In , Pope John Paul II reflected on the rapid downfall of communism in his encyclical Centesimus. Annus. He named three ‘decisive factors’ in the fall of. Cenetisimus Annus (on the hundredth anniversary), the ninth encyclical of John Paul II’s pontificate and his third social encyclical, was written on the one. From the Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus of Pope John Paul II, 1 May Following the collapse of Communist totalitarianism and of many other.

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Centesimus Annus 25 Years Later

Get to Know Us. The danger of the first reaction to Centesimus Annus is that people in business and proponents of capitalism will not be evangelized by this encyclical. They subscribe in their own fashion to the philosophy of “having” rather than to the philosophy of “being”, a flawed position which the Pope expressly condemns in Centesimus Annus. The social order will be all the more stable, the more it takes this fact into account and does not place in opposition personal interest and the interests of society as a whole, but rather seeks ways to bring them into fruitful harmony.

The Encyclical had been preceded by others devoted to teachings of a political character; still others would appear later. What is the global political situation today and how is this different from the recent past? To call for an existence which is qualitatively more satisfying is of itself legitimate, but one cannot fail to draw attention to the new responsibilities and dangers connected with this phase of history. In this way labour became a commodity to be freely bought and sold on the market, its price determined by the law of supply and demand, without taking into account the bare minimum required for the support of the individual and his family.

Also lacking is a class of competent professional people capable of running the State apparatus in an honest and just way, nor are there qualified personnel for managing the economy in an efficient and responsible manner. The focal point of this evolution has been the United Nations Organization. Undoubtedly, the struggle which led to the changes of called for clarity, moderation, suffering and sacrifice. It is right that in the present difficulties the formerly Communist countries should be aided by the united effort of other nations.


It seeks to defeat Marxism on the level of pure materialism by showing how a free-market society can achieve a greater satisfaction of material human needs than Communism, while equally excluding spiritual encjclical. This teaching also recognizes the legitimacy of workers’ efforts to obtain full respect for their dignity and to gain broader areas of participation in the life of industrial enterprises so that, while cooperating with others and under the direction of others, they can in a certain sense “work for themselves” 85 through the exercise of their intelligence and freedom.

It is a combination of new skills and talents. Otherwise, there would be a violation of that law of justice which ordains that every person should receive his due.

The opening section, in which the right to private property is reaffirmed, is devoted to socialism. But pastoral solicitude also prompts me to propose an analysis of some events of recent history. The obligation to earn one’s bread by the sweat of one’s brow also presumes the right to do so. Liberalism is not the subject of a special section, but it is worth noting that criticisms of it are raised in the treatment of the duties of the State.

This approach was opposite of what the Marxists thought ought to be followed. The second consequence concerns the peoples of Europe themselves.

Many individual, social, regional and national injustices were committed during and prior to the years in which Communism dominated; much hatred and ill-will have accumulated.

This is what I have called the “subjectivity” of society which, together with the subjectivity of the individual, was cancelled out by “Real Socialism”. The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate. The Document begins by pointing out various events that happened in the year of but more importantly how it embraced a longer period of the s with dictatorial and oppressive regimes.

Centesimus Annus 25 Years Later

It may be said that its path through history has been marked by other documents which paid tribute to it and applied it to the circumstances of the day. The logic of power blocs or empires, denounced in various Church documents and recently in the Encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis, 50 led to a situation in which controversies and disagreements among Third World countries were systematically aggravated and exploited in order to create difficulties for the adversary.


Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. But if all social encyclicals are faithful to each other the question may be asked: Obviously they themselves must be the primary agents of their own development, but they must also be given a reasonable opportunity to accomplish this goal, something that cannot happen without the help of other countries.

It is to be hoped that hatred and violence will not triumph in people’s hearts, especially among those who are struggling for justice, and that all people will grow in the spirit of peace and forgiveness. Then he told us that work is understood correctly only from a “personalist” point of view, that is to say a viewpoint supported by a proper anthropology as opposed, he tells us, to the erroneous anthropology of Marxism which was central to the demise of that ideology: In other cases the land is still the central element in the economic process, but those who cultivate it are excluded from ownership and are reduced to a state of quasi-servitude.

Centesimus Annus (1 May ) | John Paul II

To that end, it is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. By early October, the finance minister, Leszek Balcerowicz, announced detailed plans to convert the nation to a market economy.

Today, at a distance of a hundred years, the validity of this approach affords me the opportunity to contribute to the development of Christian social doctrine. Man tends towards good, but he is also capable of evil.

The war, which should have re-established freedom and restored the right of nations, ended without having attained these goals. The Future of Labour. It is by responding to the call of God contained in the being of things that man becomes aware of his transcendent dignity.