Choose a topic from Vol 4:

Religion - Yes or No

Necessity of Religion
Reality of Religious Experience
Religion and life
Religious statistics
Nature of religion
Necessity of worship
Neglect of religion
Religion and history
Conversion of mankind

The Christian Church

Nature of the Church
Necessity of the Church
Visible organisation
Hierarchical constitution
Papal supremacy
Perpetuity of the Church

"This Shall Be the Sign"

Notes of identification
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolic succession
"Roman" but not "Roman Catholic"

Dogmatic Authority of the Church

Authority in religion
Catholic Church infallible
The Pope infallible
Papal definitions
Dogmatic spirit of the Catholic Church
"Religion of the spirit"
Individual freedom
Re-stating Christianity
Athanasian Creed
Meaning of faith
Faith and reason
Faith and science
Religion and education
Religion and morals
Catholic countries backward
Universities and religion
Natural Moral Law
Christian principles of morality
Catholicism versus the world

The Power-Complex Illusion

Legislative power of the Catholic Church
Coercive power of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church and political ambitions
Divided allegiance of Catholics
Rome and totalitarianism
Aim of the Catholic Church in America
Catholic Action
Political freedom of Catholics
Catholic infiltration of civic life
Catholicism anti-democatic
Rival totalitarianisms, Rome and Moscow
Catholic attitude to Protestants
Spanish Inquisition
Church and State
Federal Union or "One World State"

Life-Or-Death Social Problems

Social reform necessary
Socialism
Trade unions
Communism
Protestant Churches and Communism
Capitalism
Social apathy of Churches
Catholic social teaching
Marriage
Family life
Primary purpose of marriage
Religion and marriage
Form of marriage
Mixed marriages
Birth control
"Catholic birth control"
Divorce and re-marriage
Catholics and civil divorce
Nullity decrees
Therapeutic abortion
Euthansia or mercy-killing
War

Those Exclusive Claims

Divided Christendom
Do divisions matter?
The "Only True Church" claims
Cause of sectarian bigotry
Reunion Movement
Catholic non-cooperation

Religious Liberty

Religious freedom
Catholic intolerance
Protestants and the principles of religious liberty
Rome and the "Four Freedoms"
Heresy and heretics
Religious rights of Protestants
Religious persecution
Anti-semitism
"Rome's historical record"
Protestant missionaries in Spain
In Italy
In South America
Conditions in Colombia

Are Only Catholics Saved

"Outside the Catholic Church no salvation"
Beliefs of Catholics
Salvation of Pagans
Salvation of Protestants
Why become a Catholic?
Duty of inquiry
Salvation of apostate Catholics
Test at the Last Judgment
Obstacles to conversion
Truth of Catholicism

Catholic social teaching

952. What do you hold to be the surest hope for Christian civilization?

A universal return to full and complete Christianity in belief and | practice, both individually and socially. That would mean a return to the 3 Catholic Church. But there are no well-grounded hopes for such a universal I return. The next best thing is to hope for the application to the social I order of as many Christian principles as possible under the combined I efforts of Catholics and of others who are not Catholics but who profess 1 to be Christians in the different ways acceptable to them.

953. What is the aim of Catholic social teaching?

Pope Leo XIII said rightly that "the social question is above all a moral and religious matter, and for that reason must be settled by the principles of morality and according to the dictates of religion." Emerson said tersely: "The soul of all reform is reform of soul." Every aspect of society must be subordinated to Christian values. If this were done, it would spell the end of totalitarianism with its ruthless sacrifice of individuals to the State, whether in the name of economic materialism as in Communism, or in the name of racial pride and I ambition as in Fascism or Nazism. It would also spell the end of the abuses of a badly-regulated industrial Capitalism. It would insist that the more wealth and control any man attains, the greater would be his responsibilities towards his fellow human beings. It would make the decent physical existence of workers a first charge on property and income, ensuring to workers comfortable homes, a proper family life, and security by constant employment and insurance against sickness and old age. I cannot go through all aspects of Catholic social principles here; but we'll see more as we go along.

954. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have visited a great many Catholic and Protestant countries.

So have I. And with national prepossessions similar to your own. Culturally and socially I have disliked many of the things you have disliked in foreign countries. But people from those countries would probably dislike conditions in our own land.

955. I formed the unbiased opinion that Catholic countries are miles behind Protestant countries in such things as public service, social relations, stable politics, humanity, justice and general welfare.

You may sincerely believe yourself to have been unbiased, but bias betrays itself again and again in your letter. And even if your opinion were true, it would have no bearing upon the question of the truth or otherwise of the Catholic religion. A sound comparative study of religions must concentrate on the religions in themselves, abstracting as far as possible from their historical embodiments. The most perfect religion may seem to be degraded by racial and historical conditions, dragged in the dust by the inadequate comprehension, moral imperfection, or social backwardness of its representatives. On the other hand, people more progressive culturally and socially, with greater material resources and greater national and political prestige, may yet have the less perfect religion. I say this merely as a warning that we must keep a right perspective in discussing such matters.

956. Is it not a fact that the Catholic Church has its strongholds in Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Portugal and other countries where the living conditions are of a low standard and the people are notoriously superstitious?

It is a fact that the Catholic religion has remained the generallyacknowledged religion of the people in the countries you have mentioned throughout the centuries, despite all their variations from the viewpoint of temporal prosperity or adversity. Those variations were quite independent of the religion professed by the people. Your reference to present low Jiving standards in such countries invites the comment that people from England travelling abroad have expressed amazement and even resentment that things they cannot get at home are to be found in abundance in Italy, France and Portugal; and that English people go across to Ireland for the sake of the food there, to compensate for the starvation standards inflicted on them in their own country. As for your suggestion of "notorious superstition" in Catholic countries, tKe newspapers there are at least not full of astrology columns as they are in our own country; nor of almost endless advertisements of crack-pot religions trading almost entirely on superstition to secure new adherents.

957. Is it not true also that Protestantism predominates in countries where the people are renowned for sturdy common-sense and higher standards of living, as in the Scandinavian countries, England, Holland, etc.?

You are living in a world of dreams. Protestantism does not predominate in the countries you have mentioned. It has faded away almost to a shadow and remains but little more than a name. Read the book, "English Life and Leisure," by Rowntree and Lavers, published in 1951. They have added a special section on the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Of these latter countries they say, on p. 419: "The situation today with regard to religious beliefs is very similar to that in Great Britain. The Churches no longer play the important part in developing the social and religious life of the people that they used to do." And "as in Britain . . . sexual promiscuity is much more common than when the influence of the Churches was stronger." The authors of this book are laymen, neither of them is a Catholic. Your appeal to the sturdy common-sense of these Scandinavian peoples is mythical; as also your appeal to their higher standards of living. Rowntree and Lavers give statistics showing that in Norway 23% of homes had only one room and a small kitchen, 27%: two rooms and a kitchen. In Sweden 39% of the whole population live in houses with only one room and a kitchen. In Finland two-thirds of the houses have only one room and a small kitchen.

958. The inference is that a higher level of education and a dispassionate outlook on life produce conditions far less suitable for the Catholic religion than where poverty and ignorance prevail.

Before you begin to infer you must get your facts right if you wish any reliance to be placed upon your conclusions. The social and moral conditions in the countries you have mentioned are not as you have ; imagined them to be. Certainly the ever-increasing sexual promiscuity in England and the Scandinavian countries does not argue to a "dispassionate" outlook on life! When the Kinsey report on "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" was published in America in 1953, a noted Danish psychiatrist, Dr. Henry Olsen, declared in the Danish newspaper, "Information," that Dr. Kinsey's estimate of immorality amongst American women would be far too low for Scandinavian women, and that homo-sexual perversions were far more rife amongst women than amongst even the men in his own country, Denmark. As Denmark is 97% Protestant, would you care to boast that Protestantism predominates in that country? But I do not think much is to be gained by pursuing this line of argument.

959. Sixty years ago it was common talk amongst the workers that Protestant Germany led the world in reform of social conditions of the working man.

That is true, Germany was the first country in Europe to introduce social insurance sickness, accident and old age, and much other legislation in favor of the workers. England and France later on imitated German legislation in these matters. But the German legislation owed its inspiration mainly to the great Catholic leader, Bishop von Ketteler, who died in 1877. To understand this a little history is necessary. After the French Revolution, extreme socialistic theories began to sweep Europe. Above all in Germany, writers like Rodbertus, Lacsalle, Engels and others began to teach that labor is the sole source of value, that capital is robbery, and that all wealth and property belongs to the State. Bishop von Ketteler saw the element of justice in their complaints, but also the danger of their extremism. He therefore preached and wrote assiduously in favor of a moderated social reform based on Christian principles, urging increased wages, shorter hours, and factory legislation in favor of the workers. Five years after Bishop von Ketteler's death, Bismarck himself began to embody many of his suggestions in a series of new social laws which created almost a sensation in Europe. Unfortunately, Bismarck, even though he adopted Bishop von Ketteler's opposition to capitalistic absolutism, favored a political absolutism which the Bishop would have utterly repudiated. In fact, it was Bishop von Ketteler who drew up the platform of the "Catholic Center Party" which proved the greatest obstacle to Bismarck's totalitarian principles. But Protestant support for Bismarck's policy prevailed in its victory, and paved the way for the totalitarian rule of Hitler's National Socialism. The abolition of Christian principles means the destruction of liberty for the individual in the end, whatever form of society is in vogue. GodjF less nationalism makes man a slave of the Fascist State. Godless Capitalism I means competition for private profit with a selfish disregard of the rights | of others and widespread unemployment of unwanted workers as the k economic machine displaces them. Godless Communism may say that l it aims at material Comforts for all, but man is still the slave of the State. Whilst we aim at whatever social benefits other systems can provide, [ we must not forget that it is only by the observance of Christian principles I that personal rights and individual liberties can be preserved. Bishop von | Ketteler, the great pioneer of social reform in Germany, had the wisdom I to foresee this; and subsequent events have proved him right.

960. I would like to know more of the Catholic position in these matters, and firstly, just what "Catholic Social Justice" means.

Catholic Social Justice is an ideal at which we must aim by seeing 1 that the rights both of God and of man are respected in social life, according to Christian principles. As man's social life covers the whole field of human relationships, the scope of social justice is immense. It has domestic, civic, national and international implications. It involves individuals and families. It affects the problem of education. It must regulate commercial, industrial, professional and political life, and extends even to difficult racial and world questions.

961. What are its main principles?

Briefly, it demands that justice and charity must regulate the conduct I of men towards their fellow human beings, whether individually or socially.

962. To what extent can they be applied to our existing social system?

They can be applied to our existing social system only in so far as I the majority can be persuaded to want them applied, and only to the I extent in which they desire this. Until then, the Catholic can but try to I apply the principles of justice and charity in his own personal and social I life, and labor to diffuse a sense of Christian values among those who are I indifferent to them. You will be disappointed with so general a reply, I but a detailed examination of the defects, abuses and injustices permeating society, the provision of a formula to remedy each, and the explanation of ways and means to secure the application of the formula, would require a whole treatise on sociology alone. However, further light will be thrown on many of these matters by subsequent questions on various individual topics.

963. Does the Catholic Church aim at a "Theocracy", or the immediate rule of God even in temporal affairs, as was the case with the ancient Jews?

No. Christ declared that He had come to preach the kingdom of God, but told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. John, XVIII, 36. Earlier He had told His disciples that they were to be in the world, but not of the world. John XV, 19. The kingdom Christ came to establish in this world is the Catholic Church as the organ and instrument of revelation and grace. Its members have to engage in constant warfare against the moral evil of sin, looking forward to ultimate victory in the glorious kingdom of God in heaven itself. St. Paul shows that the perfection of the kingdom of God cannot possibly be realized in this world. In I Cor., XV, 50-53, he writes: "Now this I say, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God; neither shall corruption possess incorruption. Behold I tell you A mystery . . . In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet for the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality." The kingdom of God for which we are to prepare is obviously beyond this world.

964. If the Catholic Church does believe in a "Theocracy" will you please give us the exact "Plan-for-Life" which it proposes?

The Catholic Church does not believe in an "Theocracy" for a kingdom of this world. God offers us no concrete "Plan-for-Life" applicable to our temporal affairs, a kind of hard and fast scheme worked out in detail and applicable at all times and in all places. He has given men intelligence and expects them to use it in the management of their earthly, concerns. Through Christ our Lord He offers us the true religion, not a kind of social insurance policy against our own folly in civic and social administration. He offers us principles according to which we must regulate our conduct if we wish to save our souls. St. Paul gives the "Plan-for- Life" for a Christian in his words to Titus: "Denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, justly and godly in this world looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Tit., II, 12-13

965. Just who is to govern us in the seat of government, run our primary and secondary industries, our educational facilities, and, our railways, etc.?

That is for human beings to decide for themselves; making sure that, in the midst of all such interests, they "seek first the kingdom of God and His justice."

966. Just how would this be done under a "Theocracy"?

Since there will never be a "Theocracy" in the sense of any directly God-controlled State, speculations as to how God would direct all human; institutions and undertakings would be a waste of time. God could run a Theocracy by directly inspiring the appointment of all necessary officials and by inspiring them in turn to make every decision according to His will, preventing them by His omnipotence from deviating in any way from His instructions. But that is only in the realm of possibilities. It will never be a reality. It is quite certain, from Sacred Scripture, that the worldly affairs of men will never be run in that way. Till the end of time men must manage their own destiny in this world, each during his earthly career trying to save and sanctify his soul under the conditions which happen to prevail during his particular period in history.

967. Your Church, then, does not undertake to provide technical and detailed plans for social reconstruction?

That is so. The divine authority of the Church can be invoked where the moral principles affecting social justice are concerned; but in the sphere of politics and economics men must do their best to devise a social system for their own temporal welfare. If what they propose to do violates the; principles of social justice, the Catholic Church rightly protests. But provided they keep within the requirements of the moral law, the Church does not mind what particular method they adopt in their efforts to procure social improvements.

968. Why does not the Catholic Church get behind the single landtax system of Henry George which would remedy all economic injustices?

Even were the economic theories of Henry George quite sound, it would be beyond the scope of the Church to lend them the support of her religious authority. In economic matters as such the Church is neutral, allowing her members to follow their own judgment on such subjects. There is no more reason why the Church should support Henry George's theories because you happen to approve of them than she has reason to support the Social Credit theories of Major Douglas as so many of his supporters desire her to do. But the further question arises as to whether the teachings of Henry George are economically and morally sound. There are many sociologists and economists, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who deny that beneficial economic results would follow from his system were it applied in practice, whilst many Catholic authorities are very doubtful, to say the least, as to whether his theories about the ownership of land can be harmonized with Catholic teaching about the natural law and the doctrines of Pope Leo XIII concerning private property in land.

969. The other alternative is that people who imagine the Church to be hand in hand with the boss will rise against the Church whether we like it or not.

You rightly say that those who think that the Church is hand in hand with the boss only imagine it. Therefore we can rely upon the common sense of the majority to preserve them from that mistake. Meantime there are other alternatives to the acceptance of Henry George as our sole guide in social and economic matters, although naturally a Christian social order would include some of the things he advocated. There are few social reformers who have not advocated some social improvements we would all like to see realized. But that does not imply that, we should accept uncritically all that they choose to maintain.

970. We are all fighting today for the preservation of Christian civilization.

People are fighting for the continued existence of the way of life they have hitherto known, most of them hoping to improve it in accordance with their own ideas instead of having to submit to a new world-order imposed upon them by totalitarian dictators without their consent. But the way of life in our democracies does not deserve to be described as Christian. It has been a civilization paying what one might call lip-service to Christian ideals, but very little more. In other words, it has been nominally Christian at best. Actual and practical Christians are in the minority and the general tone of social life has been set by those who attach no real importance to Christian principles.

971. Instead of preaching charity to the poor, it is time we produced a society in which there are no poor needing charity.

That is a Utopian dream. Do all we can to diminish the number of the poor—and we should do all possible—the society will never exist in which there are no poor. Always the duty of charity to the poor will remain an essential part of Christian morality. The New Testament ineludes amongst the reasons why one should work that one "may have something to give to him that suffereth need." Eph., IV, 28. And Christ gave us a warning valid for all ages that our treatment of the destitute will be one of the deciding factors in our own judgment. Matt., XXV, 35-46.

972. I am a Communist, but on this point Communism seems to offer the nearest thing to a Christian order.

Many people speak of a Christian order without any real understanding of Christianity at all. They find bits of it attractive, pick out those bits, and leave the rest. That is wThy people fighting for quite opposite things say that they are fighting for Christianity. The Communist will talk of feeding and clothing the poor, forgetting all about the rights of property and the duty of obedience to lawfully constituted authority. The Capitalist will stress the rights of property and forget his responsibility to the poor. Politicians will deplore anarchy and declare that Christianity means order and discipline. But none of them is really interested in Christianity and the building of a Christian society. Each wants to find support from the Christian religion for the views of his own social system. Christianity before all else means an interior relationship of each one's soul with Christ personally. We have to look to Him, not as a mere Ally in our schemes for social reform, but as our Lord and Master to whom we must be subject in our own lives, and to whom we must give an account of our lives some day as to our Judge, with our very eternity at stake.

973. The Church should be willing to accept a short cut to a Christian l«l order, no matter from whom it comes.

There is no short cut to a Christian order. A Christian society won't come until most of its members are Christians who want a Christian order. And they won't be Christians until they believe in Christ, love Him, and make their love of Him their motive in all that they do. You've got to have Christians before you can have a Christian order, and the recipe for a Christian society must begin with: "First get your Christians." If people want to learn how to be Christians the Catholic Church is quite prepared to give them full and very definite instructions for the purpose.

974. All Catholic propagandists stress the need of returning to a better state of affairs which apparently existed in some earlier period.

That is not true as a general statement. No Catholic sociologist advocates the impossible. The state of affairs from the material point of view in any given period depends on the degree of its technical, industrial, financial and political development. Catholics know quite well that it would be impossible to wipe off all progress and return to any social state of affairs belonging to earlier times. For example, no one wants to return to the days of Feudalism. But Catholics do say that there must be a return to Christian principles that have been neglected, and that these Christian principles must be applied to the problems of this particular age according to its needs, if men wish to put an end to the tragic miseries and disasters they seem bent on bringing upon themselves.

975. Tell us in what particular period of history, and in what particular country, this much-to-be-desired state of genuine Christianity flourished.

I am not under the illusion that any state of society has ever existed in which genuine Christianity has been universally applied. Even granted a general acceptance of Christian principles, their application in practice by everybody cannot be guaranteed. Always there will be some, in all walks of life, who will violate them and cause social injustice and distress to others. But I will say this. The moral and spiritual environment of the ages of faith when all Europe was Catholic contributed much more towards the preservation of social justice and towards the happiness of human beings as human beings, than the non-moral and non-spiritual environment of our own age of irreligion and secularism. Men then made a better job of their conditions than we are now making of our conditions. And the reason was because they at least acknowledged and tried to apply to some extent those Christian principles which the modern world ignores.

976. As things stand, either you must accept the totalitarian dictatorship of Capitalism in what is called democracy, or you must accept Communism. For which policy does your Church stand?

For neither of the alternatives you mention. What we need is a wellregulated Capitalism in a Christianized democracy. We have not that at present, but true social reform should move in that direction. The abuses of Capitalism are evident. So is the pagan secularism of democracy. Our democracy has cut itself off from God who is the very source and guarantee of human liberties. It ignores religion and has secularized all its departments. The prevailing impression is that it does not matter what religion you have, or whether you have any at all. Man is regarded as an animal who has evolved; who made all the laws that exist and can therefore abolish them at will; and who is quite justified in living for his passions and the material things of this world only. The Catholic aim is to rechristianize democracy, save it from the paganism which is choking it, and bring it back to God, religion and the moral law. If that can be done, then exaggerated Capitalism will yield to a sane distribution of this world's goods, and Communism will be averted.

977. If you condemn Communism, you will he obliged to support Capitalism.

If, by Capitalism, you mean unrestricted irresponsible Capitalism, you are wrong. The Catholic Church condemns the latter as leading to the despotism of the few and the enslavement of the many. But Communism is still worse. For under Capitalism at its worst there is the possibility of criticism and therefore of correction. But criticism under Communism is branded as a counter-revolutionary activity and those guilty of it are promptly imprisoned or liquidated. Catholics stand neither for unrestricted Capitalism nor for Communism. They insist that Capitalists themselves must be made aware of their duty to consider the interests of the whole community; and that workers, through the trade-union movement and even direct State intervention, must bring this home to them. Meantime, the personal responsibility of every man is to save and sanctify his soul. And this will depend, not on the nature of the earthly circumstances in which he finds himself, but on the spiritual use he makes of them.

978. Your talk of State intervention means the "Welfare State," the very thought of which sickens me. God commands us to work, and eat by the sweat of our brow.

God decreed that work, of whatever kind it might be, whether bodily or mental, would become part of the penalty of our sins. He did not command it as obliging every individual. Still it is true that those who are able to work but who are not willing to do so deserve to suffer consequent Want. In this sense St. Paul said: "If any man will not work, neither let him eat." II Thess., Ill, 10. It is also true that those who are able and willing to work should have opportunities of doing so, and of earning sufficient wages to provide for themselves and their families, without beings dependent upon any form of public charity. And it should be the concern of the government to see that this is possible. At the same time it must be remembered that there will always be some who, however willing they may be, are not able to work, or to work sufficiently to provide for their full needs. This may happen either through old age, or ill-health, or economic depressions. Some kind of relief is essential in such cases and the government must see to it that provision for such people is made in some way. We are not justified in condemning, all forms of government relief.

979. Should not the government see that workers get a just wage and let them carry out God's will by providing for themselves?

In all cases where that is possible, yes. But it will not be possible in all cases.

980. I have property justly acquired, and the government has no right to interfere with my rights.

The government has the right to demand from you as from other citizens proportionate contributions or taxes towards the upkeep of social services necessary for the proper support of less fortunate members of the community. When we say that society must provide for its less fortunate members, we mean that the more fortunate members should do so under government supervision. And those more fortunate members should not complain against a just assessment of their responsibilities by the government, proportionately to their earnings or possessions. No government can do its duty to destitute people without securing the necessary revenue from those who are not destitute. Whilst it is good, therefore, to advocate wages sufficient to make those able to work self-sufficient, it is too extreme to condemn all forms of State-provision for those in distress, and the taxation such provision renders necessary.

981. My impression is that the Catholic Church is against the real interests of the working-people.

There is not a grain of truth in that. The vast majority of our people, many of them our best Catholics, are to be found amongst the workers. Amongst people of wealth and social standing you will find comparatively few Catholics. In fact, I have found in our own country, for all its so-called devotion to democracy, that one of the greatest obstacles to the conversion of people who move in such circles is the fear of losing caste in the eyes of the same wealthy and socially prominent circles. They regard the Catholic religion as fit only for the toilers. Again, the vast majority of priests, nuns and brothers are from workers' homes, brought up in the traditions and atmosphere of those homes; and they do not lose their natural sympathies just because they have devoted their lives to the cause of religion. They are not in the least against the interests of working-people.

982. The Catholic Church never takes the part of workers in industrial disputes arising from the dangers and difficulties in their occupation.

The social teachings of the Catholic Church insist on the duty of owners and managers to provide every possible safeguard against harm to their workers arising from dangers and difficulties in their work. The same Catholic principles insist on the right of employees to organize and use all their corporate influence to compel owners to fulfill that duty. As for industrial disputes, decisions rest with conciliation commissioners or the arbitration court, or any other appointed body to which all relevant evidence is supplied. No appeal is made, nor is any evidence submitted to any Church authorities. You would have the right to complain if the Church, without due information and hearing both sides, began to issue judgments in particular industrial disputes, whether she took the part of the employers or that of the employees.

983. Does the Catholic Church condemn the profit-motive in industry?

She condemns the primacy of the profit-motive, as if nothing else mattered except dividends. Every man has the right to profit by his labor and services to the community. Personal gain is a lawful and necessary incentive, inducing men to give of their best. But it is not right that the profitmotive should dominate the policy of industrial Capitalism to the exclusion of other and more important issues. We should insist on a right attitude towards profits, so that the first consideration in industry will be its adaptation to the needs of the community and the good of all engaged in it, rather than the financial interests of owners and investors only.

984. If so, why?

Keep in mind that we are dealing with the primacy of the profitmotive, not with the profit-motive as such. If the primary purpose for running a business or an industry is for the sake of dividends, then the one consideration which keeps any enterprise going is whether it can produce financial gain for investors. Many large firms advertise that their main interest is to give social service. But one takes that with a grain of salt. The very advertisement is in order to gain customers. Social service is quite secondary to profits. If they fail, the firms will close. I do not suggest that they ought to continue at a loss, or without some profits. I merely say that profits are their main consideration, their predominant motive.

985. What motive would you suggest instead of the profit-motive?

There can be no question of suggesting some other motive instead of the profit-motive. What is necessary is to call attention to other motives superior to the profit-motive, that the latter may be duly regulated. There are many defects in our system of industrial Capitalism. Industry should exist for the production of what people need, for the just distribution of the goods produced, and in order that people may be free from want. Incidentally, owners and workers in industry are entitled to just remuneration for their contributions towards the general good. But in our present system, do businesses and industries adopt this outlook? Do they see anything beyond their own financial benefit? In the vast majority of cases, to say the least, it is very doubtful. So long as it pays, business will go on producing even useless and harmful things. If necessary, a business will advertise widely to create an artificial demand, so that it can sell to people what they do not need and reap the consequent profit. Nor does modern industrial Capitalism exist in order to distribute goods justly. Tons of foodstuffs have been deliberately destroyed in order to keep prices up, despite the existence of multitudes of starving people. The primary idea seems to be that foodstuffs are produced, not to be eaten, but because they are to be sold. It is intelligible that people should go hungry when food does not exist; but it is insanity that they should starve whilst good food is destroyed. But only too often the primary motive is profit; and on goes our system of industrial Capitalism, heaping up wealth at one end of the scale, and creating destitution at the other. It follows that our industrial Capitalism is not concerned that people should have freedom from want. The Capitalist rejoices, not in the idea that people benefit by the goods produced, but only in the idea that the more they purchase the more profit he will make. The Catholic Church is not an apologist for modern industrial Capitalism as it is at present. She urges reform at all costs.

986. If you can suggest no other motive instead of the profit-motive^ what other proposals can you offer?

I can only suggest the reduction of the profit-motive to its proper place. So long as it is predominant, based on greed, self-seeking and acquisitiveness, nothing but injustice; strife and division can be expected. Tested by Christian ideals our present economic system fails miserably. Carlyle was right when he said that, in a system of materialistic Capitalism the only idea of a social bond was a cash bond. What is needed is a complete change of outlook. More than an external change in our social and economic system is required. There must be an internal change in man himself. To change the outlook of the business world is necessary; but to do that will not be possible unless man himself is changed. For man must be moved, not merely by the hope of personal gain, although the gaining of a livelihood is in its place and measure a perfectly proper motive. But man must have higher motives than mere profit. Instead of man existing to produce things and things existing to produce money, with God nowhere, money must be put into its proper place as a means towards the production and distribution of things with due regard for the demands of social justice. The things themselves must be regarded as produced for man, instead of man being regarded merely a cog in the wheel of production. And man must regard himself as subjected to God, to whom he is responsible for the conducting of his own life and for his behavior towards his fellow men. In other words, unless religious motives govern human law, and human law in accordance with those motives regulates production and distribution for the common good, adjusting financial administration to these needs, there will be no lasting remedy for the ills of society.

987. Does the Catholic Church admit that the wage-system is just?

In itself, yes. But the wages paid are not always just. That should be remedied.

988. Does she insist on a living wage?

Yes. In strict justice workers have the right to a living wage. That means the right to a decent livelihood, not merely a bare subsistence. Since the earth is meant for the support of the whole human race, goods must be so distributed that the whole human race may have the chance at least of getting a decent livelihood, granting willingness to work for it. An employer is not merely a receiver of service from employees. He is distributor of the common heritage of nature. The first charge on a business or industry, therefore, is to see that all actively engaged in it receive adequate wages. Only after that should dividends be paid to investors. By the natural law a worker has the right to live by his work, and the shareholders' right to a dividend is quite inferior to that. Also a dividend may be paid only when it has been justly earned, and it has not been justly earned if a living wage has not been paid to workers.

989. Does the Catholic Church mean by a living wage a family wage?

Yes. For the normal provision for an adult male includes provision for the support of a wife and children. Family life is essential to the normal existence of the average man. To maintain a family, then, is as necessary to him as to maintain himself. The legal minimum wage should cover the needs of a man, wife and two or three children. And this should be supplemented by a family endowment covering the needs of all additional children under school-leaving age.

990. Economists deny not only the obligation, but the ability of business and industry to pay a family wage.

Catholic social principles insist upon the obligation. Whether a given business or industry will be able to fulfill the obligation is another matter. In general it could be done. But allowance can be made for some particular business enterprise being unable to do so, either through being burdened with debt, or through loss of markets, or through bad management. In such a case the business should go out of existence rather than employ men at less than the family wage; or, if the social service it renders is important in the community, the State should subsidize it to enable it to pay the minimum prevailing family wage. That would be but one form of State-granted family allowances.

991. Have workers a right to become part-owners of the enterprise for which they work?

Not by the mere fact of their employment in such an enterprise. If a just wage is paid, the employee who contracts to work for that wage Suffers no injustice if the return for his work is limited to it. The only strict right to part-ownership that a worker can acquire is by saving up and ^purchasing shares in the firm; or by having shares voluntarily allotted to him by the employers if they wish to make such a gift.

992. Do not Catholic principles advocate admission of workers to co-partnership?

Not as a strict right. Pope Pius XI, in the Encyclical "Quadragesimo Anno," said that a co-partnership concession so that workers would share in ownership and management might be a good thing, but he did not say that any injustice would be done to employees if the practice were not adopted. Speaking in May, 1950, Pope Pius XII condemned the doctrine that "all without distinction, whether owners or not, have a right to share in the property, or at least in the profits of an enterprise."

993. What did Pope Pius XI mean by at least suggesting that labor should have a share in management?

He could have meant by workers' Industrial Councils cooperating with the board of management in deciding production problems, discussing technical improvements, labor-saving devices, manpower needs, workers' conditions, etc. But in the address I have mentioned, in 1950, Pope Pius XII declared definitely that "the proprietor of the means of production . . . must always remain the master in economic decisions, within the limits of public economic law."

994. Do Catholic principles admit the workers' right to a share in the profits their labor has helped to produce?

No. Workers have a strict right to the just wages for which they agreed to give their services. Labor does not give a title to ownership of what is produced unless one is working in one's own name. The just wage, after all, is already part of the general revenue the business brings in. And it is of the essence of the wage-contract that the workers give up claims to a share in fluctuating profits in favor of a fixed payment. The worker is thus sure of his money, whilst the owner of the business may not always be sure of his profits. Provided they have not been overworked and have received the just wages due to them, workers cannot claim they have been the victims of injustice because they have not been granted share in the profits. Owners, of course, may devote a certain percentage of profits to their workers, either by granting bonuses, or by going to additional expense in providing improved working conditions or other amenities for their employees.

995. Is compulsory unionism in accordance with Catholic principles?

Not in the sense that men should be compelled to join any given union or to work at any given trade. The choice of occupation in life is a personal and individual right. But if workers in some given trade have formed a union, as they have a right to do, then they have the right to urge all in that trade to join their union. Trade unions are a lawful means of safeguarding the rights of workers. But they could not be successful means if any considerable body of men in a given trade did not join them.

996. In other words, have unionists the right to refuse to work with non-union men?

Yes, if the efficacy of the union requires that. For free and independent workers could be used by employers to break up lawful trade union or to defeat their just efforts. Unionists, however, would not have the right to exclude non-unionists from working beside them unless the gave every facility to qualified men to join the union. If they made it too difficult for new members to join, they would be guilty of creating a monopoly and violating the natural right to Work possessed by others.

997. Does the Catholic Church admit that workers have the right to strike?

Yes; but not that the right is unlimited. A strike is not morally lawful unless the grievance to be remedied is sufficiently serious and other means to solve the problem have first been tried without success. Nor is a strike lawful if there are no reasonable prospects of its success, for then the result will be only additional and useless suffering.

998. Are sympathetic strikes lawful?

By that I presume you mean that workers in other industries who have no grievance of their own stop work in order to support some other group of workers in an industrial dispute. Such strikes may sometimes be lawful, but certainly they are generally not morally justified. For the sympathetic strikers have no complaint against their own employers, and their action usually results in losses and sufferings out of all proportion to the trouble of which the original group or workers complained. The violation of the rights of a small group in the community cannot justify the violation of the rights of the whole community. Very vital matters therefore, would have to be at stake before a sympathetic strike could be morally justified.

999. As regards social order, what is the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the relationships between one nation and other nations?

Pope Pius XII has declared that "all nations, great and small, powerful or weak, have a right to life and independence. The will of one nation to live must never mean the sentence of death passed upon another." Each nation, therefore, has the right to promote its own national interests, but only within the limits of justice and charity towards other nations. The legitimate interests of other nations must be respected. If each nation is independent, it is nevertheless true that all nations are interdependent; and all must collaborate for the collective welfare of all humanity. If one nation tries to gain advantages which are detrimental to others, we would have to ask in each case whether there were any infringement of the just claims of others; or, if justice were not involved, whether charity towards our fellow human beings were being violated. If the policy adopted violated either international justice or international charity, it would have to be condemned. I cannot go into all the possible specific cases where guilt could occur. Related to this subject you will find further thoughts under nos. 837-839 above.

1000. How can a Catholic make Christian principles effective whether in the nation or in international affairs whilst all political parties, whether Communist or not, are pledged to secularism?

He cannot, so long as governments are pledged to secularism. He I can only hope and pray that the minority of fervent Christians will increase in numbers until there are enough of them to get Christian nen into public office who will eventually succeed in creating a new society based on the law of God and the ideals of the Christian religion, with a consequent repudiation of secularism. Needless to say, immediate results within the nation, and still more internationally, cannot be expected. The secularism of today is the fruit of a process which extended over several centuries. To undo it completely may well take as long. But that does not alter the duty now of all Christians to try to be good Christians, a fervent and faithful minority of whom God can make use.

1001. Ought not Christians to study Sacred Scripture, and also the lives of the Saints to see how they dealt with the evils of their day, and the social teachings of the Catholic Church as well, thus getting back to fundamentals and essentials?

They should certainly do that. But, equally, certainly, all professing Christians will not do that. And I'm afraid the world is going to get a lot worse before it begins to get better. The ancient pagans in Rome lived for "bread and circuses." The modern counterpart is "bread and television." All we can hope to do is to persuade more and more Christians to fight back against the corroding atmosphere of secularism, take up their Christian religion in earnest, and live such lives of love for God of detachment from everything involving sinful self-indulgence, of personal virtue, and of charity towards all men, that they will force the admiration of religionless men and win them to the Faith, as the fervent minority of Christians in the early Church paved the way for the conversion of the pagan world around them.

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