I wonder how we would react if the Bishops wrote something like... “Catholics cannot vote for a political candidate that takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as capitalism.”
BTW Joe Ratzinger wrote the following...
“Confronted with the abuse of economic power, with the cruelty of capitalism that degrades man into merchandise, we have begun to see more clearly the dangers of wealth and we understand in a new way what Jesus intended in warning us about wealth.”
So the Pope should excommunicate the wealthy?
And yes I mean to ask a hard question. I do expect emotional responses to the question. Not rational ones.
Capitalism (at least practiced without fraud or coercion) is far more moral than the alternatives, because it relies on individuals to use their God given free will to make rational choices in light of scarcity. Rather than force the choices of others on them without their consent or without limits on the coercive power.
So the Pope should excommunicate the wealthy?
No. Next question?
To say that there are dangers to wealth is not the same as saying wealth is intrinsically evil. For example, the majority of members of this Forum believe in the right to keep and bear arms but acknowledge that there are dangers to firearms.
The question is, as you propose, what one does in the face of such dangers.
Wealth is not an intrinsic evil, nor is capitalism.
Sorry. You will get a rational one from me, not an emotional one...
If you look at the unbridled "Gilded Age" capitalism, you will see all the excesses of wealth exemplified. Ratzinger was not hardly the only pope to condemn unbridled capitalism.
Pio XII, in a letter commemorating a pilgrimage to Lourdes, stated the following:
41. But in itself this experience of a few brief days of pilgrimage is not usually sufficient to engrave in indelible letters the call of Mary to a genuine spiritual conversion. That is why We exhort the shepherds of dioceses and all priests to outdo one another in zeal that the centenary pilgrimages may benefit by preparation, and, above all, by a follow-up which will be as conducive as possible to a profound and lasting action of grace.
42. Only on condition of a return to regular reception of the sacraments, a regard for Christian morals in everyday life, entry into the ranks of Catholic Action and other apostolates recommended by the Church, can the great crowds expected to gather at Lourdes in 1958 yield -- according to the expectations of the Immaculate Virgin herself -- the fruits of salvation so necessary to mankind today.
43. But however important it may be, the conversion of the individual pilgrim is not enough. We exhort you in this jubilee year, Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, to inspire among the faithful entrusted to your care a common effort for the Christian renewal of society in answer to Mary's appeal.
44. "May blind spirits . . . be illumined by the light of truth and justice," Pius XI asked during the Marian feasts of the Jubilee of the Redemption, "so that those who have gone astray into error may be brought back to the straight path, that a just liberty may be granted the Church everywhere, and that an era of peace and true prosperity may come upon all the nations."
45. But the world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism which has been denounced by Our Predecessors and Ourselves on many occasions.
46. This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people. It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is destroyed before seeing the light of day.
47. This materialism is present in the unrestrained search for pleasure, which flaunts itself shamelessly and tries, through reading matter and entertainments, to seduce souls which are still pure. It shows itself in lack of interest in one's brother, in selfishness which crushes him, in justice which deprives him of his rights -- in a word, in that concept of life which regulates everything exclusively in terms of material prosperity and earthly satisfactions.
48. "And I will say to my soul. the rich man said, Soul, thou hast many good things laid up for many years; take thy ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, Thou fool, this night do they demand thy soul of thee."
49. To a society which in its public life often contests the supreme rights of God, to a society which would gain the whole world at the expense of its own soul and thus hasten to its own destruction, the Virgin Mother has sent a cry of alarm.
50. May priests be attentive to her appeal and have the courage to preach the great truths of salvation fearlessly. The only lasting renewal, in fact, will be one based on the changeless principles of faith, and it is the duty of priests to form the consciences of Christian people.
51. Just as the Immaculate, compassionate of our miseries, but discerning our real needs, came to men to remind them of the essential and austere steps of religious conversion, so the ministers of the Word of God should, with supernatural confidence, point out to souls the narrow road which leads to life. They will do this without forgetting the spirit of kindness and patience which they profess, but also without concealing anything of the Gospel's demands. In the school of Mary they will learn to live not only that they may give Christ to the world, but also, if need be, to await with faith the hour of Jesus and to remain at the foot of the cross.
52. Assembled around their priests, the faithful must cooperate in this effort for renewal. Wherever Providence has placed a man, there is always more to be done for God's cause. Our thoughts turn first to the host of consecrated souls who, within the framework of the Church, devote themselves to innumerable good works. Their religious vows dedicate them more than others to fight victoriously under Mary's banner against the onslaught which inordinate lust for freedom, riches, and pleasure makes on the world. In response to the Immaculate, they will resolve to oppose the attacks of evil with the weapons of prayer and penance and by triumphs of charity.
53. Our thoughts turn also to Christian families. to ask them to remain faithful to their vital mission in society. May they consecrate themselves in this jubilee year to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! For married couples this act of piety will be a valuable aid in performing their conjugal duties of chastity and faithfulness. It will keep pure the atmosphere in which their children grow up. Even more, it will make the family, inspired by its devotion to Mary, a living center of social rebirth and apostolic influence.
54. Beyond the family circle, professional and civic affairs offer a vast field of action for Christians who desire to work for the renewal of society. Gathered about the Virgin's feet, docile to her exhortations, they will first take a searching look at themselves and will try to uproot from their consciences any false judgments and selfish impulses, fearing the falsehood of a love for God which does not translate itself into effective love for their brothers.
55. Christians of every class and every nation will try to be of one mind in truth and charity, and to banish misunderstanding and suspicion. Without doubt, social structures and economic pressures of enormous weight burden the good will of men and often paralyze it. But if it is true, as Our predecessors and We Ourselves have insistently stressed, that the quest for social and political peace among men is, above all, a moral problem, then no reform can bear fruit, no agreement can be lasting without a conversion and cleansing of heart. In this jubilee year the Virgin of Lourdes reminds all men of this truth!
In fact, Pio XI, in his encyclical letter warning of the dangers of atheistic communism, stated, There would be today neither Socialism nor Communism if the rulers of the nations had not scorned the teachings and maternal warnings of the Church. On the bases of liberalism and laicism they wished to build other social edifices which, powerful and imposing as they seemed at first, all too soon revealed the weakness of their foundations, and today are crumbling one after another before our eyes, as everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus. (Divini Redemptoris, 38)
In fact, didn't Jesus, Himself, teach that you cannot serve both God and Mammon? Didn't St. Paul teach that the love of money is the root of all evil?
I would submit that the wealthy, who do not use their wealth to support the common good, are already excommunicating themselves.
(And, btw, before you go there, the Church has also consistently spoken against the State forcing the redistribution of wealth, the State providing for long-term social assistance to people, and most of the other socialistic tendencies that you were trying to allege in your earlier post. And either one of us can go through the social teachings of the Church to find source documents supporting that statement...so don't bother)
Josef Ratzinger's statement is compatible with this one: "Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist." Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931)