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if this were done, the church would speak with an unswerving voice and would never cease to bear witness to the truth of the gospel. the church will always have a special place in the world and will be ever ready to face with fidelity the successive challenges of the times.
any society is thus obliged to furnish a well-ordered setting and all the necessary means for its members to enjoy a productive and joyful life according to their own abilities. wherever possible, it should provide for the free development of the individual’s personality. the state should supply the means for a civil, self-respecting, and well-balanced life, according to social, moral and religious duties. it should support the family and the church, and should assure the individual his freedom, safety, peace, and prosperity, as well as the right to a good education and to a care of his health. in such a society, the freedom of the person is the fundamental basis of social justice. freedom of the will, unrestricted by the arbitrary power of anyone, is the right of each person as such. freedom of the person is bound up with the more general principle of human rights which requires that no one be given the right to do violence to another, to deprive him of his liberty or of his possessions, or to take from him his life or his security. such rights belong to all people and to all men. to respect them is the duty of all, and the government must enforce them strictly.
the church, too, has its social responsibilities. for the well-being of the church it is not enough to keep it pure and free from any kind of contamination. it is essential that it be fruitful and continue in the task of spreading the faith. it is not enough for the church to offer its free and unhesitating service to all those who ask for it. in order that the faithful may be truly active in the service of the church and of the world, it is necessary that they receive appropriate instruction and pastoral guidance and be enabled to live according to their own convictions. for the proper development of the church, it is indispensable that its pastoral ministry be able to recognize the needs of the individual and of the people and to respond to them in a consistent manner. in this way the church, which is the temple of god, becomes the true home for those who are seeking god and a refuge for those who have been rejected by men and by society. in order to attain this end, the church must devote herself to the pastoral care of all men, to the school of the faithful and to the encouragement of all forms of religious life. she must avoid the temptation of either dominating or of tolerating those who do not share her views, or of either rejecting or making over by any means whatever the distinctive characteristics of the various religions or of the various religious communities. the state, too, has its social responsibilities for the church and for the faithful, and has the duty to make available the necessary means for the church and for the faithful to fulfill their mission.
hence, the imperious need for a constant striving for spiritual renewal, the creation of groups of men with noble ascesis, which will cultivate in them the sense of belonging to the community, and the need to attach high esteem to those who truly deserve it, a requirement which should excite them to aspire to such vocation above all the others and to be worthy to possess the privilege of so praiseworthy a calling, as well as the need to teach a community of citizens to obey and love their rulers, to receive them as friends, to love them and to devote themselves to their service, as far as the resources of their strength and strength of will permit.
today there are pious men in our midst who have the grace of god above all other gifts, who feel that they are its depositories and all too often are dismayed by the loss of the grace which their parents or their friends received. some of these people have lived as witnesses and teachers of what they had received from god, and in their simple faith or their catholic zeal they continue to serve the church and to elevate it in the world.
18. while man lives in the midst of the open creation and under the rule of a part of god’s creation, devoted to his creator, the rest of god’s creation has in itself a law, a way of existing, a soul, and an action, when rightly willed, a deliberate choice and a fulfillment. consequently, just as man is subject to the law of the universe, his concern must be to subject himself to this law as a member of this universe, to submit in all things to the divine or cosmic order and to it alone. the same holds true for those beings which are called living beings, for they are made in the image of god in varying degrees of perfection and thus share an intrinsic law of justice.