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What the Popes Have to Say About Socialism (Ecumenical)
American TFP ^ | 02/24/2010 | Gustavo Solimeo

Posted on 02/25/2010 8:33:29 AM PST by Pyro7480

After examining the ideology of socialism, the contrast between the socialist doctrine and the doctrine of the Church becomes clear and consistent.

All the same, it is not out of place to review the condemnation of the popes starting with Pius IX and ending with Benedict XVI. Thus, we present what the popes have to say about socialism as they condemn the socialist doctrine thoroughly and entirely. This is not a comprehensive compilation, but just some samples.

PIUS IX (1846-1878):

“Overthrow [of] the entire order of human affairs”
You are aware indeed, that the goal of this most iniquitous plot is to drive people to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them over to the wicked theories of this Socialism and Communism, by confusing them with perverted teachings.” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849)

LEO XIII (1878-1903):

Hideous monster
“...communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin.” (Encyclical Diuturnum, June 29, 1881)

Ruin of all institutions
“... For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists” (Encyclical Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884, n. 27).

A sect “that threatens civil society with destruction”

“…We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring to a head what they have long been planning - the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever. Surely, these are they who, as the sacred Scriptures testify, ‘Defile the flesh, despise dominion and blaspheme majesty.’ (Jud. 8).” (Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, December 28, 1878, n. 1)

Socialists debase the natural union of man and woman and assail the right of property
“They [socialists, communists, or nihilists] debase the natural union of man and woman, which is held sacred even among barbarous peoples; and its bond, by which the family is chiefly held together, they weaken, or even deliver up to lust. Lured, in fine, by the greed of present goods, which is ‘the root of all evils, which some coveting have erred from the faith’ (1 Tim. 6:10.3), they assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one's mode of life.” (Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, December 28, 1878, n. 1)

Destructive sect
“...socialists and members of other seditious societies, who labor unceasingly to destroy the State even to its foundations.” (Encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888)

Enemy of society and of Religion
“...there is need for a union of brave minds with all the resources they can command. The harvest of misery is before our eyes, and the dreadful projects of the most disastrous national upheavals are threatening us from the growing power of the socialistic movement. They have insidiously worked their way into the very heart of the community, and in the darkness of their secret gatherings, and in the open light of day, in their writings and their harangues, they are urging the masses onward to sedition; they fling aside religious discipline; they scorn duties; they clamor only for rights; they are working incessantly on the multitudes of the needy which daily grow greater, and which, because of their poverty are easily deluded and led into error. It is equally the concern of the State and of religion, and all good men should deem it a sacred duty to preserve and guard both in the honor which is their due.” (Encyclical Graves de Communi Re, January 18, 1901, n. 21)

SAINT PIUS X (1903-1914):

The dream of re-shaping society will bring socialism
“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ ... What are they going to produce? ... A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.” (Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique ["Our Apostolic Mandate"] to the French Bishops, August 15, 1910, condemning the movement Le Sillon)

BENEDICT XV (1914-1922):

The condemnation of socialism should never be forgotten
“It is not our intention here to repeat the arguments which clearly expose the errors of Socialism and of similar doctrines. Our predecessor, Leo XIII, most wisely did so in truly memorable Encyclicals; and you, Venerable Brethren, will take the greatest care that those grave precepts are never forgotten, but that whenever circumstances call for it, they should be clearly expounded and inculcated in Catholic associations and congresses, in sermons and in the Catholic press.” (Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914, n. 13)


PIUS XI (1922-1939):
Socialism, fundamentally contrary to Christian truth
“... For Socialism, which could then be termed almost a single system and which maintained definite teachings reduced into one body of doctrine, has since then split chiefly into two sections, often opposing each other and even bitterly hostile, without either one however abandoning a position fundamentally contrary to Christian truth that was characteristic of Socialism.” (Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931, n. 111)
Socialism cannot be reconciled with Catholic Doctrine

But what if Socialism has really been so tempered and modified as to the class struggle and private ownership that there is in it no longer anything to be censured on these points? Has it thereby renounced its contradictory nature to the Christian religion? This is the question that holds many minds in suspense. And numerous are the Catholics who, although they clearly understand that Christian principles can never be abandoned or diminished seem to turn their eyes to the Holy See and earnestly beseech Us to decide whether this form of Socialism has so far recovered from false doctrines that it can be accepted without the sacrifice of any Christian principle and in a certain sense be baptized. That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.” (Ibid. n. 117)

Catholic Socialism, a contradiction
“[Socialism] is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.” (Ibid. n. 120)

PIUS XII (1939-1958):
The state can not be regarded as being above all
"To consider the State as something ultimate to which everything else should be subordinated and directed, cannot fail to harm the true and lasting prosperity of nations." (Encyclical Summi Pontificatus, October 20, 1939, n. 60)

JOHN XXIII (1958-1963):

“No Catholic could subscribe even to moderate socialism”
“Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority.” (Encyclical Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961, n. 34) 

PAUL VI (1963-1978):

Too often Christians tend to idealize socialism
“Too often Christians attracted by socialism tend to idealize it in terms which, apart from anything else, are very general: a will for justice, solidarity and equality. They refuse to recognize the limitations of the historical socialist movements, which remain conditioned by the ideologies from which they originated.” (Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, May 14, 1971, n. 31)

JOHN PAUL II (1978-2005):

Socialism: Danger of a “simple and radical solution”

“It may seem surprising that ‘socialism’ appeared at the beginning of the Pope's critique of solutions to the ‘question of the working class’ at a time when ‘socialism’ was not yet in the form of a strong and powerful State, with all the resources which that implies, as was later to happen. However, he correctly judged the danger posed to the masses by the attractive presentation of this simple and radical solution to the ‘question of the working class.’" (Encyclical Centesimus Annus − On the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, May 1, 1991, n. 12)

Fundamental error of socialism: A mistaken conception of the person
“Continuing our reflections, ... we have to add that the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears, the very subject whose decisions build the social order. From this mistaken conception of the person there arise both a distortion of law, which defines the sphere of the exercise of freedom, and an opposition to private property.” (Ibid, n. 13)

BENEDICT XVI (2005 - present):

“We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything”
“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person − every person − needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) − a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.” (Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005, n. 28)

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; pope; socialism
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1 posted on 02/25/2010 8:33:29 AM PST by Pyro7480
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To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; NYer; Salvation; american colleen; Desdemona; StAthanasiustheGreat; ..

Catholic ping!

2 posted on 02/25/2010 8:35:19 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: Pyro7480

Everyone should e-mail this to their local bishop and to the USCCB.

3 posted on 02/25/2010 8:35:43 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: Pyro7480

Thanks for the great post and information.

4 posted on 02/25/2010 8:38:10 AM PST by DarthVader (Liberalism is the politics of EVIL whose time of judgment has come.)
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To: Pyro7480

Nice work!

5 posted on 02/25/2010 8:41:29 AM PST by Juana la Loca
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To: Pyro7480


6 posted on 02/25/2010 8:45:19 AM PST by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
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To: Pyro7480

ping mbarker12474 catholic pope comments socialism

7 posted on 02/25/2010 8:48:41 AM PST by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: mbarker12474
Great POST!!

Well these Popes are obviously NOT some of the many Amercican Catholics of whom many seem to think that charity and Government programs are exactly the same thing. I don't know how many times I have heard the Christian charge to help the poor being translated by American catholics as a mandate for "soft" socialism. The Kennedy's come to mind as well as many prominent democrats including Nacy Pelosi.

8 posted on 02/25/2010 9:16:56 AM PST by BRK
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To: Pyro7480

Every Pope* since the concept of socialism appeared on the world scene has condemned it. Yet many Catholics (as well as other Christians) seem to support some socialist policies. The state of Christian catechesis in the West is dreadful.

*JP I excepted ... he wasn't around long enough.

9 posted on 02/25/2010 9:24:07 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Pyro7480

Thank you ten thousand times. I am bookmarking this to re-use it over and over until the USCCB sincerely re-examines its political premises and repents (or Our Lord comes again, whichever comes first!)

10 posted on 02/25/2010 9:36:31 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16)
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To: Pyro7480

Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, On Establishing Universal Peace In Truth, Justice, Charity, And Liberty, April 11, 1963

“Man’s personal dignity requires besides that he enjoy freedom and be able to make up his own mind when he acts.

In his association with his fellows, therefore, there is every reason why his recognition of rights, observance of duties, and many-sided collaboration with other men, should be primarily a matter of his own personal decision.

Each man should act on his own initiative, conviction, and sense of responsibility, not under the constant pressure of external coercion or enticement.

There is nothing human about a society that is welded together by force.

Far from encouraging, as it should, the attainment of man’s progress and perfection, it is merely an obstacle to his freedom.”

“Hence, a regime which governs solely or mainly by means of threats and intimidation or promises of reward, provides men with no effective incentive to work for the common good.

And even if it did, it would certainly be offensive to the dignity of free and rational human beings.”

“Consequently, laws and decrees passed in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience, since ‘it is right to obey God rather than men.’”

3 posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 2:25:31 PM by Matchett-PI (”The Role of Government is to Secure Our Liberty, Not to Seize It” ~ Rush 6/26/09)

11 posted on 02/25/2010 10:01:11 AM PST by Matchett-PI (Sowell's book, Intellectuals and Society, eviscerates the fantasies that uphold leftist thought)
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Pope’s New Encyclical Speaks Against New World Order ^ | July 8, 2009 | John-Henry Westen

Posted on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 10:54:25 PM by Pope Pius XII

12 posted on 02/25/2010 10:06:16 AM PST by Matchett-PI (Sowell's book, Intellectuals and Society, eviscerates the fantasies that uphold leftist thought)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I agree. This post is right on, on what the view of the Church SHOULD be. However, If it were possible, the author should look at the Church teachings on mixing socialistic policies into almost every government represented with a meaningful Catholic following. Look at the Church's leadership in South America and Central American dictatorships. How does Hugo Chavez get offered the Sacraments in Venezuela? What would happen if the Church refused him and condemned his actions against the people? What you will find is many Bishops either say "Stay out of local politics", or they actually are in favor of the dictators policies. What needs to be explained is when Jesus said to feed and clothe the poor, it meant "the Church", not the government. What treasure do you have telling the poor to fill out some forms at the government office? In many instances, the local Church has actually been involved in the coups that install the murderous dictator. When you hear of a nun or priest that has been murdered, first you have to know the background of the Church in that area before you can draw a conclusion. Many times we find out that the Church supported the thug that was taking over the country, even to the point of gun running and spreading cash. A short trip Googling "Jesuits" will open our minds.

To the point of the pope's opinion of socialism, he also condemns abortion, but the Church allows the Sacraments to Dems in Washington. Each one of which has probably voted to allow murdering babies to continue. If nothing else, they are a member of a political party that has as a plank in it's platform to allow such a thing. I would be interested if the pope has ever addressed THAT issue in his statements. When Pelosi left an audience with the pope, she said the issue wasn't decided. Of course, the Church made a statement that it was most definitely decided, but what happened to Pelosi, ......nada. That's the same thing that has happened to Father Phlager preaching communism in Rev Wrights church. And the same thing that happens to each and every Catholic that espouses socialism or collectivism.....nothing! Until Catholics have to at least agree with Church teachings to be Catholic, we will see that socialist teachings have ALREADY come to the fore in the Church. When the Church begins to expell non believers, maybe Catholics will be confronted with the choice of Jesus, or liberalism, but no more fenceriding lukewarmers. Until then, we will still see the Church supporting dictators that shoot people in the back of the head because they promised to feed the poor by STEALING money from the rich. You can look to El Salvador, Nicagragua, Argentina, Bolivia, and on and on to see the conflict in the Church. I'm sure Hugo Chavez thinks he is as good of a Catholic as anybody in Boston including the Kennedy's, and you know,.....he's probably right.

13 posted on 02/25/2010 10:09:38 AM PST by chuckles
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To: ArrogantBustard

It is because many Catholics are Democrats or liberals first and Christians second. The poison of liberation theology has put blinders on their eyes and discernment.

14 posted on 02/25/2010 1:00:55 PM PST by DarthVader (Liberalism is the politics of EVIL whose time of judgment has come.)
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To: Pyro7480

Excellent! Thank you for researching this.

15 posted on 02/25/2010 1:21:02 PM PST by kitkat (Obama hates us. Well, maybe a LOT of Kenyans do.)
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To: chuckles

Is there a prescribed method of discipline in the Roman Church?

16 posted on 02/25/2010 1:56:28 PM PST by the_conscience (We ought to obey God, rather than men. (Acts 5:29b))
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To: the_conscience
To tell you the truth, I don't know. I thought I knew some stuff, but have been disappointed so much and had my head chewed off for what I thought, you probably should ask someone else. When a person completely goes against the Church, they seem to have no action taken and still receive all benefits of the Church.

Having said that, I'll bet there is a prescribed method of discipline, but it isn't being enforced. If we pushed the issue, I'll bet there would be a schism over what to do. Many in our pews today support Obama, abortion, homosexual marriage, women priests, ect. Some Churches have denied The Eucharist to Kerry and others, only to retreat to another Church and receive it. The Bible is clear on Church discipline, but I've not seen any except for some excommunications. What is the threshold for such an action? Is it delivered consistently? Why does one get it and others not? I'm sure the public would howl that the Inquisition has returned.

I'm just saying that if you are public with your views that abortion should be legal, homosexual marriage should be legal, women should be priests, and on and on, we see nothing happens to them, and some are even honored, aka Kennedy.

A split in the Church, IMHO, is coming. Many pooh pooh that and attack me for bringing it up, but the hypocrisy and weakness in the Church is sticking out like a sore thumb. For me, this is a cancer that has been growing for decades and is coming to critical mass( no pun intended). The inability for the Church to handle the pedophile priests in a timely and public manor is just one example. They allowed it to fester and get worse just by pretending there is no problem.

17 posted on 02/25/2010 2:37:42 PM PST by chuckles
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To: chuckles

Thank you for your honest assessment. Keep fighting, brother.

18 posted on 02/25/2010 2:41:59 PM PST by the_conscience (We ought to obey God, rather than men. (Acts 5:29b))
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To: chuckles
How does Hugo Chavez get offered the Sacraments in Venezuela?

Do you have any evidence that he does? I looked for it and couldn't find it. He's been divorced twice.

What would happen if the Church refused him and condemned his actions against the people?

In 2005, the Cardinal Archbishop of Caracas said that Chavez "needed an exorcism" and complained about Chavez's treatment of dissidents. In response, Chavez said that the Cardinal was a demon.

The relationship between the Church and Chavez isn't exactly what I'd call a happy one.

19 posted on 02/25/2010 2:50:08 PM PST by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
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To: the_conscience
Is there a prescribed method of discipline in the Roman Church?

Google "Code of Canon Law". The specific canon you're interested in is # 915.

20 posted on 02/25/2010 2:52:08 PM PST by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed imposter")
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