Fr. John Corapi on the Evils of Socialism

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At a time when it surely seems that capitalism has run amuck and poised the world on the edge of economic ruin, the temptation is very strong for the pendulum to swing too far left into the failed and immoral territory of socialism. Historically pure socialism has never worked, philosophically it cannot work, and morally it is inherently evil (because it undermines the right of private property ownership, an inherent human right) and hence should not be given a chance to work.

Fr. John Corapi
Fr. John Corapi

The response might be that what we have at the moment isn’t pure socialism. The problem is that the moment is incredibly fluid and the direction toward a more radical form of socialism under way with frightening speed. Unless, of course, you believe the politicians and their appointees whose stock-in-trade has become lies, deception, and self-interest.

The common error is to think that socialism helps the poor and disenfranchised. As Pope Leo XIII pointed out as long ago as 1891 in his Encyclical “Rerum Novarum”, socialism does not help the poor. Rather, it reduces everyone to the same lowest common denominator of poverty and misery, while at the same time drying up the very sources of capital.

I recently prepared a half hour video presentation for the “Fullness of Truth” conference in Corpus Christi, Texas that speaks of the Church’s social teaching relative to socialism. This is a brief synthesis of some of the problems we face economically and how socialism is not the answer to these problems.

We are making this half hour DVD available [Here] to our customers free with a regular purchase of $50.00 or more for a limited time only.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

7 thoughts on “Fr. John Corapi on the Evils of Socialism”

  1. This was wonderful and more Catholics espiecally liberal Catholics should understand their faith. So many have been mislead by the liberation theology that is taught.

    1. Soviet Russia was communist [EDIT CURSE]. Socialism and communism are 2 different things. If you’re going to insult something, do it right.

      1. As a Socialist, I have to disagree with the Original Poster.

        Pure Socialism is just as hogwash as a pure free market system – in pure Socialism, something akin to Communism keeps the people from much of any economic progress. In pure Capitalism, the companies can charge the worker to use their workstation, fire all the adults to hire children, and pay the workers pennies on the dollar for what it takes to survive. Until Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, we had these problems. But that’s what we find on the extremes.

        Today, in their absence, it’s easy to look at the Free market through rosy glasses. I hear people spout off about how “the invisible hand of the free market handles everything”. What these people don’t understand is that the free market will handle everything – and our great grandchildren might be able to watch the conclusion, the final settling in of prices and labor markets, etc if it weren’t for the fact that *everything changes*.

        That being said, allowing people the freedom to do what they will with most of their money is what gives us the incentive to work in the first place. Any well-balanced socialist system will maintain that. (Good idea for welfare reform – give the welfare recipients an incentive to get off welfare, instead of making sure they can’t pay their bills for a month or two when they try! …Which lands them back on welfare…)

        But how to handle the taxes? Go to your Bible. Remember what Jesus said about helping others meet their most basic needs? Remember that those taxes go to just that, on a scale that even the Catholic church has yet to match in that area.

        While Pope Leo XIII was the leader of the Catholic Church, let us all step aside to examine the wealth the the Church still had leftover from the Dark Ages, where the papacy was king above kings. Either way, someone named Leo underestimated how Christ stays in people’s hearts, even when someone *other than the church* provides for their needs.

        1. And one more thing – it was Clinton who deregulated the lending industry to create this “subprime mortgage” fiasco which has crippled our economy. Bundling a bunch of bad loans into “securities” which can be bought and sold simply held off the day that it would bust, while the same practices continued to feed the problem.

          In the absence of regulation, companies do stupid things.

        2. I absolutely agree with the following conclusion of Fr. Corapi:
          ” As Pope Leo XIII pointed out as long ago as 1891 in his Encyclical “Rerum Novarum”, socialism does not help the poor. Rather, it reduces everyone to the same lowest common denominator of poverty and misery, while at the same time drying up the very sources of capital.”
          Comment: 30 years ago I myself lived in the country and in its system called socialism(and comunism). I observed that mainly those people who suffered the most under the fabric of this system maintained the genuine respect for the Church, Pope and his encyclicals. However; I observed that usually people who never lived within the system called socialism ( or comunism )are trying to defend and justify socialism as such. My summary is simple: The people who try to challange the Pope and His Encyclicals ( in this case the pope Leo XIII and His Encyclical ” Rerum Novarun ” )are people who show the lack of humility. They are indirectly making the statement that they are smarter then Pope and His Encyklical. Plainly stated they don’t have the problem with the Church or Pope or me they have the problem with Jesus Christ who himself was humble and obedient to the will and wisdom of his Father. This is the mystery of Love which integrates the Faith and Reason into the one Being , Jesus Christ… The Pride always destroys everything….

  2. ha i always love this. there was a time when capitalism, the byproduct of economic classical liberalism was also viewed as “evil” by the Roman Catholic Church. I dont really care so much when the Church takes political stances on issues and tries to messily fuse modern post-enlightenment ideologies with ancient scripture and then tries to pass it off as “this is what Christ would have wanted”. Im personally in favor for a mixed economy. As Paul stated above most of this Father’s rants seem to be against extreme socialism which to me is just as “evil” as pure capitalism which relies on pure self-interest as the motive factor(sounds very christian right? no thats the deists from the enlightenment speaking not Christ, think about it: no minimun wage, lack of child labor laws, lack of proper regulations for companies to meet basic health standards in workplace etc.). What you need is a balance.

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