近日的社會事件令筆者想起教宗良十三世於1891年頒布的《新事物》(Rerum Novarum) 通諭。
5. It is surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labor, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property, and thereafter to hold it as his very own. If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a working man’s little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labor. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the property consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life.
教宗提到，如果一個工人如果辛勞工作、儲蓄、並為更好的生活保障，將他的儲蓄投資在土地上，這樣的話，土地是他薪酬的另一種形式。因為教宗批評，社會主義者1 要求將個人的財產轉移到公用，是威脅着所有工作人口2 的利益，因為他們使他失去了使用自己薪金的自由，同時也奪取了他增加資源及改善生活狀況的一切希望及可能性。
筆者在十多年前聽方濟會的 Father Lionel 說他在聖地的生活，他常常強調一點：「有土地就有自由」。尤其在聖地，有土地就有自由做自己想做的東西，就安全，就有人，就有話事權。