Although Equal by Nature, Men Should Not Occupy the Same Position in Social Life

June 6, 2016

From Benedict XV’s encyclical Ad beatissimi Apostolorum, of November 11, 1914:

Face to face with those to whom either fortune or their own activity  has brought an abundance of wealth stand the proletaires and the workers, inflamed with hatred and jealousy because, although they share the same nature, they are not in the same condition. Infatuated as they are by the fallacies of agitators, to whose guidance they are ordinarily most docile, who should persuade them that it does not follow because men are equal by nature that all ought to occupy the same grade in society, but that every one holds that position which his qualifications, if circumstances permit, have procured for him?

Chinese poster saying: “Destroy the old world; build a new world.” Classic example of the Red art from the early Cultural Revolution. Worker crushes the crucifix, Buddha and classical Chinese texts with his hammer; 1966.

Chinese poster saying: “Destroy the old world; build a new world.” Classic example of the Red art from the early Cultural Revolution. Worker crushes the Crucifix, Buddha and classical Chinese texts with his hammer; 1966.

 

Wherefore when the needy struggle against those who are well to do, as if the latter had taken possession of property that belonged to others, they not only offend against justice and charity, but even against reason, because they also, if they desired, could by means of honorable labor succeed in improving their condition. What consequences, not less inconvenient for individuals than for the community, this class hatred begets it is needless to say. (American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. 39 (October 1914), pp. 673-674).

Nobility book

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents V, pp. 482-483.

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