Socialism and the Pope
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supported." He dates the pilgrimages the Pontiff received at the Vatican:-
1884- French Employees of Labour.
1887- Labour Pilgrimage, consisting of 100 employers 1,400 workers, and 300 priests.
1889- Succession workers' pilgrimages from France. The workmen repeatedly called the Pope "their father and protector."
At these 1889 audiences, the Pope gave the continual assurance: "We shall never cease to do for the betterment of your conditions all that our office and Our fatherly heart can suggest."
It is not noticeable that the condition of the working-class has improved in consequence of all this pontifical energy for working-class betterment.
In 1890, the Pope traced the "leading" ideas of his Anti-Socialist "wisdom," in a letter to the Emperor William II. on the occasion of the Berlin Congress. And so the way was prepared "for the complete and final pronouncement of May 15, 1891." Adds Canon Parkinson. "This weighty document has blessed and sanctified the cause of true social rectification."
Cardinal Manning, who should have known better, in view of his summary of the evils of capitalism, is cited by Canon Parkinson as an eulogist of the Pope's Encyclical. Manning wrote:-
"Since the divine words, 'I have compassion on the multitude,' were spoken in the wilderness no voice has been heard throughout the world pleading for the people with such profound love and loving sympathy for those that toil and suffer, as the voice of Leo XIII. ...None but the Vicar of our Divine Lord could so speak to mankind."
To our mind there is no comparison between the direct, simple language ascribed by tradition to Jesus of Nazareth, and the involved, argumentative Anti-Socialist apologetics of the Pope of Rome. We consider the comparison an evidence of bad taste and worse understanding.
Canon Parkinson concludes his introduction with the following evidence that Leo XIII. wrote with lasting authority:-
"Pius X., in his Motu Proprio of December 18, 1903, has summarized, and, with all the weight of his supreme authority, has laid down as fundamental rules of thought and conduct, the principles which Leo XIII. expounded to an astonished world in his inspired utterances. The Encyclicals Quod Apostolici muneris (December 28, 1878), Rerum novarum (May 15, 1891), and lastly the Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of January 27, 1902, have furnished us with a code of doctrines which will be the guide of Catholics during these momentous years of social readjustment."
In an appendix, Dr. Parkinson publishes an analysis of the Encyclical, from which we excerpt the following sections:-
Statement of the Social Problem.