is the basis for the order in things. If there were no differences between things, there could be no order between them. The very idea of order includes within it the concept of priority and of posteriority, and hence, of difference and inequality. In fact, that very separateness, i.e., the distinctions among things, is the principle of all order.
God makes creatures unequal.
God made difference and inequality in all creatures. As Ecclesiasticus teaches:
Why does one day excel another, and one light another, and one year another year...? By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished.
Chapter 33, verses 7-8.
Therefore, just as God’s Wisdom is the cause of His making all creatures, so His Wisdom is the cause of Him making creatures unequal. By making some creatures inferior to other creatures, the whole of creation is more perfect than it otherwise would be.
Inequality between individual persons
All men are equal in some ways. For example, they are equal before the law, so that their rights as citizens are the same despite differences between them such as in height, in wealth, etc.
However, God made persons unequal in many ways and intends this inequality. God made persons unequal in eyesight, mental acuity, natural prudence, athletic ability, beauty, musical talent, health, height, and in many other ways. God intends these inequalities.
All mankind is bound together with duties to help those individuals who are more in need of help because of these natural inequalities. So, a person who can see, can guide a blind man across the street, a taller person might reach something on a high shelf to help a shorter person.
Among all other inequalities between persons, some persons are naturally less prudent than some other persons. These less prudent persons need to be helped and protected for their own good, including protecting them from their own imprudence. There are many examples of this. For example, for their own good, civil laws prohibit persons from making contracts which include interest charges greater than a statutory maximum interest rate. These laws and many other laws, are ways that society protects those persons against their own imprudence, because they are less able to protect themselves.
Differences between men in society
As explained above, the very idea of order includes within it the concept of priority and of posteriority, and hence, of difference. In fact, that very separateness, i.e., the distinctions among people, is the principle of all social, political, economic, military and religious order, since difference is a principle of order. For example, in a proper military order, an army cannot have all generals or all privates. The army cannot have all equipment operators or all cooks. Etc.
St. Paul emphasizes that God made men unequal and made them to have different roles, strengths and weaknesses. Here are St. Paul’s words:
For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink. For the body also is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased Him. And if they all were one member, where would be the body? But now there are many members indeed, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you. Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary. And such as we think to be the less honorable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honor; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness. But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honor, that there might be no schism in the body; but the members might be mutually careful one for another. And if one member suffer anything, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians, 12:12-27 (emphasis added).
As St. Paul shows us, God did not make every man to play whatever role that man chooses. Some men are made more honorable members of society, some, less. Some men are made the “eyes” of the collective group and some are made the “feet”. Id.
St. Paul emphasizes that these differences between men give rise to the obligation that “the members might be mutually careful one for another”. Id.
God intends differences and inequalities between groups as well as between individuals.
Just as God intends the countless inequalities between individuals, He also fully intends the inequalities between different groups/peoples/ethnicities/tribes. To take a few of countless examples:
one people is better at a sport such as basketball, than any other peoples;
one people is more emotional, with a high-strung temperament, while another ethnic group is more calm, staid and reason-oriented;
one people is more creative in the fine arts, than some other peoples;
one people more apt to the sciences than some other peoples; and
one people is more capable in leadership in society than some other peoples.
God intends all these natural differences, both the strengths and the weaknesses.
Pope Leo XIII assures us that “there will ever be differences and inequalities of condition in the State. Society cannot exist or be conceived of without them.” Rerum Novarum, §34.
These differences between one people and another, are differences between the members of society on a larger scale. St. Paul teaches us that these differences oblige “the members [to be] mutually careful one for another”. 1 Corinthians, 12:25.
All peoples and groups are bound together with duties in justice and charity. Some peoples are more capable of leading and other peoples need more guidance, more protection and need to be led because of these natural inequalities that God Wills.
These inequalities include that some peoples are naturally less prudent and don’t guide themselves and others as well as other peoples do. Such peoples need to be helped and protected for their own good. A striking example of this need occurred in Colombia, after the Masonic revolution in the early 1800s:
The liberal revolutionary governments wanted to decrease the authority of the Catholic Church and to enact land “reforms”, including the abolition of the somewhat-feudal system governing the lives of the Indians (who comprised about one-third of the population).
The previous (Spanish) government had protected these Indians (like Medieval serfs were protected) by restricting their ability to freely sell the plots of land which they possessed and farmed. In the name of freedom and the free market, the new liberal government allowed the Indians to sell their little plots of land. Rich, unscrupulous men quickly induced most of the Indians to (naïvely and shortsightedly) sell their little plots, thus ruining the small amount of independence the Indians had enjoyed. Within a few years, the ownership of the Indians’ lands was concentrated in the hands of a few rich and powerful families. The Indians became landless tenants. The land which had been cultivated by the Indians was then mostly used for grazing cattle.
Quoted from: Latin America: A Sketch of its Glorious Catholic Roots and a Snapshot of its Present, by the Editors of Quanta Cura Press, p.111, © 2016.
In light of the natural inequalities between peoples, and because the men of society are bound together in justice and charity, persons and peoples more capable of leading have a duty to guide and protect those who are less capable.
It denies reason and these natural inequalities between peoples, to insist that a society’s or an organization’s leaders would be subject to “quotas” and include a “sampling” of “everybody”, i.e., representatives from each different group or people. This is as foolish as insisting that a basketball team must fulfill “quotas” and have members who “represent” every people in proportion to every part of the public.
God’s intent that there be inequality in society includes His intent that there be economic inequality (viz., rich and poor).
The revolutionaries in society stir up discontent by complaining there is an “income gap” between the rich and the poor, or that this income “gap” is increasing. However, an inequality in economic conditions is a natural reflection of other inequalities between men. God Wills these inequalities.
Quoting earlier Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas explains that God Wills wealth inequality for both the rich and the poor, so that the rich might acquire the virtue of liberality and so that the poor might acquire the virtue of patience. Here are his words:
The temporal goods which God grants us, are ours as to the ownership, but as to the use of them, they belong not to us alone but also to such others as we are able to succor out of what we have over and above our needs. Hence Basil says [*Hom. super Luc. xii, 18]: “If you acknowledge them,” viz., your temporal goods, “as coming from God, is He unjust because He apportions them unequally? Why are you rich while another is poor, unless it be that you may have the merit of a good stewardship, and he the reward of patience? It is the hungry man’s bread that you withhold, the naked man’s cloak that you have stored away, the shoe of the barefoot that you have left to rot, the money of the needy that you have buried underground: and so you injure as many as you might help.” Ambrose expresses himself in the same way.
The Socialists seek to abolish private property, pretending that men are equal and that private property destroys this supposed equality. Here is how Pope Leo XIII explains this truth:
Socialists proclaim the right of property to be a human invention repugnant to the natural equality of man ....
The Catholic Church, however, recognizes that all men are unequal and their differences in wealth proceeds from their many natural inequalities. Here is how Pope Leo XIII explains this truth:
[T]he Church, much more properly and practically, recognizes inequality among men, who are naturally different in strength of body and of mind; also, in the possession of goods, and it orders that right of property and of ownership, which proceeds from nature itself ....
Pope St. Pius X condemned the false idea that:
every inequality of condition is an injustice, or at least, a diminution of justice. Here we have a principle that conflicts sharply with the nature of things, a principle conducive to jealousy, injustice, and subversive to any social order.
God made creatures different and unequal. God made all men different and unequal to each other. God made the peoples and groups of society different and unequal. God intends that we help each other in our deficiencies and not that we try to impose a false equality and quota system so that all roles in society would be composed from “every group”.