It appears that the moustached priest teaches the catechism to children, and the blonde priest is relaying that a wealthy businessman (Don Silvestro) has been complaining about what is being taught regarding work/salary
B: Blond, older priest
M: Moustachioed priest
B: something worries me; I believe you had good intentions, but don Silvestre complained to me that in your catechismal lessons you’re imparting certain troublesome views to the children
M: like what?
B: you tell them that that the expenditure of their work should be in relation/proportion to their salaries
M; of course: if people charge (demand in salary) more than what they put in (labor), they should charge less; but if they work more (in relation to what they ask for in salary), then they should charge more (for their services)
B ; did you know that those theories have begun causing problems? And that many workers have already been asking Don Silvestro for higher wages?
M: how good
B: good? Why?
M: remember that the riches should not be accumulated by the wealthy, but should be divided among the workers
Woman: but that’s communism!
M: no – that the encyclical of (I think he says “encyclical of Pio XI). . . .and the encyclical says that workers should earn sufficiently to live at a “truly human” level that allows them to get their families ahead
B: but the manner in which you focus on this can bring problems.
M: I don’t think so because his holiness Leon XIII said this in his encyclical in 1891 - that the state should help the proletariat class, because it is through the labor and effort of the worker that the wealth of the state/nation exists. He said that a while ago, and nothing happened. It’s an error to try to put an end to the wealthy; it’s necessary to put an end to the poor
B: I didn’t see that in the encyclical
M: because it’s not there; that’s what I say. Because in ending poverty there will be more equality in the world
B: how can it be that such a distracted/forgetful person like yourself knows the encyclicals from memory?
M: As a novice, I was made to memorize them as a punishment. One day in the presence of the archbishop I told him that I expected great benefits/gains to come out of the economic discourse
(Dzheremi, I thought he said “No es question de economia” - “It’s ***not ***a question of economy – that’s why they chastised/punished me”, implying that he was speaking tongue-in-cheek to the archbishop and that in the end it’s not really about economics at all, but that some church members cared more about economics than social justice for the individual worker. I interpreted it to be a dig at the church hierarchy, as this was what could be called a “Marxist” priest. I may have misunderstood, though. What do you think he meant by saying that he was punished for talking about economics?)