Quod apostolici muneris
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|Quod apostolici muneris
Latin : Of Our apostolic office
Encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII
|Date||28 December 1878|
|Encyclical number||2 of 85 of the pontificate|
The encyclical opposes "socialism, communism and nihilism", regarded as three aspects of a single ideology that is opposed to moral values, natural institutions and the principles of authority and property. This is contrasted with the Church's own social theory which respects social distinctions while stressing the importance of helping the poor.
The form of socialism that the encyclical opposes is one whose proponents "strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labour of brain and hands, or by thrift in one's mode of life". To this is opposed the Church's teaching that "the right of property and of ownership, which springs from nature itself, must not be touched and stands inviolate. For she knows that stealing and robbery were forbidden in so special a manner by God, the Author and Defender of right, that He would not allow man even to desire what belonged to another, and that thieves and despoilers, no less than adulterers and idolaters, are shut out from the Kingdom of Heaven".