'Workers' charter still the guide'
THE Pope told 10,000 workers hi an Ascension Day address that the Encyclical, "Rerum Novarum," The Workers' Charter, still expressed today, as much as 62 years ago when it first appeared, the Church's basic view on labour questions, and was still the guide to be
The workers hearing him, members of the Italian Catholic Workers Association (A.C.L.I.) from Rome and the surrounding district, were attending a public audience in St. Peter's as part of commemoration celebrations of the Reruni Novaruni anniversary. Others at the audience, including many pilgrims, swelled the crowd to some 18,000, packing the Basilica.
The Pope said the "most dangerous and most deadly" weapon being used against working men today is the teaching that the world can be turned into a paradise without the aid of God.
He said the "spirit of darkness" even went so far as to distort the full meaning of Scripture in trying to convince men that It was futile to expect help from Heaven.
The "spirit of darkness," the Pope said, is capable of appearing as an "angel of light" in preaching this doctrine. He added : "This is the most dangerous and deadly of the assault weapons being used against the souls of so many workers who are the main actors of the drama of the modern world.
"Many of them have forgotten Heaven and insist upon looking only at the earthly life, hoping it will transform itself into a paradise where nothing is lacking."
The Pope said Rerion Novarum showed that a "true human order on earth cannot be perfect if it is not directed towards Heaven."
And he quoted from the Encyclical: "It is impossible to understand
or evaluate earthly goods properly if the soul does not elevate itself to the contemplation of another life; that is to say, the Eternal Life, without which the true concept of moral welfare will vanish and the entire universe will become an incomprehensible mystery."
Of Catholic social workers who stress social reforms without first considering religious and moral needs of man, he said: "Those Catholic promOters of a new social order who uphold above all the social reform, and only then think of the religious and moral life, are wrong." He said it was impossible to separate the first from the second, or to divide man into two, because he was a single living being.
The Pope concluded: "Beloved sons, Jesus once said that those who seek the terrain of God and his justice above all else will have not only that, but all the rest.
"To that part of humanity that lives almost without hope because it had ceased thinking of the reign of God, it is necessary to repeat, strongly and with understanding, that there is a system to solve even human problems—to seek God once again, and to look once again towards Heaven."
The Osservatore Romano gave the whole of its front page on Friday to the full text of the Pope's Rerum Novarion address and an account of the audience for the A.C.L.I. workers.