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Vatican II’s Unpublished Condemnations of Communism

In recent weeks there have been a number of articles regarding the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bolshevik Revolution—that is, the birthday of a bloodbath. In fact, here at the centenary of communism, the number “100” is fitting, given that 100 million is a good stab at the number of people annihilated by the Marxist-Leninist monstrosity the Bolsheviks sought to spread worldwide. (Actually, 100 million is probably a conservative estimate. The true number is likely closer to 140 million.)

Ronald Reagan called communism a “disease.” Good description, although it’s hard to find even a twentieth century contagion that killed as many people as this ideological pathology. Reagan put it better when he described communism as “evil” and “a form of insanity.”

And yet, all along, from the very outset, no institution foresaw the scourge of atheistic communism like the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church’s scathing condemnation of communism preceded even The Communist Manifesto, the ridiculous piece of work Marx and Engels published in 1848 as the official programmatic statement of the communist movement. In 1846, Pope Pius IX released Qui pluribus, affirming that communism is “absolutely contrary to the natural law itself” and if adopted would “utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself.” In 1849, one year after the Manifesto was published, Pius IX issued the encyclical, Nostis Et Nobiscum, which referred to both socialism and communism as “wicked theories,” “perverted theories,” and “pernicious fictions.”

For the Church and its shepherds, this was just the start of a never-ending response to communism and its ugly step-sister, socialism. (In strict Marxist-Leninist theory, socialism is a transitionary step on the way to full communism. See, among others, Lenin’s awful screed, The State and Revolution.)

In 1878, Pope Leo XIII followed with Quod Apostolici muneris, defining communism as “the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.” More such Church statements followed, in 1924, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, and on and on.

Read more at Crisis Magazine. 

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