On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter on the Hundredth Anniversary: Centesimus Annus (1991).

The Pope reviews and affirms the social teachings of the church first promulgated in Leo’s Rerum Novarum. In his discussion of Rerum Novarum, Pope John Paul addresses the nature of man, the right and duties inherent in private property ownership (¶¶30-31), the role and nature of the state (¶¶40-48), and the relative weaknesses and strengths of political and economic systems of the world. In addition, he addresses the “welfare state” and the relative rights and duties of the State, individuals, and intermediary institutions in caring for others (¶48).

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