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Social teachings of the Catholic Church: Economics and the poor

The Catholic Church believes that economic life is not primarily enrichment and profits, but to provide the basic needs of human beings. The Church also believes that "work is a duty."

"If any one will not work, let him not eat." This phrase also means that whatever you earn from your labor should be enough means to provide for yourself and your family. Thus, an employer should give just wages. Failure to do so is a grave injutice.

The Church believes that in order for market driven economy to work, there should be "sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services." And this should be the primary role of the government. Rich nations should support poor ones who are working to advance themselves.

Just as God loves the poor, so must we. And "love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use". The Catechism quotes Saint John Chrysostom: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs."

Condensed and paraphrased from The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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