Piquant excerpts lifted from Touchstone editors' own reading & listening.
Inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature. . . .
The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error. . . . Paternal authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself. . . . The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home. . . .
Human society in its civil aspects was renewed fundamentally by Christian institutions. . . . Wherefore, if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it.
—Pope Leo XIII
Rerum Novarum (1891)