Is Taxation Theft? The exact Catholic position on Socialism?


#1

Fairly self explanatory from the topic - does the Catholic Church regard all taxation - outside of that necceassry to pay for police, courts and defence forces - as immoral?

What exactly is socialism as defined by the Catholic church? Is taxation used to pay for public schooling considered socialism? what about welfare?


#2

The Catholic Church does not have a hard and fast ruling on taxation, and does not find taxation for things other than police, aarmy and courts immoral per se. It would find the use of tax dollars immoral for the support of abortion, or euthanasia, but that is the issue of the use of the dollars, not the collection (and therefore the paying).

There are numerous documents which the Church has produced over the last century of a bit more, concerning the social good, and governance. you might want to actually read the documents.


#3

the Church does not have a position on political issues and political parties per se. The Church has positions on matters of faith and morals, which are applied to real life social, political and economic situations. These positions are summed up in the Gospels. Jesus did have a position on taxation: render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.


#4

[quote=cynic] does the Catholic Church regard all taxation - outside of that necceassry to pay for police, courts and defence forces - as immoral?
[/quote]

[quote=drbo.org] Matthew 22 , 17 Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. 20 And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? 21 They say to him: Caesar’s. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s.
[/quote]

Taxes are not sin.


#5

Rerum Novarum and Centisimus Annus. Those would be two good encyclicals to start with, right?


#6

Not all taxes are created equal, of course. I don’t know the specifics, but I can imagine the the Church would condemn excessive or unjust taxation. St. Thomas Aquinas would be surprised at the level of taxation and governmental intervention we have now. I personally think that our current system is against Catholic principles of subsidiarity. But, I do not claim to speak for the Church.

I have heard that there was a decree from the Pope several centuries ago insisting that no new taxes be passed without his approval. Could anyone verify that?


#7

I’ll narrow down the topic - how is public spending on social services regarded by the Church?

From what I can gather the postion of at least some catholics is : everyone should be catholic, thus everyone should send their kids to catholic schools and pay the fees. So no money should go to public schools from tax because

a.They are non catholic insitutions
b. Noone should be forced to pay for other peoples childrens education.

Same with welfare - everyone should be catholic, and if they are in need they should ask for charity from the church.

No minimum wages or employment regulations because people sould rely on thier fellow catholic employers good will and fairness, not on the goevernment to protect them.

Am I on the mark?

so, given that socialism in all it’s variations is ragarded as evil, does that mean that catholics believe in a kind of economic libertarianism - but iwth an authoritarian moral system?


#8

[quote=cynic]I’ll narrow down the topic - how is public spending on social services regarded by the Church?

From what I can gather the postion of at least some catholics is : everyone should be catholic, thus everyone should send their kids to catholic schools and pay the fees. So no money should go to public schools from tax because

a.They are non catholic insitutions
b. Noone should be forced to pay for other peoples childrens education.

Same with welfare - everyone should be catholic, and if they are in need they should ask for charity from the church.

No minimum wages or employment regulations because people sould rely on thier fellow catholic employers good will and fairness, not on the goevernment to protect them.

Am I on the mark?

so, given that socialism in all it’s variations is ragarded as evil, does that mean that catholics believe in a kind of economic libertarianism - but iwth an authoritarian moral system?
[/quote]

The truth of the matter is that not everyone is Catholic. If everyone were Catholic (and also perfect), then virtually any government system would work. As a Catholic, I believe that people should be protected from harm and exploitation by others, whether it be physical, psychological, or economic. How much part the government should play in this protection is a purely political view, having little to do with religious doctrine.

Here’s a list of things the Church has to say about political institutions. ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=political&xsubmit=Search&s=SS


#9

Cynic:

Both of your questions are addressed in the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church. It cites the encyclicals that RobNY already listed.

But real quick, taxes are not immoral per se. We are social beings and have a need to organize and help each other. In fact the church considers tax paying as a duty.

Also a totalitarian system that does not consider the right to property is also agianst the gospel. Socialism doesn’t provide for private ownership and thus offensive to the rightful dignity of the human person.

in XT.


#10

you mean communism, but isn’t socialism any public spending of any sort? People use the idea that socialism is against church teaching when saying that public scholing shouldn’t exist, or that all welfare expenditure should cease. Aren’t these things socialism, or didn’t they at least originate in socialist thought?


#11

Any system that denies a just balance between private property rights and meeting the needs of those who have not would be condemned by the church. Liberalism as examplified by the French Revolution, Communism in its various forms, Anarchy, Democracy, as formed with the unification of Italy, Facism, and National Socialism, as examplified by Nazi Germany have all been condemned at one time or another by a Pope. I believe the Socialism condemned by the Pope equaled Communism. :slight_smile:


#12

Your idea of socialism is incorrect:
so•cial•ism P Pronunciation Key (s sh -l z m)
n.
1.Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
2.The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

Socialism has to do with the system as a whole. The fact that a community has a central police force for its protection does not make it a socialistic community, nor does a centralized education system.
There is no need for taxes in a socialistic system.


#13

Thinking about this a little more… Shouldn’t a Christian “want” to care for everyone? isn’t this a message from Jesus? didn’t the early Christian communities support each other?

It seems to me Un-Christrian to not want to pay taxes


#14

[quote=cynic]you mean communism, but isn’t socialism any public spending of any sort? People use the idea that socialism is against church teaching when saying that public scholing shouldn’t exist, or that all welfare expenditure should cease. Aren’t these things socialism, or didn’t they at least originate in socialist thought?
[/quote]

no, public/civic spaces have been around since there were organized communities…long before there was socialism in any formal way.

the village green, the town square, public utilities, roads, etc. … that’s kinda the point of having a civilization isn’t it? To share the burdens of life. Who would want to live in an “every man for himself” world?

Although to be fair, remember that monks and nuns live communally. The key difference being that they join voluntarily and know up front that they will have a life of poverty and obedience while Marx promised a paradise and delivered only poverty and authoritarianism


#15

[quote=cynic]Fairly self explanatory from the topic - does the Catholic Church regard all taxation - outside of that necceassry to pay for police, courts and defence forces - as immoral?
[/quote]

No. This ideology is held by the slaves of mammon, not Christians.

Christ expects Christians to create a society where he is publicly acknowledged as King - a society where wealth is shared by all, and where the poor are treated with dignity by being fed, clothed, housed and given access to medical care.**Catechism of the Catholic Church

SOCIAL JUSTICE

RESPECT FOR THE HUMAN PERSON

1929 ** Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. …

1930 Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy. …

1931 Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that “everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as ‘another self,’ above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity.” …

**1938 ** There exist also sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:[indent]Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one human race is a source of scandal and militates against social justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and international peace.

2403 The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.

**2405 ** Goods of production - material or immaterial - such as land, factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.

2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order.

A system that “subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production” is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. “You cannot serve God and mammon.”[/INDENT]


#16

I’ve been in contact with many with a libertarian worldview - make your own way in life, don’t rely on others, nobody owes you anything - that kind of thinking. They regard charity as a good thing as long as it’s voluntary. Thoughts?


#17

[quote=cynic]I’ve been in contact with many with a libertarian worldview - make your own way in life, don’t rely on others, nobody owes you anything - that kind of thinking. They regard charity as a good thing as long as it’s voluntary. Thoughts?
[/quote]

The libertarian worldview is irreconcilable with Christianity.The Son of man came not to be served but to serve …
Mark 10:45

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34


#18

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