Podstawowe elementy nauczania społecznego Jana Pawła II

Stanisław Kowalczyk


The author refers mainly to the social encyclicals of the Pope John Paul II. He analyzes, in a synthetic manner, the principal aspects of the Pope’s teaching. One of them being the conception of social community as a fellowship. The pope renounces both the radical individualism of liberalism and Marxist collectivism, and he refers to the categories of the common good, participation and neighbour. In the second point of the paper the author is discussing the principle of solidarity and the principle of Personalism. John Paul II binds the principle of solidarity with the idea of the common good, therefore he distinguishes various circles of social life, circles which call for respecting the law of solidarity. The principle of Personalism postulates the priority of the human person before social community, therefore it is indispensable to have some mediate communities between citizens and the state. The third point of the paper looks at the Personalistic conception of John Paul II’s work, that is the priority of labour over capital, workers’ rights and the dignity of man as the subject of labour. The final parts of the paper are devoted to John Paul II’s attitude towards Marxism and Liberalism. The encyclical Centesimus annus distinguishes three levels of Marxism (philosophical, economic and political), the levels he deems negative as being false and leading to the totalitarian regime. Ideological Liberalism has also earned a critical evaluation in its ethical and social aspect (the idea of maximum freedom, the spirit of consumerism), although the pope accepts some economic elements of liberal capitalism.

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