to do with the birth of atheism. To the extent that they neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine, or are deficient in their religious, moral or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than reveal the authentic face of God and religion.
20. Modern atheism often takes on a systematic expression which, in addition to other causes, stretches the desires for human independence to such a point that it poses difficulties against any kind of dependence on God. Those who profess atheism of this sort maintain that it gives man freedom to be an end unto himself, the sole artisan and creator of his own history. They claim that this freedom cannot be reconciled with the affirmation of a Lord Who is author and purpose of all things, or at least that this freedom makes such an affirmation altogether superfluous. Favoring this doctrine can be the sense of power which modern technical progress generates in man.
Not to be overlooked among the forms of modern atheism is that which anticipates the liberation of man especially through his economic and social emancipation. This form argues that by its nature religion thwarts this liberation by arousing man's hope for a deceptive future life, thereby diverting him from the constructing of the earthly city. Consequently when the proponents of this doctrine gain governmental power they vigorously fight against religion, and promote atheism by using, especially in the education of youth, those means of pressure which public power has at its disposal.
21. In her loyal devotion to God and men, the Church has already repudiated(16) and cannot cease repudiating, sorrowfully but as firmly as possible, those poisonous doctrines and actions which contradict reason and the common experience of humanity, and dethrone man from his native excellence.
Still, she strives to detect in the atheistic mind the hidden causes for the denial of God; conscious of how weighty are the questions which atheism raises, and motivated by love for all men, she believes these questions ought to be examined seriously and more profoundly.
The Church holds that the recognition of God is in no way hostile to man's dignity, since this dignity is rooted and perfected in God. For man was made an intelligent and free member of society by God Who created him, but even more important, he is called as a son to commune with God and share in His happiness. She further teaches that a hope related to the end of time does not diminish the importance of intervening duties but rather undergirds the acquittal of them with fresh incentives. By contrast, when a divine instruction and the hope of life eternal are wanting, man's dignity is most grievously lacerated, as current events often attest; riddles of life and death, of guilt and of grief go unsolved with the frequent result that men succumb to despair.
Meanwhile every man remains to himself an unsolved puzzle, however obscurely he may perceive it. For on certain occasions no one can entirely escape the kind of self-questioning mentioned earlier, especially when life's major events take place. To this questioning only God fully and most certainly provides an answer as He summons man to higher knowledge and humbler probing.
The remedy which must be applied to atheism, however, is to be sought in a proper presentation of the Church's teaching as well as in the integral life of the Church and her members. For it is the function of the Church, led by the Holy Spirit Who renews and purifies her ceaselessly,(17) to make God the Father and His Incarnate Son present and in a sense visible. This result is achieved chiefly by the witness of a living and mature faith, namely, one trained to see difficulties clearly and to master them. Many martyrs have given luminous witness to this faith and continue to do so. This faith needs to prove its fruitfulness by penetrating the believer's entire life, including its worldly dimensions, and by activating him toward justice and love, especially regarding the needy. What does the most reveal God's presence, however, is the brotherly charity of the faithful who are united in spirit as they work together for the faith of the Gospel(18) and who prove themselves a sign of unity.
While rejecting atheism, root and branch, the Church sincerely professes that all men, believers and unbelievers alike, ought to work for the rightful betterment of this world in which all alike live; such an ideal cannot be realized, however, apart from sincere and prudent dialogue. Hence the Church protests against the distinction which some state authorities make between believers and unbelievers, with prejudice to the fundamental rights of the human person. The Church calls for the active liberty of believers to build up in this world God's temple too. She courteously invites atheists to examine the Gospel of Christ with an open mind.
Above all the Church knows that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart when she champions the dignity of the human vocation, restoring hope to those who have already despaired of anything higher than their present lot. Far from diminishing man, her message brings to his development light, life and freedom. Apart from this message nothing will avail to fill up the heart of man: "Thou hast made us for Thyself," O Lord, "and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee."(19)
22. The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come,(20) namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown.
He Who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15),(21) is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled,(22) by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice(23) and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.(24)
As an innocent lamb He merited for us life by the free shedding of His own blood. In Him God reconciled us(25) to Himself and among ourselves; from bondage to the devil and sin He delivered us, so that each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God "loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20). By suffering for us He not only provided us with an example for our imitation,(26) He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.
The Christian man, conformed to the likeness of that Son Who is the firstborn of many brothers,(27) received "the first-fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23) by which he becomes capable of discharging the new law of love.(28) Through this Spirit, who is "the pledge of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of "the redemption of the body" (Rom. 8:23): "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the death dwells in you, then he who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also bring to life your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11).(29) Pressing upon the Christian to be sure, are the need and the duty to battle against evil through manifold tribulations and even to suffer death. But, linked with the paschal mystery and patterned on the dying Christ, he will hasten forward to resurrection in the strength which comes from hope.(30)
All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way.(31) For, since Christ died for all men,(32) and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery.
Such is the mystery of man, and it is a great one, as seen by believers in the light of Christian revelation. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful. Apart from His Gospel, they overwhelm us. Christ has risen, destroying death by His death; He has lavished life upon us(33) so that, as sons in the Son, we can cry out in the Spirit; Abba, Father(34)
[L] One of the salient features of the modern world is the growing interdependence of men one on the other, a development promoted chiefly by modern technical advances. Nevertheless brotherly dialogue among men does not reach its perfection on the level of technical progress, but on the deeper level of interpersonal relationships. These demand a mutual respect for the full spiritual dignity of the person. Christian revelation contributes greatly to the promotion of this communion between persons, and at the same time leads us to a deeper understanding of the laws of social life which the Creator has written into man's moral and spiritual nature.
Since rather recent documents of the Church's teaching authority have dealt at considerable length with Christian doctrine about human society,(1) this council is merely going to call to mind some of the more basic truths, treating their foundations under the light of revelation. Then it will dwell more at length on certain of their implications having special significance for our day.
24. God, Who has fatherly concern for everyone, has willed that all men should constitute one family and treat one another in a spirit of brotherhood. For having been created in the image of God, Who "from one man has created the whole human race and made them live all over the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26), all men are called to one and the same goal, namely God Himself.
For this reason, love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment. Sacred Scripture, however, teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbor: "If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.... Love therefore is the fulfillment of the Law" (Rom. 13:9-10; cf. 1 John 4:20). To men growing daily more dependent on one another, and to a world becoming more unified every day, this truth proves to be of paramount importance.
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.(2)
25. Man's social nature makes it evident that the progress of the human person and the advance of society itself hinge on one another. For the beginning, the subject and the goal of all social institutions is and must be the human person which for its part and by its very nature stands completely in need of social life.(3) Since this social life is not something added on to man, through his dealings with others, through reciprocal duties, and through fraternal dialogue he develops all his gifts and is able to rise to his destiny.
Among those social ties which man needs for his development some, like the family and political community, relate with greater immediacy to his innermost nature; others originate rather from his free decision. In our era, for various reasons, reciprocal ties and mutual dependencies increase day by day and give rise to a variety of associations and organizations, both public and private. This development, which is called socialization, while certainly not without its dangers, brings with it many advantages with respect to consolidating and increasing the qualities of the human person, and safeguarding his rights.(4)
But if by this social life the human person is greatly aided in responding to his destiny, even in its religious dimensions, it cannot be denied that men are often diverted from doing good and spurred toward and by the social circumstances in which they live and are immersed from their birth. To be sure the disturbances which so frequently occur in the social order result in part from the natural tensions of economic, political and social forms. But at a deeper level they flow from man's pride and selfishness, which contaminate even the social sphere. When the structure of affairs is flawed by the consequences of sin, man, already born with a bent toward evil, finds there new inducements to sin, which cannot be overcome without strenuous efforts and the assistance of grace.
26. Every day human interdependence grows more tightly drawn and spreads by degrees over the whole world. As a result the common good, that is, the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment, today takes on an increasingly universal complexion and consequently involves rights and duties with respect to the whole human race. Every social group must take account of the needs and legitimate aspirations of other groups, and even of the general welfare of the entire human family.(5)
At the same time, however, there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he stands above all things, and his rights and duties are universal and inviolable. Therefore, there must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter; the right to choose a state of life freely and to found a family, the right to education, to employment, to a good reputation, to respect, to appropriate information, to activity in accord with the upright norm of one's own conscience, to protection of privacy and rightful freedom even in matters religious.
Hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person if the disposition of affairs is to be subordinate to the personal realm and not contrariwise, as the Lord indicated when He said that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.(6)
This social order requires constant improvement. It must be founded on truth, built on justice and animated by love; in freedom it should grow every day toward a more humane balance.(7) An improvement in attitudes and abundant changes in society will have to take place if these objectives are to be gained.
God's Spirit, Who with a marvelous providence directs the unfolding of time and renews the face of the earth, is not absent from this development. The ferment of the Gospel too has aroused and continues to arouse in man's heart the irresistible requirements of his dignity.
27. Coming down to practical and particularly urgent consequences, this council lays stress on reverence for man; everyone must consider his every neighbor without exception as another self, taking into account first of all His life and the means necessary to living it with dignity,(8) so as not to imitate the rich man who had no concern for the poor man Lazarus.(9)
In our times a special obligation binds us to make ourselves the neighbor of every person without exception and of actively helping him when he comes across our path, whether he be an old person abandoned by all, a foreign laborer unjustly looked down upon, a refugee, a child born of an unlawful union and wrongly suffering for a sin he did not commit, or a hungry person who disturbs our conscience by recalling the voice of the Lord, "As long as you did it for one of these the least of my brethren, you did it for me" (Matt. 25:40).
Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator.
28. Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.
This love and good will, to be sure, must in no way render us indifferent to truth and goodness. Indeed love itself impels the disciples of Christ to speak the saving truth to all men. But it is necessary to distinguish between error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person even when he is flawed by false or inadequate religious notions.(10) God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts, for that reason He forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone.(11)
The teaching of Christ even requires that we forgive injuries,(12) and extends the law of love to include every enemy, according to the command of the New Law: "You have heard that it was said: Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy. But I say to you: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you" (Matt. 5:43-44).
29. Since all men possess a rational soul and are created in God's likeness, since they have the same nature and origin, have been redeemed by Christ and enjoy the same divine calling and destiny, the basic equality of all must receive increasingly greater recognition.
True, all men are not alike from the point of view of varying physical power and the diversity of intellectual and moral resources. Nevertheless, with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent. For in truth it must still be regretted that fundamental personal rights are still not being universally honored. Such is the case of a woman who is denied the right to choose a husband freely, to embrace a state of life or to acquire an education or cultural benefits equal to those recognized for men.
Therefore, although rightful differences exist between men, the equal dignity of persons demands that a more humane and just condition of life be brought about. For excessive economic and social differences between the members of the one human family or population groups cause scandal, and militate against social justice, equity, the dignity of the human person, as well as social and international peace.
Human institutions, both private and public, must labor to minister to the dignity and purpose of man. At the same time let them put up a stubborn fight against any kind of slavery, whether social or political, and safeguard the basic rights of man under every political system. Indeed human institutions themselves must be accommodated by degrees to the highest of all realities, spiritual ones, even though meanwhile, a long enough time will be required before they arrive at the desired goal.
30. Profound and rapid changes make it more necessary that no one ignoring the trend of events or drugged by laziness, content himself with a merely individualistic morality. It grows increasingly true that the obligations of justice and love are fulfilled only if each person, contributing to the common good, according to his own abilities and the needs of others, also promotes and assists the public and private institutions dedicated to bettering the conditions of human life. Yet there are those who, while possessing grand and rather noble sentiments, nevertheless in reality live always as if they cared nothing for the needs of society. Many in various places even make light of social laws and precepts, and do not hesitate to resort to various frauds and deceptions in avoiding just taxes or other debts due to society. Others think little of certain norms of social life, for example those designed for the protection of health, or laws establishing speed limits; they do not even avert to the fact that by such indifference they imperil their own life and that of others.
Let everyone consider it his sacred obligation to esteem and observe social necessities as belonging to the primary duties of modern man. For the more unified the world becomes, the more plainly do the offices of men extend beyond particular groups and spread by degrees to the whole world. But this development cannot occur unless individual men and their associations cultivate in themselves the moral and social virtues, and promote them in society; thus, with the needed help of divine grace men who are truly new and artisans of a new humanity can be forthcoming
31. In order for individual men to discharge with greater exactness the obligations of their conscience toward themselves and the various group to which they belong, they must be carefully educated to a higher degree of culture through the use of the immense resources available today to the human race. Above all the education of youth from every social background has to be undertaken, so that there can be produced not only men and women of refined talents, but those great-souled persons who are so desperately required by our times.
Now a man can scarcely arrive at the needed sense of responsibility, unless his living conditions allow him to become conscious of his dignity, and to rise to his destiny by spending himself for God and for others. But human freedom is often crippled when a man encounters extreme poverty just as it withers when he indulges in too many of life's comforts and imprisons himself in a kind of splendid isolation. Freedom acquires new strength, by contrast, when a man consents to the unavoidable requirements of social life, takes on the manifold demands of human partnership, and commits himself to the service of the human community.
Hence, the will to play one's role in common endeavors should be everywhere encouraged. Praise is due to those national procedures which allow the largest possible number of citizens to participate in public affairs with genuine freedom. Account must be taken, to be sure, of the actual conditions of each people and the decisiveness required by public authority. If every citizen is to feel inclined to take part in the activities of the various groups which make up the social body, these must offer advantages which will attract members and dispose them to serve others. We can justly consider that the future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping.
32. As God did not create man for life in isolation, but for the formation of social unity, so also "it has pleased God to make men holy and save them not merely as individuals, without bond or link between them, but by making them into a single people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness."(13) So from the beginning of salvation history He has chosen men not just as individuals but as members of a certain community. Revealing His mind to them, God called these chosen ones "His people" (Ex. 3:7-12), and even made a covenant with them on Sinai.(14)
This communitarian character is developed and consummated in the work of Jesus Christ. For the very Word made flesh willed to share in the human fellowship. He was present at the wedding of Cana, visited the house of Zacchaeus, ate with publicans and sinners. He revealed the love of the Father and the sublime vocation of man in terms of the most common of social realities and by making use of the speech and the imagery of plain everyday life. Willingly obeying' the laws of his country He sanctified those human ties, especially family ones, which are the source of social structures. He chose to lead the life proper to an artisan of His time and place.
In His preaching He clearly taught the sons of God to treat one another as brothers. In His prayers He pleaded that all His disciples might be "one." Indeed as the redeemer of all, He offered Himself for all even to point of death. "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). He commanded His Apostles to preach to all peoples the Gospel's message that the human race was to become the Family of God, in which the fullness of the Law would be love.
As the firstborn of many brethren and by the giving of His Spirit, He founded after His death and resurrection a new brotherly community composed of all those who receive Him in faith and in love. This He did through His Body, which is the Church. There everyone, as members one of the other, would render mutual service according to the different gifts bestowed on each.
This solidarity must be constantly increased until that day on which it will be brought to perfection. Then, saved by grace, men will offer flawless glory to God as a family beloved of God and of Christ their Brother.
[L] Through his labors and his native endowments man has ceaselessly striven to better his life. Today, however, especially with the help of science and technology, he has extended his mastery over nearly the whole of nature and continues to do so. Thanks to increased opportunities for many kinds of social contact among nations, the human family is gradually recognizing that it comprises a single world community and is making itself so. Hence many benefits once looked for, especially from heavenly powers, man has now enterprisingly procured for himself.
In the face of these immense efforts which already preoccupy the whole human race, men agitate numerous questions among themselves. What is the meaning and value of this feverish activity? How should all these things be used? To the achievement of what goal are the strivings of individuals and societies heading? The Church guards the heritage of God's word and draws from it moral and religious principles without always having at hand the solution to particular problems. As such she desires to add the light of revealed truth to mankind's store of experience, so that the path which humanity has taken in recent times will not be a dark one.
34. Throughout the course of the centuries, men have labored to better the circumstances of their lives through a monumental amount of individual and collective effort. To believers, this point is settled: considered in itself, this human activity accords with God's will. For man, created to God's image, received a mandate to subject to himself the earth and all it contains, and to govern the world with justice and holiness;(1) a mandate to relate himself and the totality of things to Him Who was to be acknowledged as the Lord and Creator of all. Thus, by the subjection of all things to man, the name of God would be wonderful in all the earth.(2)
This mandate concerns the whole of everyday activity as well. For while providing the substance of life for themselves and their families, men and women are performing their activities in a way which appropriately benefits society. They can justly consider that by their labor they are unfolding the Creator's work, consulting the advantages of their brother men, and are contributing by their personal industry to the realization in history of the divine plan.(3)
Thus, far from thinking that works produced by man's own talent and energy are in opposition to God's power, and that the rational creature exists as a kind of rival to the Creator, Christians are convinced that the triumphs of the human race are a sign of God's grace and the flowering of His own mysterious design. For the greater man's power becomes, the farther his individual and community responsibility extends. Hence it is clear that men are not deterred by the Christian message from building up the world, or impelled to neglect the welfare of their fellows, but that they are rather more stringently bound to do these very things.(4)
35. Human activity, to be sure, takes its significance from its relationship to man. Just as it proceeds from man, so it is ordered toward man. For when a man works he not only alters things and society, he develops himself as well. He learns much, he cultivates his resources, he goes outside of himself and beyond himself. Rightly understood this kind of growth is of greater value than any external riches which can be garnered. A man is more precious for what he is than for what he has.(5) Similarly, all that men do to obtain greater justice, wider brotherhood, a more humane disposition of social relationships has greater worth than technical advances. For these advances can supply the material for human progress, but of themselves alone they can never actually bring it about.
Hence, the norm of human activity is this: that in accord with the divine plan and will, it harmonize with the genuine good of the human race, and that it allow men as individuals and as members of society to pursue their total vocation and fulfill it.
36. Now many of our contemporaries seem to fear that a closer bond between human activity and religion will work against the independence of men, of societies, or of the sciences.
If by the autonomy of earthly affairs we mean that created things and societies themselves enjoy their own laws and values which must be gradually deciphered, put to use, and regulated by men, then it is entirely right to demand that autonomy. Such is not merely required by modern man, but harmonizes also with the will of the Creator. For by the very circumstance of their having been created, all things are endowed with their own stability, truth, goodness, proper laws and order. Man must respect these as he isolates them by the appropriate methods of the individual sciences or arts. Therefore if methodical investigation within every branch of learning is carried out in a genuinely scientific manner and in accord with moral norms, it never truly conflicts with faith, for earthly matters and the concerns of faith derive from the same God. (6) Indeed whoever labors to penetrate the secrets of reality with a humble and steady mind, even though he is unaware of the fact, is nevertheless being led by the hand of God, who holds all things in existence, and gives them their identity. Consequently, we cannot but deplore certain habits of mind, which are sometimes found too among Christians, which do not sufficiently attend to the rightful independence of science and which, from the arguments and controversies they spark, lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed.(7)
But if the expression, the independence of temporal affairs, is taken to mean that created things do not depend on God, and that man can use them without any reference to their Creator, anyone who acknowledges God will see how false such a meaning is. For without the Creator the creature would disappear. For their part, however, all believers of whatever religion always hear His revealing voice in the discourse of creatures. When God is forgotten, however, the creature itself grows unintelligible.
37. Sacred Scripture teaches the human family what the experience of the ages confirms: that while human progress is a great advantage to man, it brings with it a strong temptation. For when the order of values is jumbled and bad is mixed with the good, individuals and groups pay heed solely to their own interests, and not to those of others. Thus it happens that the world ceases to be a place of true brotherhood. In our own day, the magnified power of humanity threatens to destroy the race itself.
For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested.(8) Caught in this conflict, man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good, nor can he achieve his own integrity without great efforts and the help of God's grace.
That is why Christ's Church, trusting in the design of the Creator, acknowledges that human progress can serve man's true happiness, yet she cannot help echoing the Apostle's warning: "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2). Here by the world is meant that spirit of vanity and malice which transforms into an instrument of sin those human energies intended for the service of God and man.
Hence if anyone wants to know how this unhappy situation can be overcome, Christians will tell him that all human activity, constantly imperiled by man's pride and deranged self-love, must be purified and perfected by the power of Christ's cross and resurrection. For redeemed by Christ and made a new creature in the Holy Spirit, man is able to love the things themselves created by God, and ought to do so. He can receive them from God and respect and reverence them as flowing constantly from the hand of God. Grateful to his Benefactor for these creatures, using and enjoying them in detachment and liberty of spirit, man is led forward into a true possession of them, as having nothing, yet possessing all things.(9) "All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:22-23).
38. For God's Word, through Whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh and dwelt on the earth of men.(10) Thus He entered the world's history as a perfect man, taking that history up into Himself and summarizing it.(11) He Himself revealed to us that "God is love" (1 John 4:8) and at the same time taught us that the new command of love was the basic law of human perfection and hence of the worlds transformation.
To those, therefore, who believe in divine love, He gives assurance that the way of love lies open to men and that the effort to establish a universal brotherhood is not a hopeless one. He cautions them at the same time that this charity is not something to be reserved for important matters, but must be pursued chiefly in the ordinary circumstances of life. Undergoing death itself for all of us sinners,(12) He taught us by example that we too must shoulder that cross which the world and the flesh inflict upon those who search after peace and justice. Appointed Lord by His resurrection and given plenary power in heaven and on earth,(13) Christ is now at work in the hearts of men through the energy of His Holy Spirit, arousing not only a desire for the age to come, but by that very fact animating, purifying and strengthening those noble longings too by which the human family makes its life more human and strives to render the whole earth submissive to this goal.
Now, the gifts of the Spirit are diverse: while He calls some to give clear witness to the desire for a heavenly home and to keep that desire green among the human family, He summons others to dedicate themselves to the earthly service of men and to make ready the material of the celestial realm by this ministry of theirs. Yet He frees all of them so that by putting aside love of self and bringing all earthly resources into the service of human life they can devote themselves to that future when humanity itself will become an offering accepted by God.(14)
The Lord left behind a pledge of this hope and strength for life's journey in that sacrament of faith where natural elements refined by man are gloriously changed into His Body and Blood, providing a meal of brotherly solidarity and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
39. We do not know the time for the consummation of the earth and of humanity,(15) nor do we know how all things will be transformed. As deformed by sin, the shape of this world will pass away;(16) but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide,(17) and whose blessedness will answer and surpass all the longings for peace which spring up in the human heart.(18) Then, with death overcome, the sons of God will be raised up in Christ, and what was sown in weakness and corruption will be invested with incorruptibility.(19) Enduring with charity and its fruits,(20) all that creation(21) which God made on man's account will be unchained from the bondage of vanity.
Therefore, while we are warned that it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose himself,(22) the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one. For here grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now is able to give some kind of foreshadowing of the new age.
Hence, while earthly progress must be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ's kingdom, to the extent that the former can contribute to the better ordering of human society, it is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God.(23)
For after we have obeyed the Lord, and in His Spirit nurtured on earth the values of human dignity, brotherhood and freedom, and indeed all the good fruits of our nature and enterprise, we will find them again, but freed of stain, burnished and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the Father: "a kingdom eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace."(24) On this earth that Kingdom is already present in mystery. When the Lord returns it will be brought into full flower.
[L] Everything we have said about the dignity of the human person, and about the human community and the profound meaning of human activity, lays the foundation for the relationship between the Church and the world, and provides the basis for dialogue between them.(1) In this chapter, presupposing everything which has already been said by this council concerning the mystery of the Church, we must now consider this same Church inasmuch as she exists in the world, living and acting with it.
Coming forth from the eternal Father's love,(2) founded in time by Christ the Redeemer and made one in the Holy Spirit,(3) the Church has a saving and an eschatological purpose which can be fully attained only in the future world. But she is already present in this world, and is composed of men, that is, of members of the earthly city who have a call to form the family of God's children during the present history of the human race, and to keep increasing it until the Lord returns. United on behalf of heavenly values and enriched by them, this family has been "constituted and structured as a society in this world"(4) by Christ, and is equipped "by appropriate means for visible and social union."(5) Thus the Church, at once "a visible association and a spiritual community,"(6) goes forward together with humanity and experiences the same earthly lot which the world does. She serves as a leaven and as a kind of soul for human society(7) as it is to be renewed in Christ and transformed into God's family.
That the earthly and the heavenly city penetrate each other is a fact accessible to faith alone; it remains a mystery of human history, which sin will keep in great disarray until the splendor of God's sons, is fully revealed. Pursuing the saving purpose which is proper to her, the Church does not only communicate divine life to men but in some way casts the reflected light of that life over the entire earth, most of all by its healing and elevating impact on the dignity of the person, by the way in which it strengthens the seams of human society and imbues the everyday activity of men with a deeper meaning and importance. Thus through her individual matters and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly toward making the family of man and its history more human.
In addition, the Catholic Church gladly holds in high esteem the things which other Christian Churches and ecclesial communities have done or are doing cooperatively by way of achieving the same goal. At the same time, she is convinced that she can be abundantly and variously helped by the world in the matter of preparing the ground for the Gospel. This help she gains from the talents and industry of individuals and from human society as a whole. The council now sets forth certain general principles for the proper fostering of this mutual exchange and assistance in concerns which are in some way common to the world and the Church.
41. Modern man is on the road to a more thorough development of his own personality, and to a growing discovery and vindication of his own rights. Since it has been entrusted to the Church to reveal the mystery of God, Who is the ultimate goal of man, she opens up to man at the same time the meaning of his own existence, that is, the innermost truth about himself. The Church truly knows that only God, Whom she serves, meets the deepest longings of the human heart, which is never fully satisfied by what this world has to offer.
She also knows that man is constantly worked upon by God's spirit, and hence can never be altogether indifferent to the problems of religion. The experience of past ages proves this, as do numerous indications in our own times. For man will always yearn to know, at least in an obscure way, what is the meaning of his life, of his activity, of his death. The very presence of the Church recalls these problems to his mind. But only God, Who created man to His own image and ransomed him from sin, provides the most adequate answer to the questions, and this He does through what He has revealed in Christ His Son, Who became man. Whoever follows after Christ, the perfect man, becomes himself more of a man. For by His incarnation the Father's Word assumed, and sanctified through His cross and resurrection, the whole of man, body and soul, and through that totality the whole of nature created by God for man's use.
Thanks to this belief, the Church can anchor the dignity of human nature against all tides of opinion, for example those which undervalue the human body or idolize it. By no human law can the personal dignity and liberty of man be so aptly safeguarded as by the Gospel of Christ which has been entrusted to the Church. For this Gospel announces and proclaims the freedom of the sons of God, and repudiates all the bondage which ultimately results from sin.(8) (cf. Rom. 8:14-17); it has a sacred reverence for the dignity of conscience and its freedom of choice, constantly advises that all human talents be employed in God's service and men's, and, finally, commends all to the charity of all (cf. Matt. 22:39).(9)
This agrees with the basic law of the Christian dispensation. For though the same God is Savior and Creator, Lord of human history as well as of salvation history, in the divine arrangement itself, the rightful autonomy of the creature, and particularly of man is not withdrawn, but is rather re-established in its own dignity and strengthened in it.
The Church, therefore, by virtue of the Gospel committed to her, proclaims the rights of man; she acknowledges and greatly esteems the dynamic movements of today by which these rights are everywhere fostered. Yet these movements must be penetrated by the spirit of the Gospel and protected against any kind of false autonomy. For we are tempted to think that our personal rights are fully ensured only when we are exempt from every requirement of divine law. But this way lies not the maintenance of the dignity of the human person, but its annihilation.
42. The union of the human family is greatly fortified and fulfilled by the unity, founded on Christ,(10) of the family of God's sons.
Christ, to be sure, gave His Church no proper mission in the political, economic or social order. The purpose which He set before her is a religious one.(11) But out of this religious mission itself come a function, a light and an energy which can serve to structure and consolidate the human community according to the divine law. As a matter of fact, when circumstances of time and place produce the need, she can and indeed should initiate activities on behalf of all men, especially those designed for the needy, such as the works of mercy and similar undertakings.
The Church recognizes that worthy elements are found in today's social movements, especially an evolution toward unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms. The promotion of unity belongs to the innermost nature of the Church, for she is, "thanks to her relationship with Christ, a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God, and of the unity of the whole human race."(12) Thus she shows the world that an authentic union, social and external, results from a union of minds and hearts, namely from that faith and charity by which her own unity is unbreakably rooted in the Holy Spirit. For the force which the Church can inject into the modern society of man consists in that faith and charity put into vital practice, not in any external dominion exercised by merely human means.
Moreover, since in virtue of her mission and nature she is bound to no particular form of human culture, nor to any political, economic or social system, the Church by her very universality can be a very close bond between diverse human communities and nations, provided these trust her and truly acknowledge her right to true freedom in fulfilling her mission. For this reason, the Church admonishes her own sons, but also humanity as a whole, to overcome all strife between nations and race in this family spirit of God's children, an in the same way, to give internal strength to human associations which are just.
With great respect, therefore, this council regards all the true, good and just elements inherent in the very wide variety of institutions which the human race has established for itself and constantly continues to establish. The council affirms, moreover, that the Church is willing to assist and promote all these institutions to the extent that such a service depends on her and can be associated with her mission. She has no fiercer desire than that in pursuit of the welfare of all she may be able to develop herself freely under any kind of government which grants recognition to the basic rights of person and family, to the demands of the common good and to the free exercise of her own mission.
43. This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come,(13) think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation.(14) Nor, on the contrary, are they any less wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone and in the discharge of certain moral obligations, and who imagine they can plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life. This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age. Long since, the Prophets of the Old Testament fought vehemently against this scandal(15) and even more so did Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament threaten it with grave punishments.(16) Therefore, let there be no false opposition between professional and social activities on the one part, and religious life on the other. The Christian who neglects his temporal duties, neglects his duties toward his neighbor and even God, and jeopardizes his eternal salvation. Christians should rather rejoice that, following the example of Christ Who worked as an artisan, they are free to give proper exercise to all their earthly activities and to their humane, domestic, professional, social and technical enterprises by gathering them into one vital synthesis with religious values, under whose supreme direction all things are harmonized unto God's glory.
Secular duties and activities belong properly although not exclusively to laymen. Therefore acting as citizens in the world, whether individually or socially, they will keep the laws proper to each discipline, and labor to equip themselves with a genuine expertise in their various fields. They will gladly work with men seeking the same goals. Acknowledging the demands of faith and endowed with its force, they will unhesitatingly devise new enterprises, where they are appropriate, and put them into action. Laymen should also know that it is generally the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city; from priests they may look for spiritual light and nourishment. Let the layman not imagine that his pastors are always such experts, that to every problem which arises, however complicated, they can readily give him a concrete solution, or even that such is their mission. Rather, enlightened by Christian wisdom and giving close attention to the teaching authority of the Church,(17) let the layman take on his own distinctive role.
Often enough the Christian view of things will itself suggest some specific solution in certain circumstances. Yet it happens rather frequently, and legitimately so, that with equal sincerity some of the faithful will disagree with others on a given matter. Even against the intentions of their proponents, however, solutions proposed on one side or another may be easily confused by many people with the Gospel message. Hence it is necessary for people to remember that no one is allowed in the aforementioned situations to appropriate the Church's authority for his opinion. They should always try to enlighten one another through honest discussion, preserving mutual charity and caring above all for the common good.
Since they have an active role to play in the whole life of the Church, laymen are not only bound to penetrate the world with a Christian spirit, but are also called to be witnesses to Christ in all things in the midst of human society.
Bishops, to whom is assigned the task of ruling the Church of God, should, together with their priests, so preach the news of Christ that all the earthly activities of the faithful will be bathed in the light of the Gospel. All pastors should remember too that by their daily conduct and concern(18) they are revealing the face of the Church to the world, and men will judge the power and truth of the Christian message thereby. By their lives and speech, in union with Religious and their faithful, may they demonstrate that even now the Church by her presence alone and by all the gifts which she contains, is an unspent fountain of those virtues which the modern world needs the most.
By unremitting study they should fit themselves to do their part in establishing dialogue with the world and with men of all shades of opinion. Above all let them take to heart the words which this council has spoken: "Since humanity today increasingly moves toward civil, economic and social unity, it is more than ever necessary that priests, with joint concern and energy, and under the guidance of the bishops and the supreme pontiff, erase every cause of division, so that the whole human race may be led to the unity of God's family."(19)
Although by the power of the Holy Spirit the Church will remain the faithful spouse of her Lord and will never cease to be the sign of salvation on earth, still she is very well aware that among her members,(20) both clerical and lay, some have been unfaithful to the Spirit of God during the course of many centuries; in the present age, too, it does not escape the Church how great a distance lies between the message she offers and the human failings of those to whom the Gospel is entrusted. Whatever be the judgement of history on these defects, we ought to be conscious of them, and struggle against them energetically, lest they inflict harm on spread of the Gospel. The Church also realizes that in working out her relationship with the world she always has great need of the ripening which comes with the experience of the centuries. Led by the Holy Spirit, Mother Church unceasingly exhorts her sons "to purify and renew themselves so that the sign of Christ can shine more brightly on the face of the Church."(21)
44. Just as it is in the world's interest to acknowledge the Church as an historical reality, and to recognize her good influence, so the Church herself knows how richly she has profited by the history and development of humanity.
The experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, and the treasures hidden in the various forms of human culture, by all of which the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened, these profit the Church, too. For, from the beginning of her history she has learned to express the message of Christ with the help of the ideas and terminology of various philosophers, and and has tried to clarify it with their wisdom, too. Her purpose has been to adapt the Gospel to the grasp of all as well as to the needs of the learned, insofar as such was appropriate. Indeed this accommodated preaching of the revealed word ought to remain the law of all evangelization. For thus the ability to express Christ's message in its own way is developed in each nation, and at the same time there is fostered a living exchange between the Church and the diverse cultures of people.(22) To promote such exchange, especially in our days, the Church requires the special help of those who live in the world, are versed in different institutions and specialties, and grasp their innermost significance in the eyes of both believers and unbelievers. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it is the task of the entire People of God, especially pastors and theologians, to hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage.
Since the Church has a visible and social structure as a sign of her unity in Christ, she can and ought to be enriched by the development of human social life, not that there is any lack in the constitution given her by Christ, but that she can understand it more penetratingly, express it better, and adjust it more successfully to our times. Moreover, she gratefully understands that in her community life no less than in her individual sons, she receives a variety of helps from men of every rank and condition, for whoever promotes the human community at the family level, culturally, in its economic, social and political dimensions, both nationally and internationally, such a one, according to God's design, is contributing greatly to the Church as well, to the extent that she depends on things outside herself. Indeed, the Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her.(23)
45. While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention: that God's kingdom may come, and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass. For every benefit which the People of God during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family stems from the fact that the Church is "the universal sacrament of salvation",(24) simultaneously manifesting and exercising the mystery of God's love.
For God's Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as perfect man He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.(25) He it is Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead. Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God's love: "To reestablish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth" (Eph. 11:10).
The Lord Himself speaks: "Behold I come quickly! And my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (Rev. 22:12-13).
[L] This council has set forth the dignity of the human person, and the work which men have been destined to undertake throughout the world both as individuals and as members of society. There are a number of particularly urgent needs characterizing the present age, needs which go to the roots of the human race. To a consideration of these in the light of the Gospel and of human experience, the council would now direct the attention of all.
Of the many subjects arousing universal concern today, it may be helpful to concentrate on these: marriage and the family, human progress, life in its economic, social and political dimensions, the bonds between the family of nations, and peace. On each of these may there shine the radiant ideals proclaimed by Christ. By these ideals may Christians be led, and all mankind enlightened, as they search for answers to questions of such complexity.
[L] The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family. Hence Christians and all men who hold this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by which men today find help in fostering this community of love and perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits from them and labor to bring them about.
Yet the excellence of this institution is not everywhere reflected with equal brilliance, since polygamy, the plague of divorce, so-called free love and other disfigurements have an obscuring effect. In addition, married love is too often profaned by excessive self-love, the worship of pleasure and illicit practices against human generation. Moreover, serious disturbances are caused in families by modern economic conditions, by influences at once social and psychological, and by the demands of civil society. Finally, in certain parts of the world problems resulting from population growth are generating concern.
All these situations have produced anxiety of consciences. Yet, the power and strength of the institution of marriage and family can also be seen in the fact that time and again, despite the difficulties produced, the profound changes in modern society reveal the true character of this institution in one way or another.
Therefore, by presenting certain key points of Church doctrine in a clearer light, this sacred synod wishes to offer guidance and support to those Christians and other men who are trying to preserve the holiness and to foster the natural dignity of the married state and its superlative value.
48. The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and qualified by His laws, and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent. Hence by that human act whereby spouses mutually bestow and accept each other a relationship arises which by divine will and in the eyes of society too is a lasting one. For the good of the spouses and their off-springs as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes.(1) All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown. Thus a man and a woman, who by their compact of conjugal love "are no longer two, but one flesh" (Matt. 19:ff), render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions. Through this union they experience the meaning of their oneness and attain to it with growing perfection day by day. As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them.(2)
Christ the Lord abundantly blessed this many-faceted love, welling up as it does from the fountain of divine love and structured as it is on the model of His union with His Church. For as God of old made Himself present(3) to His people through a covenant of love and fidelity, so now the Savior of men and the Spouse(4) of the Church comes into the lives of married Christians through the sacrament of matrimony. He abides with them thereafter so that just as He loved the Church and handed Himself over on her behalf,(6) the spouses may love each other with perpetual fidelity through mutual self-bestowal.
Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is governed and enriched by Christ's redeeming power and the saving activity of the Church, so that this love may lead the spouses to God with powerful effect and may aid and strengthen them in sublime office of being a father or a mother.(6) For this reason Christian spouses have a special sacrament by which they are fortified and receive a kind of consecration in the duties and dignity of their state.(7) By virtue of this sacrament, as spouses fulfil their conjugal and family obligation, they are penetrated with the spirit of Christ, which suffuses their whole lives with faith, hope and charity. Thus they increasingly advance the perfection of their own personalities, as well as their mutual sanctification, and hence contribute jointly to the glory of God.
As a result, with their parents leading the way by example and family prayer, children and indeed everyone gathered around the family hearth will find a readier path to human maturity, salvation and holiness. Graced with the dignity and office of fatherhood and motherhood, parents will energetically acquit themselves of a duty which devolves primarily on them, namely education and especially religious education.
As living members of the family, children contribute in their own way to making their parents holy. For they will respond to the kindness of their parents with sentiments of gratitude, with love and trust. They will stand by them as children should when hardships overtake their parents and old age brings its loneliness. Widowhood, accepted bravely as a continuation of the marriage vocation, should be esteemed by all.(8) Families too will share their spiritual riches generously with other families. Thus the Christian family, which springs from marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant uniting Christ with the Church,(9) and as a participation in that covenant, will manifest to all men Christ's living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the Church. This the family will do by the mutual love of the spouses, by their generous fruitfulness, their solidarity and faithfulness, and by the loving way in which all members of the family assist one another.
49. The biblical Word of God several times urges the betrothed and the married to nourish and develop their wedlock by pure conjugal love and undivided affection.(10) Many men of our own age also highly regard true love between husband and wife as it manifests itself in a variety of ways depending on the worthy customs of various peoples and times.
This love is an eminently human one since it is directed from one person to another through an affection of the will; it involves the good of the whole person, and therefore can enrich the expressions of body and mind with a unique dignity, ennobling these expressions as special ingredients and signs of the friendship distinctive of marriage. This love God has judged worthy of special gifts, healing, perfecting and exalting gifts of grace and of charity. Such love, merging the human with the divine, leads the spouses to a free and mutual gift of themselves, a gift providing itself by gentle affection and by deed, such love pervades the whole of their lives:(11) indeed by its busy generosity it grows better and grows greater. Therefore it far excels mere erotic inclination, which, selfishly pursued, soon enough fades wretchedly away.
This love is uniquely expressed and perfected through the appropriate enterprise of matrimony. The actions within marriage by which the couple are united intimately and chastely are noble and worthy ones. Expressed in a manner which is truly human, these actions promote that mutual self-giving by which spouses enrich each other with a joyful and a ready will. Sealed by mutual faithfulness and hallowed above all by Christ's sacrament, this love remains steadfastly true in body and in mind, in bright days or dark. It will never be profaned by adultery or divorce. Firmly established by the Lord, the unity of marriage will radiate from the equal personal dignity of wife and husband, a dignity acknowledged by mutual and total love. The constant fulfillment of the duties of this Christian vocation demands notable virtue. For this reason, strengthened by grace for holiness of life, the couple will painstakingly cultivate and pray for steadiness of love, large heartedness and the spirit of sacrifice.
Authentic conjugal love will be more highly prized, and wholesome public opinion created about it if Christian couples give outstanding witness to faithfulness and harmony in their love, and to their concern for educating their children also, if they do their part in bringing about the needed cultural, psychological and social renewal on behalf of marriage and the family. Especially in the heart of their own families, young people should be aptly and seasonably instructed in the dignity, duty and work of married love. Trained thus in the cultivation of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to enter a marriage of their own after an honorable courtship.
50. Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents. The God Himself Who said, "it is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18) and "Who made man from the beginning male and female" (Matt. 19:4), wishing to share with man a certain special participation in His own creative work, blessed male and female, saying: "Increase and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). Hence, while not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior. Who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day.
Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love. Thus they will fulfil their task with human and Christian responsibility, and, with docile reverence toward God, will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God. But in their manner of acting, spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church's teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love, and impels it toward a truly human fulfillment. Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice,(12) married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfil their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family.(13)
Marriage to be sure is not instituted solely for procreation; rather, its very nature as an unbreakable compact between persons, and the welfare of the children, both demand that the mutual love of the spouses be embodied in a rightly ordered manner, that it grow and ripen. Therefore, marriage persists as a whole manner and communion of life, and maintains its value and indissolubility, even when despite the often intense desire of the couple, offspring are lacking.
51. This council realizes that certain modern conditions often keep couples from arranging their married lives harmoniously, and that they find themselves in circumstances where at least temporarily the size of their families should not be increased. As a result, the faithful exercise of love and the full intimacy of their lives is hard to maintain. But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.
To these problems there are those who presume to offer dishonorable solutions indeed; they do not recoil even from the taking of life. But the Church issues the reminder that a true contradiction cannot exist between the divine laws pertaining to the transmission of life and those pertaining to authentic conjugal love.
For God, the Lord of life, has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life in a manner which is worthy of man. Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes. The sexual characteristics of man and the human faculty of reproduction wonderfully exceed the dispositions of lower forms of life. Hence the acts themselves which are proper to conjugal love and which are exercised in accord with genuine human dignity must be honored with great reverence. Hence when there is question of harmonizing conjugal love with the responsible transmission of life, the moral aspects of any procedure does not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives, but must be determined by objective standards. These, based on the nature of the human person and his acts, preserve the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. Such a goal cannot be achieved unless the virtue of conjugal chastity is sincerely practiced. Relying on these principles, sons of the Church may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law.(14)
All should be persuaded that human life and the task of transmitting it are not realities bound up with this world alone. Hence they cannot be measured or perceived only in terms of it, but always have a bearing on the eternal destiny of men.
52. The family is a kind of school of deeper humanity. But if it is to achieve the full flowering of its life and mission, it needs the kindly communion of minds and the joint deliberation of spouses, as well as the painstaking cooperation of parents in the education of their children. The active presence of the father is highly beneficial to their formation. The children, especially the younger among them, need the care of their mother at home. This domestic role of hers must be safely preserved, though the legitimate social progress of women should not be underrated on that account.
Children should be so educated that as adults they can follow their vocation, including a religious one, with a mature sense of responsibility and can choose their state of life; if they marry, they can thereby establish their family in favorable moral, social and economic conditions. Parents or guardians should by prudent advice provide guidance to their young with respect to founding a family, and the young ought to listen gladly. At the same time no pressure, direct or indirect, should be put on the young to make them enter marriage or choose a specific partner.
Thus the family, in which the various generations come together and help one another grow wiser and harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social life, is the foundation of society. All those, therefore, who exercise influence over communities and social groups should work efficiently for the welfare of marriage and the family. Public authority should regard it as a sacred duty to recognize, protect and promote their authentic nature, to shield public morality and to favor the prosperity of home life. The right of parents to beget and educate their children in the bosom of the family must be safeguarded. Children too who unhappily lack the blessing of a family should be protected by prudent legislation and various undertakings and assisted by the help they need.
Christians, redeeming the present time(13) and distinguishing eternal realities from their changing expressions, should actively promote the values of marriage and the family, both by the examples of their own lives and by cooperation with other men of good will. Thus when difficulties arise, Christians will provide, on behalf of family life, those necessities and helps which are suitably modern. To this end, the Christian instincts of the faithful, the upright moral consciences of men, and the wisdom and experience of persons versed in the sacred sciences will have much to contribute.
Those too who are skilled in other sciences, notably the medical, biological, social and psychological, can considerably advance the welfare of marriage and the family along with peace of conscience if by pooling their efforts they labor to explain more thoroughly the various conditions favoring a proper regulation of births.
It devolves on priests duly trained about family matters to nurture the vocation of spouses by a variety of pastoral means, by preaching God's word, by liturgical worship, and by other spiritual aids to conjugal and family life; to sustain them sympathetically and patiently in difficulties, and to make them courageous through love, so that families which are truly illustrious can be formed.
Various organizations, especially family associations, should try by their programs of instruction and action to strengthen young people and spouses themselves, particularly those recently wed, and to train them for family, social and apostolic life.
Finally, let the spouses themselves, made to the image of the living God and enjoying the authentic dignity of persons, be joined to one another(16) in equal affection, harmony of mind and the work of mutual sanctification. Thus, following Christ who is the principle of life,(17) by the sacrifices and joys of their vocation and through their faithful love, married people can become witnesses of the mystery of love which the Lord revealed to the world by His dying and His rising up to life again.(18)
[L] Man comes to a true and full humanity only through culture, that is through the cultivation of the goods and values of nature. Wherever human life is involved, therefore, nature and culture are quite intimately connected one with the other.
The word "culture" in its general sense indicates everything whereby man develops and perfects his many bodily and spiritual qualities; he strives by his knowledge and his labor, to bring the world itself under his control. He renders social life more human both in the family and the civic community, through improvement of customs and institutions. Throughout the course of time he expresses, communicates and conserves in his works, great spiritual experiences and desires, that they might be of advantage to the progress of many, even of the whole human family.
Thence it follows that human culture has necessarily a historical and social aspect and the word "culture" also often assumes a sociological and ethnological sense. According to this sense we speak of a plurality of cultures. Different styles of life and multiple scales of values arise from the diverse manner of using things, of laboring, of expressing oneself, of practicing religion, of forming customs, of establishing laws and juridic institutions, of cultivating the sciences, the arts and beauty. Thus the customs handed down to it form the patrimony proper to each human community. It is also in this way that there is formed the definite, historical milieu which enfolds the man of every nation and age and from which he draws the values which permit him to promote civilization.
[L] The circumstances of the life of modern man have been so profoundly changed in their social and cultural aspects, that we can speak of a new age of human history.(1) New ways are open, therefore, for the perfection and the further extension of culture. These ways have been prepared by the enormous growth of natural, human and social sciences, by technical progress, and advances in developing and organizing means whereby men can communicate with one another. Hence the culture of today possesses particular characteristics: sciences which are called exact greatly develop critical judgment; the more recent psychological studies more profoundly explain human activity; historical studies make it much easier to see things in their mutable and evolutionary aspects, customs and usages are becoming more and more uniform; industrialization, urbanization, and other causes which promote community living create a mass-culture from which are born new ways of thinking, acting and making use of leisure. The increase of commerce between the various nations and human groups opens more widely to all the treasures of different civilizations and thus little by little, there develops a more universal form of human culture, which better promotes and expresses the unity of the human race to the degree that it preserves the particular aspects of the different civilizations.
55. From day to day, in every group or nation, there is an increase in the number of men and women who are conscious that they themselves are the authors and the artisans of the culture of their community. Throughout the whole world there is a mounting increase in the sense of autonomy as well as of responsibility. This is of paramount importance for the spiritual and moral maturity of the human race. This becomes more clear if we consider the unification of the world and the duty which is imposed upon us, that we build a better world based upon truth and justice. Thus we are witnesses of the birth of a new humanism, one in which man is defined first of all by this responsibility to his brothers and to history.
56. In these conditions, it is no cause of wonder that man, who senses his responsibility for the progress of culture, nourishes a high hope but also looks with anxiety upon many contradictory things which he must resolve:
What is to be done to prevent the increased exchanges between cultures, which should lead to a true and fruitful dialogue between groups and nations, from disturbing the life of communities, from destroying the wisdom received from ancestors, or from placing in danger the character proper to each people?
How is the dynamism and expansion of a new culture to be fostered without losing a living fidelity to the heritage of tradition. This question is of particular urgency when a culture which arises from the enormous progress of science and technology must be harmonized with a culture nourished by classical studies according to various traditions.
How can we quickly and progressively harmonize the proliferation of particular branches of study with the necessity of forming a synthesis of them, and of preserving among men the faculties of contemplation and observation which lead to wisdom?
What can be done to make all men partakers of cultural values in the world, when the human culture of those who are more competent is constantly becoming more refined and more complex?
Finally how is the autonomy which culture claims for itself to be recognized as legitimate without generating a notion of humanism which is merely terrestrial, and even contrary to religion itself.
In the midst of these conflicting requirements, human culture must evolve today in such a way that it can both develop the whole human person and aid man in those duties to whose fulfillment all are called, especially Christians fraternally united in one human family.
[L] Christians, on pilgrimage toward the heavenly city, should seek and think of these things which are above.(2) This duty in no way decreases, rather it increases, the importance of their obligation to work with all men in the building of a more human world. Indeed, the mystery of the Christian faith furnishes them with an excellent stimulant and aid to fulfill this duty more courageously and especially to uncover the full meaning of this activity, one which gives to human culture its eminent place in the integral vocation of man.
When man develops the earth by the work of his hands or with the aid of technology, in order that it might bear fruit and become a dwelling worthy of the whole human family and when he consciously takes part in the life of social groups, he carries out the design of God manifested at the beginning of time, that he should subdue the earth, perfect creation and develop himself. At the same time he obeys the commandment of Christ that he place himself at the service of his brethren.
Furthermore, when man gives himself to the various disciplines of philosophy, history and of mathematical and natural science, and when he cultivates the arts, he can do very much to elevate the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty, and to the formation of considered opinions which have universal value. Thus mankind may be more clearly enlightened by that marvelous Wisdom which was with God from all eternity, composing all things with him, rejoicing in the earth, delighting in the sons of men.(4)
In this way, the human spirit, being less subjected to material things, can be more easily drawn to the worship and contemplation of the Creator. Moreover, by the impulse of grace, he is disposed to acknowledge the Word of God, Who before He became flesh in order to save all and to sum up all in Himself was already "in the world" as "the true light which enlightens every man" (John 1:9-10).(5)
Indeed today's progress in science and technology can foster a certain exclusive emphasis on observable data, and an agnosticism about everything else. For the methods of investigation which these sciences use can be wrongly considered as the supreme rule of seeking the whole truth. By virtue of their methods these sciences cannot penetrate to the intimate notion of things. Indeed the danger is present that man, confiding too much in the discoveries of today, may think that he is sufficient unto himself and no longer seek the higher things.
Those unfortunate results, however, do not necessarily follow from the culture of today, nor should they lead us into the temptation of not acknowledging its positive values. Among these values are included: scientific study and fidelity toward truth in scientific inquiries, the necessity of working together with others in technical groups, a sense of international solidarity, a clearer awareness of the responsibility of experts to aid and even to protect men, the desire to make the conditions of life more favorable for all, especially for those who are poor in culture or who are deprived of the opportunity to exercise responsibility. All of these provide some preparation for the acceptance of the message of the Gospel a preparation which can be animated by divine charity through Him Who has come to save the world.
58. There are many ties between the message of salvation and human culture. For God, revealing Himself to His people to the extent of a full manifestation of Himself in His Incarnate Son, has spoken according to the culture proper to each epoch.
Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful.
But at the same time, the Church, sent to all peoples of every time and place, is not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life recent or ancient. Faithful to her own tradition and at the same time conscious of her universal mission, she can enter into communion with the various civilizations, to their enrichment and the enrichment of the Church herself.
The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen man, it combats and removes the errors and evils resulting from the permanent allurement of sin. It never eases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores(6) them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function,(7) stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty.
59. For the above reasons, the Church recalls to the mind of all that culture is to be subordinated to the integral perfection of the human person, to the good of the community and of the whole society. Therefore it is necessary to develop the human faculties in such a way that there results a growth of the faculty of admiration, of intuition, of contemplation, of making personal judgment, of developing a religious, moral and social sense.
Culture, because it flows immediately from the spiritual and social character of man, has constant need of a just liberty in order to develop; it needs also the legitimate possibility of exercising its autonomy according to its own principles. It therefore rightly demands respect and enjoys a certain inviolability within the limits of the common good, as long, of course, as it preserves the rights of the individual and the community, whether particular or universal.
This Sacred Synod, therefore, recalling the teaching of the first Vatican Council, declares that there are "two orders of knowledge" which are distinct, namely faith and reason; and that the Church does not forbid that "the human arts and disciplines use their own principles and their proper method, each in its own domain"; therefore "acknowledging this just liberty," this Sacred Synod affirms the legitimate autonomy of human culture and especially of the sciences.(8)
All this supposes that, within the limits of morality and the common utility, man can freely search for the truth, express his opinion and publish it; that he can practice any art he chooses; that finally, he can avail himself of true information concerning events of a public nature.(9)
As for public authority, it is not its function to determine the character of the civilization, but rather to establish the conditions and to use the means which are capable of fostering the life of culture among all even within the minorities of a nation.(10) It is necessary to do everything possible to prevent culture from being turned away from its proper end and made to serve as an instrument of political or economic power.
[L] It is now possible to free most of humanity from the misery of ignorance. Therefore the duty most consonant with our times, especially for Christians, is that of working diligently for fundamental decisions to be taken in economic and political affairs, both on the national and international level which will everywhere recognize and satisfy the right of all to a human and social culture in conformity with the dignity of the human person without any discrimination of race, sex, nation, religion or social condition. Therefore it is necessary to provide all with a sufficient quantity of cultural benefits, especially of those which constitute the so-called fundamental culture lest very many be prevented from cooperating in the promotion of the common good in a truly human manner because of illiteracy and a lack of responsible activity.
We must strive to provide for those men who are gifted the possibility of pursuing higher studies; and in such a way that, as far as possible, they may occupy in society those duties, offices and services which are in harmony with their natural aptitude and the competence they have acquired.(11) Thus each man and the social groups of every people will be able to attain the full development of their culture in conformity with their qualities and traditions.
Everything must be done to make everyone conscious of the right to culture and the duty he has of developing himself culturally and of helping others. Sometimes there exist conditions of life and of work which impede the cultural striving of men and destroy in them the eagerness for culture. This is especially true of farmers and workers. It is necessary to provide for them those working conditions which will not impede their human culture but rather favor it. Women now work in almost all spheres. It is fitting that they are able to assume their proper role in accordance with their own nature. It will belong to all to acknowledge and favor the proper and necessary participation of women in the cultural life.
61. Today it is more difficult to form a synthesis of the various disciplines of knowledge and the arts than it was formerly. For while the mass and the diversity of cultural factors are increasing, there is a decrease in each man's faculty of perceiving and unifying these things, so that the image of "universal man" is being lost sight of more and more. Nevertheless it remains each man's duty to retain an understanding of the whole human person in which the values of intellect, will, conscience and fraternity are preeminent. These values are all rooted in God the Creator and have been wonderfully restored and elevated in Christ.
The family is, as it were, the primary mother and nurse of this education. There, the children, in an atmosphere of love, more easily learn the correct order of things, while proper forms of human culture impress themselves in an almost unconscious manner upon the mind of the developing adolescent.
Opportunities for the same education are to be found also in the societies of today, due especially to the increased circulation of books and to the new means of cultural and social communication which can foster a universal culture. With the more or less generalized reduction of working hours, the leisure time of most men has increased. May this leisure be used properly to relax, to fortify the health of soul and body through spontaneous study and activity, through tourism which refines man's character and enriches him with understanding of others, through sports activity which helps to preserve equilibrium of spirit even in the community, and to establish fraternal relations among men of all conditions, nations and races. Let Christians cooperate so that the cultural manifestations and collective activity characteristic of our time may be imbued with a human and a Christian spirit.
All these leisure activities however are not able to bring man to a full cultural development unless there is at the same time a profound inquiry into the meaning of culture and science for the human person.
62. Although the Church has contributed much to the development of culture, experience shows that, for circumstantial reasons, it is sometimes difficult to harmonize culture with Christian teaching. These difficulties do not necessarily harm the life of faith, rather they can stimulate the mind to a deeper and more accurate understanding of the faith. The recent studies and findings of science, history and philosophy raise new questions which effect life and which demand new theological investigations. Furthermore, theologians, within the requirements and methods proper to theology, are invited to seek continually for more suitable ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times; for the deposit of Faith or the truths are one thing and the manner in which they are enunciated, in the same meaning and understanding, is another.(12) In pastoral care, sufficient use must be made not only of theological principles, but also of the findings of the secular sciences, especially of psychology and sociology, so that the faithful may be brought to a more adequate and mature life of faith.
Literature and the arts are also, in their own way, of great importance to the life of the Church. They strive to make known the proper nature of man, his problems and his experiences in trying to know and perfect both himself and the world. They have much to do with revealing mans place in history and in the world; with illustrating the miseries and joys, the needs and strengths of man and with foreshadowing a better life for him. Thus they are able to elevate human life, expressed in multifold forms according to various times and regions.
Efforts must be made so that those who foster these arts feel that the Church recognizes their activity and so that, enjoying orderly liberty, they may initiate more friendly relations with the Christian community. The Church acknowledges also new forms of art which are adapted to our age and are in keeping with the characteristics of various nations and regions. They may be brought into the sanctuary since they raise the mind to God, once the manner of expression is adapted and they are conformed to liturgical requirements.(13)
Thus the knowledge of God is better manifested and the preaching of the Gospel becomes clearer to human intelligence and shows itself to be relevant to man's actual conditions of life.
May the faithful, therefore, live in very close union with the other men of their time and may they strive to understand perfectly their way of thinking and judging, as expressed in their culture. Let them blend new sciences and theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and the teaching of Christian doctrine, so that their religious culture and morality may keep pace with scientific knowledge and with the constantly progressing technology. Thus they will be able to interpret and evaluate all things in a truly Christian spirit.
Let those who teach theology in seminaries and universities strive to collaborate with men versed in the other sciences through a sharing of their resources and points of view. Theological inquiry should pursue a profound understanding of revealed truth; at the same time it should not neglect close contact with its own time that it may be able to help these men skilled in various disciplines to attain to a better understanding of the faith. This common effort will greatly aid the formation of priests, who will be able to present to our contemporaries the doctrine of the Church concerning God, man and the world, in a manner more adapted to them so that they may receive it more willingly.(14) Furthermore, it is to be hoped that many of the laity will receive a sufficient formation in the sacred sciences and that some will dedicate themselves professionally to these studies, developing and deepening them by their own labors. In order that they may fulfill their function, let it be recognized that all the faithful, whether clerics or laity, possess a lawful freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought and of expressing their mind with humility and fortitude in those matters on which they enjoy competence.(16)
[L] In the economic and social realms, too, the dignity and complete vocation of the human person and the welfare of society as a whole are to be respected and promoted. For man is the source, the center, and the purpose of all economic and social life.
Like other areas of social life, the economy of today is marked by man's increasing domination over nature, by closer and more intense relationships between citizens, groups, and countries and their mutual dependence, and by the increased intervention of the state. At the same time progress in the methods of production and in the exchange of goods and services has made the economy an instrument capable of better meeting the intensified needs of the human family.
Reasons for anxiety, however, are not lacking. Many people, especially in economically advanced areas, seem, as it were, to be ruled by economics, so that almost their entire personal and social life is permeated with a certain economic way of thinking. Such is true both of nations that favor a collective economy and of others. At the very time when the development of economic life could mitigate social inequalities (provided that it be guided and coordinated in a reasonable and human way), it is often made to embitter them; or, in some places, it even results in a decline of the social status of the underprivileged and in contempt for the poor. While an immense number of people still lack the absolute necessities of life, some, even in less advanced areas, live in luxury or squander wealth. Extravagance and wretchedness exist side by side. While a few enjoy very great power of choice, the majority are deprived of almost all possibility of acting on their own initiative and responsibility, and often subsist in living and working conditions unworthy of the human person.
A similar lack of economic and social balance is to be noticed between agriculture, industry, and the services, and also between different parts of one and the same country. The contrast between the economically more advanced countries and other countries is becoming more serious day by day, and the very peace of the world can be jeopardized thereby.
Our contemporaries are coming to feel these inequalities with an ever sharper awareness, since they are thoroughly convinced that the ampler technical and economic possibilities which the world of today enjoys can and should correct this unhappy state of affairs. Hence, many reforms in the socioeconomic realm and a change of mentality and attitude are required of all. For this reason the Church down through the centuries and in the light of the Gospel has worked out the principles of justice and equity demanded by right reason both for individual and social life and for international life, and she has proclaimed them especially in recent times. This sacred council intends to strengthen these principles according to the circumstances of this age and to set forth certain guidelines, especially with regard to the requirements of economic development.(1)
[L] Today more than ever before attention is rightly given to the increase of the production of agricultural and industrial goods and of the rendering of services, for the purpose of making provision for the growth of population and of satisfying the increasing desires of the human race. Therefore, technical progress, an inventive spirit, an eagerness to create and to expand enterprises, the application of methods of production, and the strenuous efforts of all who engage in production -- in a word, all the elements making for such development -- must be promoted. The fundamental finality of this production is not the mere increase of products nor profit or control but rather the service of man, and indeed of the whole man with regard for the full range of his material needs and the demands of his intellectual, moral, spiritual, and religious life; this applies to every man whatsoever and to every group of men, of every race and of every part of the world. Consequently, economic activity is to be carried on according to its own methods and laws within the limits of the moral order," so that God's plan for mankind may be realized.(3)
65. Economic development must remain under man's determination and must not be left to the judgment of a few men or groups possessing too much economic power or of the political community alone or of certain more powerful nations. It is necessary, on the contrary, that at every level the largest possible number of people and, when it is a question of international relations, all nations have an active share in directing that development. There is need as well of the coordination and fitting and harmonious combination of the spontaneous efforts of individuals and of free groups with the undertakings of public authorities.
Growth is not to be left solely to a kind of mechanical course of the economic activity of individuals, nor to the authority of government. For this reason, doctrines which obstruct the necessary reforms under the guise of a false liberty, and those which subordinate the basic rights of individual persons and groups to the collective organization of production must be shown to be erroneous.(4)
Citizens, on the other hand, should remember that it is their right and duty, which is also to be recognized by the civil authority, to contribute to the true progress of their own community according to their ability. Especially in underdeveloped areas, where all resources must urgently be employed, those who hold back their unproductive resources or who deprive their community of the material or spiritual aid that it needs -- saving the personal right of migration -- gravely endanger the common good.
66. To satisfy the demands of justice and equity, strenuous efforts must be made, without disregarding the rights of persons or the natural qualities of each country, to remove as quickly as possible the immense economic inequalities, which now exist and in many cases are growing and which are connected with individual and social discrimination. Likewise, in many areas, in view of the special difficulties of agriculture relative to the raising and selling of produce, country people must be helped both to increase and to market what they produce, and to introduce the necessary development and renewal and also obtain a fair income. Otherwise, as too often happens, they will remain in the condition of lower-class citizens. Let farmers themselves, especially young ones, apply themselves to perfecting their professional skill, for without it, there can be no agricultural advance.(5)
Justice and equity likewise require that the mobility, which is necessary in a developing economy, be regulated in such a way as to keep the life of individuals and their families from becoming insecure and precarious. When workers come from another country or district and contribute to the economic advancement of a nation or region by their labor, all discrimination as regards wages and working conditions must be carefully avoided. All the people, moreover, above all the public authorities, must treat them not as mere tools of production but as persons, and must help them to bring their families to live with them and to provide themselves with a decent dwelling; they must also see to it that these workers are incorporated into the social life of the country or region that receives them. Employment opportunities, however, should be created in their own areas as far as possible.
In economic affairs which today are subject to change, as in the new forms of industrial society in which automation, for example, is advancing, care must be taken that sufficient and suitable work and the possibility of the appropriate technical and professional formation are furnished. The livelihood and the human dignity especially of those who are in very difficult conditions because of illness or old age must be guaranteed.
[L] Human labor which is expended in the production and exchange of goods or in the performance of economic services is superior to the other elements of economic life, for the latter have only the nature of tools.
This labor, whether it is engaged in independently or hired by someone else, comes immediately from the person, who as it were stamps the things of nature with his seal and subdues them to his will. By his labor a man ordinarily supports himself and his family, is joined to his fellow men and serves them, and can exercise genuine charity and be a partner in the work of bringing divine creation to perfection. Indeed, we hold that through labor offered to God man is associated with the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, Who conferred an eminent dignity on labor when at Nazareth He worked with His own hands. From this there follows for every man the duty of working faithfully and also the right to work. It is the duty of society, moreover, according to the circumstances prevailing in it, and in keeping with its role, to help the citizens to find sufficient employment. Finally, remuneration for labor is to be such that man may be furnished the means to cultivate worthily his own material, social, cultural, and spiritual life and that of his dependents, in view of the function and productiveness of each one, the conditions of the factory or workshop, and the common good.(6)
Since economic activity for the most part implies the associated work of human beings, any way of organizing and directing it which may be detrimental to any working men and women would be wrong and inhuman. It happens too often, however, even in our days, that workers are reduced to the level of being slaves to their own work. This is by no means justified by the so-called economic laws. The entire process of productive work, therefore, must be adapted to the needs of the person and to his way of life, above all to his domestic life, especially in respect to mothers of families, always with due regard for sex and age. The opportunity, moreover, should be granted to workers to unfold their own abilities and personality through the performance of their work. Applying their time and strength to their employment with a due sense of responsibility, they should also all enjoy sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social and religious life. They should also have the opportunity freely to develop the energies and potentialities which perhaps they cannot bring to much fruition in their professional work.
68. In economic enterprises it is persons who are joined together, that is, free and independent human beings created to the image of God. Therefore, with attention to the functions of each -- owners or employers, management or labor -- and without doing harm to the necessary unity of management, the active sharing of all in the administration and profits of these enterprises in ways to be properly determined is to be promoted.(7) Since more often, however, decisions concerning economic and social conditions, on which the future lot of the workers and of their children depends, are made not within the business itself but by institutions on a higher level, the workers themselves should have a share also in determining these conditions -- in person or through freely elected delegates.
Among the basic rights of the human person is to be numbered the right of freely founding unions for working people. These should be able truly to represent them and to contribute to the organizing of economic life in the right way. Included is the right of freely taking part in the activity of these unions without risk of reprisal. Through this orderly participation joined to progressive economic and social formation, all will grow day by day in the awareness of their own function and responsibility, and thus they will be brought to feel that they are comrades in the whole task of economic development and in the attainment of the universal common good according to their capacities and aptitudes.
When, however, socio-economic disputes arise, efforts must be made to come to a peaceful settlement. Although recourse must always be had first to a sincere dialogue between the parties, a strike, nevertheless, can remain even in present-day circumstances a necessary, though ultimate, aid for the defense of the workers' own rights and the fulfillment of their just desires. As soon as possible, however, ways should be sought to resume negotiation and the discussion of reconciliation.
69. God intended the earth with everything contained in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should be in abundance for all in like manner.(8) Whatever the forms of property may be, as adapted to the legitimate institutions of peoples, according to diverse and changeable circumstances, attention must always be paid to this universal destination of earthly goods. In using them, therefore, man should regard the external things that he legitimately possesses not only as his own but also as common in the sense that they should be able to benefit not only him but also others.(9) On the other hand, the right of having a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one's family belongs to everyone. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church held this opinion, teaching that men are obliged to come to the relief of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods.(10) If one is in extreme necessity, he has the right to procure for himself what he needs out of the riches of others.(11) Since there are so many people prostrate with hunger in the world, this sacred council urges all, both individuals and governments, to remember the aphorism of the Fathers, "Feed the man dying of hunger, because if you have not fed him, you have killed him,"(12) and really to share and employ their earthly goods, according to the ability of each, especially by supporting individuals or peoples with the aid by which they may be able to help and develop themselves.
In economically less advanced societies the common destination of earthly goods is partly satisfied by means of the customs and traditions proper to the community, by which the absolutely necessary things are furnished to each member. An effort must be made, however, to avoid regarding certain customs as altogether unchangeable, if they no longer answer the new needs of this age. On the other hand, imprudent action should not be taken against respectable customs which, provided they are suitably adapted to present-day circumstances, do not cease to be very useful. Similarly, in highly developed nations a body of social institutions dealing with protection and security can, for its own part, bring to reality the common destination of earthly goods. Family and social services, especially those that provide for culture and education, should be further promoted. When all these things are being organized, vigilance is necessary to present the citizens from being led into a certain inactivity vis-a-vis society or from rejecting the burden of taking up office or from refusing to serve.
70. Investments, for their part, must be directed toward procuring employment and sufficient income for the people both now and in the future. Whoever makes decisions concerning these investments and the planning of the economy -- whether they be individuals or groups of public authorities -- are bound to keep these objectives in mind and to recognize their serious obligation of watching, on the one hand, that provision be made for the necessities required for a decent life both of individuals and of the whole community and, on the other, of looking out for the future and of establishing a right balance between the needs of present-day consumption, both individual and collective, and the demands of investing for the generation to come. They should also always bear in mind the urgent needs of underdeveloped countries or regions. In monetary matters they should beware of hurting the welfare of their own country or of other countries. Care should also be taken lest the economically weak countries unjustly suffer any loss from a change in the value of money.
71. Since property and other forms of private ownership of external goods contribute to the expression of the personality, and since, moreover, they furnish one an occasion to exercise his function in society and in the economy, it is very important that the access of both individuals and communities to some ownership of external goods be fostered
Private property or some ownership of external goods confers on everyone a sphere wholly necessary for the autonomy of the person and the family, and it should be regarded as an extension of human freedom. Lastly, since it adds incentives for carrying on one's function and charge, it constitutes one of the conditions for civil liberties.(13)
The forms of such ownership or property are varied today and are becoming increasingly diversified. They all remain, however, a cause of security not to be underestimated, in spite of social funds, rights, and services provided by society. This is true not only of material property but also of immaterial things such as professional capacities.
The right of private ownership, however, is not opposed to the right inherent in various forms of public property. Goods can be transferred to the public domain only by the competent authority, according to the demands and within the limits of the common good, and with fair compensation. Furthermore, it is the right of public authority to prevent anyone from abusing his private property to the detriment of the common good.(14)
By its very nature private property has a social quality which is based on the law of the common destination of earthly goods.(15) If this social quality is overlooked, property often becomes an occasion of passionate desires for wealth and serious disturbances, so that a pretext is given to the attackers for calling the right itself into question.
In many underdeveloped regions there are large or even extensive rural estates which are only slightly cultivated or lie completely idle for the sake of profit, while the majority of the people either are without land or have only very small fields, and, on the other hand, it is evidently urgent to increase the productivity of the fields. Not infrequently those who are hired to work for the landowners or who till a portion of the land as tenants receive a wage or income unworthy of a human being, lack decent housing and are exploited by middlemen. Deprived of all security, they live under such personal servitude that almost every opportunity of acting on their own initiative and responsibility is denied to them and all advancement in human culture and all sharing in social and political life is forbidden to them. According to the different cases, therefore, reforms are necessary: that income may grow, working conditions should be improved, security in employment increased, and an incentive to working on one's own initiative given. Indeed, insufficiently cultivated estates should be distributed to those who can make these lands fruitful; in this case, the necessary things and means, especially educational aids and the right facilities for cooperative organization, must be supplied. Whenever, nevertheless, the common good requires expropriation, compensation must be reckoned in equity after all the circumstances have been weighed.
72. Christians who take an active part in present-day socio-economic development and fight for justice and charity should be convinced that they can make a great contribution to the prosperity of mankind and to the peace of the world. In these activities let them, either as individuals or as members of groups, give a shining example. Having acquired the absolutely necessary skill and experience, they should observe the right order in their earthly activities in faithfulness to Christ and His Gospel. Thus their whole life, both individual and social, will be permeated with the spirit of the beatitudes, notably with a spirit of poverty.
Whoever in obedience to Christ seeks first the Kingdom of God, takes therefrom a stronger and purer love for helping all his brethren and for perfecting the work of justice under the inspiration of charity.(16)
[L] In our day, profound changes are apparent also in the structure and institutions of peoples. These result from their cultural, economic and social evolution. Such changes have a great influence on the life of the political community, especially regarding the rights and duties of all in the exercise of civil freedom and in the attainment of the common good, and in organizing the relations of citizens among themselves and with respect to public authority.
The present keener sense of human dignity has given rise in many parts of the world to attempts to bring about a politico-juridical order which will give better protection to the rights of the person in public life. These include the right freely to meet and form associations, the right to express one's own opinion and to profess one's religion both publicly and privately. The protection of the rights of a person is indeed a necessary condition so that citizens, individually or collectively, can take an active part in the life and government of the state.
Along with cultural, economic and social development, there is a growing desire among many people to play a greater part in organizing the life of the political community. In the conscience of many arises an increasing concern that the rights of minorities be recognized, without any neglect for their duties toward the political community. In addition, there is a steadily growing respect for men of other opinions or other religions. At the same time, there is wider cooperation to guarantee the actual exercise of personal rights to all citizens, and not only to a few privileged individuals.
However, those political systems, prevailing in some parts of the world are to be reproved which hamper civic or religious freedom, victimize large numbers through avarice and political crimes, and divert the exercise of authority from the service of the common good to the interests of one or another faction or of the rulers themselves.
There is no better way to establish political life on a truly human basis than by fostering an inward sense of justice and kindliness, and of service to the common good, and by strengthening basic convictions as to the true nature of the political community and the aim, right exercise, and sphere of action of public authority.
74. Men, families and the various groups which make up the civil community are aware that they cannot achieve a truly human life by their own unaided efforts. They see the need for a wider community, within which each one makes his specific contribution every day toward an ever broader realization of the common good.(1) For this purpose they set up a political community according to various forms. The political community exists, consequently, for the sake of the common good, in which it finds its full justification and significance, and the source of its inherent legitimacy. Indeed, the common good embraces the sum of those conditions of the social life whereby men, families and associations more adequately and readily may attain their own perfection.(2)
Yet the people who come together in the political community are many and diverse, and they have every right to prefer divergent solutions. If the political community is not to be torn apart while everyone follows his own opinion, there must be an authority to direct the energies of all citizens toward the common good, not in a mechanical or despotic fashion, but by acting above all as a moral force which appeals to each one's freedom and sense of responsibility.
It is clear, therefore, that the political community and public authority are founded on human nature and hence belong to the order designed by God, even though the choice of a political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free will of citizens.(3)
It follows also that political authority, both in the community as such and in the representative bodies of the state, must always be exercised within the limits of the moral order and directed toward the common good -- with a dynamic concept of that good -- according to the juridical order legitimately established or due to be established. When authority is so exercised, citizens are bound in conscience to obey.(4) Accordingly, the responsibility, dignity and importance of leaders are indeed clear.
But where citizens are oppressed by a public authority overstepping its competence, they should not protest against those things which are objectively required for the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and the rights of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority, while keeping within those limits drawn by the natural law and the Gospels.
According to the character of different peoples and their historic development, the political community can, however, adopt a variety of concrete solutions in its structures and the organization of public authority. For the benefit of the whole human family, these solutions must always contribute to the formation of a type of man who will be cultivated, peace-loving and well-disposed towards all his fellow men.
75. It is in full conformity with human nature that there should be juridico-political structures providing all citizens in an ever better fashion and without any discrimination the practical possibility of freely and actively taking part in the establishment of the juridical foundations of the political community and in the direction of public affairs, in fixing the terms of reference of the various public bodies and in the election of political leaders.(5) All citizens, therefore, should be mindful of the right and also the duty to use their free vote to further the common good. The Church praises and esteems the work of those who for the good of men devote themselves to the service of the state and take on the burdens of this office.
If the citizens' responsible cooperation is to produce the good results which may be expected in the normal course of political life, there must be a statute of positive law providing for a suitable division of the functions and bodies of authority and an efficient and independent system for the protection of rights. The rights of all persons, families and groups, and their practical application, must be recognized, respected and furthered, together with the duties binding on all citizen.(6) Among the latter, it will be well to recall the duty of rendering the political community such material and personal service as are required by the common good. Rulers must be careful not to hamper the development of family, social or cultural groups, nor that of intermediate bodies or organizations, and not to deprive them of opportunities for legitimate and constructive activity; they should willingly seek rather to promote the orderly pursuit of such activity. Citizens, for their part, either individually or collectively, must be careful not to attribute excessive power to public authority, not to make exaggerated and untimely demands upon it in their own interests, lessening in this way the responsible role of persons, families and social groups.
The complex circumstances of our day make it necessary for public authority to intervene more often in social, economic and cultural matters in order to bring about favorable conditions which will give more effective help to citizens and groups in their free pursuit of man's total well-being. The relations, however, between socialization and the autonomy and development of the person can be understood in different ways according to various regions and the evolution of peoples. But when the exercise of rights is restricted temporarily for the common good, freedom should be restored immediately upon change of circumstances. Moreover, it is inhuman for public authority to fall back on dictatorial systems or totalitarian methods which violate the rights of the person or social groups.
Citizens must cultivate a generous and loyal spirit of patriotism, but without being narrow-minded. This means that they will always direct their attention to the good of the whole human family, united by the different ties which bind together races, people and nations.
All Christians must be aware of their own specific vocation within the political community. It is for them to give an example by their sense of responsibility and their service of the common good. In this way they are to demonstrate concretely how authority can be compatible with freedom, personal initiative with the solidarity of the whole social organism, and the advantages of unity with fruitful diversity. They must recognize the legitimacy of different opinions with regard to temporal solutions, and respect citizens, who, even as a group, defend their points of view by honest methods. Political parties, for their part, must promote those things which in their judgement are required for the common good; it is never allowable to give their interests priority over the common good.
Great care must be taken about civic and political formation, which is of the utmost necessity today for the population as a whole, and especially for youth, so that all citizens can play their part in the life of the political community. Those who are suited or can become suited should prepare themselves for the difficult, but at the same time, the very noble art of politics,(8) and should seek to practice this art without regard for their own interests or for material advantages. With integrity and wisdom, they must take action against any form of injustice and tyranny, against arbitrary domination by an individual or a political party and any intolerance. They should dedicate themselves to the service of all with sincerity and fairness, indeed, with the charity and fortitude demanded by political life.
76. It is very important, especially where a pluralistic society prevails, that there be a correct notion of the relationship between the political community and the Church, and a clear distinction between the tasks which Christians undertake, individually or as a group, on their own responsibility as citizens guided by the dictates of a Christian conscience, and the activities which, in union with their pastors, they carry out in the name of the Church.
The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified in any way with the political community nor bound to any political system. She is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person.
The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other. Yet both, under different titles, are devoted to the personal and social vocation of the same men. The more that both foster sounder cooperation between themselves with due consideration for the circumstances of time and place, the more effective will their service be exercised for the good of all. For man's horizons are not limited only to the temporal order; while living in the context of human history, he preserves intact his eternal vocation. The Church, for her part, founded on the love of the Redeemer, contributes toward the reign of justice and charity within the borders of a nation and between nations. By preaching the truths of the Gospel, and bringing to bear on all fields of human endeavor the light of her doctrine and of a Christian witness, she respects and fosters the political freedom and responsibility of citizens.
The Apostles, their successors and those who cooperate with them, are sent to announce to mankind Christ, the Savior. Their apostolate is based on the power of God, Who very often shows forth the strength of the Gospel on the weakness of its witnesses. All those dedicated to the ministry of God's Word must use the ways and means proper to the Gospel which in a great many respects differ from the means proper to the earthly city.
There are, indeed, close links between earthly things and those elements of man's condition which transcend the world. The Church herself makes use of temporal things insofar as her own mission requires it. She, for her part, does not place her trust in the privileges offered by civil authority. She will even give up the exercise of certain rights which have been legitimately acquired, if it becomes clear that their use will cast doubt on the sincerity of her witness or that new ways of life demand new methods. It is only right, however, that at all times and in all places, the Church should have true freedom to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine, to exercise her role freely among men, and also to pass moral judgment in those matters which regard public order when the fundamental rights of a person or the salvation of souls require it. In this, she should make use of all the means -- but only those -- which accord with the Gospel and which correspond to the general good according to the diversity of times and circumstances.
While faithfully adhering to the Gospel and fulfilling her mission to the world, the Church, whose duty it is to foster and elevate(9) all that is found to be true, good and beautiful in the human community, strengthens peace among men for the glory of God.(10)
[L] In our generation when men continue to be afflicted by acute hardships and anxieties arising from the ravages of war or the threat of it, the whole human family faces an hour of supreme crisis in its advance toward maturity. Moving gradually together and everywhere more conscious already of its unity, this family cannot accomplish its task of constructing for all men everywhere a world more genuinely human unless each person devotes himself to the cause of peace with renewed vigor. Thus it happens that the Gospel message, which is in harmony with the loftier strivings and aspirations of the human race, takes on a new luster in our day as it declares that the artisans of peace are blessed "because they will be called the sons of God" (Matt. 5:9).
Consequently, as it points out the authentic and noble meaning of peace and condemns the frightfulness of war, the Council wishes passionately to summon Christians to cooperate, under the help of Christ the author of peace, with all men in securing among themselves a peace based on justice and love and in setting up the instruments of peace.
78. Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice. Peace results from that order structured into human society by its divine Founder, and actualized by men as they thirst after ever greater justice. The common good of humanity finds its ultimate meaning in the eternal law. But since the concrete demands of this common good are constantly changing as time goes on, peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly. Moreover, since the human will is unsteady and wounded by sin, the achievement of peace requires a constant mastering of passions and the vigilance of lawful authority.
But this is not enough. This peace on earth cannot be obtained unless personal well-being is safeguarded and men freely and trustingly share with one another the riches of their inner spirits and their talents. A firm determination to respect other men and peoples and their dignity, as well as the studied practice of brotherhood are absolutely necessary for the establishment of peace. Hence peace is likewise the fruit of love, which goes beyond what justice can provide.
That earthly peace which arises from love of neighbor symbolizes and results from the peace of Christ which radiates from God the Father. For by the cross the incarnate Son, the prince of peace reconciled all men with God. By thus restoring all men to the unity of one people and one body, He slew hatred in His own flesh; and, after being lifted on high by His resurrection, He poured forth the spirit of love into the hearts of men.
For this reason, all Christians are urgently summoned to do in love what the truth requires, and to join with all true peacemakers in pleading for peace and bringing it about.
Motivated by this same spirit, we cannot fail to praise those who renounce the use of violence in the vindication of their rights and who resort to methods of defense which are otherwise available to weaker parties too, provided this can be done without injury to the rights and duties of others or of the community itself.
Insofar as men are sinful, the threat of war hangs over them, and hang over them it will until the return of Christ. But insofar as men vanquish sin by a union of love, they will vanquish violence as well and make these words come true: "They shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).
[L] Even though recent wars have wrought physical and moral havoc on our world, the devastation of battle still goes on day by day in some part of the world. Indeed, now that every kind of weapon produced by modern science is used in war, the fierce character of warfare threatens to lead the combatants to a savagery far surpassing that of the past. Furthermore, the complexity of the modern world and the intricacy of international relations allow guerrilla warfare to be drawn out by new methods of deceit and subversion. In many causes the use of terrorism is regarded as a new way to wage war.
Contemplating this melancholy state of humanity, the council wishes, above all things else, to recall the permanent binding force of universal natural law and its all-embracing principles. Man's conscience itself gives ever more emphatic voice to these principles. Therefore, actions which deliberately conflict with these same principles, as well as orders commanding such actions are criminal, and blind obedience cannot excuse those who yield to them. The most infamous among these are actions designed for the methodical extermination of an entire people, nation or ethnic minority. Such actions must be vehemently condemned as horrendous crimes. The courage of those who fearlessly and openly resist those who issue such commands merits supreme commendation.
On the subject of war, quite a large number of nations have subscribed to international agreements aimed at making military activity and its consequences less inhuman. Their stipulations deal with such matters as the treatment of wounded soldiers and prisoners. Agreements of this sort must be honored. Indeed they should be improved upon so that the frightfulness of war can be better and more workably held in check. All men, especially government officials and experts in these matters, are bound to do everything they can to effect these improvements. Moreover, it seems right that laws make humane provisions for the case of those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms, provided however, that they agree to serve the human community in some other way.
Certainly, war has not been rooted out of human affairs. As long as the danger of war remains and there is no competent and sufficiently powerful authority at the international level, governments cannot be denied the right to legitimate defense once every means of peaceful settlement has been exhausted. State authorities and others who share public responsibility have the duty to conduct such grave matters soberly and to protect the welfare of the people entrusted to their care. But it is one thing to undertake military action for the just defense of the people, and something else again to seek the subjugation of other nations. Nor, by the same token, does the mere fact that war has unhappily begun mean that all is fair between the warring parties.
Those too who devote themselves to the military service of their country should regard themselves as the agents of security and freedom of peoples. As long as they fulfill this role properly, they are making a genuine contribution to the establishment of peace.
80. The horror and perversity of war is immensely magnified by the addition of scientific weapons. For acts of war involving these weapons can inflict massive and indiscriminate destruction, thus going far beyond the bounds of legitimate defense. Indeed, if the kind of instruments which can now be found in the armories of the great nations were to be employed to their fullest, an almost total and altogether reciprocal slaughter of each side by the other would follow, not to mention the widespread devastation that would take place in the world and the deadly after effects that would be spawned by the use of weapons of this kind.
All these considerations compel us to undertake an evaluation of war with an entirely new attitude.(1) The men of our time must realize that they will have to give a somber reckoning of their deeds of war for the course of the future will depend greatly on the decisions they make today.
With these truths in mind, this most holy synod makes its own the condemnations of total war already pronounced by recent popes,(2) and issues the following declaration.
Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation.
The unique hazard of modern warfare consists in this: it provides those who possess modern scientific weapons with a kind of occasion for perpetrating just such abominations; moreover, through a certain inexorable chain of events, it can catapult men into the most atrocious decisions. That such may never truly happen in the future, the bishops of the whole world gathered together, beg all men, especially government officials and military leaders, to give unremitting thought to their gigantic responsibility before God and the entire human race.
81. To be sure, scientific weapons are not amassed solely for use in war. Since the defensive strength of any nation is considered to be dependent upon its capacity for immediate retaliation, this accumulation of arms, which increases each year, likewise serves, in a way heretofore unknown, as deterrent to possible enemy attack. Many regard this procedure as the most effective way by which peace of a sort can be maintained between nations at the present time.
Whatever be the facts about this method of deterrence, men should be convinced that the arms race in which an already considerable number of countries are engaged is not a safe way to preserve a steady peace, nor is the so-called balance resulting from this race a sure and authentic peace. Rather than being eliminated thereby, the causes of war are in danger of being gradually aggravated. While extravagant sums are being spent for the furnishing of ever new weapons, an adequate remedy cannot be provided for the multiple miseries afflicting the whole modern world. Disagreements between nations are not really and radically healed; on the contrary, they spread the infection to other parts of the earth. New approaches based on reformed attitudes must be taken to remove this trap and to emancipate the world from its crushing anxiety through the restoration of genuine peace.
Therefore, we say it again: the arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one which ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree. It is much to be feared that if this race persists, it will eventually spawn all the lethal ruin whose path it is now making ready. Warned by the calamities which the human race has made possible, let us make use of the interlude granted us from above and for which we are thankful to become more conscious of our own responsibility and to find means for resolving our disputes in a manner more worthy of man. Divine Providence urgently demands of us that we free ourselves from the age-old slavery of war. If we refuse to make this effort, we do not know where we will be led by the evil road we have set upon.
It is our clear duty, therefore, to strain every muscle in working for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with the power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped for authority can be set up, the highest existing international centers must devote themselves vigorously to the pursuit of better means for obtaining common security. Since peace must be born of mutual trust between nations and not be imposed on them through a fear of the available weapons, everyone must labor to put an end at last to the arms race, and to make a true beginning of disarmament, not unilaterally indeed, but proceeding at an equal pace according to agreement, and backed up by true and workable safeguards.(3)
82. In the meantime, efforts which have already been made and are still underway to eliminate the danger of war are not to be underrated. On the contrary, support should be given to the good will of the very many leaders who work hard to do away with war, which they abominate. These men, although burdened by the extremely weighty preoccupations of their high office, are nonetheless moved by the very grave peacemaking task to which they are bound, even if they cannot ignore the complexity of matters as they stand. We should fervently ask God to give these men the strength to go forward perseveringly and to follow through courageously on this work of building peace with vigor. It is a work of supreme love for mankind. Today it certainly demands that they extend their thoughts and their spirit beyond the confines of their own nation, that they put aside national selfishness and ambition to dominate other nations, and that they nourish a profound reverence for the whole of humanity, which is already making its way so laboriously toward greater unity.
The problems of peace and of disarmament have already been the subject of extensive, strenuous and constant examination. Together with international meetings dealing with these problems, such studies should be regarded as the first steps toward solving these serious questions, and should be promoted with even greater urgency by way of yielding concrete results in the future.
Nevertheless, men should take heed not to entrust themselves only to the efforts of some, while not caring about their own attitudes. For government officials who must at one and the same time guarantee the good of their own people and promote the universal good are very greatly dependent on public opinion and feeling. It does them no good to work for peace as long as feelings of hostility, contempt and distrust, as well as racial hatred and unbending ideologies, continue to divide men and place them in opposing camps. Consequently there is above all a pressing need for a renewed education of attitudes and for new inspiration in public opinion. Those who are dedicated to the work of education, particularly of the young, or who mold public opinion, should consider it their most weighty task to instruct all in fresh sentiments of peace. Indeed, we all need a change of heart as we regard the entire world and those tasks which we can perform in unison for the betterment of our race.
But we should not let false hope deceive us. For unless enmities and hatred are put away and firm, honest agreements concerning world peace are reached in the future, humanity, which already is in the middle of a grave crisis, even though it is endowed with remarkable knowledge, will perhaps be brought to that dismal hour in which it will experience no peace other than the dreadful peace of death. But, while we say this, the Church of Christ, present in the midst of the anxiety of this age, does not cease to hope most firmly. She intends to propose to our age over and over again, in season and out of season, this apostolic message: "Behold, now is the acceptable time for a change of heart; behold! now is the day of salvation."(4)
[L] In order to build up peace above all the causes of discord among men, especially injustice, which foment wars must be rooted out. Not a few of these causes come from excessive economic inequalities and from putting off the steps needed to remedy them. Other causes of discord, however, have their source in the desire to dominate and in a contempt for persons. And, if we look for deeper causes, we find them in human envy, distrust, pride, and other egotistical passions. Man cannot bear so many ruptures in the harmony of things. Consequently, the world is constantly beset by strife and violence between men, even when no war is being waged. Besides, since these same evils are present in the relations between various nations as well, in order to overcome or forestall them and to keep violence once unleashed within limits it is absolutely necessary for countries to cooperate more advantageously and more closely together and to organize together international bodies and to work tirelessly for the creation of organizations which will foster peace.
84. In view of the increasingly close ties of mutual dependence today between all the inhabitants and peoples of the earth, the apt pursuit and efficacious attainment of the universal common good now require of the community of nations that it organize itself in a manner suited to its present responsibilities, especially toward the many parts of the world which are still suffering from unbearable want.
To reach this goal, organizations of the international community, for their part, must make provision for men's different needs, both in the fields of social life -- such as food supplies, health, education, labor and also in certain special circumstances which can crop up here and there, e.g., the need to promote the general improvement of developing countries, or to alleviate the distressing conditions in which refugees dispersed throughout the world find themselves, or also to assist migrants and their families.
Already existing international and regional organizations are certainly well-deserving of the human race. These are the first efforts at laying the foundations on an international level for a community of all men to work for the solution to the serious problems of our times, to encourage progress everywhere, and to obviate wars of whatever kind. In all of these activities the Church takes joy in the spirit of true brotherhood flourishing between Christians and non-Christians as it strives to make ever more strenuous efforts to relieve abundant misery.
85. The present solidarity of mankind also calls for a revival of greater international cooperation in the economic field. Although nearly all peoples have become autonomous, they are far from being free of every form of undue dependence, and far from escaping all danger of serious internal difficulties.
The development of a nation depends on human and financial aids. The citizens of each country must be prepared by education and professional training to discharge the various tasks of economic and social life. But this in turn requires the aid of foreign specialists who, when they give aid, will not act as overlords, but as helpers and fellow-workers. Developing nations will not be able to procure material assistance unless radical changes are made in the established procedures of modern world commerce. Other aid should be provided as well by advanced nations in the form of gifts, loans or financial investments. Such help should be accorded with generosity and without greed on the one side, and received with complete honesty on the other side.
If an authentic economic order is to be established on a world-wide basis, an end will have to be put to profiteering, to national ambitions, to the appetite for political supremacy, to militaristic calculations, and to machinations for the sake of spreading and imposing ideologies.
86. The following norms seem useful for such cooperation:
a) Developing nations should take great pains to seek as the object for progress to express and secure the total human fulfillment of their citizens. They should bear in mind that progress arises and grows above all out of the labor and genius of the nations themselves because it has to be based, not only on foreign aid, but especially on the full utilization of their own resources, and on the development of their own culture and traditions. Those who exert the greatest influence on others should be outstanding in this respect.
b) On the other hand, it is a very important duty of the advanced nations to help the developing nations in discharging their above-mentioned responsibilities. They should therefore gladly carry out on their own home front those spiritual and material readjustments that are required for the realization of this universal cooperation.
Consequently, in business dealings with weaker and poorer nations, they should be careful to respect their profit, for these countries need the income they receive on the sale of their homemade products to support themselves.
c) It is the role of the international community to coordinate and promote development, but in such a way that the resources earmarked for this purpose will be allocated as effectively as possible, and with complete equity. It is likewise this community's duty, with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity, so to regulate economic relations throughout the world that these will be carried out in accordance with the norms of justice.
Suitable organizations should be set up to foster and regulate international business affairs, particularly with the underdeveloped countries, and to compensate for losses resulting from an excessive inequality of power among the various nations. This type of organization, in unison with technical cultural and financial aid, should provide the help which developing nations need so that they can advantageously pursue their own economic advancement.
d) In many cases there is an urgent need to revamp economic and social structures. But one must guard against proposals of technical solutions that are untimely. This is particularly true of those solutions providing man with material conveniences, but nevertheless contrary to man's spiritual nature and advancement. For "not by bread alone does man live, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Every sector of the family of man carries within itself and in its best traditions some portion of the spiritual treasure entrusted by God to humanity, even though many may not be aware of the source from which it comes.
87. International cooperation is needed today especially for those peoples who, besides facing so many other difficulties, likewise undergo pressures due to a rapid increase in population. There is an urgent need to explore, with the full and intense cooperation of all, and especially of the wealthier nations, ways whereby the human necessities of food and a suitable education can be furnished and shared with the entire human community. But some peoples could greatly improve upon the conditions of their life if they would change over from antiquated methods of farming to the new technical methods, applying them with needed prudence according to their own circumstances. Their life would likewise be improved by the establishment of a better social order and by a fairer system for the distribution of land ownership.
Governments undoubtedly have rights and duties, within the limits of their proper competency, regarding the population problem in their respective countries, for instance, in the line of social and family life legislation, or regarding the migration of country-dwellers to the cities, or with respect to information concerning the condition and needs of the country. Since men today are giving thought to this problem and are so greatly disturbed over it, it is desirable in addition that Catholic specialists, especially in the universities, skillfully pursue and develop studies and projects on all these matters.
But there are many today who maintain that the increase in world population, or at least the population increase in some countries, must be radically curbed by every means possible and by any kind of intervention on the part of public authority. In view of this contention, the council urges everyone to guard against solutions, whether publicly or privately supported, or at times even imposed, which are contrary to the moral law. For in keeping with man's inalienable right to marry and generate children, a decision concerning the number of children they will have depends on the right judgment of the parents and it cannot in any way be left to the judgment of public authority. But since the judgment of the parents presupposes a rightly formed conscience, it is of the utmost importance that the way be open for everyone to develop a correct and genuinely human responsibility which respects the divine law and takes into consideration the circumstances of the situation and the time. But sometimes this requires an improvement in educational and social conditions, and, above all, formation in religion or at least a complete moral training. Men should discreetly be informed, furthermore, of scientific advances in exploring methods whereby spouses can be helped in regulating the number of their children and whose safeness has been well proven and whose harmony with the moral order has been ascertained.
88. Christians should cooperate willingly and wholeheartedly in establishing an international order that includes a genuine respect for all freedoms and amicable brotherhood between all. This is all the more pressing since the greater part of the world is still suffering from so much poverty that it is as if Christ Himself were crying out in these poor to beg the charity of the disciples. Do not let men, then, be scandalized because some countries with a majority of citizens who are counted as Christians have an abundance of wealth, whereas others are deprived of the necessities of life and are tormented with hunger, disease, and every kind of misery. The spirit of poverty and charity are the glory and witness of the Church of Christ.
Those Christians are to be praised and supported, therefore, who volunteer their services to help other men and nations. Indeed, it is the duty of the whole People of God, following the word and example of the bishops, to alleviate as far as they are able the sufferings of the modern age. They should do this too, as was the ancient custom in the Church, out of the substance of their goods, and not only out of what is superfluous.
The procedure of collecting and distributing aids, without being inflexible and completely uniform, should nevertheless be carried on in an orderly fashion in dioceses, nations, and throughout the entire world. Wherever it seems convenient, this activity of Catholics should be carried on in unison with other Christian brothers. For the spirit of charity does not forbid, but on the contrary commands that charitable activity be carried out in a careful and orderly manner. Therefore, it is essential for those who intend to dedicate themselves to the services of the developing nations to be properly trained in appropriate institutes.
89. Since, in virtue of her mission received from God, the Church preaches the Gospel to all men and dispenses the treasures of grace, she contributes to the ensuring of peace everywhere on earth and to the placing of the fraternal exchange between men on solid ground by imparting knowledge of the divine and natural law. Therefore, to encourage and stimulate cooperation among men, the Church must be clearly present in the midst of the community of nations both through her official channels and through the full and sincere collaboration of all Christians -- a collaboration motivated solely by the desire to be of service to all.
This will come about more effectively if the faithful themselves, conscious of their responsibility as men and as Christians will exert their influence in their own milieu to arouse a ready willingness to cooperate with the international community. Special care must be given, in both religious and civil education, to the formation of youth in this regard.
90. An outstanding form of international activity on the part of Christians is found in the joint efforts which, both as individuals and in groups, they contribute to institutes already established or to be established for the encouragement of cooperation among nations. There are also various Catholic associations on an international level which can contribute in many ways to the building up of a peaceful and fraternal community of nations. These should be strengthened by augmenting in them the number of well qualified collaborators, by increasing needed resources, and by advantageously fortifying the coordination of their energies. For today both effective action and the need for dialogue demand joint projects. Moreover, such associations contribute much to the development of a universal outlook -- something certainly appropriate for Catholics. They also help to form an awareness of genuine universal solidarity and responsibility.
Finally, it is very much to be desired that Catholics, in order to fulfill their role properly in the international community, will seek to cooperate actively and in a positive manner both with their separated brothers who together with them profess the Gospel of charity and with all men thirsting for true peace.
The council, considering the immensity of the hardships which still afflict the greater part of mankind today, regards it as most opportune that an organism of the universal Church be set up in order that both the justice and love of Christ toward the poor might be developed everywhere. The role of such an organism would be to stimulate the Catholic community to promote progress in needy regions and international social justice.
91. Drawn from the treasures of Church teaching, the proposals of this sacred synod look to the assistance of every man of our time, whether he believes in God, or does not explicitly recognize Him. If adopted, they will promote among men a sharper insight into their full destiny, and thereby lead them to fashion the world more to man's surpassing dignity, to search for a brotherhood which is universal and more deeply rooted, and to meet the urgencies of our ages with a gallant and unified effort born of love.
Undeniably this conciliar program is but a general one in several of its parts; and deliberately so, given the immense variety of situations and forms of human culture in the world. Indeed while it presents teaching already accepted in the Church, the program will have to be followed up and amplified since it sometimes deals with matters in a constant state of development. Still, we have relied on the word of God and the spirit of the Gospel. Hence we entertain the hope that many of our proposals will prove to be of substantial benefit to everyone, especially after they have been adapted to individual nations and mentalities by the faithful, under the guidance of their pastors.
92. By virtue of her mission to shed on the whole world the radiance of the Gospel message, and to unify under one Spirit all men of whatever nation, race or culture, the Church stands forth as a sign of that brotherhood which allows honest dialogue and gives it vigor.
Such a mission requires in the first place that we foster within the Church herself mutual esteem, reverence and harmony, through the full recognition of lawful diversity. Thus all those who compose the one People of God, both pastors and the general faithful, can engage in dialogue with ever abounding fruitfulness. For the bonds which unite the faithful are mightier than anything dividing them. Hence, let there be unity in what is necessary; freedom in what is unsettled, and charity in any case.
Our hearts embrace also those brothers and communities not yet living with us in full communion; to them we are linked nonetheless by our profession of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and by the bond of charity. We do not forget that the unity of Christians is today awaited and desired by many, too, who do not believe in Christ; for the farther it advances toward truth and love under the powerful impulse of the Holy Spirit, the more this unity will be a harbinger of unity and peace for the world at large. Therefore, by common effort and in ways which are today increasingly appropriate for seeking this splendid goal effectively, let us take pains to pattern ourselves after the Gospel more exactly every day, and thus work as brothers in rendering service to the human family. For, in Christ Jesus this family is called to the family of the sons of God.
We think cordially too of all who acknowledge God, and who preserve in their traditions precious elements of religion and humanity. We want frank conversation to compel us all to receive the impulses of the Spirit faithfully and to act on them energetically.
For our part, the desire for such dialogue, which can lead to truth through love alone, excludes no one, though an appropriate measure of prudence must undoubtedly be exercised. We include those who cultivate outstanding qualities of the human spirit, but do not yet acknowledge the Source of these qualities. We include those who oppress the Church and harass her in manifold ways. Since God the Father is the origin and purpose of all men, we are all called to be brothers. Therefore, if we have been summoned to the same destiny, human and divine, we can and we should work together without violence and deceit in order to build up the world in genuine peace.
93. Mindful of the Lord's saying: "by this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35), Christians cannot yearn for anything more ardently than to serve the men of the modern world with mounting generosity and success. Therefore, by holding faithfully to the Gospel and benefiting from its resources, by joining with every man who loves and practices justice, Christians have shouldered a gigantic task for fulfillment in this world, a task concerning which they must give a reckoning to Him who will judge every man on the last of days.
Not everyone who cries, "Lord, Lord," will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the Father's will by taking a strong grip on the work at hand. Now, the Father wills that in all men we recognize Christ our brother and love Him effectively, in word and in deed. By thus giving witness to the truth, we will share with others the mystery of the heavenly Father's love. As a consequence, men throughout the world will be aroused to a lively hope -- the gift of the Holy Spirit -- that some day at last they will be caught up in peace and utter happiness in that fatherland radiant with the glory of the Lord.
Now to Him who is able to accomplish all things in a measure far beyond what we ask or conceive, in keeping with the power that is at work in us -- to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, down through all the ages of time without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21).
1. The Pastoral Constitution "De Ecclesia in Mundo Huius Temporis" is made up of two parts; yet it constitutes an organic unity. By way of explanation: the constitution is called "pastoral" because, while resting on doctrinal principles, it seeks to express the relation of the Church to the world and modern mankind. The result is that, on the one hand, a pastoral slant is present in the first part, and, on the other hand, a doctrinal slant is present in the second part. In the first part, the Church develops her teaching on man, on the world which is the enveloping context of man's existence, and on man's relations to his fellow men. In part two, the Church gives closer consideration to various aspects of modern life and human society; special consideration is given to those questions and problems which, in this general area, seem to have a greater urgency in our day. As a result in part two the subject matter which is viewed in the light of doctrinal principles is made up of diverse elements. Some elements have a permanent value; others, only a transitory one. Consequently, the constitution must be interpreted according to the general norms of theological interpretation. Interpreters must bear in mind -- especially in part two -- the changeable circumstances which the subject matter, by its very nature, involves.
16. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937: AAS 29 (1937), pp. 65-106; Pius XII, encyclical letter Ad Apostolorum Principis, June 29, 1958: AAS 50 (1958) pp. 601-614; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra May 15, 1961: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 451-453; Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, Aug. 6, 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 651-653.
17. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter I, n. 8: AAS 57 (1965), p. 12.
20. Cf. Rom. 5: 14. Cf. Tertullian, De carnis resurrectione 6: "The shape that the slime of the earth was given was intended with a view to Christ, the future man.": P. 2, 282; CSEL 47, p. 33, 1. 12-13.
22. Cf. Second Council of Constantinople, canon 7: "The divine Word was not changed into a human nature, nor was a human nature absorbed by the Word." Denzinger 219 (428); Cf. also Third Council of Constantinople: "For just as His most holy and immaculate human nature, though deified, was not destroyed (theotheisa ouk anerethe), but rather remained in its proper state and mode of being": Denzinger 291 (556); Cf. Council of Chalcedon:" to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion change, division, or separation." Denzinger 148 (302).
31. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 2, n. 16: AAS 57 (1965), p. 20.
1. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter, Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 401-464, and encyclical letter Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 257-304; Paul VI encyclical letter Ecclesiam Suam, Aug. 6, 1964: AAS 54 (1864) pp. 609-659.
5. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961) .
7. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 266.
10. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 299 and 300.
13. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II, n. 9: AAS 57 (1965). pp. 12-13.
3. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 297.
23. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 207.
1. Cf. Paul VI, encyclical letter Ecclesiam Suam, III: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 637-659.
4. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter I, n. 8: AAS 57 (1965), p. 12.
10. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II, n. 9: AAS 57 (1965), pp. 12-14.
11. Cf. Pius XII, Address to the International Union of Institutes of Archeology, History and History of Art, March 9, 1956: AAS 48 (1965), p. 212: "Its divine Founder, Jesus Christ, has not given it any mandate or fixed any end of the cultural order. The goal which Christ assigns to it is strictly religious. . . The Church must lead men to God, in order that they may be given over to him without reserve.... The Church can never lose sight of the strictly religious, supernatural goal. The meaning of all its activities, down to the last canon of its Code, can only cooperate directly or indirectly in this goal."
12. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter I, n. 1: AAS 57 (1965), p. 5.
17. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra, IV: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 456-457; cf. I: AAS loc. cit., pp. 407, 410-411.
18. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter III, n. 28: AAS 57 (1965), p. 35.
21. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II, n. 15: AAS 57 (1965) p. 20.
22. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II, n. 13: AAS 57 (1965), p. 17.
23. Cf. Justin, Dialogus cum Tryphene, Chapter 110; MG 6, 729 (ed. Otto), 1897, pp. 391-393: ". . .but the greater the number of persecutions which are inflicted upon us, so much the greater the number of other men who become devout believers through the name of Jesus." Cf. Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter L, 13: "Every time you mow us down like grass, we increase in number: the blood of Christians is a seed!" Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II, no. 9: AAS 57 (1965), p. 14.
24. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II n. 15: AAS 57 (1965), p. 20.
1. Cf. St. Augustine, De Bene coniugali PL 40, 375-376 and 394, St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, Suppl. Quaest. 49, art. 3 ad 1, Decretum pro Armenis: Denz.-Schoen. 1327; Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930, pp. 547-548; Denz.-Schoen. 3703-3714.
2. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930), pp. 546-547; Denz.-Schoen. 3706.
6. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: AAS 57 (1965), pp. 15-16; 40-41; 47.
7. Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930), p. 583.
11. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930), p. 547 and 548; Denz.-Schoen. 3707.
14. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930): Denz.-Schoen. 3716-3718, Pius XII, Allocutio Conventui Unionis Italicae inter Obstetrices, Oct. 29, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), pp. 835-854, Paul VI, Address to a group of cardinals, June 23 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 581-589. Certain questions which need further and more careful investigation have been handed over, at the command of the Supreme Pontiff, to a commission for the study of population, family, and births, in order that, after it fulfills its function, the Supreme Pontiff may pass judgment. With the doctrine of the magisterium in this state, this holy synod does not intend to propose immediately concrete solutions.
7. Cf. the words of Pius XI to Father M. D. Roland-Gosselin "It is necessary never to lose sight of the fact that the objective of the Church is to evangelize, not to civilize. If it civilizes, it is for the sake of evangelization." (Semaines sociales de France, Versailles, 1936, pp. 461-462).
8. First Vatican Council, Constitution on the Catholic Faith: Denzinger 1795, 1799 (3015, 3019). Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 190.
9. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 260.
10. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 283; Pius XII, Radio address, Dec. 24, 1941: AAS 34 (1942), pp. 16-17.
11. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), p. 260.
13. Cf. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 123: AAS 56 (1964), p. 131; Paul VI, Discourse to the artists of Rome: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 439-442.
15. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter IV, n. 37: AAS 57 (1965), pp. 42-43.
2. Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 190 ff; Pius XII, Address of March 23, 1952: AAS 44 (1952), p. 276 ff; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (19ffl), p. 450; Vatican Council II, Decree on the Media of Social Communication, Chapter I, n. 6 AAS 56 (1964), p. 147.
4. Cf. Leo XIII, encyclical letter Libertas, in Acta Leonis XIII, t. VIII, p. 220 ff; Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 191 ff; Pius XI, encyclical letter Divini Redemptoris: AAS 39 (1937), p. 65 ff; Pius XII, Nuntius natalicius 1941: AAS 34 (1942), p. 10 ff: John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 401-464.
5. In reference to agricultural problems cf. especially John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961),
6. Cf. Leo XIII, encyclical letter Rerum Novarum: AAS 23 (1890-91), p. 649, p. 662; Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (193-1), pp. 200-201; Pius XI, encyclical letter Divini Redemptoris: AAS 29 (1937), p. 92; Pius XII, Radio address on Christmas Eve 1942: AAS 35 (1943) p. 20; Pius XII, Allocution of June 13, 1943: AAS 35 (1943), p. 172; Pius XII, Radio address to the workers of Spain, March 11, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), p. 215; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 419.
7. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), pp. 408, 424, 427; however, the word "curatione" has been taken from the Latin text of the encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931) p. 199. Under the aspect of the evolution of the question cf. also: Pius XII, Allocution of June 3, 1950: AAS 42 (1950) pp. 485-488; Paul VI, Allocution of June 8, 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 573-579.
8. Cf. Pius XII, encyclical Sertum Laetitiae: AAS 31 (1939), p. 642, John XXIII, Consistorial allocution: AAS 52 (1960), pp. 5-11; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 411.
9. Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologica: II-II, q. 32, a. 5 ad 2; Ibid. q. 66, a. 2: cf. explanation in Leo XIII, encyclical letter Rerum Novarum: AAS 23 (1890-91) p. 651; cf. also Pius XII Allocution of June 1, 1941: AAS 33 (1941), p. 199; Pius XII, Birthday radio address 1954: AAS 47 (1955), p. 27.
10. Cf. St. Basil, Hom. in illud Lucae "Destruam horrea mea," n. 2 (PG 31, 263); Lactantius, Divinarum institutionum, lib. V. on justice (PL 6, 565 B); St. Augustine, In Ioann. Ev. tr. 50, n. 6 (PL 35, 1760); St. Augustine, Enarratio in Ps. CXLVII, 12 (PL 37, 192); St. Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Ev., hom. 20 (PL 76, 1165); St. Gregory the Great, Regulae Pastoralis liber, pars III c. 21 (PL 77 87); St. Bonaventure, In III Sent. d. 33, dub. 1 (ed Quacracchi, III, 728); St. Bonaventure, In IV Sent. d. 15, p. II, a. a q. 1 (ed. cit. IV, 371 b ); q. de superfluo (ms. Assisi Bibl. Comun. 186, ff. 112a-113a); St. Albert the Great, In III Sent., d. 33, a.3, sol. 1 (ed. Borgnet XXVIII, 611); Id. In IV Sent. d. 15, a. 1 (ed. cit. XXIX, 494-497). As for the determination of what is superfluous in our day and age, cf. John XXIII, Radio-television message of Sept. 11, 1962: AAS 54 (1962) p. 682: "The obligation of every man, the urgent obligation of the Christian man, is to reckon what is superfluous by the measure of the needs of others, and to see to it that the administration and the distribution of created goods serve the common good."
11. In that case, the old principle holds true: "In extreme necessity all goods are common, that is, all goods are to be shared." On the other hand, for the order, extension, and manner by which the principle is applied in the proposed text, besides the modern authors: cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologica II-II, q. 66, a. 7. Obviously, for the correct application of the principle, all the conditions that are morally required must be met.
13. Cf. Leo XIII, encyclical letter Rerum Novarum: AAS 23 (1890-91) pp. 643-646, Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931) p. 191; Pius XII, Radio message of June 1, 1941: AAS 33 (1941), p. 199; Pius XII, Radio message on Christmas Eve 1942: AAS 35 (1943), p. 17; Pius XII, Radio message of Sept. 1, 1944: AAS 36 (1944) p. 253; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961) pp. 428-429.
15. Cf. Pius XII, Radio message of Pentecost 1941: AAS 44 (1941) p. 199, John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961) p. 430.
16. For the right use of goods according to the doctrine of the New Testament, cf. Luke 3:11, 10:30 ff; 11:41; 1 Pet. 5:3, Mark 8:36; 12:39-41; Jas. 5:1-6; 1 Tim. 6:8; Eph. 1:28; a Cor. 8:13; 1 John 3:17 ff.
1. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 417.
5. Cf. Pius XII, Radio message, Dec. 24, 1942: AAS 35 (1943) pp. 9-24; Dec. 24, 1944: AAS 37 (1945), pp. 11-17; John XXIII encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 263, 271 277 and 278.
6. Cf. Pius XII, Radio message of June 7, 1941: AAS 33 (1941) p. 200: John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: 1.c., p. 273 and 274.
7. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), p. 416.
9. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, n. 13: AAS 57 (1965), p. 17.
1. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963: AAS 55 (1963), p. 291; "Therefore in this age of ours which prides itself on its atomic power, it is irrational to believe that war is still an apt means of vindicating violated rights."
2. Cf. Pius XII, Allocution of Sept. 30, 1954: AAS 46 (1954) p. 589; Radio message of Dec. 24, 1954: AAS 47 (1955), pp. 15 ff, John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), pp. 286-291; Paul VI, Allocution to the United Nations, Oct. 4, 1965.
3. Cf. John XXIII, encyclical letter Pacem in Terris, where reduction of arms is mentioned: AAS 55 (1963), p. 287.