Socialism - A Selection of Papal Quotes and Church Teaching

That looks pretty recent though. Maybe they weren’t around when the stuff you posted was published.

This is the big problem, and why I dislike when people try to argue about whether “socialism” is compatible with Catholicism (or any other belief). “Socialism” is such a vaguely defined word nowadays it’s like asking if a Catholic can believe in ploparism.

It’s especially not useful to be quoting documents condemning “socialism” from when the term seems to have had a more clear meaning than it does today. Reminds me of when people insist the United States should not be referred to as a democracy and point to quotes from the 18th century to demonstrate how it isn’t, ignoring the fact that the word “democracy” has become much more broad since then (originally it referred to the idea of everything decided directly by popular vote, nowadays it includes governmental system where elected representatives set policy).

It does make sense but that does not logically follow. Church has condemned Palamism before because some Palamites started denying Divine Simplicity. However currently Palamites do not do that and they affirm Divine Simplicity. That means Palamism is not really condemned (and Eastern Catholics practice and profess it) but extreme form of Palamism that denies Divine Simplicity is condemned.

Same way, Socialism can be condemned but one can technically say Church could accept some future form of Socialism that does not contradict Church teaching.

Church never condemns something for sake of condemning it, but because aspects of that thing are dangerous to souls. This means that once those aspects are gone thing is no longer condemned. I am not expert on Socialism (and I am actually more opposed to it myself) but I just wanted to point out Church could not have condemned everything that will ever be named Socialism.

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I do understand what you’re saying, and to some extent I agree with you. However where I disagree is this: Words and definitions are important. Socialism has been defined, at least broadly, in the past. That definition implies certain essential elements. In my opinion, if the elements that are essential to something being referred to as socialism are absent, it simply is not socialism, even if it should be labelled as such. To use an analogy similar to what you said about Palamism, if I were to call myself an Arian, but I said that I believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ, then, despite what I called myself, by definition, I simply wouldn’t be one. Secondly, the church has denounced socialism in all its forms.

What I’m saying is that were this to happen, it simply wouldn’t be socialism, by definition, regardless of what it was called. It would just be something else.

Let us never forget the evils and atrocities that have happened under socialism and communism. To even borrow its name for some morally acceptable economic system should be repulsive to any Christian, in my opinion.

That is true. In my example with Palamism, Church did indeed condemn Palamite theology at the time- but later on theology where Palamism does put emphasis onto Divine Simplicity was allowed. Definition of Palamism has changed in eyes of the Church.

My point was largely that definition of Socialism can change. Of course, it wouldn’t be “socialism by definition” if we mean “by the definition of the Church in included documents”. That is something we can agree on.

I am all against Communism and Socialism in general. However, same as some Pagan elements were Sanctified by use of the Church, Christians can theoretically also Sanctify Socialism. Name itself does not hold atrocities- system does. Perhaps it is possible to develop form of Socialism that does conform with Church Teaching (and yes, that would need to not be Socialism by previous definitions), and people can call it that.

And also there’s a possibility someone who will develop such “Socialism” will not even be Catholic so them borrowing name “Socialism” wouldn’t be illogical. People following such “Socialism” would not de-facto be disobeying the Church. But that’s way on “what if” side of things :smiley:

Yes, you’re technically right, it’s not impossible, but it’s definitely very hypothetical. I just don’t like the idea of words’ meanings being so fluid, I think it disrupts the very point of language. But we understand each other anyway. :blush:

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