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Pope Leo XIII on communism July 9, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, disconcerting, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, the return, the struggle for the Church.

It seems hard socialism has been getting a lot of favorable PR from highly surprising sources of late.  I thank Ann Barnhardt for uploading this introduction from Quod Apostolici Muneris, Pope Leo XIII’s denunciation of socialism.  Now this is doctrinal, not any off-the-cuff, crowd-playing remark:

At the very beginning of Our pontificate, as the nature of Our apostolic office demanded, we hastened to point out in an encyclical letter addressed to you, venerable brethren, the deadly plague that is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction; at the same time We pointed out also the most effectual remedies by which society might be restored and might escape from the very serious dangers which threaten it. But the evils which We then deplored have so rapidly increased that We are again compelled to address you, as though we heard the voice of the prophet ringing in Our ears: “Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.”(1) You understand, venerable brethren, that 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 planningthe overthrow of all civil society whatsoever.

Surely these are they who, as the sacred Scriptures testify, “Defile the flesh, despise dominion and blaspheme majesty.”(2) They leave nothing untouched or whole which by both human and divine laws has been wisely decreed for the health and beauty of life. They refuse obedience to the higher powers, to whom, according to the admonition of the Apostle, every soul ought to be subject, and who derive the right of governing from God; and they proclaim the absolute equality of all men in rights and duties. They 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,”(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 commonwhatever 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….

All so very true. And we can see how the Church, in the person of her Supreme Pontiff, approached the incredible evil of socialism for so very long, right up until the socialist-driven revolution which shook the Church to her foundations 50 odd years ago.

Socialism is evil, period.  It is a system of greed and envy, of sloth and barbarity. It encourages theft and relies on fosters mass immorality of the basest kind to assure its ascension in the body politic.  It is closely aligned, intellectually, with that synthesis of all heresies, modernism.  Indeed, to my mind (and I am not alone), modernism is nothing but an attempt to rationalize the Faith with evolutionary socialism – but with the socialism always totally predominate and the Faith reduced to nothing but a thin veneer of bland sentimental platitudes to gain moral authority.

And yet:

In his speech, Francis spoke about the importance of “distributive justice”, that is the need for wealth to be distributed, as a condition for social peace……

I just noticed when reading this: while Pope Francis has on numerous occasions pointed out failings – often valid, sometimes not – for what certainly appear to be his understanding of capitalism and free markets, he much, much more rarely points out failings in socialism, which is actually about as prevalent in the major world economies today as “pure” capitalism.

Distributive justice, however, is more than saying: “You have a duty to aid your fellow man, materially.”  It is calling for a system of wealth transfer at the governmental level, forced charity, if you will.

An even bigger ruh-roh, for me:

Religious freedom – a phrase we often encounter in civil discourse – also reminds us that faith cannot be restricted to a purely subjective experience. It also challenges us to help foster the growth of spirituality and Christian commitment in social projects.”

I guess I should be very thankful Leo’s encyclical is still on the Vatican website, and in English, too. I have no idea whether Pope Francis rejected the commie crucifix Church-hating commie Evo Morales tried to present him, or not, I couldn’t hear a thing, but the speeches in South America have been decisively friendly towards the left in that always politically divided and fractious region.

What is it that socialism promises, however?  Is it not prosperity for all at the expense of a relative few?  Is it not about taking from others so that some, ostensibly, can have more?  The reality, of course, is very different, socialism is really a revolution against the rich carried out by middle-class technocrats who then place themselves atop society as the new elite. It has universally led, whether instantly or over a few decades, to poverty, massive debt, societal breakdown, and ultimately collapse. One of the major reasons Latin American countries are so poor is that most have chosen to elect socialist leadership at various times over the past century or so.  Argentina, in particular, used to have a higher per capita GDP than the US, but then started elected socialists in the 20s and 30s, and is now much poorer country, but more than that – the gap between rich and poor has skyrocketed even more!

This South America trip has been explosive, has it not?  Feeling at home in his native continent?  Stirring things up?  Giving liberation theology, Marxism with a Catholic patina, another chance?



1. Brian - July 10, 2015

Our Lord was placed on a hammer and friggin scicle!

We are going to be judged for this. This is really, really bad.

2. camper - July 10, 2015

Tantum, I’ve been trying to argue that the Pope is a material heretic, and I know you don’t want us to argue that. There was a Catholic pope who was declared heretical after the fact by another Pope, though I can’t remember which or when. Before the 9th century, I believe. There was Pope Honorius. As I’ve written before, St. Thomas condemns the graduated income tax, and I’ve written it enough that I won’t repeat the argument here. Then there is the argument that whichever Pope it was who approved the welfare state was contrary to what Pius IX wrote in Nostis et Nobiscum in 1849. Pius IX wrote that not only is the government not allowed to take men’s property for private ends, but no one is even allowed to covet it. So that would make either Leo XIII or Pius XI a material heretic as well. Democracy is so destructive it can make popes material heretics. It is a strong argument, Tantum, and you mustn’t ban me for making it, Tantum.

c matt - July 10, 2015

Was it Honorius?

camper - July 10, 2015

I think that must have been him, but I thought it might have been someone else – Gelagius? But now maybe that wasn’t even the name of a pope.

But the Pope is plainly a material heretic. He is simply advocating what is naturally evil as something that is part of the faith. Popes can err, and this one is a raging fireball of error.

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