Statement of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy

of the Philippines on the Social Principles


Sincere men of all walks of life earnestly seek to solve the pressing social problem.  We wish to set down simply the true foundation of lasting peace and prosperity.

1.  There is a true brotherhood of man founded in the true Fatherhood of God.

2.  God has put man upon the earth to live in conformity with His law and so to win perfect happiness with Him in Heaven.

3.  God has given to man all the gifts of the earth, the fruit of the fields, trees of the forest, beasts and fishes and all the natural riches buried in the earth.  All these He has given for the proper use of all men.

4.  To every man of every race God has given an eternal dignity with definite rights and duties.

5.  Every man has right to live decently, to marry and to care for his family.

6.  Since man has the right to marry and the duty to support to his family, he has also the right to enough material goods to obtain a good home, sufficient food and clothing, education for his children, reasonable recreation, and some reserve fund for sickness and old age.

7.  In the present economy most men can obtain these things only by selling their labor in exchange for a wage.  The just wage is not determined by the law of supply and demand.  The just wage must be enough to support the workingman and his family.

8.  To secure this decent living and to cooperate in building the true social order, man has a right to join any lawful association of his own choosing.  If the organization is for legitimate ends and uses legitimate means, it is immoral for anyone to interfere with this right of the worker.

9.  Employers have a moral obligation to pay their workers at least a family living wage.  Workers have an obligation to respect the property of the employer and to do an honest day’s work for a fair reward.

10.  The prime purpose of the economy is to provide a living for all its members.  Profits must be secondary to that prime purpose.

11.  Workers and owners are brothers, not enemies.

12.  The complex nature of the modern economy requires the organization of workers and owners into voluntary harmonious groups for the solution of their common problems.

13.  The legitimately constituted public authority has the right and the duty to regulate the use of private property in order to procure a decent human living for every person.

14.  By this we do not mean that the state is an absolute master, as something ultimate, or as an absolute and supreme entity, exempt from control and from criticism.  For the state is not an end in itself nor the last end of life.  It is a means for the acquisition of the common good.

15.  Useful human labor always had its own natural dignity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Mary, His Virgin Mother, still more wonderfully dignified that human labor.  The Son of God was a carpenter.  His Mother was a housewife.


Manila, January 20th, 1948.



Archbishop of Manila


Archbishop of Cebu


Bishop of Lipa


Bishop of Nueva Segovia


Bishop Tuguegarao


Bishop of Zamboanga


Bishop of Bacolod


Bishop of Calbayog


Bishop of Palo


Bishop of Lingayen


Bishop of Nueva Caceres


Bishop of Surigao


Bishop of Jaro


Bishop of Tagbilaran


Apostolic Prefect of Palawan


Apostolic Prefect of Montañosa


Apostolic Prefect of Mindoro


Auxiliary Bishop of Manila



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Statement of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy of the Philippines on the Social Principles