Socialism and the Pope
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Father Rickaby added:-
"There is nothing to prevent a good Catholic, or any reasonable man if he sees his way to it, advocating that the State should pacifically, and with due consideration of vested rights, take up now this form of capital, now that, and make it a Government or communal monopoly; and it is difficult to see where the absorption should stop; only let it be done gradually and justly."
As though injustice can be remedied gradually and justly! Of course, Father Rickaby has no understanding of Socialism. If his theology is as poor as his economics, it is hard to understand his right to a place in the pulpit. Perhaps that is why he finds himself there. Pulpit material is usually very poor.
Not less so is literary material when it is saturated with superstition. The same year Hilaire Belloc issued his pamphlet, "The Church and Socialism." This was revised and reissued by the Catholic Truth Society in 1921. Belloc opens with the following sentence:-
"The Catholic Church is, throughout the world, opposed to that modern theory of society which is called Socialist, the full and most logical form of which is Communism."
This Society, among other pamphlets against Communism, issue: "Communism," by the Rev. Lewis Watt, S.J., B.Sc. (Econ.); and "The Theory and Objective of Bolshevism," by Walter Legge, T.O.D.
Father Watt, on page 32 of this pamphlet warns the faithful:-
"That no loyal Catholic may join the Communist Party or sympathize with its program has been made perfectly clear by Pope Pius XI. After the quotations from his encyclicals given on an earlier page it is hardly necessary to say that the papal condemnation of Communism in no way involves approval of the existing capitalist regime."
In case it should be supposed this non-approval of "the existing Capitalist regime" implies some faint idea of Socialism, Father Watt adds:-
"He (Pope Pius XI.) has demanded for the workers their fair share of the world's wealth, a wage at least enough to provide an ample sufficiency of a family basis, and the opportunity to become property-owners instead of proletarians."
We see the workers lining up to obtain their property-rights, with the assistance of the Mother Church! What cant!
But the most interesting pronouncement of all, since it brings us to an analysis of the Pope's attitude, is that of Father Vincent McNabb, the Dominican, in "the Tablet," for March, 1909.
He defines Capital as the three economic functions of the State: (a) Productive; (b) Distributive; (c) Consumptive. Property may mean either or all three of these forms of Capital. The Socialists, when they declared that property was theft, made no distinction as to what was meant by property. Which was why Pope Leo XIII. issued his "Rerum Novarum," to challenge the