Monday, November 17, 2008

A Social Creed

by Fr. Vincent McNabb

  • I believe in the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
  • I believe that the transcendent Life is thus a Social Life.
  • I believe in God who is Our Father—in God who became our Brother, in God who, with our free choice, may become our Spirit.
  • I believe the transcendent Life is thus an immanent Life.
  • I believe in the Brotherhood of Man, because I believe not merely in the Fatherhood of God, but in the Brotherhood of God.
  • I believe that all men are free in will, immortal in destiny, redeemed in soul.
  • I believe that for a free spirit moral failure is moral fault, and social failure is social fault.
  • I believe that the highest social principle is the existence of infinite Good, to wit, God, and the first social fact is the existence of an almost infinite evil, to wit, Sin.
  • I believe that Political Economy is not an exact mathematical or mechanical Science, but is a part of Ethics ; its sanctions are moral sanctions, its motive power is moral power, its results are moral good or moral evil.
  • I believe that the good man is the good citizen.
  • I believe that in the economic world, as in the spiritual world, the most needed reformation is self-reformation.
  • I believe that the natural life of man, like the natural life of God, is a social life..
  • I believe that man by his existence has God-given rights with God and his fellow-man; and on his attainment of reason has God-appointed duties towards God and his fellowman.
  • I believe that man's only claim on the perfect life of rights fulfilled, is through the perfect life of duties fulfilled.
  • I believe that the Family gives a fuller life to the Individual ; the State gives a fuller life to the Family, and the Church gives a fuller life to the State.
  • I believe that the main social certainty about the Individual is the freedom of his will; the main social certainty about the Family is the indissolubility of the Wedding bond; the main social certainty about the State is its authority over men's chattels and bodies; the main social certainty about the Church is its authority over men's souls.
  • I believe that the Individual and the Family have rights independent of and prior to the State ; and that to understand and safeguard these rights of the Individual and the Family is the first duty of the State.
  • I believe that the State's chief care is to protect the rights of those who are poor.
  • I believe that bad laws are no laws.
  • I believe that "Statesmen are artificers of freedom"; and that, therefore, the greater the freedom of the citizens the greater the State.
  • I believe that the Individual and the Family have a right to some minimum of consumptive property in food, clothing, dwelling, and other bodily or spiritual goods as a means of existence and development.
  • I believe that ownership is stewardship; because all ultimate ownership of goods is in the hands of their Maker, and because all opportunity is a call to service.
  • I believe that when a man's living is through work, his wage for work should be a Living Wage.
  • I believe that the Living Wage of the worker is the first charge upon the work, and therefore upon the national Income which is the result of work.
  • I believe that temporal prosperity should not be an aim but a result; and that nations like individuals should not seek to reach happiness but to fulfil duties.
  • I believe that the perfect State is a Kingdom of God on earth; and that this Kingdom is the Reign of Righteousness.
  • I believe that this Kingdom of God on earth will not be begun until man's relations to his fellow-man are ruled by justice; nor will it be perfect, until all the duties and claims of justice are fulfilled by charity, which is man's perfect relation to God.
  • I believe that thus the fullest social synthesis is: "Love is the fulfilling of the Law."
  • I believe that this perfect charity which is the fulfilling of the law of justice, is "the Following of Christ,?" who is God, blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

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