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

Man has to subdue the earth and dominate it, because as the “image of God” he is a person, that is to say, a subjective being capable of acting in a planned and rational way, capable of deciding about himself, and with a tendency to self-realization. This is true in all the many meanings of the word.

A Reflection on the Shoah Dominus Iesus. In a way, work is a condition for making it possible to found a family, since the family requires the means of subsistence which man normally gains through work. Thus, merely converting the means of production into State property in the collectivist system is by no means equivalent to “socializing” that property.

Laborem Exercens (14 September ) | John Paul II

And so this “dominion” spoken of in the biblical text being meditated upon here encicluca not only to the objective dimension of work but enciclicaa the same time introduces us to an understanding of its subjective dimension. It only means that the primary basis of tbe value of work is man himself, who is its subject. Nevertheless, the danger of treating work as a special kind of “merchandise”, or as an impersonal “force” needed for production the expression “workforce” is in fact in common use always exists, especially when the whole way of looking at the question of economics is marked by the premises of materialistic economism.

As a person, man is therefore the subject of work.

In order to achieve social justice in the various parts of the world, in the various countries, and in the relationships between them, there is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers and with the workers. From the beginning it was part of the Church’s teaching, her concept of man and life in society, and, especially, the social morality which she worked out according to the needs of the different ages.

The reason is that the Church-and it is worthwhile stating it at this point-believes in man: And work means any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual, whatever its nature or circumstances; it means any human activity that can and must be recognized as work, in the midst of all the many activities of which man is capable and to which he is predisposed by his very nature, by virtue of humanity itself. The indirect employer substantially determines one or other facet of the labour relationship.


John Paul makes a distinction between work and toil. Everything contained in the concept of capital in the strict sense is only a collection of things.

The expenses involved in health care, especially in the case of accidents at work, demand that medical assistance should be easily available for workers, and that as far as possible it should be cheap or even free of charge.

Evidence of this are the many documents of the Magisterium issued by the Popes and by the Second Vatican Council, pronouncements by individual Episcopates, and the activity of the various centres of thought and of practical apostolic initiatives, both on the international level and at the level of the local Churches.

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

Their task is to defend the existential interests of workers in all sectors in which their rights are concerned. Work is, as has been said, an obligation, that is to say, a duty, on the part of man. It was the reaction against the degradation of man as the subject of work, and against the unheard-of accompanying exploitation in the field of wages, working conditions and social security for the worker. In the light of this fundamental structure of all work-in the light of the fact that, in the final analysis, labour and capital are indispensable components of the process of production in any labborem system-it is clear that, even if it is because of their work needs that people unite to secure their snciclica, their union remains a constructive factor of social order and solidarity, and it is impossible to ignore it.

It is familiar to those doing physical work under sometimes exceptionally laborious conditions.

Divini redemptoris Mit brennender Sorge Non abbiamo bisogno Quadragesimo anno. In the normal course of events this reality fills human life and strongly affects its value and meaning. In Latin In English. John Paul encouraged the Church to develop and teach a spirituality of work.

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

The activity of union organizations opens up many possibilities in this respect, including their efforts to instruct and educate the workers and to foster their selfeducation. In certain developing countries, millions of people are forced to laborwm the land belonging to others and are exploited by the big landowners, without any hope of ever being able to gain possession of even a small piece of land of their own.


Understood in this case not as a capacity or aptitude for work, but rather as a whole set of instruments which man uses in his work, technology is undoubtedly man’s ally. The only chance there seems to be for radically overcoming this error is through adequate changes both in theory and in practice, changes in line with the definite conviction of exercfns primacy of the person over things, and of human labour over capital as a whole collection of means of production.

To create labor policies that ensure justice for every worker, it is necessary not only to work with the direct employers, but also to identify and coordinate the indirect employers.

Speaking of the protection of the just rights of workers according to their individual professions, we must of course always keep in mind that which determines the subjective character of work in each profession, but at the same time, indeed before lbaorem else, we must keep in mind that which conditions the specific dignity of the subject of the work.

Work is one of these aspects, a perennial and fundamental one, one that is always relevant and constantly demands renewed attention and decisive witness.

They will very probably involve a reduction or a less rapid increase in material well-being for the more developed exercend. On the contrary, it is respect for the objective rights of the worker-every kind of worker: These words refer to the sometimes heavy toil that from then onwards has accompanied human work; but they do not alter the fact that work is the means whereby man achieves that “dominion” which is proper to him over the visible world, by “subjecting” the earth.

The responsibility of the indirect employer differs from that of the direct employer-the term itself indicates that the responsibility is less direct-but it remains a true responsibility: The world of agriculture, which provides society with the goods it needs for its daily sustenance, is of fundamental importance.

Man, as the subject of work, and independently of the work that he does-man alone is a person.