On Christianity and Social Progress

John XXIII, Encyclical Letter on Christianity and Social Progress: Mater et Magistra (1961).

This encyclical addresses issues of work, private property, and social justice, first set forth seventy years earlier in Rerum Novarum. Pope John summarizes and quotes extensively from Rerum Novarum, Pope Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno, and from Pius XII, tracing changing conditions regarding work, property, and wealth. In discussing the role of private property, John lauds state and public ownership of property (¶117), and cautions against evil men in positions of power (¶118).

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