The Rerum Novarum is an encyclical issued in the year 1891 by Pope Leo XIII. It is considered to be an open letter to all the Catholic bishops addressing the issues of working class people. Pope Leo wrote the encyclical in response to all the social conflicts that had led to socialism due to the wake of industrialization. According to Pope Leo, the role of the State was to endorse social justice by protecting people’s rights while the role of the church was to speak out on matters regarding social issues and teach acceptable social principles while ensuring social harmony is maintained.
The Pope restated the church’s teaching concerning the significance of private property rights. However, he acknowledged that the free market operation forces have to be accompanied by moral considerations.
Dignity of Workers as human beings
Every human being is created in the image of God. This in itself gives the human being dignity. Therefore, each person has God’s life in him, love and law imprinted deeply in him. Every human being has the desire and ability to give love as well as give and receive life to other human beings. The human being has a higher value as compared to other earthly creatures due to his ability to practice good values such as justice, prudence and fortitude in regard to his fellow human beings and God.
Human beings dignity also comes from the fact that they have free will. A person can choose to use his abilities and gifts to serve fellow human beings and God or choose to use the abilities and gifts to make others serve him. Free will, therefore, can be either a curse or a blessing in the society.
Assets that were meant to help human beings reach their eternal happiness are sometimes altered and used to harm other human beings, therefore, preventing man from reaching the eternal happiness.
Taking this into consideration, the relationship between employer and employee can become complicated. Generosity should always be the...