President Barack Obama has implemented many socialistic plans including; a socialized healthcare system, the federal takeover of student loans and the HHS mandate. He also attempted to require churches to accept incompatible ministers and employees through the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC case. Fortunately, religious freedom was upheld in this instance as President Obama lost this case 9-0 in the U.S. Supreme Court. By way of parallels, the communist Chinese government appointed bishops for some of the Catholic dioceses in their country. Only Pope Benedict XVI can appoint bishops. Imagine Barack Obama appointing Catholic bishops in America. It’s not an absurd thought. Afterall, he saw that Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC go all the way to the Supreme Court. No appointments such as these are valid in the Church. However, they are dangerous, cause great harm for lifetimes and are an assault on religious freedom and the Church.
President Obama doesn’t want to be called a socialist, though his actions show he is a socialist. Why not? He can’t afford to be called a socialist or acknowledge his socialism because he then acknowledges the contradictory proposition that his ideas are incompatible with Catholicism. He will never admit it because he knows the consequences; a massive rejection by the Catholic clergy and laity. So, he will continue to pretend to have consistent views with Catholicism by misusing and abusing Catholic Social Teaching terms like the “common good” and a favorite term to abuse, “social justice.” Using these terms to disguise “socialism” for a Catholic audience. We are all warned about disguising meanings in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good…”
The President’s implementation of socialism and centralized planning chokes Catholic subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the principle where organization of functions are best controlled by the family. When socialism and centralized planning are implemented, subsidiarity is ignored and the family crumbles. This has been happening in America for decades.
The Catholic Church rejects President Obama’s ideas of socialism and centralized planning. The Church’s rejection of these are based on the seventh commandment, “You shall not steal,” and found summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC,) sections 1883, 1885, 2425 and 2499 below:
CCC 1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. the teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”7
CCC 1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.
CCC 2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” (Our Note: This is where the socialists think the Church rejects capitalism. They are incorrect. The Church simply calls for a responsible use of capitalism inspired by Christian principles. Pope Leo XIII also stated that, “Capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital,” in his encyclical Rerum Novarum) individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor.206 Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.”207 Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.
CCC 2499 Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion through the media, manipulate defendants and witnesses at public trials, and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and repressing everything they consider “thought crimes.”
The words in these above sections so solidly guide us to understand what the Church teaches about socialism. Many do not know these words exist. Show them. Pray daily and take action to defend your Church and country from these errors.
O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.
Peter L. Hodges Sr.