Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Rerum Novarum refers to new beginnings. New beginnings refers to an open letter given to all Catholic bishops that addressed the circumstances of the working class. Written on May 15th 1891 by Tommaso Maria Zigliara, the Rerum Novarum examined the interrelation and duties between labor and capital. This document also covers the relationship between the government and citizens. The document begins with an introduction, as all documents do. The introduction opens with remarks on social issues of that time. The speaker continues to speak out against the Socialist motives, and those who allowed them to come about and prosper. The first issues to be discussed are rights and duties. Pope Leo introduces an idea that entails the rights every worker is to be afforded and the duties he then owes his employer. Pope Leo also states that this rule should go both ways and extend to the employer as well. The Pope states that workers are, Ã¢â¬Å"fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. (p20)Ã¢â¬ The duties a worker owes his employer are quite clearcut. As such, so are the duties of an employer to his workman. A decent employer is not to use their workers as bondsmen, they are to regard every man with self-respect. They are to treat each worker as a person aggrandized by a good Christian character. Employers are reminded that there is no shame... ... value them for their bodily functions, and not as people. However, if all employers were privy to the contents of Rerum Novarum that talk about how employers are supposed to treat their workers how they deserved to be treated, AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s poverty level would go down. Others who are not well read on the struggles of others should especially look into Rerum Novarum so that they may understand what it is like for others who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. It was paragraph twenty that spoke to me the most. As mentioned previously I really appreciate the fact that it is written somewhere that there should be a set of rights and duties between workers and their employers. All of the rights and duties are fair, and I believe that they should be followed by everyone. I also appreciate these rights because they should be followed whether or not someone is Christian.