Pope says communists are closet Christians

Pope Francis, whose criticisms of unbridled capitalism have prompted some to label him a Marxist, said in an interview published on Sunday that communists had stolen the flag of Christianity.

reuters.com/article/2014/06/29/us-pope-communism-idUSKBN0F40L020140629

I think the Holy Father is 100% correct on this.

Communists pretend to speak for the poor and the marginalized, but they fail because they do not recognize that the foundation for solving the problems of poverty and need come from Christian love, not through economic systems.

The Holy Father is doing an excellent job, in my opinion, of showing the two faces of the Gospel. Charity must be a giving between two real human beings, face-to-face, the building of a relationship. But it can also be coupled with broader, less tangible but meaningful reform of economic systems.

This is how I understood this as well. And I agree.

Regarding the header: saying that communists are “closet Christians” would not be very wise, in my opinion (and, frankly, rather disrespectful to all the Christians that died at the hands of communist revolutionaries) - but I did not see this words mentioned in the article. That’s just misleading.

I just removed my self from this horrible religious forum with a crowd of anti Catholic restorationists. They just brought up P. Francis’ talk proving he is false.

I think the Holy Father was speaking tongue in cheek, but likewise he is forgetting the communists were responsible for millions of deaths.

I think the Holy Father was speaking tongue in cheek, but likewise he is forgetting the communists were responsible for millions of deaths.

I respectfully disagree.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that some self-professed Communists consider communism as an acceptable economic system because it presumes to eliminate inequality. After all, there’s a strong argument that capitalism is an inherently inadequate system when it comes to fairly distributing wealth, and I think the Holy Father has justly pointed that out.

But while so-called Communists might be motivated by good intentions (helping the poor), I think they’re just fundamentally incorrect about how economic problems should be solved. The Holy Father seems to be suggesting something similar, that communists are right to care for the poor, but the world sees them as being its foremost champions. And in fact, Christians have been caring for and about the poor for far, far longer and with greater success than communists have.

Surely the early Christian community, as well as modern monasteries, at the very least, contain elements of communism. This leads me to wonder which elements are evil and which are good. It would appear that the primary evil element is that of restricting religious liberties, as is evident in communism in modern-day societies.

LOVE! :heart:

Also, you know, intentionally starving people to death, forcibly taking all their property from them, Gulags and executions for the dissenters…
While there might be some good elements in Communism, I’d say that in general, it is still evil.

I think there is much truth here and that this is exactly the problem: the casual equation of egalitarianism with helping the poor and the equation of Christianity with egalitarianism, is the source of great human misery. Meanwhile, capitalism, in all its inequity, has done more to raise the poor out of poverty than any “well meaning” alternative. Such is the world we live in.

Capitalism is undoubtedly responsible for the “pie” getting bigger. Capitalism directs resources very well, and expands and develops resources in ways that are more creative and dynamic than state-controlled economies.

But just because the “pie” is getting bigger does not mean that everyone’s piece of the pie is also getting bigger. In the United States, for instance, there is massive income inequality, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 20th century.

It is absolutely a matter of justice that, even as we should respect capitalism for the large gains it has given society, we also be aware that fair distribution of wealth is also very important.

The Catholic author Malachi Martin,who was a Jesuit,wrote a book entitled The Jesuits,in which he describes the infiltration of marxists and socialists into the Jesuit order during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Communism is entirely bad. It is a materialistic ideology that denies the right to private property,which is part of God-given natural law. It fosters resentment towards the prosperous for being prosperous,and covetousness towards their property. This is an attitude that has no place in Christian morality.

This doesn’t really surprise me; communism and Catholicism both involve a powerful leader and an equal distribution of wealth plus the Bible and communist works both foretell a bad ending for the rich. There are big differences too of course but both are on the side of the poor.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that, mathematically, but it has meant that, historically. Massive income inequality does not necessarily come at the expense of lower incomes and usually accompanies growing incomes even at the lowest rungs of society. That this has not occured recently is certainly a remarkable fact worthy of attention and proper diagnosis.

It is absolutely a matter of justice that, even as we should respect capitalism for the large gains it has given society, we also be aware that fair distribution of wealth is also very important.

What does “very important” mean, though? Is it more important than raising the income of the poor, for example? Communists would say ‘yes’, it is more important to tear down society, and murder by the millions, in the pursit of equality and justice, which always and ever, for some strange reason, fails to be realized.

Starving people to death certainly is evil, but it need not be present in all forms of communism.

Do you not notice that modern-day capitalistic societies turn their heads to the vast amount of starvation that goes on the world? To allow fellow human beings to starve to death implies to me that these capitalistic societies too are guilty of murder.

LOVE! :heart:

Do they? That is a pretty bald accusation. Are you denying the charity, both private and governmental, that flows from capitalism even apart from the benefits of commerce? And if such charity is insufficient or if it cannot compensate for the destruction of civil war, that’s the moral equivalant of the deliberate murders of communism? Lord, save us from our moral betters.

That is not an uncommon comparison. However, those in monasteries are living a certain life by choice.

When communism is discussed as a form of government, terrible things result from deaths of millions of people, suffering and environmental destruction. :eek: :mad:

And there’s the whole “you don’t need God, cause the state will care for you from cradle to grave” mentality. :yup:

Also, no government has ever successfully implemented communism and probably never will. For one thing,I doubt school janitors in Moscow were making the same as the head of the KGB. :o

If one looks at the communists and socialists today, I think a good number of them subscribe to that philosophy because they think it will get them more, when in reality in their case it would mean they would be forced to give up things—probably a lot of things for the dream of global “equality”. :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

I did not mean to suggest that none of the individuals from within capitalistic societies donate to the poor, but that, as a whole, the good that is being none is insufficient.

Do note that it’s immoral and against the law to pass up an injury accident, and thus fail to help. Therefore, I claim that it is immoral, and ought to be against international law, when societies capable of helping fail to assist those starving to death in the world.

LOVE! :heart:

Again, I’m not arguing that the poor are worse off today than they were in feudal Europe. My only point is that just because the poor are better off doesn’t mean it’s fair tha they receive significantly less of the proceeds of the economic system. That’s a problem.

What does “very important” mean, though? Is it more important than raising the income of the poor, for example? Communists would say ‘yes’, it is more important to tear down society, and murder by the millions, in the pursit of equality and justice, which always and ever, for some strange reason, fails to be realized.

Some would and have, but that’s not a strawman of communism.

The communal life of the early Christian communities and of monasteries is not communism as it is commonly understood. It is not based on an ideology but on loyalty and devotion to God and the Christian ideals of charity,unity,prayer,service and poverty.

Communism is entirely bad. It is a materialistic ideology that denies the right to private property,which is part of God-given natural law. It fosters resentment towards the prosperous for being prosperous,and covetousness towards their property. This is an attitude that has no place in Christian morality.

The Catholic author Malachi Martin,who was a Jesuit,wrote a book entitled The Jesuits,in which he describes the infiltration of marxists and socialists into the Jesuit order during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

So a democratic society cannot choose to become communistic?

LOVE! :heart:

It sounds like we may have different definitions of “communism.” I would say that any classless community that is based on common ownership is communistic.

LOVE! :heart:

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