Does the word "Social" in the name "Catholic Social Teaching" create a danger of Socialism?

The web sites and documents of the popes, the Vatican agencies and the U.S. bishops all use the phrase “Catholic Social Teaching” to refer to their teaching in favor of Labor Unions, a Just Minimum Wage, and so on.

Should the pope and the bishops change it to something like “Catholic Free Market Teachings” to prevent liberals from twisting the Church’s teaching into Socialism?

No that’s just silly… It’s always been Catholic social teaching… Considering i work in the context of Catholic social teaching as a community organizer I consider changing the name offensive…

“Catholic social teaching” is progressive; probably our most liberal teachings (of which I am proud of)… Just war, just wage, the right to form unions, distributism, Democracy, universal healthcare etc…

And your fears of socialism are silly… Rome has already condemned socialism and communism :slight_smile:

Dear socialcath101,

What sort of work is it that you do?
How do you go about doing it?
Is it having an impact?
Are you paid a Just Wage yourself to do this work?
Are you and your fellow CST workers in a Labor Union?
Are you provided with Health Insurance by your employer?
Are you employed by a Catholic organization?
Do you find that most or many Catholics know about CST (Catholic Social Teachings)?
Would it not be good to have one Sunday per year in which each homilist in the Church would give a homily on CST?

Thank you

No, why? Church’s social teaching = Europe without abortion and gay marriage.

If anyone has the problem here, it’s the Americans who interpret the words “socialism” and “liberal” different that the rest of the world. Hint: “socialism” is a socioeconomic system currently in use in most of Europe, i.e. free enterprise with the state supporting the poor. A “liberal” is someone like Milton Friedman who advocates that the state should not interfere with the economy at all.

I am a community organizer for a small independent Catholic social services agency. I work with all sorts of people. Homeless, unemployed, runaways, ex-convicts, gays and lesbians, poor people etc vulnerable populations in general. We help them apply for government benefits such as WIC, SSI, disability, food stamps, childcare, school. We also direct women who are pregnant and considering abortion to a pregnancy crisis center and Catholic adoption agencies.

I’m in a declining rustbelt city. Not a lot of agencies like to come to this area. But I like to think we make an impact. Do I get a just wage? I’m a community organizer… It’s kind of ironic because everything I believe about it isn’t true for my job… My wages are low I admit and I’ve got a masters degree. Less than $30,000 a year… I’m guardian to my sister’s children (she and her husband have passed away) so I’ve got three mouths to feed and I’m not married which heavily complicates things with both the Church and school.

We are not in a labor union. But I strongly support organized labor… I attended the Wisconsin protests with the children :slight_smile:

I wish I had better insurance… I have a high detectible health plan personally which is expensive for someone who is 50 some like me. But the kids have SCHIP.

We are a Catholic organization that is independent (although we keep a good relationship with the Church and the diocese to keep the Catholic part of us intact)…

I work within a Catholic social teaching framework… I love Catholic social teaching… Its a shame because not a lot of Catholics pay attention to it :frowning:

It doesn’t pose a danger at all. And if it did then changing it into “Catholic Free Market Teaching” would pose the same danger since it would just push things into the direction of things like Lassiez Faire, or the Ayn Rand worldview.

Besides it isn’t primarily an economic teaching, it is a social teaching with economic aspects to changing it’s name would just be counter-intuitive.

I am glad you are doing what you are doing in the name of Jesus Christ and in the name of the Catholic Church.

Have you heard of the JustFaith program? Do you have it at parishes in your area? If not, maybe you could get it started. It could produce more educated parishioners who would be more active in promoting Catholic Social Teaching in action and in the heart. Here’s their web site:

The JustFaith program has critics among conservatives. But it is fully approved by the bishops. I went through the program and liked it. No program is 100% perfect.

No I’ve never heard of it… Thanks! :slight_smile: I’ll be sure to check it out…

In many ways Catholic Social Teaching is the Eucharist in action. However, you don’t get rich working for the Church. God bless you, your family and your work.

Actually, they talk about it every time they preach on the Sermon on the Mount, or go over the corporal or spiritual works of mercy. Socialism is a political term, social has more to do with how our culture is structured as an area of study, as in sociology. It really refers to the relatedness among people in the world. It follows on the second great commandment, To love you neighbor as yourself.

Well, the teachings are related to social justice issues (which in my book are different than social issues), so I see no reason to change the name. If it became free market teachings, the (fiscal) conservatives would twist it to fit their agenda. So no, they shouldn’t. Either way, socialism has been condemned by the Church.

Socialism means no private property. It’s also known as communism. Or it is where the state owns and operates so many things that it is extremely important to everyone’s life (i.e Nordic model). What many economies are in (at least western Europe) are more mixed than socialist. At least Germany is mixed.

I don’t understand everyone’s obsession with socialism here on CAF? Its been condemned by the entire Church and everyone here seems to know its a bad system… I mean even I condemn it…

But its hurled around like an insult… I’ve dug through some of the archives and there’s some nasty stuff out there…

People need a political education here on CAF… Just because one supports or works with poor people or in human services (like myself) does not automatically make someone like me a socialist…

It’s like we’re still in the Red Scare or something… :frowning:

well, if you support government funded (not necessarily provided) welfare, you are considered socialist, thanks to the tea party. If you stand up against abortion and gay marriage, you are considered intolerant and bigoted thanks to the secular liberals. It’s a lose-lose situation. but, CAF is a lot more politically conservative/neo-liberal than the rest of the Catholic world. So don’t worry about it.

Free market is not Catholic dogma. :wink: In fact both socialism and capitalism were rejected in their unmodified, hardcore versions. Free market isn’t really a core Catholic value (other than that we could say that trying to establish wide nationwide and international peaceful cooperation, while creating opportunities for people is a good thing), it’s just an economic proposal.

There’s actually a lot of things that socialists have been or even Marx was right about. The problem is with the things they were wrong about, and with methods of execution. There’s really nothing wrong with the idea that the bourgeoisie shouldn’t be allowed to get fat on the worker’s blood for instance. Or that people should give according to ability and generally not try to heap more than they need. Things get bad when it gets to global revolution and disparaging religion, or even excess of forcible dispossession (restrained redistributive taxes aren’t really immoral btw). Needless to say, all the Workman’s Parties the reds put up had very little to do with the workman, the head honchos being members of professions (Castro was an attorney and so was Lenin) or even noblemen (Lenin was a nobleman, I’m not sure if Castro is related to the Castro family that goes back to 12th century Portugal but who knows, and the last communist dictator in Poland was an aristocratic landowner’s son).

Socialism and communism aren’t one and the same thing, even though they’ve often been used interchangeably and mostly the same people have been behind both. Socialism is pretty much what the name suggests (“welfare state” generally means the same, although the connotation is different; I think the British Labour Party is an example of something that has socialist tendencies but not communist ones), whereas communism is about collectivisation and indeed little private property (though not really to the point of sharing one’s underwear and toothbrush with other people). The reds would first establish socialism and then move on to introduce communism as a next stage.

I’m not socially liberal lol; I’m with the Church on social issues… But I’m all for the welfare state like universal healthcare, food stamps, WIC, all of it… Excluding title X of course…

Now if we can just get the rest of the people on here to understand this. :mad:

Pax :signofcross:

Yep, sounds pretty much like me. I’m a political moderate (leaning left for America, right if you go European), and a social conservative.

Good luck. This is a mainly American website. Try getting a bunch of people in Russia to say Socialism is bad. But, if they read what the Catechism says…

The point is we’ve seen where socialist or communist experiments lead. The Soviet empire claimed more victims than the Nazi regime and not just because it lasted longer. It is news happy beyond measure that the red menace is almost entirely gone.

On the other hand, we’ve seen some of where unsupervised capitalism can lead but we have forgotten. And we hadn’t seen more because socialist revolutions started (which, in a way, also helps answer the question as to where unsupervised capitalism leads). The problem is that if you don’t put some checks and balances on the economic system like it was done with the political ones that exist in capitalist countries, things will go awry. Capitalists won’t really admit without prodding or at least peaceful influence from the outside that 16 hour work days or child labour or sub-subsistence wages aren’t okay or that their economic power and the facade of freedom of contracting does not make dictating abusive terms acceptable—just look at how corporations from “civilised” countries have behaved in third world countries (veritable slavery at times) or before guarantees were legislated into force. Marx had a lot of a point when he said that slavery was replaced by serfdom and serfdom by capitalism. Unrestrained capitalism that doesn’t come with guarantees and in a democratic packaging is basically the plutocratic factory owner replacing the aristocratic landowner, workers having it as bad as the serfs had had. There were exceptions but there had been exceptions among feudal landowners too. :wink:

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