Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 577 A rticle 7 THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT You shall not steal. 186 2401 The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one’s neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men’s labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world’s goods to God and to fraternal charity. I. T he U niversal D estination and the P rivate O wnership of G oods 2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master themby labor, and enjoy their fruits. 187 The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is di­ vided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropria­ tion of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men. 2403 The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains pri­ mordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise. 186 Ex 20:15; Deut 5:19; Mt 19:18. 187 Cf. Gen 1:26-29. 1807 952 226 1939