Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
Socialism is a very broad term which men interpret in many different ways. Communistic socialism is, of course, condemned by the Catholic Church. Mitigated forms of socialism, which aim at social reform, but which ignore religion and rely upon purely materialistic methods, are also condemned. In these and similar senses of the word no Catholic can be a socialist. The Catholic program is social reform which demands true consideration of the workers by employers according to the demands of both justice and Christian charity, at the same time demanding of the workers a just quantity of work together with respect for other peoples' lawful possessions according to God's commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." The Catholic program of reform is badly needed, and is the only way out. Economic reconstruction will not succeed unless it takes Catholic social principles into account. On the whole the sympathy of the Church is with the worker, who has less means of defence; and the capitalist is the one who should voluntarily begin to rectify the many abuses which undoubtedly exist. But no policy of socialism which aims at the destruction of all social inequalities can be tolerated. Social inequalities are essential to the general good of mankind; some men being employed on necessary manual works; others in intellectual pursuits; whilst various grades of ability or genius required in the work done demand various grades of remuneration. And this of course means social inequality. God Himself never condemned the employment of man-servjmts and maid-servants, but vindicated both their rights and the rights of their employers.
Here is a dictionary definition with which I agree. Socialism is the name given to any one of various schemes for regenerating society chiefly by a more equal distribution of property possessed and regulated by state authority.
For some socialists it is all three. For others, it is a form of government leading :o a state of society, either abstracting from religion altogether, or definitely hostile o it.
Capitalism is the economic system in which industry, production, distribution, md exchange are controlled by individuals who possess property, and who devote >ome or all of it to enterprises of commercial value, subject to certain restrictive state egislation. It is not a religion; nor a political form of government, since it can unction whether under a monarchy or under a republic. We can call it, however, in economic form of government, and it results in a certain state of society.
It can function in any state, whatever its form of civil government, provided of :ourse that the government in question at least leaves the Church to itself, and does not persecute or expel it.
That does not follow. A socialistic form of government may be quite wrong n itself, as violating the essential rights of man.
No. Those words have no reference to any particular civil or economic structure of society.
His distribution of the bread has no reference to the matter under discussion. Firstly, it cost Him no effort so to multiply bread miraculously. If men could produce things miraculously, they would not mind giving them away. But ordinary human production costs the producer the employment of his own means of support, and he has a right to an equivalent return. Secondly, Christ's purpose in performing that miracle was to prove His claims to the religious convictions and adherence of the people. He blamed them for concentrating solely upon the provision of their temporal needs. "You seek Me," He said, "not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves and were rilled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting." Remember, too, that Christ paid for His necessities, Judas carrying the purse to buy those things which Christ and the Apostles needed.
No. It was the provision by God of a miraculous food for the Jews in crossing the desert, where their own efforts could not secure it. When they were able to provide for themselves, the Manna ceased. Socialism, in its wildest dreams, does not think of leading us all out into the desert, and relying upon God to rain down food miraculously.
God's providence has not failed. He provides enough for all, but He does so in general, leaving it to men to use and administer earthly goods, commanding them to observe His moral laws of justice and charity. Destitution in the midst of plenty is due partly to human maladministration; partly to the inability and sloth of various individuals; partly to the injustice and dishonesty of others, as well as to their lack of fraternal charity.
I can see the evils of to-day, but they are not the result- of the God-given right to private property. They are due to the abuse of that right, to the greed of people not satisfied with reasonable comfort, and to certain economic factors men have not been able to understand or entirely control. Men are forced to study deeply in order to find a solution of the difficulty precisely by the advent of the difficulty. And the] must do so. I have never denied the right of men to try to usher in an era of happiness. The Church merely denies their right to attempt it by unlawful and unjust means.