The right to private property – 1 Legal and distributive Justice


Better is a little with justice, than great revenue with iniquity. (Proverbs 16:8)

“Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible…”

Most of today’s dealing with family members and community is based on word of mouth. We cannot go on writing and signing deeds for normal daily routine activities for life to sustain for there should be TRUST based on Good will among people. I can talk of the Christian faith which has elaborate Teachings and guidance for all aspects of Life as taught and instituted by Jesus. We can then see below how God guides Humanity today through the awesome Gift of this Internet which makes it possible for one and all to SEEK and avail to walk in the midst of Humanity daily, for the Good of All.

So if Parents make their intention known to the children of their Will about their property, it is their Right and has to be respected. If the Church teaches that we have to make our Will in our life time, it stands to good reason, for lack of this does cause confusion and DIVIDE, be it families or the community. Recently, in a Church in  Chicago, booklets were distributed regarding bequeathing the property to the Church in the lifetime of a person in the case of it not going to any other relatives. This was stated to be considered, for lack of it has left many properties left without rightful owners and hence neglected. Why does it matter to the Church..?

The Church is instituted for all to be taught on how to go through this journey of life on Earth so as it to be pleasing to God and have us found WORTHY of the next inheritance – yes a life in Eternity with Jesus where there is no more sorrows or Sins. So when we have properties lying neglected, it is obvious then that it is not ‘subjugated’ for the Good of anyone. We are taught to have a Moral responsibility to know that this Gift from God is abused when we are denying the Church to use it for the many NEEDY around in a community or for the many benefits it can bring to a community…. We have to remember here that Nature has been provided for our Good and the Good of ALL and this is a Natural Law.

If a person has been granted some Blessings be it through ‘right’ opportunities to gain plenty out of Nature and Goods, it makes sense to follow the Divine Guidance to use it in the Divine Ratio and give back to God at least the tithe to be able to help the poor. It will be wise if we teach and educate our children with the Resources provided so that instead of being wastrels in life by over indulgent parents, they can use their life to similarly work hard and earn for themselves and tithe for the Needy. The drastic consequences of being SELFISH in the last century in abundantly Blessed countries has the repercussion today that they do not have many youth or children to pass on their properties. But if bequeathed in time to the Church, this can be then used for the needy poor children in places and countries which were not Blessed with many resources. So even as we are Blessed to earn and own private property we can see that it’s destination ultimately is for the Good for the entire human race starting from our own families.

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.

So if Mother Mercy’s flat was decided to be granted to the youngest Son 20 years back, then when she needed shelter, comfort and security in the love and protection from her own family, we see that physically she cannot be Divided and kept in the homes of her children spread across the World. When the time came and she expressed that she is unable to live alone, then the decision taken earlier should have been abided by the Christians. She should have been lovingly taken into the home of her youngest Son as was and is her RIGHT and DIGNITY. So who STOPPED him and why?

These could have been discussed as family. No one likes to be treated as unwanted. And if Actions and Words are needed to convey LOVE, then we can all agree that when one is given the Silent Abuse or not served as an Elder family member, it hurts the human heart. Further, not kept involved in family affairs or denied phone calls or use of Internet to keep in touch with family and friends across the World is felt as an acute isolation even in the midst of family.  God sees the Human Heart and when He cautions that He hears the cries of the Widows and orphans we do need to pause to know why the Widows in our midst cry.

In this age of ‘Relativism’ where affluence from God’s Bounty teaches selfishness and apathy one can say that the Son and his family has Rights. But then so does this poor Widow languishing far away alone in India. She has the Right to know that her Son will not take her back to the US and that decision is not made by her Son, but he is helpless as he shares his life with a wife from a ‘Superior’ family of Christians from Kerala. How can anyone who is a CONVERT from their past to being a Christian can lay claim to such superiorities has been asked by this daughter of Mother Mercy through emails because none are available for communication? How can this family whose Mother is a Christian Counselor in a Christian Ashram in Mumbai, counsel other families to heal and UNITE and not be available to help the family of her son-in-law whose wife is her own daughter..?

Repeated emails to ask what are the issues which does not merit communication or forgiveness have fallen on deaf ears. This same family who was our neighbour when we lived in Chembur, Mumbai do not think it necessary to know us now or answer our queries. This Counselor Mother does not think it necessary to Counsel this Mother of her son-in-law to know why this Old Widow cries or is in constant pain and illnesses even though she just lives a few miles away. Visiting the sick and helping them back on their feet and unite with family is part of the Teachings of the Church… But when someone is constantly seen worshipping in the Catholic Church and Baptizes their children in the same Church and after being Married in the same Church to my brother then claims that she is ‘SUPERIOR’ because she belongs to the SYRO – MALABAR Church in Kerala, India – I have yet to find this convincing because Jesus taught us to bend down in humility and serve, not exalt ourselves in vanity.So when any Church that does not teach this Message of Jesus who refused to sit on a throne or live in a palace on Earth laying claim instead to ‘SUPERIORITY’ then we do know that some down the line do not – or .. DO NOT WANT to submit & CONVERT. WHY? The answer does lie in defying the Commandment – ‘The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking..’ 

More to follow in the next part – The right to private property – 2

2409 Even if it does not contradict the provisions of civil law, any form of unjustly taking and keeping the property of others is against the seventh commandment: thus, deliberate retention of goods lent or of objects lost; business fraud; paying unjust wages; forcing up prices by taking advantage of the ignorance or hardship of another.192

The following are also morally illicit: speculation in which one contrives to manipulate the price of goods artificially in order to gain an advantage to the detriment of others; corruption in which one influences the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law; appropriation and use for private purposes of the common goods of an enterprise; work poorly done; tax evasion; forgery of checks and invoices; excessive expenses and waste. Willfully damaging private or public property is contrary to the moral law and requires reparation.

2410 Promises must be kept and contracts strictly observed to the extent that the commitments made in them are morally just. A significant part of economic and social life depends on the honoring of contracts between physical or moral persons – commercial contracts of purchase or sale, rental or labor contracts. All contracts must be agreed to and executed in good faith.

2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.

One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs.

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