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In the papal encyclical, Rerum Novarum. Pope Leo XIII condemns socialism.Sometimes you hear Christians says, “We can be faithful Catholics and socialists with regard to economics, because we aren’t atheists like Marx.” Actually, that’s not true. Popes have spoken explicitly and condemned socialism on economic grounds and in terms of social justice. Pope Leo XIII, in particular, puts the smack down on socialism.

10 Point Smack Down

Socialism was condemned explicitly by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Rerum Novarum. The direct translation is "Of New Things," and it is about the rights and duties of capital and labor. This is a summary about the condemnation of socialism from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum:

1. Socialism promotes envy between classes. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.”

2. The transfer of private property to community property is against nature and justice.

3. Socialism hurts the working man first and foremost.

4. A person has the right to improve his social condition through labor. His social condition should not be taken away from him.

5. Socialism perceives children as belonging to the State chiefly, and thus the State has a prior right over the father of the child with regard to guardianship, education, and labor. This the Pope condemns.

6. Socialism must be “utterly rejected.”

7. Socialism leads to “condition of misery and degradation.”

8. The Pope recognizes that not every human has equal aptitude in this life for wage-earning.

9. Labor is good and not evil. Socialism wrongly presumes that work is always an exploitation of one class serving another class.

10. It is evident in these quotes, but especially elsewhere, that those who have acquired private property should share their goods with those who are in need. This is the call to ALMSGIVING that Proverbs and Christ repeatedly exhort us to practice.

+JMJ+

Dr. Taylor Marshall, author of this article excerpt, is a Catholic theologian with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He is a former Episcopalian priest who converted to Catholicism. He and his wife Joy have 8 children. 

© The original article was published on his website. All rights reserved.

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