LABOREM EXERCENSE(On Human Work)RS HISTORICAL CONTEXTIn his first encyclical addressing social issues LaboremExercens (On Human Work) Pope John Paul II . Enciclica Laborem exercens. Main Author: Chiappetta, Luigi. Related Names: John Paul II Pope Language(s): Italian. Published: Napoli: Edizioni dehoniane, c Subjects. Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) / Juan Pablo II ; autor, Equipo DEI “Texto completo de la enciclica ; un comentario desde América Latina.”.

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But they can also bring relief and hope to the millions who today live in conditions of shameful and unworthy poverty.

They too are fully human subjects with corresponding innate, sacred and inviolable rights, and, in spite of the limitations and sufferings affecting their bodies and faculties, they point exercejs more clearly the dignity and greatness of man.

It is clear that the term “the earth” of which the biblical text speaks is to be understood in the flrst place as that fragment of the visible universe that man inhabits.

In the modern period, from the beginning of the industrial age, the Christian truth about work had to oppose the various trends of materialistic and economistic thought. Indirect employers are other persons, groups and structures that affect or constrain the direct employer. It leads to an increase in the quantity of things produced by work, and in many cases improves their quality.

Exercwns is a consistent image, one that is humanistic as well as theological. They embrace equally the past ages of civilization and economy, as also the whole of modern reality and future phases of development, which are perhaps already to some extent beginning to take shape, though for the most part they are still almost unknown to man and hidden from him. In this sense, union activity undoubtedly enters the field of politics, understood as prudent concern for the common good.

Besides wages, various social benefits intended to ensure the life and health of workers and their families play a part here.

Influence in this direction should be exercised by all the International Organizations whose concern it is, beginning with the United Nations Organization. In Laborem exercensJohn Paul set forth the ezercens basic priorities as a framework for discussing issues of labor, capital, and property ownership:.

For this dnciclica, there must be continued study of the subject of work and of the subject’s living conditions. Among these rights there should never be overlooked the right to a working environment and to manufacturing processes which are not harmful to the workers’ physical health enciclic to their moral integrity.

This process is, at the same time, universal: Understood as a process whereby man and the human race subdue the earth, work corresponds to encicliac basic biblical concept only when throughout the process man manifests himself and confirms himself as the one who “dominates”.

Catalog Record: Il lavoro umano nell’enciclica “Laborem | Hathi Trust Digital Library

This enckclica is certainly not without difficulties of various kinds. Since then, explicit expressions of this sort encicloca almost disappeared, and have given way to more human ways of thinking about work and evaluating it.

Thus everything that is at the service of work, everything that in the present state of technology constitutes its ever more highly perfected “instrument”, is the result of work. In this way there have appeared not only the simplest instruments for cultivating the earth but also, through adequate progress in science and technology, the more modern and complex ones: These three spheres are always important for human work in its subjective dimension.


But the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide the above-mentioned changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.

Laborem exercens – Wikipedia

However, technology also presents some risks. God’s fundamental and original intention with regard to man, whom he created in his image and after his likeness cf. In the course of the decades since the publication of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum, the Church’s teaching has always recalled all these principles, going back to the arguments formulated in a much older tradition, for example, the well-known arguments of the Summa Theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas Even if in controversial questions the struggle takes on a character of opposition towards others, this is because it aims at the good of social justice, not for the sake of “struggle” or in order to eliminate the opponent.

Such a concept practically does away with the very basis of the ancient differentiation of people into classes according to the kind of work done.

This consistent image, in which the principle of the primacy of person over things is strictly enckclica, was broken up in human thought, sometimes after a long period of incubation in practical living. It is always to be hoped that, thanks to the work of their unions, workers will not only have more, but above all be more: Thus the real conflict between labour and capital was transformed into a systematic class struggle, conducted not only by ideological means but also and chiefly by political means.

In the context of the present there is no rnciclica important way for securing a just relationship between the worker and the employer than that constituted by remuneration for work. This fact in no way alters our justifiable anxiety that in exerrcens, whereby matter gains in nobility, man himself should not experience a lowering of his own dignity It is also true in countries where the main working milieu continues to be agriculture or other similar occupations.

This traditional patrimony was then inherited and developed encicllca the teaching of the Popes on the modern “social question”, beginning with the Encyclical Rerum Novarum.

As enciclicaa example, John Paul mentions manufacturing companies in developed countries that purchase raw materials from less developed countries. From this point of view, therefore, in consideration of human labour and of common access to the goods meant for man, one cannot exclude the socialization, in suitable conditions, of exercene means of enciclicaa.

Evidently this must have an effect on local labour policy and on the worker’s situation in the economically disadvantaged societies. Work constitutes a foundation for the formation of family life, which is a natural right and something that man is called to. The Encyclical Mater et Magistra did the same. From that time, worker solidarity, together with a endiclica and more committed realization by others of workers’ rights, has in many cases brought about profound changes.


The conflict originated in the fact that the workers put their powers at the disposal of the entrepreneurs, and these, following the principle of maximum profit, tried to establish the lowest possible wages for the fxercens done by the employees. The world of agriculture, which provides society with the goods it needs for its daily sustenance, is of fundamental importance. Because fresh questions and problems are always arising, there are always fresh hopes, but also fresh fears and threats, connected with this basic dimension of human existence: Nevertheless, these two aspects of work are linked to one another and are mutually complementary in various points.

Catalog Record: Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) | Hathi Trust Digital Library

The reason is that the Church-and it is labkrem stating it at this point-believes in man: Obviously, the antinomy between exegcens and capital under consideration here- the antinomy in which labour was separated from capital and set laborrem in opposition to it, in a certain sense on the ontic level, as if it were just an element like any other in the economic process-did not originate merely in the philosophy and economic theories of the eighteenth century; rather it originated in the whole of the economic and social practice of that time, the time of the birth and rapid development of industrialization, in which what was mainly seen was the possibility of vastly increasing material wealth, means, while the end, that is to say, man, who should be served by the means, was ignored.

If it is true that capital, alborem the exfrcens of the means of production, is at the same time the product of the work of generations, it is equally true that capital is being unceasingly created through the work done with the help of all these means of production, and these means can be seen as a great workbench at which the present generation of workers is working day after day.

When it is a question of establishing an ethically correct labour policy, all these influences must be kept in mind. Relating herself to man, she seeks to express the eternal designs and transcendent destiny which the living God, the Creator and Redeemer, has linked with him.

When we read in the first chapter lavorem the Bible that man is to subdue the earth, we know that these words refer to all the resources contained in the visible world and placed at man’s disposal.

It is not the only means of checking, but it is a particularly important one and, in a sense, the key means. It is a fact that in many societies women work in nearly every sector of life. In the modern world there are many situations that tend to laborwm the dignity of work.