The problems mentioned in “Can St. George's Land Rise Again?” (Commentary & Opinion, Sept. 5-11) result largely from socialism with its rejection of moral principles and emphasis on self-deification.
Pope Leo XIII said of socialism that it is incompatible with the Catholic faith and with a just structuring of civil society. The 94-year history of socialist regimes has proven Pope Leo right on both counts. Wherever socialists prevailed, the “elite” got rich and the poor became more numerous.
Both theory and practice demonstrate the incompatibility of Catholicism and socialism. Catholics believe that, through baptism, Christ establishes a personal bond between himself and the baptized. The remainder of Catholic belief and practice concerns either nourishing that bond or else flows from that bond into the community. When Christ lives in us, he uses grace, faith, trust and love to perfect his image in us and unite us closely to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the vine, and we are the branches; if separated from him, we are lifeless and useless branches.
Authentic socialists reject not only God, but also any sort of objective morality. The early socialists told their disciples to believe “there is no God but me and the truth is whatever I say it is.” (When I first read that advice many years ago, I thought no one was ignorant enough to take such advice; now network TV has convinced me I was wrong.) Socialists are told to manipulate others by helping them enough to make them dependent on you so that you can control them. Politicians use this ploy often today. Socialists see other people, not as children of God, but merely as pawns to be manipulated or as obstacles to be eliminated.
Catholicism is about serving others; socialism is about dominating others. Socialists hate and try to eliminate all opposition. They especially hate the Church, because in helping the needy, Catholics make people less vulnerable to socialist domination. Socialists have never hesitated to persecute the Church and its members when they could.