Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
She cannot accept a system which is based upon merely materialistic views of humanity, as if man were composed of body only, and did not possess an immortal soul, nor have any prospects of a future life. Also Socialism in practice, instead of making your lot any better, would reduce thousands of others to the same distressing state. The Church advocates strongly both social justice and social charity, two things conspicuously absent from the world today. Her principles would mean many reforms in the socialistic direction. But she cannot sanction the program or system of Socialism in its entirety. That would be completely destructive of Christian civilization.
Most decidedly not. Few men have done more to give the working class a purely material outlook than Karl Marx. And to give any man a purely material outlook is not to uplift him, but to degrade him. Man consists of a spiritual soul and a material body. The spiritual soul can lift the material body to heaven; the material body can drag the spiritual soul to hell. In the teaching of Jesus the soul is all-important and must lift man to God. In the teaching of Karl Marx the material body is most important and must be attended to—even if the soul be dragged down to hell.Where is the uplift in substituting materialistic mud for man's true spiritual nobility? Karl Marx would have man to be a crawler in the dust—perhaps a fat well-nourished and comfortable crawler—but nevertheless—a crawler in the dust.
Because that Church is exceedingly anxious to vindicate the rights of God, and to secure the salvation and sanctification of men.
I could reply in a few words by saying, "On the ground of insanity." But you will want the insanity proved. Does Communism violate reason to such an extent that it can be called madness? I maintain that it does. It is bad for the individual, for the family, and for society itself. The individual right of ownership is destroyed. Communism restricts or even abolishes the right to private property sanctioned by the natural law and positive legislation of God. No true incentive to self-development and progress is left. Liberty, so prized by every reasonable human being, is abolished. Men are but cogs in a machine, and the so-called will of the people ends in the will of a tyrannical group of leaders. In addition, the family is broken, and children are deprived of true parental care and education. Russia, in great part, is a huge foundling home; if it can be called a home at all. The State itself cannot provide for its own citizens. It cannot regulate supplies in accordance with demands, and people starve in outlying quarters if only because overlooked by authorities. Few people realize the immense flood of misery and suffering Communism has meant in Russia. But, in addition to the dictates of reason prompted by the thought of the individual, the family, and the State itself, Communism is the declared enemy of religion. And religion is absolutely essential to the welfare of man, quite independently of the fact that God has the foremost right to man's acknowledgment and service. Also because Communism seeks to place all man's happiness in material things only, it is a denial of the true spiritual nobility of man. A Catholic who supports Communism is supporting a force which aims at the destruction of religion and above all of the Catholic Church. Your question is really like asking, "Why cannot a child assist the murderer of its mother?"
One would not be right in suggesting that. The Catholic Church does not want any power for the mere sake of having it. If she desires any influence in this world it is only insofar as that influence will enable her to do good on behalf of the souls of men.Naturally she would dread any confiscation of the means at her disposal which would diminish or cripple her work. The confiscation of her Churches, hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable institutions, together with her schools, would undoubtedly interfere with her worship of God and service of mankind. And it would be unjust, of course. For if Catholics have chosen to make sacrifices on behalf of their religion, it is pretty cool for others who have not made similar sacrifices to step in and say, "Let us confiscate all your savings on behalf of your religion for our own use and benefit."Yet these effects of Communism are not the real worry of the Church. The Church condemns Communism because it is based on principles concerning man's personal, religious, social and political destiny which are directly opposed to the teachings of Christ. These false principles are of the very essence of Communism. Of its very nature it must fight against God, against religion, and against every moral code outside its materialistic horizon.
I utter a warning, giving reasons to show that it is not ill-founded.
I do not fear that they will succeed in nullifying the promise of Christ to be with the Catholic Church all days till the end of the world. But I do fear that they will destroy both the temporal and eternal happiness of far more of my fellow human beings than I can bear to think.
Because I cannot be indifferent to the insulting of God by the very creatures who owe their existence to Him; nor can I be indifferent to the misery of fellow human beings who, by their deliberate rejection of God, deserve rejection by Him for all eternity.
Here you wish to imply that, if there be a God, an anti-God campaign should have no effects. But you omit consideration of the fact that men have their own responsibilities. God may command them to serve Him, but He will not compel them to do so. He won't take back the gift of freewill. And since each man is confronted with a choice, it is quite possible for the urging of motives in favor of an evil choice to have an evil effect. And Christians have a duty to expose the evil character of motives which are wrapped up in a sugar-coating of apparent good to deceive the undiscerning. God certainly can look after His own if they allow Him to do so. But even those who are now His own will not necessarily do their part in looking after themselves.
That is true.
I did not complain of any prospective persecution. I did complain of the apathy of professing Christians by which they tolerate the causes of Communism and even foster its growth. And if I predict an intensified attack on religion, I do so as an appeal to zeal for the welfare of the religion of Christ in human hearts, rather than from any desire to escape altogether the sufferings and persecution promised by Jesus. Not want of faith, but a spirit of faith prompts zeal for the extension of the Kingdom of Christ in human souls.
I have. Both religious and political bias have been evident over and over again in published reports concerning the Catholic Church.
It is not only conceivable, but it is morally certain that the Capitalist Press as well as the Communist Press will be guided, not by a love of truth, but by expediency in its presentation of matter for its readers. That is why, to form a just estimate of what we read, we must watch the trend of world events, and discern the motives of various parties and systems in the world. Then, in the light of those motives, we can estimate the worth of the information put before us by the various journals devoted to the interests of any given party. You see I not only maintain that the "Capitalistic Press" misrepresents issues on Catholicism, it will misrepresent almost anything should the expediency of the moment require it. And so will any newspapers published by any parties or systems in which the prudence of this world only is accepted as a standard. The materialistic outlook, whether of Capitalism or Communism, has little in common with any ideas of moral obligation.
I don't think the Capitalist Press knows very much on the subject of anti-Christ. Nor is it very interested in that subject. When political expediency seemed to require it, the Press sought to enkindle antipathy to Russian Communism by dwelling on its anti-religious character, hoping to appeal to such religious susceptibilities as its readers might possess. But you can be sure that the Press had no more love for religion than it manifested for Russian Communism.
The Orthodox Russian Church is no more a "spur" from the Catholic Church than any Protestant Church. It is both heretical and schismatical, and entirely independent of the Catholic Church. Meantime Communism in Russia, and everywhere so long as it remains Communism, is not only anti-"The Orthodox Russian Church," but anti-God, and anti all religion. It has to be, of its very nature, which is essentially materialistic. Lenin's dictum still stands for all Communists, namely, "All religious ideas are an unspeakable abomination."
That is true. For the Russian Orthodox Church was essentially a National Church subject to the control of the ruling powers. And the ruling powers used it practically as a State Department for the securing of their own ends.
We can speak of the Russian workers as liberated from the old regime. But they are certainly not liberated under the present regime.Letting that go, however, it was natural that, in reacting against the old political regime, they should react against the Church identified with that regime. And as practically the only professing form of Christianity they knew was that of the Russian Orthodox Church, it is not surprising that they termed themselves anti-Christian. I say that that was natural. But I do not admit that it was justified. For the heretical and schismatical Russian Church was not truly representative of Christianity.
In giving my reasons for my assertion I did not mention those.
Firstly, if I say that Communist Russia is not Christian, you do not disprove my statement by saying that Capitalist countries are not Christian.Secondly, you yourself eliminate any reference to Christianity by terming those Capitalist States "so-called Christian countries." If they are not truly, but only "so-called Christian countries," your argument is not against Christianity, but against those unchristian Capitalist States.Thirdly, whilst you apparently don't agree with my estimate of Communism, I do agree with your estimate of Capitalism. You see, its a three-cornered fight— Catholicism, Capitalism, and Communism. Catholicism is opposed to the materialistic outlook and the injustice of both Capitalism and Communism. But you fail to see that. You see only the opposition of the Catholic Church to Communism, and at once proceed to identify her with Capitalism. In that you are much mistaken.
Yes. It is not a definition, but it is an infallible judgment on a matter connected with Christian morality in which the Pope speaks as Supreme Head of the Church with the intention of deciding the matter definitely for the benefit of the whole Catholic world.Thus he says clearly—"This question is holding many minds in suspense. Catholics are raising their eyes towards the Holy See earnestly beseeching Us to decide.In our paternal solicitude we desire to satisfy these petitions and we pronounce as follows: 'Whilst Socialism really remains Socialism, it cannot be brought into harmony with the dogmas of the Catholic Church—the reason being that it conceives human society in a way utterly alien to Christian truth.'"A few lines later the Pope says, "All that we have thus far laid down and established by our Sovereign Authority."The utterance therefore is certainly to be classed as an infallible judgment. The Pope explains the sense of his condemnation by saying that even moderate Socialism which refuses to make use of physical force and which condemns class-warfare and the abolition of private property, is yet incompatible with Catholic doctrine. Why? Because it acts on the principle that material welfare is the purpose of man's existence or at least the purpose of social organization, whilst the Catholic Church declares that men both individually and socially must primarily consider the praise and glory of the Creator by the fulfilling of individual and social duties for the love of God and in accordance with His laws. And this in order to attain not only temporal but eternal happiness. If a policy of social reform includes all these principles of the Catholic religion it is no longer real Socialism in the accepted sense of that word. Therefore no man can be truly Catholic and truly Socialist at the same time.
If he supports real Socialism he is no longer a good Catholic. Any Catholic who supports a truly Socialistic program adopts conduct which is sinful, and he is guilty of sin once he realizes the decision of the Catholic Church. Thus the Pope says "With grief we perceive certain Catholics joining the ranks of Socialism—deserting the Church. We have wondered why they are going so far astray—for any real injustice they denounce We denounce. They are unhappily deceived and wandering far from the paths of truth and salvation." It is therefore sinful—gravely so, for a Catholic to support Socialism.
By saying that you but afford a further proof of the necessity of being guided by the Catholic Church where principles of morality are concerned. A study of the evils and abuses in Capitalism cannot possibly prove that Socialism is the only system.
He certainly did not teach that. Venial sins are contrary to conscience, but they do not take people to hell. The Church certainly does teach, however, that a man is obliged to follow a right and normal conscience.
There is no contradiction. Pope Innocent does not say that you must follow your conscience as you have formed it at present. A man can have an erroneous conscience, either because he has deliberately warped it by self-deception, or because he is inadequately informed. There are external tests by which a man can tell whether his conscience is right or wrong. Conscience is certainly wrong if it bids conduct opposed to God's known law, or opposed to the obedience due to the authority of Christ in His Church. A right conscience in a Catholic dictates obedience to the teachings of the Church, and you would follow your real conscience if you renounced opinions opposed to her definite teachings and allowed yourself to be guided by her in this matter. Pope Pius XI. said that no Catholic can be a Socialist. Pope Innocent III. says that you must obey your conscience. If you do, you will not be a Socialist, but adhere to the teaching of the Pope.