Mormonism to Catholicism


Pope Saint John Paul II wrote three encyclicals on social issues. These were Laborem Exercens (On Human Work) issued September 14, 1981, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern) issued December 30, 1987, and Centesimus Annus (On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum) issued May 1, 1991. At least Laborem Exercens (LE) and Centesimus Annus (CA) touch on the difference between socialism and capitalism.
Understanding the use of private property, in the form of capital as the means of production, is at the heart of understanding the differences between capitalism and socialism (CA 12). Socialism was a reaction to injustices that capitalism had made against labor. Socialism’s solution to these injustices was the elimination of the private holding of capital; the means of production would be held in common. (LE 11) Socialism viewed the injustices as a class struggle; eliminate the classes, labor and capital, hold everything in common, and the injustices will be eliminated. However, John Paul condemned this notion of class struggle because “the conflict is not restrained by ethical or juridical considerations or by respect for the dignity of others (and consequently of oneself), a reasonable compromise is thus excluded, and what is pursued is not the general good of society, but a partisan interest which replaces the common good.” (CA 14) Instead of seeking the common good for all what is left is the supremacy of the ideological system. The lack of “respect for the dignity of others” is a result of socialism’s tenet of atheism. Man needs God: “The denial of God deprives the person of his foundation, and consequently leads to a reorganization of the social order without reference to the person’s dignity and responsibility.” (CA 13) By embracing atheism and atheism’s disregard of the dignity of the human person, socialism ends up viewing the person as just a cog in the machinery: “Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element…so that the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism.” (CA 13) Under socialism, since the individual does not recognize his own dignity, he cannot share that dignity in society and this in turn “hinders progress towards the building up of an authentic human community.” (CA 13)
It was socialism’s lack of respect for the dignity of the human person that caused its collapse in the Warsaw Pact countries in 1989. The collapse was brought about, in part, because of “the spiritual void brought about by atheism, which deprived the younger generation of a sense of direction and in many cases led them…to rediscover the religious roots of their national cultures, and to rediscover the person of Christ himself.” (CA 24) The worker’s understanding of his dignity, and his peaceful protest against a system that did not recognize that dignity caused the system to collapse.


Many hailed the collapse of socialism as a triumph of capitalism. With this “victory,” capitalism was viewed as the better system. John Paul had always had problems with capitalism and could not give it carte blanche approval. There was a “kernel of truth” in socialism concerning the injustices found in capitalism. The injustice that occurs against labor, against workers, occurs because of the tension that exists between labor and capital. The capitalist view was that labor was just another commodity of production, like the raw materials of wood, stone, metal and the like. The underlying subject of labor, the human person, is denied his dignity and humanity. “Man is treated as an instrument of production, whereas he – he alone, independent of the work he does – ought to be treated as the effective subject of work and its true maker and creator.” (LE 7) This view of the worker as a commodity results in the worker being treated in a humiliating way as the pursuit of maximizing profits would result in the “lowest possible wages” and a disregard for safety considerations, both of which were rights of workers (LE 11).
John Paul taught that capital is a gift from God in that the resources needed to develop and form capital are naturally occurring. However, it remains the worker who does the shaping of capital (into tools, etc). The Church has always taught “the principle of the priority of labor over capital.” Capital exists to serve the worker, not the worker to serve capital. (LE 12)
While there are problems with capitalism, John Paul did not advocate its elimination, nor did he advocate some third way between capitalism and socialism. Further, he did not try to provide some specific mode of economic system. That would be left to the different societies. (CA 43) Rather, he provided the Church’s “social teaching as an indispensible and ideal orientation, which…recognizes the positive value of the market and enterprise, but which…points out that these need to be oriented towards the common good.” (CA 43) His view for the correct form of capitalism is “an economic system that recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector,” while avoiding a “system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in it totality and sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious.” (CA 42) Free enterprise is needed, but there must be restraints on free enterprise so that the dignity of the human person is recognized and maintained. He suggests the “joint ownership of the means of work, sharing by the workers in the management and/or profits of business.” (LE 14) This way, the subjectivity of the person as worker would be maintained, since he would have a right to decide the working conditions. The state and other organizations, such as trade unions, would be responsible for restraining capital, to ensure the dignity of the worker.


I believe that you are thinking of the passage from the Book of Acts, Chapter 4 and 5:

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?

However, there is a difference between the biblical account and socialism. In the biblical account, there is a freedom to donate the money or not donate the money. Ananias and Sapphira could have kept the money or they could have given it to the Apostles. It was their choice as Peter mentions. If socialism is the economic system, that freedom will be radically curtailed. The State will take your money and you will have little say about it. That, in my view, is a tremendous difference.



Tell those misguided Mormons that the True Church is: hard to join and easy to leave,
while “not so true” organizations are easy to join and hard to leave.

In any event, ask them if it is OK to violate your conscience; that conviction of conscience has lead you to the Church that Jesus Christ founded.


That will be a hot button issue for sure, but IMHO it is a follow your conscience thing.



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Some very good points, indeed.


I don’t think the right to live or die should be a function of the state.


I had a snowflake argue exactly opposite to me. She told me I was not Christian because I disagree with socialism. I appreciate this position of Pope John Paul II.


On the non-political side of things, today was my Rite of Welcoming and my wife is my sponsor. It was a good day for us! :sunglasses:


How about the subject of voting? I have not voted in many years and don’t have any plans on changing that, other than the possibility that I MAY come out of the woodwork next week and vote in the Alabama special election.

Are Catholics required to vote?


This may help with some of your questions.


It is helpful. I briefly skimmed it and picked this up:

7. In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.

My conscience generally does not permit me to vote, so I am happy to know that it is not an expectation.


Two resources for you:

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Far better to go to the source than to opinions wrt social/political issues.


It depends on what, the church doesn’t actually have a teaching on gun control, although some of the Bishops, I would say most of the Bishops in the United States support it, socialism is specifically condemned by name, in the catechism of the Catholic church, and there’s a bit of diversity of opinions on Healthcare, although the vast majority of Bishops would probably say it’s a right. Now, there’s been a lot written about this, by the great John Paul II, who is also nowadays, known as Saint John Paul the Great, including, believe it or not the use of firearms.


There are many studies in the medical literature in journals of oncology and OB that show increased incidences of cancer with the use of contraceptives prescribed for women. The medical literature shows countless cases of communicable disease and increased incidences of prostate and cervical cancer, and miscarriage, as well as some neonatal health risks associated with promiscuity (Rh- factors and increased exposures across multiple partners). The Church is absolutely correct to recommend abstinence as the only healthy and 100% safe means of contraception. The are also correct in teaching that monogamy and fidelity is the healthiest and safest practice in relationships. The only issue with abortion is the case of rape or incest. In those cases it is permissible. Conception by rape or incest is not in the same category as aborting an “unwanted” child merely because someone was careless. Abortions associated with abuse are completely justifiable and there is no prohibition against them. Abortions associated with rape or incest are most often early term, within the first few weeks, if not immediately within the first few hours after an assault. Only in rare cases are they later term when a child, for instance, or an innocent, does not know what happened or that they are in need of a medical abortion as a result of the abuse, and it is discovered later than the first few weeks. God forbid anyone should be abused by anyone, but if they are, the rapist and his rapeseed is not entitled to reproduction through victimization. That is evil itself. He may be entitled to imprisonment or death. All women need to know that, and Christ the Lord Omnipotent Himself would tell you that is every woman’s right. Rapists’ 23 not through me.


Where in Canon Law is an exception made for victims of rape and (conceptual) incest for abortion?
I have an aunt, she was raped, she got pregnant through it, what bothered her was that she was worried the child would look like the rapist.
She did not get an abortion. She did not punish the child for the sin of her father. Instead, she put her up for adoption.

Early or late doesn’t matter if life begins at conception.


Everyone! This Sister Adrian is a brand new member to CAF and not who she says she is. She’s just trying to stir things up. Nothing she says has any basis in LDS doctrine. I would advise you to just ignore this pap.


And where in Canon Law does it say rape is acceptable? Every child deserves to be born to parents who want them, have prepared a home for them, and will love and care for them. Rape is not an act of love. It is an act of violence. No woman is obligated to carry to term and deliver rapeseed. Adoption does not guarantee a good life for the child as many who were adopted have testified. The mother has no way of guaranteeing that, and it puts the mother’s physical and psychological health at risk. Being raped, giving birth to a child conceived by rape, and giving a child up for adoption are all traumas. They are not trifling experiences. As for punishing the child, being born to a rapist and given to strangers is the ultimate punishment and suffering. That is the punishment a child does not deserve. Early term abortion is the prevention of such an atrocity in those circumstances. Keeping rape secrets by adoption and lying to a child is a poor solution. The truth inevitably comes out and is devastating.


Lemuel, if that is your name and not a screen name, I have no idea what you mean by “not who she says she is”. I have not misrepresented who I am in any way, so your comment is inappropriate.

And I responded to comments. I didn’t bring the topics up. You all posting here brought them up. If that is stirring up, then it would be your stirring.

Lastly, this was not an LDS topic. It was a conversation about Catholic practice and what is acceptable in the Catholic Church. No one asked about LDS doctrine which, by the way, is the same.

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