The headline chosen by the Italian State Television (RAI) news app for Pope's Francis speech on the day of the inauraguration of the Milan expo was a typical example of third-class rhetoric worthy of a tin pot third world Country: “pane e lavoro per tutti”, “bread and work for everyone”, and “globalizzare la solidarieta' “, which clearly means “allow every pimp, criminal, prostitute, scrounger and their children to invade Europe, and the more Muslim the better”.
By another man you could say RAI has perhaps misrepresented the man, and a Pope would not make blatantly Socialist (or communist) demands the centre of a speech. By this one, you wonder how it could have been any differently.
It is not only so, that no one has a right to bread. To those who can but do not want to work, St. Paul says we should give no bread. It is not even the simple fact that hunger is a phenomenon Christian Europe only knew in times of war or famine or pestilence, as Christian charity has always worked effectively in Countries like Italy in protecting the weakest. What grates me most is that he who knows the history of this Pope of backing state (and even supranational) interventionism in economic matter cannot but understand the message for what it really means: the government has the duty to tax and statalise the country to death, so that Italy can go the way of Venezuela without even the oil.
This Pope doesn't know jack of economics, but it would be puerile to try to defend his actions with this very lame excuse. He works for Socialism, period. He does no unashamedly, and without being fazed in the least that Chavez would have been delighted, and St Paul appalled. He knows all of it, he just does not care.
I do not begrudge Francis the abundant bread and tiramisu'.
But as to the job, here's hoping he loses his very soon.
Mexican Raul vera is a perfect example of the rubbish bishops Latin America continues to produce. At times I think populism is mixed in the tap water over there, because they all seem to find it so natural.
This walking disgrace is, then, on record with saying:
The people who say homosexuals are sick are sick themselves.
It beggars belief that these people can abuse of their habit undisturbed to propagate open enmity with 2000 years of Christianity.
Homosexuality is a perversion; which is, whilst obviously a sickness in a wide sense of the word, much worse than a sickness as it is traditionally intended. Cancer, or flu, happen to you. Homosexuality doesn’t. A sexual perversion can only develop if the person who first begin to experience a wrong kind of attraction (a perversion; something that goes in the wrong (per) way, direction, turning to (versio) ) accepts and indulges in his wrong and perverted thinking; until in time this thinking takes root, and the person ends up, in a satanic twisting of his own very nature, to consider his own perversion part of what he is. It’s not. It’s the result of his having turned himself in the wrong direction.
This is no rocket science. It’s Christianity 1-0-1.
But Christianity 1-0-1 escapes the enlightened wisdom of your average XXI century Central American bishop. Your average XXI Century South American bishop is either homosexual himself – and therefore very interested in not having to see himself as “sick” – or has lost his faith a long time ago, substituting it for a desperate quest for approval and popularity.
When people lose faith in God, they make of Man their god. Social justice, fight against oppression, all kind of socialist rubbish become the new priority.It also makes one rather popular, which doesn’t hurt.
How could it be otherwise? No Bishop who has lost his faith can say it out loud, because he would lose his job. Ditto, obviously, if he were to out himself as a sick pervert. Therefore, the way is to follow the new path of self-satisfaction and self-aggrandisement as long as one lives, ditching that inconvenient truth called Christianity for a fluffy, emotional, and very bent new ideology in which the pervert becomes the victim, and the Christian the oppressor.
As always – and in another trait very typical of these men – note how in such a rubbish bishop the condoning of homosexual behaviour goes hand in hand with an extreme “social” agenda. This chap pays the lip service of saying he is not a socialist (which, incidentally, would probably cost him his job, too), but then proceeds to think and speak exactly like one. So even if he has not read Marx himself, the excrements Marx has propagated are his own all right. Easy words like “share equally in the bounty of the land” are a full espousal of socialist thinking, because human nature is such that the bounty of the land will never be shared “equally”; and in fact, as truly as men are – pace all PC thinking – not made equal, but with huge differences in intelligence, attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, ability to risk, and the thousand and one motivating and incidental factors which make, in the end, life, the same huge inequality will appear in all juman matters. Wrapping socialist thinking in fluffy slogans doesn’t make one less socialist, it only makes of him a slimier one.
This all-encompassing religion of man is seen, lastly, in the typical obsession of the socialist of seeing everything in terms of social justice. Abortion must be linked to the miners’ issue, because abortion is only good as an issue if it furthers the socialist agenda.
Also note: this is another nincompoop who, like Francis, deeply dislikes Christians. Think of these words: “Abortion, just like same-sex marriage, has served us [as] subterfuge to tell ourselves that we in the Church have our morals”, and tell me whether any pervert atheist would not enjoy saying the same, and wholeheartedly agreeing with Bishop Cretin. Unsurprisingly, chappy even goes on saying he is against the legalisation of prostitution *because of the exploitation of women*, and you clearly sense the sin of fornication in itself is not a problem to him at all, the “oppression” and “exploitation” is. Pure secular thinking.
This man has lost the faith. Having lost the faith, he can’t see anything in Christian terms. As a result, he speaks like a Chavez, with a varnish of fake piety that is, in the end, satanic complicity with sin.
May God lead this man to repent, and to obtain forgiveness for the betrayal of the most elementary Christianity.
I do not bet my pint.
My pint is, in this as in many other cases, that after death this chappy here will go to take company to the sodomites whose cause he has so shamelessly espoused.
I needed a couple of days to calm down after reading Francis' latest statement about wealth redistribution. The fact is, it becomes more and more difficult to keep calm when writing about Francis, as the brazen shamelessness of this man becomes more evident and more arrogant with every passing month.
This time, Francis gave us another example of how he has sold himself so much to every possible earthly fashion, that he has become – or pretends to have become – unaware of where Catholicism ends and where earthly fads begin.
This time, the Pope calls for “redistribution”, and in his arrogance and/or stupidity has the insolence of calling poor Zacchaeus as a witness for his clearly Socialist agenda.
If Francis had read the Gospel anytime after leaving the Seminary, he would remember that:
1. Zacchaeus' donations are entirely voluntary, which is exactly the contrary of the wealth redistribution advocated by the Destroyer.
2. Zacchaues remains hugely wealthy even after said donations, thus perpetuating in front of Jesus' very eyes a situation against which Francis calls to action.
3. Jesus does not demand from Zacchaeus that he makes any specific donation.
4. In general, Jesus never calls for forced, state-induced “wealth redistribution”. He does not even call for income taxes. If you think he forgot you must be drunk, retarded, or the Bishop of Rome.
It is obvious that, in this issue like in many others – I have written very recently about environmental ones – Francis thinks like the world, because he is one of the world. The following of every stupid secular trend is so natural to him, because he is so naturally, and so stupidly, wordly. It is not that he is imperfectly aware of the fact that he is mixing the wordly with the otherworldly. It is that to him, the otherworldly does not count in the first place, and is there merely to be used as an excuse for his purely secular agenda.
Francis is, very simply, unable to think and act like a Christian. His entire work is directed towards down here: social justice, environment, popularity. I doubt he believes in God. He certainly has no shred of fear of the Lord.
Whatever is in the way of Francis' earthly goals, must give way. The Sacraments are obstacles. Doctrinal orthodoxy is for Pharisees. Charity must make place for forced redistribution through taxation. Environmentalism must be smuggled as a Christian idea.
This is as if Stalin were explaining Christianity to the members of the Politburo.
Everything, in Francis, is meant to satisfy earthly needs and earthly desires. He does not even stop in front of adultery, and it is therefore to be expected that he should not stop in front of Socialism.
The Lord is giving us, day in and day out, the opportunity to choose between Himself and the senseless heretical rubbish of this deluded old man. By allowing Francis to be put in the position of Pope He, at the same time, punishes and tests us.
He punishes us by allowing to Francis (and perhaps to his successors) to inflict on us an overdose of V II madness, so that the lesson may endure for many centuries to come. But he also tests us, because the scandals given by Francis are so evident that no sound Catholic can avoid being scandalised, and those who aren't have obviously chosen Francis and the world rather than Christ and his Church. A Church, I remind you, unchanged in her “excessive doctrinal security” whatever Francis may say of it; as solid as a block of granite in spite of all the pathetic attempt of the man to let you think otherwise; and that will crush him like a worm when the time of our well-deserved punishment has finally come to an end.
Choose this day on which side you are, because it is abundantly clear you can only be on the side of Christ or on the side of Francis.
Guess who will be crushed.
Father Z has a rather blunt article, containing a rather vivid illustration of the way the Kaspers of the world – crucially, up to the very top; which includes Francis – should be treated by faithful Catholics if they go, well, Kaspering around.
This kind or remark is extremely salutary, because we live in times in which every day seems to bring more chaos than the preceding and less than the following one.
When one lives in times in which a Cardinal can say that the Pope has stated that 50% of marriages might be invalid, and everyone realises Francis might really have said it, because there is almost nothing he would not be able to say, then you know that it is time to keep the rotting cabbage at the ready.
Now, the question here is not whether Francis really has, or has not, said something of the sort. It is, rather, that he brought the Papacy down to a level of such ridicule and disrepute that there is no piece of nonsense that would cause the faithful to state, as one man, “this must be nonsense, the Pope cannot have said any rubbish like that”.
I am sorry to disappoint you, but rubbish Popes will produce rubbish. This is where we are now. If you can't see it, I question your sound judgment.
An interesting question might then arise from Proddie, or ex-Proddie quarters: “I was told”, the argument could go “that I have to trust that the Bishops and the Pope hold the Catholic faith. If I were to realise this is not the case, then the sola scriptura proponent are, surely, right?”
No, they aren't. They are most certainly wrong. A converted ex-Protestant who would reason in this way would have to realise he has been substituting Bibliolatry for Papolatry, but still without getting what Catholicism is about; what, in one word, makes it True beyond the fashion of the ages and the vagaries of human nature.
The Pope is not the maker of Truth. Not in any way, shape or form. Catholic Truth existed before the first Pope, and will exist after the last one. The Pope is a custodian; or, if you prefer, a caretaker of Truth. Nothing of the edifice of the Church belongs to him; of nothing pertaining of Truth can he dispose; he will have to give a very exacting account of how he has disposed of Truth, exactly because this Truth has never, nor could ever, belong to him.
The Proddies aren't wrong at all in saying that there is a superior Truth that men cannot change; where they are wrong – and it is a huge mistake, but this post is not about that – is in their wanting to find this Truth exclusively in the Bible, to the exclusion of Sacred Tradition; thus imagining a building that begins from, say, the third floor, with nothing to keep it in place below.
But Papolatry, a most dangerous heresy in our time, is just as bad and just as dangerous. Papolatry disposes of Truth according to the will of the Pope of the day. But if the Pope can do what he wills with the Truth, then there is obviously no Truth. On the contrary, the Pope exists exactly because there is a Truth superior to him, that he has the task to protect; a task for which task he will be called to give, as already stated, a very detailed and demanding account; a task without which there would have been no Pope in the first place, with Jesus simply handing down a manual to the Apostles saying “learn it well, because in two weeks you will be examined; yes, Judas, you too…”.
I do not judge the Truth according to Popes and Cardinals. I judge Popes and Cardinals according to the Truth. I will (have to) insist on this rather often in future, because I think the point must be hammered into blogdom with extraordinary frequency if we want – from our human perspective at least – to avoid that the multitude of sheep baa their way into a judgment of rather uncertain outcome.
Whenever the BoR takes out his rubbish and spreads it all over Catholicism he is, to all intent and purposes, asking you – yes, you; no, really, you! – to buy his rubbish and get rid of the Truth. You cannot buy Francis' rubbish without effectively betraying the Truth the BoR has been “modernising” (that's what Modernists do), and substituting it with a highly radioactive novelty of fashionable, if disgusting, odour of heresy, heathenism, socialism, and freemasonry. All of which, hopefully, due to sheer idiocy. An idiocy whose evil effects might be if not neutralised, at least reduced by a carpet bombing of rotting cabbage.
Stay near, then, to both the Truth and the rotting cabbage. There might soon be great need for both.
What follows is a contribution of astonishing clarity – almost unknown-of among V II prelates, particularly now that they are fully in the thrall of the “new humbleness” – of Father Guarnizo on Christianity, Socialism and Communism.
I personally think that he overvalues the danger of Communism per se, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is absolutely spot on on the devastating effect Socialism is having not on ly on European societies – and increasingly more on the US American one – but in misleading too many Catholics, which are in turn indoctrinated to the point they can’t even see authentic Christianity anymore.
I also note Father Guarnizo is now in the diocese of Moscow. You will remember Father Guarnizo is the poor chap stigmatised by Cardinal Wuerl for being a Catholic priest; a Cardinal, by the way, whose career is marching on undisturbed.
There is no doubt Wuerl is one who knows what he must do to have a great career and a quiet life.
Father Guarnizo, on the other hand, seems to me one who knows how to go straight to Heaven.
Please, Lord, more like him…
Emphases and parts within square brackets mine.
On Christianity, Socialism and Communism
By Rev. Marcel Guarnizo
February 5, 2014
There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the debt of Christianity to—and its compatibility with —the ideas and praxis of the socialist revolution, and even of communism. Many, even in the Catholic Church, believe that we share some of the ideals of the socialist revolution because it seems to them that communism, socialism and Christianity are for the poor. In addition to this most unfortunate error, the opposite fallacy has also been made popular in the minds of many, namely that capitalists and advocates of a free market economy, hate the poor.
But the historical record of communism tells an entirely different story. I have worked with the countries of the former Soviet Union for over 20 years, and I have seen what communism does to populations and nations. The scourge of the socialist revolution around the world gave us 6 million people killed by artificial famines in Ukraine and, as documented by The Black Book of Communism, 20 million victims in the U.S.S.R., 65 million in China, a million in Vietnam, 2 million in North Korea, another 2 million in Cambodia, a million more in the rest of Eastern Europe, 150,000 in Latin America, 1.7 million in Africa, 1.5 million in Afghanistan and through the international Communist movement and related parties about 100,000 more victims in various nations. This is a body count that reaches to 100 million victims worldwide. Communism completely destroyed the economy, social fabric, and political culture of dozens of nations. It hollowed out the intelligentsia, ruined every economy where the seed of socialism fully “bloomed,” and abrogated fundamental rights and individual freedoms of the nations it subjugated. Clearly the Judeo-Christian commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” is not among the doctrinal teachings of communism and the socialist revolution. It is hard to believe that the socialist revolution—unlike Nazism—still finds promoters and defenders in the West.
The compatibility of Christianity and its legitimate concern for the poor owes nothing to the violent and inhuman regimes created by the socialist revolution. No system in human history has produced more poverty and misery than communism.
No greater foe has the Church ever encountered, than the communist revolution. During the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of religious and priests were sent to forced labor camps or simply executed. Five year plans to abolish religion were implemented and no true believer was ever safe in such nations. What social doctrine of the Church was ever derived from such madness? Communism and the socialist revolution are not only the antithesis of Christianity. They are also incompatible with free, just, and democratic societies.
The case against the “wonders” of the socialist revolution can be put to rest by simply reminding people that brick and mortar walls, guarded by armed soldiers, were necessary to keep people from fleeing the manmade paradise of “social equality” created by communists. As Milton Friedman pointed out, the “…strongest proof of the failure of socialism is the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
Neither is a complex apologia required to explain why there is no substantial difference between socialism and communism. Communism, as American writer Whittaker Chambers documented, is nothing more than socialism with claws. Theoretically the two systems share the same ideals and philosophical framework. Communism simply takes socialism to its logical, final consequences.
The difference between the two was captured well by a joke I once read. Communists will simply shoot you in the head, but the socialists will make you suffer for a lifetime.
To mount a case against the socialist and the communist would seem completely unnecessary given the historical record. But it is necessary, because, as we see, communism’s ideology continues to ensnare the minds of the West and many of its leaders. Perhaps the statement of Whittaker Chambers, when he decided to defect from his service to the Soviet Union, that he had chosen to join, “… the losing side” is not altogether settled. Many think the fall of the Soviet Union proved Chambers wrong, but I submit that Chambers understood, perhaps more clearly than most, the lasting and insidious nature of the socialist revolution in the West. It seems to me, that the West’s great partial victory against the Soviet Union is far from being final. Though the Soviet Empire has fallen, the West remains in an equally powerful cultural battle, which the architects of the socialist revolution themselves anticipated.
Gramsci’s Tactic: Cultural Hegemony
The socialist revolution in the West has been greatly influenced by the tactics of the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. Writing in the 1930s, Gramsci recognized that the culture of the West, and in particular, the Catholic Church, stood as robust obstacles to a communist economic and political takeover in Europe. Gramsci proposed that a takeover of the cultural institutions—the achievement of cultural hegemony—was the necessary first step to the eventual takeover of the political and economic structures of a free society.
This strategy meant that socialists should tirelessly work on the takeover over of universities and education, media, churches, and other cultural intermediary structures of the free world. He thought that the eroding of the cultural foundations would weaken a free society’s natural defenses and this would open the path for the economic and political aims of the socialist revolution.
I would submit that the “cultural hegemony” of the socialist revolution is increasing in the West and at an alarming pace. The increasing loss of ground in our culture to socialism and its allies is creating a growing threat to the political and economic freedoms of America and Western democracies.
Therefore, it seems to me, the battle between the free world and the socialist revolution is far from settled. The errors of communism are legion, and the West should not slumber, as the battle is far from over.
The Errors of Communism
- 1. The Error Concerning the Nature of Man
Communism starts not with an economic error but an anthropological one. The economic and political effects of the communist system are but a symptom of a previous error, an error about the nature of man.
The French 19th century political economist and writer Frédéric Bastiat clearly makes the point. Socialism, Bastiat argued, sees man as mere raw material, to be disposed of, to be molded by the “all knowing,” state. In his book, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, economist Friedrich von Hayek launches a similar attack on the socialists and their “omniscient state.” Hayek demonstrated the impotence of the socialist to run an economy
Man is just matter: This materialist vision of man is the first and most profound error of the socialist revolution. The materialist vision of man is what justifies the communists’ insistence that they may legitimately do whatever it takes to achieve their utopia. We must be transformed by the state, into its image and likeness.
This materialist view disregards therefore the true dignity of man and the true nature of the human person—his rationality and free will. The artificial social orders engineered by socialists are completely devoid of a proper understanding of man and the kind of being that he is.
Writes Bastiat, they “… start with an idea that society is contrary to nature; devise contrivances to which humanity can be subjected; lose sight of the fact that humanity has its motive force within itself; consider men as base raw materials; propose to impart to them movement and will, feeling, and life; set oneself apart, immeasurably above the human race—these are the common practices of the social planners. The plans differ; the planners are all alike.”
Socialism and communism are fundamentally contrary to Christianity, for no Christian can hold that man is mere matter. Materialism is the exact opposite of the most basic philosophical and theological assertion of Christianity, namely that man is body and spirit.
Whittaker Chambers identified the essence of the radical revolutionary, the communist, the socialist, the radical progressive, in one key word: change. Writes Chambers, “The revolutionary heart of Communism … is a simple statement of Karl Marx… it is necessary to change the world…The tie that binds them across the frontiers of nations, across barriers of language and differences of class and education, in defiance of religion, morality, truth, law, honor, the weakness of the body and the irresolutions of the mind, even unto death, is a simple conviction: It is necessary to change the world.”
- 2. The Error Concerning Man’s Relation to the State
The first fundamental error leads to the second fatal error: Socialism perverts the proper relation between man and the state.
If man is just matter that needs to be molded and transformed to the will of the state (the social engineer), then indeed man is entirely subservient to the state. In this view, man is born to serve the state, from cradle to grave. Catholic social doctrine holds to the precisely opposite vision: the state exists to serve man
- 3. The Error Concerning Private Property
Communism, even for the amateur reader of its doctrine, considers private property a great evil in society. Since that is the theory, dispossessing millions of people of their land and putting to death untold millions more, for simply having more than others, has been the common practice of communist regimes.
The Catholic Church has always held private property to be a great good in society and has defended man’s right to private ownership as fundamentally good and compatible with man’s nature, freedom, and dignity. The Church also recognizes private property as a right absolutely necessary for the proper order and functioning of free societies. Respect for one’s neighbor’s private property rights is foundational to the Judeo-Christian doctrine. The abolition of private property under communism violates the great commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”
This disregard for private property rights continues in our day. In 2008, the socialist President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, seized $29 billion of the private retirement savings of Argentinean workers, to use for what the London Telegraph described as “a funding kitty” for her socialist schemes. The Wall Street Journal characterized Kirchner’s move as “cracking open the piggybank of the nation’s private pension system.” Thou shall not steal, Kristina.
The culture of envy fostered by class-warfare violates yet another commandment, the 10th, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” To create covetousness and the willingness to dispossess those who have more is fundamentally anti-Christian.
- 4. The Error Concerning the Function of Government
Communism and socialism pervert the proper function of government. If man is just an inert piece of matter and is completely subservient to the state, then clearly he is incapable by his own ingenuity, entrepreneurship, abilities, and efforts, with his own failures and successes, to create anything worthwhile in society. Therefore the state, instead of protecting the framework in which man and associations can flourish, must become a social engineer, to change man, and mold him to its utopian ideals. The state proceeds to artificially create the particular conditions and relations required by ideology to achieve the utopian goals of equality and happiness for all. But the proper role of the state is not to make us happy in accordance with its own warped designs.
Since this is not easily accomplished, given that man is free and seeks happiness on his own terms, much coercion is necessary. This includes not only the coercion of the Red Army, but procedural coercion, coercion by penalties and taxation, by the use of governmental powers to force the non-compliant to comply. All of this is completely incompatible with Christianity and a free society.
- 5. The Error Concerning the Function of Law
Communism and socialism pervert the function of law. The rule of law under the communists and their fellow travelers is no longer a useful framework in which each man may operate freely to achieve his ends and goals. It is no longer a light to the mind, a work of reason designed to help order political and social life, forbidding the things that war against a free and just society. For the communist, law becomes a mere instrument of coercion to bend and force citizens to comply with the warped vision of society’s rulers.
Bastiat put it this way: “Socialists desire to practice ‘legal’ plunder…they desire to make the law their own weapon.”
- 6. The Error Concerning Christian Charity
Communism and socialism war against Christian charity.
The socialist revolution depends on so-called class warfare. This artificial warfare, in its many forms—owners of the means of production vs. the laborers, the rich vs. poor, the landowners vs. workers—is the engine that moves society toward the goals of socialism, toward the perfect egalitarian society. The principle of class warfare is flatly and completely contrary to Christianity.
Class warfare, race warfare, gender warfare, generational warfare—and all the other new rubrics for dividing citizens from one another—are intrinsically contrary to the Christian Gospel. Socialists use them all to erode the foundations of Western civilization. Socialist tactics strive to fan the flames of hatred, discord and resentment in society. They seek to create a “culture of envy” and mistrust. They therefore permanently injure the social fabric and harmony of society. Envy, the socialist “virtue,” is considered a capital sin in the Church’s doctrine. Socialism, with its class warfare, could not be more incompatible with the Church’s teaching that charity and justice are the great binding forces in society.
- 7. Errors Concerning the Family and Social Institutions
Communism and socialism are inimical to the family and those organizations which function as intermediary structures between the state and the individual in society. Anyone who has experienced communism need not have such an obvious matter explained. The communists without hesitation separated children from their families, mercilessly indoctrinated them and made their choice of trade or work simply a matter for a communist bureaucrat to decide. They praised and rewarded children who had denounced their parents for deviating from the doctrine and dictates of the party. This is an illegitimate intrusion on the rights of parents. Catholic social doctrine has always held that the parents, not the state, are the primary educators of children.
The Church upholds the principle of subsidiarity, which teaches that intermediary structures between the state and the citizenry must be allowed freedom to carry out their proper functions in society. These associations are a natural buffer between the state and the individual. The principle of subsidiarity guards associations, the family, and the individual against those who would promote unlimited government and their greed for power.
The current assault of the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services against Catholic healthcare institutions should surprise no one. The socialist state is required to eliminate its strongest competitors to gain greater control. The state, as it is seeking to control the health sector, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, aims to displace the Catholic Church and its mediating institutions. The state is resorting to procedural violence in order to force them to comply or renounce their right to serve the poor and the sick. Comply or get out of the way. So much for caring for the poor.
Required: A United Defense
We see that the communist and socialist state incessantly seeks to attenuate the economic, political, and cultural freedoms of each and every citizen. Therefore, communist errors concerning the nature of man and his relation to the state provide compelling motivation for opposition across the anti-communist political spectrum. All those engaged in the promotion of freedom should seek the common aim of defeating the ever increasing power of the state. Libertarians would be wise to defend the rights of the Catholic Church in its present battle against Obamacare, for in doing so, they fight to keep a safety net over the larger part of society and the individual. The fight here is not about doctrine, but about freedom for all. There is a strategic need for unity among conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals, at this critical moment when freedom for all is threatened by the state. To continue to loose cultural freedoms is what permits, as Gramsci foresaw, the ever increasing loss in economic and political freedom.
Bastiat, in illustrating the need to defend the social order, urged a fusion of the proper defense of economic freedom and the cultural freedoms in society. The economic, cultural, and social freedoms rise and fall together, and must be defended as one. Social conservatives need to realize that if we lose economic freedom
we will lose more political and cultural freedoms and therefore economics really matters. But libertarians and others should see that, by curtailing our cultural freedom, the government is gaining the ability to curtail economic freedom.
Bastiat, in his time, also urged for unity against the common foes of freedom. Speaking of the defenders of the correct conclusions in realm of economics and the defenders of virtue, religion, and ethics in society, he explained, “These two systems of ethics, instead of engaging in mutual recrimination, should be working together to attack evil at each of its poles.”
This nightmare of communism recurs in part because of our failure to theoretically dismantle the lies of the socialist revolution in the West. If this is not done well, on a fundamentally philosophical basis, we will be repeatedly assaulted by new propagandists, who—while admitting communism’s past failures in practice—once again claim that the theory is sound and therefore that the human experiment of the socialist revolution ought to be tried again. But human beings are not proper subjects of experimentation for political ideologues. We must therefore teach that the theory is erroneous, and deadly. Morally, we cannot afford more corpses to show its devastating effects in practice.
A philosophically sound and united defense by all defenders of freedom is needed at this time.
Justice for the Poor
At a practical level, the first duty of the Christian, before jumping into the arena of social policy vis-à-vis the poor, is not good intentions or a loving heart for the poor. The first necessary requirement in justice is competence. Social policy for the poor requires sound economic theory. Bad economic theory leads only to further errors in practice, which hurt the poor.
Good intentions alone do not make one competent in economic or social policy. Simply having a loving heart for the sick does not grant the doctor moral authorization to perform surgery on them. The surgeon must be competent before he picks up his scalpel. An easy indictment of capitalism and free-markets is wrong-headed and empirically inaccurate. This sort of incompetence in economic theory has hurt, and is hurting, the poor. [Francis can take that and bring it home…].
Believers must also make clear distinctions regarding action. There is a difference between feeding the poor and alleviating poverty per se. The latter requires the creation of economic wealth. Aiding the poor is a corporal work of mercy in the Catholic Church and it is a good to be freely exercised. But feeding the poor is quite different from alleviating poverty. If we feed a poor beggar on the street, he will remain equally poor even as he consumes the bread we have offered. Food aid to the poor does not create economic networks and economic activity capable of alleviating his poverty.
Mother Teresa was in the business of feeding and caring for the poor but she was not in the complicated business of alleviating poverty. The latter takes economic networks, entrepreneurship, creativity of a different kind, and technical know-how concerning the economy, the markets and financial policy.
Unless the poor are incorporated into economic networks, they will always be in need. To create economic networks, society requires entrepreneurship, risk takers, profit and loss, and―most important―employment. Without a job, the poor man will always be poor.
Asking people to seek a job and work has become almost taboo in the present day. Food stamps are so much easier. It is important to help the poor, but to create systematic dependency for political gain is wicked. The state loves easy handouts, since they do not pay for them and they garner votes.
Furthermore, the easy handouts obfuscate an objective view and evaluation of failed socialist economic policies. Socialists, as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher put it, are delaying the inevitable day of reckoning―which is “…running out of other people’s money.” The façade of benevolence may win votes, but it certainly does not help the poor.
Many fail to understand that the Church has always taught what entrepreneurs know: There is a great sense of dignity in work. Since every man is a moral agent, men should not be deprived of the responsibility and adventure of forging their own paths. Caring for the poor is necessary, but intentionally increasing dependence is immoral and contrary to the Gospel teaching. It is an injustice to perpetuate economic arrangements that deprive man from working.
One could mount further arguments against the thesis that the social doctrine of the Catholic Church owes something to communism and its many incarnations. But I will conclude my arguments with the simple assertion that communism’s utopia, in which all men are equal and poverty would disappear, is a dangerous and inhuman illusion. Poverty cannot be completely eradicated from the face of the earth. Our Lord Himself taught, “The poor will always be with you.” If this profound lesson were internalized, the regimes of lethal utopia would be far less enticing.
To Truly Help the Poor
Christian charity and free market entrepreneurship are not only compatible, but necessary to truly aid the poor.
Christian charity strives for the moral betterment of man, and the advancement of our neighbor out of love. For believers, these are works of religion, which many men and women of good will willingly and freely undertake. Forcing people “to do good” is the death of the virtue of charity, as charity must always be freely exercised.
But a second factor is equally needed to alleviate poverty: entrepreneurs and the free-market system. These offer the possibility of a greater and more lasting solution to the problem of poverty. Creating jobs and industry is a great good, and to diminish the possibilities for entrepreneurs and the private sector and claim the façade of virtue in doing so, is pure folly. Entrepreneurs and the business class do more in the United States for the Church and for vital issues to society, than anywhere else in the world.
The two great lies of socialists and communists, that they are the champions of the poor and that they are the real “Christians” of our time, are myths that ought to be unmasked by all believers. For no regime has ever visited more poverty, death and suffering upon humanity. Civilization has seen clearly what this revolutionary change looks like and we would all be well advised to remember as philosopher George Santayana warned—“those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The West has had enough of revolutionaries and utopians. It is time for them and their supporters to pipe down and own up to theirfailures and crimes.
Rev. Guarnizo is a Roman Catholic priest of the diocese of Moscow. He is also a member of the Mont Pelerin society, founded by F. A. Hayek.
It has become in the last months more and more frequent – particularly because of the disgraceful effect of the latest Papacy – to read of prelates who give interviews and say something for which there is no need at all of a Catholic prelate. This utterly Anglican attitude of being concerned exclusively with worldly matters has now become more apparent because the Pope drums for them incessantly, and this creates more opportunities and provides more attention for the many Bergoglini always ready to play Sunday Socialist for a cheap applause.
Whether youth unemployment or loneliness of the old, poverty in the South or waste in the West, all these complaints and slogans could be put in the mouth of every non-religious politician or political activist without any need for meaningful change. The message is secular through and through, and worried exclusively with the cares of this world.
If you read, say, Fulton Sheen, you immediately notice a man for whom the faith is the foundation of everything, including the Christian message about the Works of Mercy. But whenever you read the likes of Francis you cannot avoid realising that to them the earthly issue is first, second, third and last, and the thin varnish of Catholicism they sometimes give to their utterances is there merely to make you swallow the socialist message without complaint.
To say that Jesus’ family was one of fugitives is one such bollocks; they just weren’t (they had to flee because of Herod wanting to kill the Messiah, but they were leaving perfectly peacefully when Jesus was born). The issue here is to completely remake the Holy Family in order for it to be manipulated and instrumentalised in order to promote the socialist issue of the day. The same goes for all the strange Jesuses we have seen in the last years: Jesus the homeless, Jesus the immigrant, Jesus the oppressed; all of which have nothing to do with Christianity, and all with the promotion of purely un-Christian values; like giving to eat to those who do not want to work and promoting illegal immigration and forced income redistribution.
At times, Jesus is left out altogether – which, if you ask me, is still vastly preferable to abusing Him – and then the prelate talking about social issues is utterly indistinguishable from the professional politician or one-issue activist. Again, Francis with his not very smart attempts at teaching economics is a prime example.
In the first case as well as in the second, such churchmen make themselves useless. There is no need for a bishop to say what politicians and activists say without pause, and the thin varnish of fake Christianity put there to lure the gullible will never work with real Christians.
Churchmen make, then, themselves useless. In the meantime, crisis of vocation – who would want to be such a useless, whining, high-pitched eunuch? -, empty pews, church closures and general irreligiousness spread everywhere in the West. Countless souls are lost; the very children are exposed to, and asked to approve, sexual perversion as perverted legislation is promoted and sexual deviancy even promoted to a value worthy of protection. People don’t even know the very basics anymore.
The useless churchmen do not care.
Illegal immigrants come first.
Every time that I smell something fishy in the public declarations of the man currently sullying the Papacy, several readers intervene with very apposite comments from great saints of the past.
It is the first mark of the “sensus catholicus” that a properly instructed Catholic immediately or almost immediately perceives that something is not in order, even if in the moment he might have some difficulties in saying why. Expressions like “Jesus was pretending to be angry”, or “Jesus in the Gospel was never angry” instinctively go against our grain of Catholics, because even if we cannot remember on the spot that God cannot deceive or that Jesus drove the merchant out of the temple with savage fury, we have been instructed to fear the Lord and not incur His wrath, and to say “the Word of the Lord” as the very epitome of everything that is truthful. Catholicism is like a diamond, that can be looked at from every possible angle but is in the end always the same whatever the vantage point. A Catholic who has been halfway properly instructed will notice rather fast that the diamond is being partially obscured, or sullied by personal opinions and strange theories.
Another example is this omnipresent obsession with poverty. When abortion is condemned because the aborted baby is “poor” something has gone fundamentally wrong: poverty, not the dignity of God-given human life, has become the main argument, the litmus test used to validate every condemnation.
It is evident now that Francis completely lacks this kind of sound perception of Catholicism. What he has learned – if he has ever learned it – and what faith he used to have – if he ever had it – has been now buried under so many strata of social and socialist blabbering, and washed out by so many decades of “social Gospel” and ecumania, that he might genuinely wonder how it can be that so many people take scandal whenever he opens his mouth.
At some point, Luther must have totally forgotten the truths that he used to believe; to the point that he must have been shocked at being repeated verbatim what he used to believe decades earlier. Francis isn’t as far advanced in this process as Luther, but it is clear that we are in front of one whose Catholicism has slowly slipped out of his hand, becoming the exterior clothing of an ideology that is not Catholicism anymore, though perhaps he does not realise it.
Take the “who am I to judge”, or the “salvation for atheists”, or the “following one’s atheistic conscience” stunts. Isn’t it evident that here an entirely secular mentality is at work, covered or painted with Catholic clothes to let people believe, or to persuade himself, that the body itself of this thinking is Catholic?
This does not necessarily have to be the result of an evil intent, though in this case it can only be the result of decades long, criminal negligence and dereliction of duty. As Francis gradually became more and more secular, he has done nothing else than slowly, gradually “adapting” the Catholic thinking he knew, bending it to the new priority: the social Gospel and the total submission to the worldly values of social justice, idolatry of poverty, and the like. This is a rather common phenomenon, as few people have the courage to look at the reality in the face and see that they have changed. Most people will, on the contrary, seek to validate the new ideas by bending their old ones, in order to persuade themselves that they are evolving or deepening – rather than gradually abandoning – their old thinking.
And there you have it all, as clear as the sun: all the heretical stunts popping out, with Francis not even able to realise what kind of troubles he is putting himself in. He authorised an astonishingly heretical interview that was taken down in shame from the Vatican site several weeks after publication, and with the man clearly unable to even see what kind of problems he was putting himself in, much less able to admit he has them in the first place. What better evidence so you want that Catholicism has – in the charitable hypothesis – simply slipped away from this man? Wouldn’t you call your parish priest, if he were to say exactly the same things – nay: one fifth of them! – utterly confused?
This, assuming that Francis is, in a way, in good faith. That he is, in other words, culpable of negligence, ignorance and arrogance, but not of evil intent. I want to believe that this is the case, but to be frank the facts speak in equal measure for the one or the other side, and I cannot detect what Francis would, if he were moved by an evil intent, actually do differently. It is hard to imagine this work of confusion being pushed by anyone positively intent to cause harm to 2,000 years of Catholic tradition with any more insistence or determination.
One thing is certain: this man must be kept in check by the smartest and most orthodox – or least heterodox – of the people around him. He is a maverick, unable (if we are charitable) to even understand how distant he is from proper Catholicism. He is one that can give you to understand that Jesus used deceptive behaviour without batting an eye, and to say to you in a sermon that Jesus never got angry and keep a straight face.
One truly wonders whether he has ever read the Gospel after, say, 1962.
What we have here, is the “Pope on the bus”.
In Europe we are more “nuanced”, and trust in Socialism.
Enjoy this video from the Knights of Columbus, with kudos to Father Z.
“Doreen’s Story” has been seen more than 430,000 times on Youtube. The short “mockumentary” is 4:39 long, and you won’t regret spending the time.
Allow me first to say I have nothing against people fallen on hard times, and consider solidarity a duty for everyone who calls himself a Christian.
Still, I would like to point out that Solidarity should be driven and financed from Christian charity, not a wasteful state apparatus. In the first case, there are automatic mechanisms to check the system is not abused – as it happened in centuries past, when charitable activities were financed and controlled locally; or in the hands of the Church men, who generally employed the money wisely – whereas the second system leads to the automatic, unavoidable creation of a self-serving administrative apparatus eager to perpetuate itself, to an impersonal system of theoretic criteria promptly “ridden” by smart “lazy cows” and, most perniciously of all, to an entitlement mentality by which one feels he has the right to live at other people’s expense.
All this is not very Christian. You see this post-Christian, Labour-fuelled, BBC-driven mentality in the brilliant mockery of “Doreen”. Doreen’s daughters’ multiple pregnancies (that with the twins is rather funny) are treated as if they were nothing to be ashamed of, merely an occasion for money problems; the names of the daughter are notably in bad taste and notably unChristian, like “Tangerine”; laziness is treated as a medical issue, and drug taking as its unavoidable consequence. If you think this is exaggerated, think again or look a bit better at what UK champagne socialists dish to you in exchange for your expensive (and compulsory) TV licence. I am not the only one exasperated by the continuous justification of last August’s riots heard around the liberal media.
The parting from Christian values and their substitution with the holy cows of Socialism led to a system where moral degeneration is not only morally encouraged, but outright financed. Furthermore, it creates a powerful apparatus of public employees and civil servants living of the State welfare activities and therefore determined to fight its dismantling to the death. In modern Western countries like England and Germany social transfers are the biggest single budget entry; more than defence and education, or public health, or research. You can imagine the extent of vested interests gravitating around it.
This way of thinking is slowly demolishing the Christian fabric of the country, because the country was unable to recognise that it was unChristian in the first place.
Time to wake up, get rid of the social state, and substitute it for the Christian one.
There was a time when Envy was considered a sin.
Not a sin whatsoever, but one of the Capital Sins, that is, something serious and requiring the faithful to be alert against it, because it can become a path to damnation.
This was in the past, when priests told one to think of the kingdom to come and insisted on the Beatitudes, and wise people knew that this earthly journey is both too short to ruin it with envy, and too important to run the risk of compromising what comes afterwards.
Then, it changed. Starting from the Sixties, Christianity became less and less “Christian” and more and more “social”. Some Protestants drove this to the extreme, and nowadays the Archbishop of Canterbury will make extraordinary efforts to be only heard on social issues – unless, of course, he talks about the sin of not being “social” enough -.
Not that Catholics are entirely innocent, though. The so-called “Liberation Theology” made a mess of things for many years amidst the spectacular inaction of Paul VI, and even John Paul II slept rather soundly for some five years before finally mowing down the heresy. After Liberation Theology was gone, vague traces of its devastating message remained, more or less masked, in the daily living of many priests and religious, and are present to this day. I can vividly remember the Jesuit coming to the Oratory and asking for money by means of a savage anti-Capitalist rant. Not a penny from me, since you asked.
In fact, through our entire societal fabric envy has become socially accepted. What was once the preserve of the Socialists and the Commies has now become the favourite pastime of all those who, not having an alternative system to propose, have nothing better to do than to criticise the present one. They are “against Capitalism”, but what they are for once the rhetoric is removed remains an enigma.
Other – several priests among them, in my experience – take refuge in a fantasy world; a world in which everything goes as it is supposed to, the cat says hello to the dog and the entire planet is magically recycled into something that, very probably, doesn’t even need Christianity anymore. This is a dangerous fantasy, an escape from reality that doesn’t solve any problem, but creates new ones. First of all, envy.
Let us reflect for a moment on the world our, say, grand-grandparents lived in. Inequalities were, by any conceivable standards, far more pronounced than they are today. Being born outside of the middle-class would severely – if not irremediably – curtail one’s chances of getting to white-collar respectability. Once you were born, most of your choices were already made for you and whilst the one or other always managed to escape the constraints of birth – it is today conveniently forgotten that, say, the Victorian era was an age of was wider social mobility than it is generally accepted – it is unquestionable that the chances were much more unequally distributed, and the ticket drawn at birth a much more important one.
I wonder how people dealt with envy, then. I think they did in the Christian way. They knew that in the end, their passing few decades had their main value in the opportunity to attain eternal life; that it is therefore not necessarily a tragedy, but perhaps even a blessing that one is born, or must live, in a way teaching him patience, perseverance, humility; that the one really in trouble is not the poor laborer, but the arrogant plantation owner, and not the humble miner, but the spoiled and unfeeling daughter of the mine’s owner.
They knew these things, our grand-grandparents. They knew all this, because they were Christians. They weren’t interested in making of this world a paradise, and were under no illusion that the cat would magically start to say hello to the dog. Most of all, they knew about the power of envy, and had the means to defend themselves against it.
Fast forward to the beginning of the XXI Century, when every religious wants to be a politician. Targeting the rich is fair game, even if the rich – let us not forget this, unpleasant as it is – pay a disproportionate amount toward the functioning of the modern societies whilst a bigger and bigger part of the population pays, actually, nothing at all. Who do you think will be screaming “What Would Jesus Do”? And who do you think will be their favourite target? How Christian it is, to want to take away property? How Christian it is to even talk of “redistribution of wealth”, as if private wealth were something intrinsically available for compulsory redistribution?
I must say that unfortunately, too many among the Church’s rank continue to fuel this creeping, all-pervasive envy tinged with socialism – but in the end the fruit of envy, as socialism itself – . Social slogans bring them easy popularity points, which they desperately need because they have persuaded themselves that they need to be popular. They have, themselves, forgotten Christ, who never pleaded for socialised social security, or for the welfare state, but for the charitable bond between rich and poor, allowing the rich to get to heaven by clothing the poor, and the poor to get to heaven by exercising the virtues mentioned above.
This is no more. The poor think that they have rights on the wealth of the rich, and that it be Christian to expropriate them of their own.When the beatitudes are mentioned, it is generally to make some pacifist propaganda. Mala tempora currunt…
If one would find a slogan for the years of the early XXI century one could find the reverse of Gordon Gekko’s one:
Envy is good.
Absolutely brilliant Catholic Truth Society’s booklet, as always from the Lux Occulta blog.
This one, Communism from the inside is special, though, because it is not a pamphlet written by a priest to warn against communism, but written by a former Communist to explain to the (let us say it) gullible and naive what Communism really is, from one who really believed in it.
Firstly, he highlights that Communism and Communists aim at the destruction of the religious phenomenon. he makes very clear how this is not an accidental part of Communism, an aside to the demands of “social justice”, but part and parcel of the ideology itself, without which Communism couldn’t exist. He explains how this concepts, understandably difficult to digest for most people, is kept hidden at the beginning (where the “social instances” play the bigger part) and progressively disclosed to the unknowing (naive) disciple, who will soon lose his faith, or every attraction for Communism. This desire to “destroy the last vestige of belief in God from the face of the earth” is exactly the aim of the modern militant atheism.
Particularly interesting is the description of the fighting methods of the Communists, who remind one closely of the Muslim terrorists of our day. On the one hand, the complete rejection of every category of good and bad. What counts is the class struggle, what is the measure of good action is the triumph of Communism; every action is justified, if directed to that aim. Beautiful examples follow (most shockingly about the churches in Hungary). The communists ideology will lure whomever it needs, and will lie whenever necessary, whilst all the time preparing to get rid (which may mean: exterminate) of the former allied when not anymore needed. The parallel with indiscriminate killing of civilians in terrorist attacks is apparent and whilst Communist regimes haven’t pursued such practices, they have made worse, with mass genocides and mass displacements/deportations used every time it was considered fitting.
It goes on. The appalling cynicism of Communism does not stop at faith in God. Family itself, called by Engels “that compound of sentimentality and domestic strife”, must be destroyed; the children raised mainly by the State so that good communists may be made out of them; women sent to work rather than allowed to care for the nurturing and education of their children; abortion and divorce allowed, unless the need of cannon fodder to protect the “cause” suggests a different policy. The appalling cynicism of this thinking gives you the full measure of the inhumanity of the Communist ideology. Interestingly, the same ideology is found in modern aggressive atheism, for which neither divorce not abortion nor euthanasia not perversions of all sorts are taboo.
After a brief explanation of the fundamental incompatibility of Communist thinking with western democracies (a banal concept today; less so in 1948 when the pamphlet was written) the author examines the power winning strategies of the ideology. Communists will “embrace” democracy only as long as necessary, as a means to an end; they will not eve aim at gaining a majority (which they know is a very difficult task), but at the creation of a revolutionary elite able to prepare for the right moment, when power will be seized by force and all opposition crushed. Here too, we see a parallel with the Muslim ideology, allowing its members to lie about their aim and beliefs so long as it serves them.
This little pamphlet will require less than a quarter of an hour of your time. It is absolutely brilliant because coming, so to speak, from the belly of the Communist beast. It is well-explained, easy to read, cogently argued.
More than sixty years later, we can gratefully say that the Communist menace has been rejected. Still, this pamphlet is very actual because new dangers have appeared on the Western horizon, militant atheism and (through immigration) Islam. Some of the traits of the Communist menace are, as explained above, common to both of them. We see the failure of communism and see the failure of every alternative system aiming (at least officially) to create some paradise on earth. Make no mistake, militant atheism and muslim imperialism will fail in the same way, though the struggle will be much longer in their case.
Alternative societies don’t work. The attempt to create paradises on earth which do without the Truth create hell on earth instead. The world has seen mighty empires come and go, has seen Communism invade one half of the planet and being crushed in mere seventy years. Ideologies and false religion will all, in time, go. Only the Rock will stay.
This insightful and very well balanced booklet is one of the best expositions I have ever read of the Catholic “doctrine of wealth”. Its importance lies in the fact that whilst its author is not immune from some populism, nevertheless the lessons to be learned are transmitted forcibly and eloquently. This is not what modern socialists and “socially minded” people would want it to be but alas, Church teaching never was – nor will it ever be – supportive of social envy and class warfare.
The booklet, probably written towards the end of the Victorian era (no year of publication) reads at the start like Dickens on a very bad day, tough we must make allowances for the times. Still, slowly a more equilibrated and realistic picture of modern societies (and of every Christian society of every age) appears and when the author moves on to the serious business, he does it admirably.
The first part of the booklet summarises the Catholic teaching on wealth. I will resume this doctrine as follows:
1) Wealth is not evil per se. Wealth must not be forcibly redistributed and it must not be taken away from the rich to be given to the poor. This is a harsh lesson for Labour Catholics I know, but it is really time that they learn it.
2) Wealth is potentially dangerous. Like sex and wine (and clearly wealth helps to get both) wealth can easily monopolise a person’s consciousness. It can gnaw at him, it can eat him alive. Satan will use wealth to try to carry the rich man’s soul with the same cunning with which he uses sex or passions of other sorts, like…. the envy of the rich. Jesus’ famously harsh words about the rich refer to this kind of person, to the person blinded by his own wealth to the point of making of it the focal point of his existence, the man who has chosen Mammon and forgotten humanity and Christian charity in the process. I’d dare a comparison with Whiskey. Delicious if properly enjoyed; but take heed…..
3) Wealth is to be used properly, and here the author introduces the well-known concept of stewardship. Stewardship means that a wise rich man doesn’t see himself as free to dispose of his wealth as he pleases, but as obliged to orderly employ its fruits as a wise steward (or today we would probably say: a prudent trustee) would do. He has a duty of care as to how he employs his wealth. He sees himself (like the trustee of a large fortune) as someone who has the duty of transmitting this wealth to the following generations. At the same time, he sees this wealth – whether inherited, or earned – as a God-given grace, meant to be used to further God’s work and in accordance to God’s plan.
4) Wealth is to be used charitably. The rich (actually: everyone, but particularly the rich) will be asked after death whether he has thought about clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and so on. Notice here the complete reversal of perspective compared to the modern socialist mentality. It is the rich who has a duty to help, not the poor who has a right over the money of the rich. Latter is not Christian charity, but socialism and legalised expropriation. It also feed an entitlement mentality, which destroys charity and fear of the Lord.
If a woman is born particularly beautiful, she’ll be asked after death whether she has abused of her grace, or used them to secure affection and lead a chaste life. If a man is born particularly intelligent, he’ll be asked whether he has used this God-given grace to create better conditions for himself and the ones he loves, or to help the cause of righteousness and wisdom. If he was provided with a strong faith, he’ll be asked whether he has used this gift to instill faith in others and to protect and further Truth, etc. The rich will be asked according to the grace he has received, in the same ways as the others.
5) Wealth is to be used in moderation. Megalomaniac behaviour shows a fundamental lack of modesty and fear of the Lord. This is not to say that the rich should not enjoy his wealth, but that when extravagance comes in, very often the fear of the Lord goes out. If you think of Berlusconi with his artificial volcanoes (I kid you not), or of Elton John with his £10000 in flowers a month for his home you get the idea. Mind, all these things create work and the evil here is not in the florist earning himself stupid out of Elton John, but in the fundamental detachment from an elementary sense of decency which such behaviour clearly shows. Also note that the author repeatedly compares this behaviour with effeminacy and one understands how those tough, proud Victorians could build a huge Empire.
6) Wealth and poverty (and their unequal distribution) are part of God’s vast plan for the world. In the coexistence of wealth and need we can develop our feeling for charity, helpfulness and gratitude. The poor trains himself against envy, the rich trains himself against greed. The poor asks God for help, the rich ask God for humility and right understanding. Different conditions are a bridge, a link between us and our neighbour, encouraging us to forget our little selves for a while in a sincere desire to see ourselves in the light of what we really are: God’s creatures with the same dignity whatever the graces assigned by God to us.
The same happens with beauty and intelligence and wit and all other graces, whose distribution among God’s creature is – whatever the world may say – extremely inequal. Every socialist must grasp the elementary fact that this is not paradise and it is not meant to be. On the contrary, this is the place meant to prepare us for it! If we were all equally wealthy, beautiful, intelligent and witty, what preparation would this be? You don’t ask that beautiful women had their nose cut and their hair given to the ugly ones, either.