Friday, February 10, 2017

Authentic Goods

A partial list of authentic rights and what they entail: 

Freedom: the power to act deliberately on one's own responsibility; the basis for merit or lack of merit; inherent in the dignity of the human person.  It includes the freedom to act in accordance with one's conscience, rightly formed.  Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) at 1731 et seq.

Religious liberty: freedom from external constraint by political authorities in religious matters.  It does not mean the right to adhere to error.  CCC at 1747.

Private property: the legitimate acquisition of private property in order to guarantee freedom and dignity, and to secure the necessities of life for oneself and those in one's charge.  CCC at 2401 et seq.

Life: the right to life and physical integrity are inherent in human nature and human dignity.  It includes the right to the legitimate defense of persons and societies.  It does not exclude recourse to the death penalty.  CCC at 2258 et seq.

Economic initiative: everyone has the right to legitimately use his talents to contribute to the abundance that will benefit everyone, and to enjoy the fruits of his labor.  CCC at 2429.

Access to employment and professions: Work is a carrying on of creation and a carrying out of the stewardship of creation that God has committed to man; therefore it is a duty.  Unemployment is injurious to dignity and the stability of life.  CCC at 2401 et seq.

Just wages: fair remuneration for work, taking into account both the needs and the contributions of the wage earner.  A wage rate is not just merely because the parties agree to it.  CCC at 2434.

School choice: a fundamental right of parents as the first educators of their children to choose a school for them that corresponds to their own convictions.  CCC at 2229.

Choice of profession and state of life: persons should not be forced in this area.  CCC at 2230.

Expression of opinion in matters pertaining to the good of the Church: both to pastors and to other members of the faithful.  CCC at 907.

Right of a child to be naturally conceived: a child is not an entitlement or a piece of property, but a gift, and must be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.  CCC at 2378.

Right of a child to be born of parents known to him and united in marriage: makes artificial means of conception, sperm donation and surrogacy immoral.  CCC at 2373 et seq.

Spreading the Gospel: both a right and a duty of Christians.  CCC at 900.

Right of the Church to announce moral principles: to the extent required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls.  CCC at 2032.

Immigration: persons have a right to emigrate.  Nations have a right to make policy on immigration and defend their borders.  CCC at 2241.

Preservation of material and spiritual heritage: to nations that take them in, immigrants owe, in gratitude, a duty to respect their material and spiritual heritage.  CCC at 2241.

Good name: everyone has a natural right to his good name and to respect.  CCC at 2479.

In an age when we are so busy pursuing imaginary rights, it pays to remind ourselves of authentic rights, lest we cease to value these and fritter them away.

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