5.2.1 Response to Exercise


1. (#18) Work is “a specifically human activity”. What this means is that work is not merely a necessary evil but something inherently important for human living, and so human fulfilment.

2. (#19) This very short section of MM in fact refers to two principles:

*  There is a natural right to private ownership of property.

*  Property ownership carries with it an obligation to use it for benefit of others as well as oneself. CST later called this principle ‘the universal destination of material goods’ (see 1.3.6, second half of the page).

(Note that both these two were articulated in the first two parts of Rerum Novarum; cf. Module A, 4.2.3 and 4.2.4.)

3.  (##20-21) The role of the state is:

* to act for the common good, including in relation to economic matters (#20)

* to ensure that there is justice, not least for workers.

(These points were set out in the third part of RN; cf. Module A, 4.2.6.)

4. (#22) Workers have a natural right to form workers’ associations.

(This was the topic of the fourth part of RN; cf. Module A, 4.2.7.)

5. (#23) The “principle of human solidarity and Christian brotherhood” should govern the way workers and employers relate.


End of model journal entry