One Should Not Excite Animosity Against the Rich, Inciting the Masses to the Inversion of Order in Society

June 16, 2016

In a letter of June 5, 1929, to the Most Reverend Achille Liénart, Bishop of Lille, the Sacred Congregation of the Council recalls principles of Catholic social doctrine and practical directives of a moral order, issued from the supreme ecclesiastical authority.

“Those who boast of the name Christian, be they taken in isolation or as groups or associations, should not, if they are conscious of their obligations, promote hostility or rivalries among the social classes, but peace and mutual charity” (Pius X, Singulari quadam, September 24, 1912).

They should remember that Jesus Christ wanted to unite all men through the bond of reciprocal love, which is the perfection of justice and which entails the obligation to work mutually toward the good of one and all.

“Catholic writers, in taking up the cause of the proletariat or the poor, should refrain from using language that might inspire in the people an aversion for the upper classes of society….They should remember that Jesus Christ wanted to unite all men through the bond of reciprocal love, which is the perfection of justice and which entails the obligation to work mutually toward the good of one and all.” (Instruction of the Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, January 27, 1902).

Marx On The Streets Of Dublin Photo by infomatique

“Those who preside over this type of institution (with the goal of promoting the good of the workers) should remember…that nothing will better assure the general well-being than peace and harmony among all classes, and that Christian charity is the best sign of unity. Thus he who would strive for the good of the worker would do so poorly indeed should he, in pretending to better the conditions of his existence, only help him in the acquisition of the ephemeral and fragile things of this world, neglecting to dispose his mind to moderation through the call to Christian duty, and much more so, should he go so far as to inflame animosity against the rich by indulging in the bitter and violent declamations with which men alien to our beliefs have the tendency to incite the masses toward the overthrow of society” (Soliti nos, letter of Benedict XV to the Bishop of Bergamo, March 11, 1920).

Nobility book

Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 21, no. 10 (August 3, 1929), pp. 497-498 in 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, p. 484.

 

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