I’m just a simple man. I don’t have a degree in Politics and I’m certainly not a Theologian. I admit I look to those I admire to guide me through the thickets of deep analysis in these topics. COMMONWEAL has been a place where I hoped to find such mentors. But David Carroll Cochran simply makes me angry. His paean to European Socialism (Plutocracy or Democracy? 2/10/2012) has caused me to question this trust.
Scripture tells us to be charitable. We should embrace justice. But where are we urged to empower government to supplant our personal responsibility to charity and justice? Is it religion or politics that Mr. Cochran invokes when he tells us “all persons must have access to sufficient goods…”? (So, we should leave our doors open at night?) And we need government regulation to prevent ‘scandalous speculation in the financial sector’; and markets ‘must be appropriately controlled by the forces of society (So police power should be employed?). ‘Equality of economic well-being’ (equal outcomes), ‘redistribution of wealth’ (Extort from the rich.), ‘all people deserve the opportunity…’ (But who must give it?) Are these values biblical? Show me!
And my favorite; Catholic doctrine’ is violated by any attempt to ‘limit the freedom or negotiating capacity of unions.’ But how can anyone deny that the essence of ‘labor unions’ is to limit freedom of workers as well as employers? This is not Catholic doctrine, but social political philosophy espoused by European Popes.)
Just three graphs of this rubbish and I’ve thrown this issue against the wall. Yet I know that Mr. Cochran echoes the Popes JPII and Benedict XVI. But what American Catholic feels that these Vatican hierarchs have the faith or welfare of American Catholics at heart? We’ve seen what they’ve done to our liturgy by imposing literal Latin translations that wouldn’t rate a C+ in an academic setting (And why is Latin the standard, anyway? Are Maronites less Catholic?). We’ve seen how the papacy has labeled clerical child abuse as an American problem, treating the Cardinal-offender, Bernard Law, as an honored refugee from American justice. Should we be surprised that their politics are just as anti-American?
What does surprise me is COMMONWEAL’s acceptance of socialism, a political economy that has failed wherever it has been tried, from the first Jerusalem church, to the Mayflower Compact, to Greece, as something to be espoused by all good, church-going Catholics.
I’d say, “Cancel my subscription”, but I can’t wait for the next installment touting some inane, already failed, political social policy (Russian communism, perhaps) as Catholic doctrine.