Catechism of the Catholic Church

582 Part Three 2422 The Church’s social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ. 202 This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it. 2423 The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for re­ flection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action: Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts. 203 2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order. 204 A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to hu­ man dignity. 205 Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. “You cannot serve God and mammon.” 206 2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. 207 Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be sat­ isfied by the market.” 208 Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended. 202 Cf. SRS 1; 41. 203 Cf. CA 24. 204 GS 65 § 2. 205 Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13. 206 Cf. CA 10; 13; 44. 207 CA 34. 208 Cf. GS 64. 2044 2317 676 1886