Socialism and the Pope
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II. Protestant Big Business Agrees.
The Catholic Truth Society publish a halfpenny leaflet, headed "Facts About Communism," and sub-titled "An Armoury of Arguments for the Vigilant Catholic." We quote the opening paragraphs:-
"Communism aims by every means, even the most ruthless, at two objects: relentless class-war, and the total abolition of private property. And wherever it holds power, it shows an incredible and monstrously inhuman cruelty." -Pope Pius XI. Encyclical, May 15, 1931.
"No Catholic Can be a Communist.- 'Communism,' says Pope Pius IX. (Encyclical, Sept. 11, 1846), 'is completely opposed to the natural law itself, and its establishment would entail the complete destruction of all property and even of human society'."
The interesting fact about these quotations is the agreement between Pius IX. and XI. There was no Soviet Union in 1846 to explain the attitude of Pius IX. But his opposition to Socialism or Communism was as definite as that of his successor. That opposition is explained, not by the alleged atheism of the Soviet Government, but by the natural antagonism of the Catholic Church to Socialism. It is not unworthy of notice that Pius IX. expressed his antagonism, in the hungry forties, at a time of economic disruption in Europe, and the murderous persecution of Chartists in England. Charles Dickens, attending the Unitarian Chapel in Little Portland Street, was insisting on the simple humanity of Jasus, and challenging the individualism of his time in his immortal novels, whilst Bumble and Gradgrind were identifying themselves with the Pope. Dickens was putting Xmas on the map and developing the idea of Christian joy and service. He came under the Pope's charge of "nefarious atheism" whilst he was busy challenging the solemn cant of inane leering Puritanism which blessed the Papal campaign against Socialism.
When Pius IX. declared that no Catholic could be a Socialist or Communist, he erred in the direction of understanding the position. He would have proclaimed a greater truth in he had said that no Catholic could be a Christian. The Protestant big guns and minor canons went further than Pius IX. In an ecstasy of appreciative enthusiasm they excelled "His Holiness." They declared that no Christian could be a Socialist of Communist. They meant no Protestant could be a Socialist or Communist. Which only meant that no Protestant could be a Christian. Summarised, the conclusion is that neither Catholics nor Protestants are Christians. A fact that explains why Jesus wept. He visioned that his would be so.
In endorsing the attitude of Pius IX., and so minimizing the fraudulent superstitions of the Catholic Church, the Protestants were following the unfortunate example set them by the great German pioneer of Protestantism. Martin Luther was more opposed to the