Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Radio Replies First Volume - Communism

1533. The Catholic Church forbids a Catholic to be a communist!

That is true. Communism is opposed to the law of God, is anti-Christian, and violates the fundamental rights of man. Apart from this, it will never remedy existing evils, and can only lead to the greater distress of those whom it pretends it will benefit.

1534. Your Church's solution of this terrible mess is faith!

It is not. Her solution is common-sense, strict justice all round, and Christian charity based upon faith.

1535. It matters little to me whether the Christian religion be right or wrong. I stand for communism which will rescue the workers from in voluntary poverty and the rich from idleness.

You quote the usual promise which accompanies all new schemes of social reform conceived without reference to the principles of sound social morality, and the undiscerning are delighted with the rose without perceiving the thorns. Meantime the Catholic religion happens to be right, and being right, matters very much to all men who have been brought into contact with it. "He that believes shall be saved; he that believes not shall be condemned," are the words of Almighty God. And eternal issues are at stake.

1536. I have studied Christian doctrine and I find that it consists of a slave-complex, hypocrisy, pagan practice, mythology, deceit and avarice.

Whatever you studied, it certainly was not Christian doctrine!

1537. The Church stands four-square for a system which means poverty, unemployment, disease, and death for the worker, and idleness, vanity, comfort, and tyranny for the owners of the means of production — and you ask me to study Christian doctrine!

Since the Catholic Church stands four-square against all the abuses you mention I must reiterate my request. Please do study Christian doctrine.

1538. The Church worships the rulers as gods, and stands for their authority.

The Church does not worship rulers, but she gives those in lawful authority the respect due to them. St. Peter knew the law of God quite well, and wrote, "Be ye therefore subject for God's sake, whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him. Fear God. Honor the king." 1 Pet 2:13-17.

1539. You offer your brothers, "pie in the sky when you die."

That is a travesty and a caricature. The Catholic Church offers no pie (which would not be worth having) in any sky (which is not heaven). Alas for your knowledge of Christian doctrine! The Church does say that man was not made for this life only, and that he is a fool if he expects to find heaven on earth. He can look for a reasonable amount of comfort in this world, serving God meanwhile, and afterwards he can attain a happiness not to be described in terms of pies and skies.

1540. I prefer a little solid comfort on earth while I am alive.

If you prefer that to God, I ask with Christ, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" God ought to know the relative values of material things and spiritual souls. He made both.

1541. The sufferings of the workers have made me a communist. I believe that we should destroy the Church, and work for universal freedom, brotherhood and peace.

I am afraid you are a communist only while other people have what you do not possess. Would you remain a communist if you had the goods and others had not? It is easy to remain a communist when you want others to give you their property; but I know few who would remain communists when it is their turn to give away. And you seem to forget the communist objection to the shame of almsgiving when you demand that those who have more should give to those who have less. Or, instead of allowing them to practice charity, would you practice injustice by confiscating the possessions of others? And if you are out for universal freedom, why do you deny the freedom to men to better their positions by ability and diligence? If you want universal brotherhood and peace, why do you distort and ridicule the religion of Christians?

1542. You do not preach virtue for the love of it, but because of the sweet profit.

Then I do preach virtue! That is something. And you supply alternative motives — either for the love of virtue, or for the sweet profit. It is difficult to answer the personal charge. But at least I can say that were I out for sweet profit, it could be obtained better by other means. The man who becomes a Priest, and a member of a Religious Order involving the obligation of poverty, for the sake of a worldly income is a fool. The only profit in such a life is that of the friendship of Christ.

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