Socialism and the Pope
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faded away. Their failure to maintain their influence does not affect the point at issue.
Although it is the privilege of the individual to accept the private authority of the expert in private matters, and although he has the right to regard the Pope as an expert, if the individual be a worker he should look to his class for his economics and for his social faith and ethics. In the workless queue associates are Atheists and Protestants, but all members of the one class, suffering the same economic misery. Their economic hope is not the pulpit, but the Council of Action. If the Vatican opposes that economic hope, and the struggle it involves, it is speaking not in the name of God, but in the name of Mammon. And Mammon will be cast down from its throne and trampled beneath the feet of the hosts of labour. Truth will never pass. It is for the Church to choose whether it will uphold Truth or Mammon.
The Capitalist system is collapsing and Pope Pius XI.- imitating his predecessors Popes Leo XIII. and Pius X.- is troubled with the question of Socialism involving Atheism or Materialism. But the working-man is concerned with the other practical question: Can Christianity tolerate Capitalism? Our answer is simple: It cannot.
Christianity involves Socialism: and to oppose Socialism because Atheism in proletarian garb also means Socialism, is to sacrifice the very first principles of Christian teaching. Unity should be the message of the Church to Labour. Across the frontiers, against all alienists, should be thundered the great message from every pulpit: the unity in struggle and joy, the common happiness of mankind. Religion, if it must exist and function as a private matter, should be a matter not of shame, but of inspiration. The pulpit should seek to transform the earth with its eternal verities, and not be the traveling stage of capitalist exposition. The purpose of the Church should not be to excommunicate men and women for their Socialism, but to denounce them for their Anti-Socialism.