Daily Series on the Catechism


Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter 2:  “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”

Article 7,  The Seventh Commandment (cont’d)

In Brief

§ 2450  “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19). “Neither thieves, nor the greedy…nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10).

§ 2451  The Seventh Commandment enjoins the practice of justice and charity in the administration of earthly goods and the fruits of men’s labor.

§ 2452  The goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. The right to private property does not abolish the universal destination of goods.

§ 2453  The Seventh Commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of another’s goods against the reasonable will of the owner.

§ 2454  Every manner of taking and using another’s property unjustly is contrary to the Seventh Commandment. The injustice committed requires reparation. Commutative justice [equitable exchange / fundamental fairness] requires the restitution [restoration or compensation] of stolen goods.

§ 2455  The moral law forbids acts which, for commercial or totalitarian purposes, lead to the enslavement of human beings, or to their being bought, sold or exchanged like merchandise.

§ 2456  The dominion granted by the Creator over the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from respect for moral obligations, including those toward generations to come.

§ 2457  Animals are entrusted to man’s stewardship; he must show them kindness. They may be used to serve the just satisfaction of man’s needs.

§ 2458  The Church makes a judgment about economic and social matters when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it. She is concerned with the temporal common good of men because they are ordered to the Sovereign Good, their ultimate end.

§ 2459  Man is himself the author, center, and goal of all economic and social life. The decisive point of the social question is that goods created by God for everyone should in fact reach everyone in accordance with justice and with the help of charity.

§ 2460  The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor, man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.

§ 2461  True development concerns the whole man. It is concerned with increasing each person’s ability to respond to his vocation and hence to God’s call (cf. CA 29).

§ 2462  Giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.

§ 2463  How can we not recognize Lazarus, the hungry beggar in the parable (cf. Luke 17:19-31), in the multitude of human beings without bread, a roof or a place to stay? How can we fail to hear Jesus: “As you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me” (Matthew 25:45)?

Tomorrow – Article 8,  The Eighth Commandment

(Part III, Section 2, Chapter 2 – to be continued)

[Editor’s Note:  The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]

  • “CA” – Pope St. John Paul II (May 1991), “Centesimus Annus [Hundredth Year Anniversary of ‘Rerum Novarum’ (Of Revolutionary Change)]”
  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
Available in several languages


A Sunday Blessing

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you!

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace! †

(cf. Numbers 6:24-26)

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