NEWS:  March 31, 2014
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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
EG’S SOCIAL INPUT & THE INTERNATIONALE COMMUNISTE   -  In part one of this analysis of Evangelii gaudium, the document’s faults of form - confused language and internal contradictions - were examined. Part two started to inspect its errors of content and demonstrated how EG, under the pretext of evangelization, actually is designed to destroy the Catholic Church in her structures and customs. Now, I will end my analysis by addressing the social perspectives unfolded by Pope Francis in EG.

3. Range of destruction in the temporal sphere

In the last 55 years, after the ascension of John XXIII to the Cathedra of Peter, Catholics have been bombarded with increasingly leftist pontifical documents. We had Pacem in terris by Pope Roncalli; Populorum progressio by Paul VI, Sollicitudo rei socialis by JPII and Caritas in veritate by Benedict XVI. Those encyclicals presented a socialist outlook on Catholic Social Doctrine. I believe that Evangelii gaudium took the last step that separated Socialism from Communism. Pope Bergoglio’s document is, in my opinion, as red as the flag of the Communist Party.

Someone could ask me: How can you prove this, since the social doctrine of all the conciliar Popes paved the way for what Francis defends today? My answer is simple: I will compare his affirmations in EG with the Catholic Social Doctrine previous to the Council.

A. ‘Any social inequality must disappear’

It is not difficult to realize that Bergoglio’s EG defends the utopia of a completely egalitarian society. His words follow:

The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises. … As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, for any problem. Inequality is the root of social ills.” (§ 202)

Here we have Francis accusing the hierarchy that exists in society as being the cause of all social evils. The very existence of inequality is assailed as his most wicked enemy. Obviously, this paragraph pretends to be an anathema against any social or economic inequality.

Pope Leo XIII

Leo XIII: Nature teaches us that inequality is necessary and beneficial

In frontal contradiction with Francis’ diktat, Leo XIII in his Encyclical Rerum novarum refutes this accusation, and explains how inequality in levels is beneficial for society. Leo XIII teaches:

It must be first of all recognized that the condition of things inherent in human affairs must be borne with, for it is impossible to reduce civil society to one dead level. Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain. There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition.

Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. As regards bodily labor, even had man never fallen from the state of innocence, he would not have remained wholly idle; but that which would then have been his free choice and his delight became afterwards compulsory, and the painful expiation for his disobedience. ‘Cursed be the earth in thy work; in thy labor thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life.’”
(RN § 17)

Reading these wise words of Leo XIII, one sees that Pope Bergoglio not only teaches something entirely different from Catholic Social Doctrine, but also that he must be included among those socialists, condemned by Leo XIII, who pretend to abolish every inequality and to reduce society to one single class.

B. ‘Capitalism is evil in its roots’

In many places of EG, Francis is quite direct in his attack against Capitalism, which is blamed for all possible social evils. For example:

“Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility.

Pope Francis

At variance with previous Catholic doctrine, Francis teaches that Capitalism is unjust at its roots

“This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future.” (EG § 59)

There are two accusations included in this paragraph: first, violence, poverty and exclusion are caused by the economic system; second, the economic system, Capitalism, “is unjust at its roots.”

Regarding the first accusation, Leo XIII earlier refutes Francis by reminding Catholics that the principal cause of human sufferings, including poverty, is original sin, not necessarily social-economic regimes. These are Leo XIII’s balanced words:

“In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity. Let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it.

“If there are who pretend differently
- who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment - they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as we have said, for the solace to its troubles.
(RN §18)

It seems that Francis’ dream of a paradisiacal situation for the worker (EG § 192) can well be included in this criticism of Leo XIII. Also remarkable in Bergoglio’s document is the total absence of the notion of original sin either to explain human evils or for any other purpose.

Regarding the second accusation - Capitalism is unjust at its roots - Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Quadragesimo anno teaches precisely the opposite of Pope Bergoglio. When he describes how the capital-work relationship must harmonize, he implicitly affirms that Capitalism can be good. He writes:

Pope Pius XI

Pius XI: Capitalism is not vicious in itelf. It must be associated with labor for the good of all

“In the application of natural resources to human use, the law of nature, or rather God’s will promulgated by it, demands that right order be observed. His order consists in this: that each thing has its proper owner. Hence it follows that unless a man is expending labor on his own property, the labor of one person and the property of another must be associated, for neither can produce anything without the other. Leo XIII certainly had this in mind when he wrote: ‘Neither capital can do without labor, nor labor without capital’ (Rerum novarum § 19). Wherefore it is wholly false to ascribe to property alone or to labor alone whatever has been obtained through the combined effort of both, and it is wholly unjust for either, denying the efficacy of the other, to arrogate to itself whatever has been produced.” (QA § 53).

Then Pius XI goes on to explicitly assert that Capitalism is not evil in itself:

“With all energy Leo XIII sought to adjust this economic system according to the norms of the right order; hence it is evident that this system [Capitalism] is not condemned in itself. And surely it is not of its own nature vicious.” (QA § 101)

We conclude that, also regarding Capitalism, Pope Francis frontally goes against the Catholic Social Doctrine taught by these Popes before Vatican II. In other words, his teaching is not Catholic. His inspiration should be sought somewhere else.

C. A messianic Communism preached by the Church

Under the name of solidarity, we see that what EG advocates is Communism. It proposes the abolition of any private property that is not directly turned toward “restoring to the poor what belongs to him.” These two paragraphs are particularly eloquent:

“In this context we can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: ‘You yourselves give them something to eat!’ (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor. … The word ‘solidarity’ is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity. It presumes the creation of a new mindset which thinks in terms of community and the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few.

“Solidarity is a spontaneous reaction by those who recognize that the social function of property and the universal destination of goods are realities which come before private property. The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them. These convictions and habits of solidarity, when they are put into practice, open the way to other structural transformations and make them possible
(EG §§ 188, 189)

Pointing toward a false messianism equal to Communism

It seems impossible to be more explicit about the abolition of private property. EG does not deny it namely, but its definition of property asserts that it is only justifiable in order to serve the common good, no longer the owner. This is essentially the definition put forth by Communism. The only difference is that Francis defends a type of Communism in which property is understood to be not at the service of the State, but at the service of a global order entirely turned toward the poor.

The messianic character of this global communist social order is stressed in EG with these words:

“Today, when the networks and means of human communication have made unprecedented advances, we sense the challenge of finding and sharing a ‘mystique’ of living together, of mingling and encountering, of embracing and supporting one another, of stepping into this flood tide which, while chaotic, can become a genuine experience of fraternity, a caravan of solidarity, a sacred pilgrimage.” (§ 87)

Here we have an overview of Bergoglian Communism, which finds in Evangelii gaudium its chaotic charter of principles.

D. Striking affinities between the Internationale Communiste and EG

As I read EG, many of its affirmations brought to my mind parts of the Internationale Communiste, which is the anthem written for the 1871 Commune of Paris. This song later was adopted by all world communists as the song that best reflects their ideas.

I am placing for my reader the full text of this song with its literal English translation, along with an introductory historical note in this appendix. Below, I will be quoting from these English stanzas of Internationale Communiste (IC) in the order they are sung so that the reader can check its communist verses with Francis’ ideas in EG.

• “Let us make a clean slate of the past ” (IC)

I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities. … I encourage everyone to apply the guidelines found in this document generously and courageously, without inhibitions or fear.” (EG § 33)

I dream of a ‘missionary option,’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”
(§ 27)

• “The world's foundation will change” (IC)

“Since I am the pastor of a Church without frontiers … I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis.” (EG § 210)

• “We are nothing, now let us be all.” (IC)

Francis kisses ex-terrorist Dilma Rousseff, today President of Brazil

Pope Francis with Evo Morales

A warm embrace to Marxist Evo Morales, President of Bolivia

Pope Francis with Cristina Kircher

Great amiability with Cristina Kircher, the communist President of Argentina

Pope Francis with Rafael Correa

Fraternal embraces with Rafael Correa, the communist President of Ecuador

Pope Francis with Nicolas Maduro

Cordial smiles for Nicolas Maduro, the Marxist dictator of Venezuela

Pope Francis with Jose Mujica

Full understanding for ex-terrorist Jose Mujica, President of Uruguay

I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. … We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. … The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them [the poor] at the centre of the Church’s pilgrim way.” (EG § 198)

• “The Internationale
Will be the human genre”

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to find local solutions for enormous global problems which overwhelm local politics with difficulties to resolve. If we really want to achieve a healthy world economy, what is needed at this juncture of history is a more efficient way of interacting which … ensures the economic well-being of all countries, not just of a few.” (EG § 206)

• “Workers, let us save ourselves,
Let us decree our own common good
So that the thief should offer us his throat
So that the spirit is freed from its prison,
Let us fan our forge ourselves,
And strike while the iron is hot.”

“It is time to devise a means for building consensus and agreement while seeking the goal of a just, responsive and inclusive society. The principal author, the historic subject of this process, is the people as a whole and their culture, and not a single class, minority, group or elite. We do not need plans drawn up by a few for the few, or an enlightened or outspoken minority which claims to speak for everyone. It is about agreeing to live together, a social and cultural pact.” (EG § 239)

The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. When these values are threatened, a prophetic voice must be raised.” (EG § 218)

• “Taxes bleed the poor,
No duties are imposed on the rich;
The rights of the poor are an empty words.
Enough of languishing in submission,
Equality demands other laws.”

Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality.” (EG § 53)

We have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences. A number of diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people are gripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident.” (EG § 52)

• “Hideous in their glory
Are the kings of the mines and railroads.
Have they ever done anything other
Than rob from our labor?
Inside the safe-boxes of the bank
What our work had created is melted.
By ordering that they give it back,
The people want only what is theirs.”

While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power.” (EG § 56)

“I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: ‘Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.’” (EG § 57)

• “The earth belongs only to man.” (IC)

“We must never forget that the planet belongs to all mankind and is meant for all mankind; the mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. It must be reiterated that ‘the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others.’” (EG § 190)

• “They have eaten too much of our flesh.
But if these ravens, these vultures
Disappear one of these days,
The sun will shine forever.”

“The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile … is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.” (EG § 56)

“Clearly Jesus does not want us to be grandees who look down upon others, but men and women of the people. … By so doing we will know the missionary joy of sharing life with God’s faithful people as we strive to light a fire in the heart of the world.” (EG § 271)

These were the main verses of the Internationale Communiste that came to my mind when I was reading Evangelii gaudium. I believe that, besides other points of comparison, they serve well to portray who Pope Francis is and what he intends to do with his reforms.