Skip to comments.Catholic Church Condemns Socialism
Posted on 10/24/2008 9:20:42 AM PDT by VinceASA
And in addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes, and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected. The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.
(Excerpt) Read more at vatican.va ...
Many people are not aware that the Catholic Church also opposes socialism and mandated wealth redistribution for 3 main reasons:
1. It robs the lawful posessor of the wealth (stealing) 2. It hurts the recipient in the end (they should be entitled to hope for and to keep whatever wealth they acquire too) 3. It distorts the role of the state
On the last point, the Church teaches the principle of subsidiarity, which is that higher levels of community, such as the state, should only perform functions not better performed by lower levels of community, such as families and charities.
The church teaches that the wealthy have an obligation to the poor, but that this is a PERSONAL DUTY, not something the state should mandate or control. Furthermore, the oblication should be personal in nature (ie, get involved), whereas state programs separate the giver from the receiver.
The church discourages class welfare and contends that envy of the rich is a violation of the 9th commandment.
Furthermore, the poor are told to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.
Dont beleive me, read Rerum Novarum, which is the papal encyclical that lays these positions out. Think it is irrelevant to today, know that John Paul II wrote an encyclical in 1991 affirming Rerum Novarum and went on to explicitly condemn the Social Assistance State.
Now if only the entire clergy would pay attention.
More on Catholic teachings against socialism.
Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected
.By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood
and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need.
John Paul II, From Centesimus Annus, Encyclical on 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, 1991
Thank-you for the article. Bookmarked.
Well said. Communism is nothing more than equality at the lowest common denominator.
The RCC has been very impressive this election. A lot of Bishops have come out and basically said you can’t vote for a Rat and be a good Catholic and now this. I can only hope this message reaches their members as I hope and pray all Baptists realize you can’t support a candidate the believes in infanticide and call yourself a Christian.
BTTT for later read. Thank you for posting this.
Check the date. The Church has held this teaching since 1891 (at the earliest!)
I hope you don’t mind my using your words in an argument elsewhere. This is too good to waste.
It’s not what I’ve been hearing from pulpits and as a collective voice. The “give to the poor” has been mangled into a sympathy (at least) with socialism, if not an informal backing. The protestant churches I’ve attended don’t even veil their “redistribute the earnings” socialist message.
I know it’s old. The teaching has been around for 117 years. I posted it in news partly out of humor and partly to underscore the fact that most people are truly unaware of Catholic Church fundamental teachings (including many Catholics.)
I got tired of hearing the “I’m voting for Obama because he wants to help people” argument from Catholics, as if abortion was the only, albeit extremely important, difference.
>>The church discourages class welfare and contends that envy of the rich is a violation of the 9th commandment.<<
Covetousness is the basis for class envy and coerced wealth redistribution. Socialism/marxism is founded in sin.
“I hope you dont mind my using your words in an argument elsewhere. This is too good to waste.”
Not at all. I encourage you to read the document in its entirety and quote away. There are lots of gems in it.
This should be required reading for many parish priests.
I agree the lines have been blurred from the pulpit; however, I think that is relatively exclusive to America, especially in reponse to some of the times where we’ve lost our Christian restraint on Capitalism. In countries where socialism has flourished, I believe you’ll find the Church on the side of human freedom.
Agreed - I just wanted to point out to people on FR that this isn’t a new development in the Church! :-)
Be sure to read the whole “article”, written by Pope Leo XIII in the 1890s. It’s several pages of Victorian Vaticanese translated to English from the original Latin, but well worth the effort. Very little of it is in any way peculiarly Catholic; any Christian of good will can and should feel free to make use of it.
Tired of having the fruits of their labors confiscated by an overpowering British government, America's Founders declared themselves free and independent.
Most American schoolchildren can recite their claim that ". all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Less familiar, however, are these lines from their Declaration of Independence:
"He ( King George III ) has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance .... He has combined with others to subject us, ... imposing taxes on us without our consent."
What, then, did the Founders consider to be the real cornerstone of man's liberty and happiness? On what basic premise did they devise their Constitution? Let them speak for themselves:
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST"
"Government is instituted to protect property of every sort .... This being the end of government, that is NOT a just government,... nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has ... is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest."
Their guiding principle was that people come together to form governments in order to SECURE their rights to property - not to create an entity which wilt, itself, "take from the mouths of labor the bread it has earned." What was wrong for individual citizens to do to one another, they believed, was equally wrong for government to do to them.
The right to own property and to keep the rewards of individual labor opened the floodgates of progress for the benefit of the entire human race. Millions have fled other countries to participate in the Miracle of America.
Show this document to them. The RCC is ahead of its time.
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