Would you tell us the view your Church takes of socialism?

The Catholic Answers

Socialism is a very broad term which men interpret in many different ways. Communistic socialism is, of course, condemned by the Catholic Church. Mitigated forms of socialism, which aim at social reform, but which ignore religion and rely upon purely materialistic methods, are also condemned. In these and similar senses of the word no Catholic can be a socialist. The Catholic program is social reform which demands true consideration of the workers by employers according to the demands of both justice and Christian charity, at the same time demanding of the workers a just quantity of work together with respect for other peoples’ lawful possessions according to God’s commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” The Catholic program of reform is badly needed, and is the only way out. Economic reconstruction will not succeed unless it takes Catholic social principles into account. On the whole the sympathy of the Church is with the worker, who has less means of defence; and the capitalist is the one who should voluntarily begin to rectify the many abuses which undoubtedly exist. But no policy of socialism which aims at the destruction of all social inequalities can be tolerated. Social inequalities are essential to the general good of mankind; some men being employed on necessary manual works; others in intellectual pursuits; whilst various grades of ability or genius required in the work done demand various grades of remuneration. And this of course means social inequality. God Himself never condemned the employment of man-servjmts and maid-servants, but vindicated both their rights and the rights of their employers.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty