Frederic Ozanam demonstrated how liberty, equality, and fraternity were Christian principles whose application was to safeguard the rights of poor persons and lessen the tremendous gap between rich and poor. He feared violent class warfare and insisted that Christians act as nonviolent mediators for as long as they could to prevent it from happening or at least ensure less disastrous results. If forced to take sides, Christians were to choose the poor, as the Gospel does. He urged charitable, pastoral, and civic engagement with the working poor, an often overlooked group. He campaigned for the Church and France to embrace democracy and to balance state intervention with the rights of poor persons. He supported the right to work, the right to organize and the right to a natural salary (a salary that would meet the needs of families and that would allow for health care and retirement). The idea of a natural salary has come down to us today as the living wage. Later in this article, income inequality in the modern United States is discussed and how Ozanam’s approach, which is grounded in collaboration and biblical justice, can be used to rectify it.
Mousin, Reverend Craig B.
"Frédéric Ozanam―Beneficent Deserter: Mediating the Chasm of Income Inequality through Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 30:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol30/iss1/4