Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

John Paul II on Love of Preference for the Poor

December 30, 1987

The option or love of preference for the poor. [...] It affects the life of each Christian inasmuch as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it applies equally to our social responsibilities and hence to our manner of living, and to the logical decisions to be made concerning the ownership and use of goods. [...T]he leaders of nations and the heads of international bodies, while they are obliged always to keep in mind the true human dimension as a priority in their development plans, should not forget to give precedence to the phenomenon of growing poverty. [...T]he characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all. [...I]n this concern for the poor, one must not overlook that special form of poverty which consists in being deprived of fundamental human rights, in particular the right to religious freedom and also the right to freedom of economic initiative.

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