The Pope DOES realize that Catholicism is supposed to have a continuity of doctrine, doesn’t he? And that plenty of popes before him denounced the system he seems to be proposing?
You don’t have to be Catholic know that there are three people credited with bringing the Soviet Union to its knees.
One was an actor-turned-politician from the US.
Another was a grocer’s daughter who went on to become the UK’s first female Prime Minister.
And the third was Pope John Paul II.
They came together to defend and breathe fresh life into a Western Tradition that had been under siege by secular Marxists for a very long time.
Now no less than the Pope himself has been undermining it, as seen in his latest encyclical.
Do a quick mental scan of the Ten Commandments while you read it, and pay particular attention to what he says about ‘absolute right to property’. Don’t both the admonitions against stealing and coveting come into play there?
In the encyclical, Francis rejected even the Catholic Church’s own doctrine justifying war as a means of legitimate defense, saying it had been too broadly applied over the centuries and was no longer viable.
…He denounced populist politics that seek to demonize and isolate, and called for a “culture of encounter” that promotes dialogue, solidarity and a sincere effort at working for the common good.
As an outgrowth of that, Francis rejected the concept of an absolute right to property for individuals, stressing instead the “social purpose” and common good that must come from sharing the Earth’s resources. He repeated his criticism of the “perverse” global economic system, which he said consistently keeps the poor on the margins while enriching the few — an argument he made most fully in his 2015 landmark environmental encyclical “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be).
Francis also rejected “trickle-down” economic theory as he did in the first major mission statement of his papacy, the 2013 Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel), saying it simply doesn’t achieve what it claims.
“Neo-liberalism simply reproduces itself by resorting to magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ — without using the name — as the only solution to societal problems,” he wrote. “There is little appreciation of the fact that the alleged ‘spillover’ does not resolve the inequality that gives rise to new forms of violence threatening the fabric of society.” — Syracuse
This looks nothing like the message we’ve seen from a series of previous popes who clearly and emphatically denounced the various strains of socialism as incompatible with Christian belief.
Don’t take my word for it, I may be a Christian, but I’m not writing as a Catholic.
An excellent list of Papal denunciations of Socialism together with some explanation of the topic is available here. Taken from that article:
“It may seem surprising that ‘socialism’ appeared at the beginning of the Pope’s critique of solutions to the ‘question of the working class’ at a time when ‘socialism’ was not yet in the form of a strong and powerful State, with all the resources which that implies, as was later to happen. However, he correctly judged the danger posed to the masses by the attractive presentation of this simple and radical solution to the ‘question of the working class.’”
“Continuing our reflections, … we have to add that the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears, the very subject whose decisions build the social order. From this mistaken conception of the person there arise both a distortion of law, which defines the sphere of the exercise of freedom, and an opposition to private property.”
(Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Centesimus Annus − On the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, May 1, 1991, n. 12, 13)
“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person − every person − needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) − a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.”
(Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005, n. 28)
Does he really think the world hasn’t taken notice of some serious red flags at the upper levels of Catholic leadership?
Failures to address and reign in sexual malfeasance among the ordained clergy is one obvious issue, but hardly the only one.
The elevation of creation above creator is explicitly denounced in Romans 1:25, and yet we have heard this pope speak more often and more passionately about the environment than we ever have about the exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ. How highly does he prioritize the message of there being salvation in no other name under heaven but in Jesus by whom men must be saved?
Let’s take a tour through some of the — let’s call them ‘surprising’ — headlines the current pope has generated, shall we?