Rerum Novarum, Reflection scheme
Fr. Manuel Loza Macías invites us to reflect on the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII, here we present the lines of thought and action that any entrepreneur can execute to implement the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Author: P. Manuel Loza Macías | Source:


  • Painful state of the workers in Europe and North America: insecurity, lack of hygiene, tiring days, disproportionate to women and children, unfair wages, unsanitary rooms. Exploitation. 
  • Liberalism widely accepted. Repression of workers' associations. Gendarme State. 
  • Socialist reaction, mainly Marxist that stretched menacingly. 
  • Catholic welfare movements. 
  • Catholic thinkers try to oppose evangelical solutions. The bishops, mainly in Germany, Ireland, England and the United States, give the voice of alarm. 


The Church must judge and point out guidelines for action: 

  • Teacher in matters of faith and customs. 
  • The sources of his teaching: Christian revelation and reason. 
  • With their judgments it seeks reconciliation and the union of all. 

II-Principles of reflection (basis of judgement) on man: 

a) Created in the image of God redeemed by Christ, with intelligence and free will, adorned with grace and other supernatural goods, but with disordered passions. 

b) All men are equal (essentially) but unequal (existentially). 

C. The true dignity of man is perfected by life according to morals, whose coronation will be eternal life. 


About Society: 

  1.  Men live in civil society whose purpose is the common good. Everyone should be involved in that good. 
  2.  Civil laws are only to be obeyed if they conform to the righteous right and the eternal divine law. 


About the goods: 

a. Every man has the right to private property, but subordinate to the common good. 

b. Every man has the right to the fruit of his work, even though he also has a social function. 

c. The wealth of nations is the fruit of labor. This is necessary, it is painful and there are no shortages to the worker. 

d. Wealth can be an obstacle to eternal salvation. 

Wealth, even justly acquired, can be misused. 


About the state: 

A) Its function is as a means for society to achieve the common good. 

(b) Must protect the rights and duties of all. 



The situation is bad and we have to remedy it. 


Act (Action Guidelines) 

I workers and the poor: 


-Private property. 

-Enjoy the product of your work. 

-Having a family 

-Freedom of action. 

-Have work 

-Family Fair wage 

-Free association. 



-Comply with the job due. 

-Do not damage the property of others. 

-Avoid violence. 


II Patterns and rich: 


-Private Property 

-Fair Tax Burdens 

-Private Association.



-Do not enslave the worker. 

-Promote its elevation. 

-Let him fulfill his family and religious duties. 

-Do not impose unbearable jobs 

-Pay you a fair wage 

-Don't take advantage of your savings 

-To help the poor. 


III Public authority: 

To protect the peaceful enjoyment of the rights of families. 

Protect workers who are not possessed of something. 

Intervene when harming individuals or the common good (subsidiarity). 

Take special care of the needy. 

Promote the rights of private property and do something so that everyone can own it. 

To promote the exercise of the right of association and of the religious practice. 

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