Pius XI’s Condemnation of Communism – Relevant Still!

Part 4

Two key principles with which to address the errors of communism are the Existence of God and the Dignity of the Person.

God exists; therefore, people believe in him. This is the true order, not the reverse. Whereas the communists claim that God is the invention of the powers in the status quo. They invent God in order to appease the masses, claim the revolutionaries. But, only the ill-willed man disbelieves in God, claims Pius XI, echoing the biblical dictum: “The fool said in his heart, there is no God.”

Believe in God, and our spirits are enlightened by the true depth of our lives. Our end is God, and God alone. Each of us is called to him, to union with him. We are not just bodies. We are also spiritual. And in the end, we shall arise bodily. Thus, our hopes are not all and only in this world. Hence, we need not put our endless desire into only this-worldly hopes. Were we to do so, we should be plunged into a desperate search either (a) for more property alone, as the economic liberals selfishly do, or (b) for a classless society of equals, as those who rightly reject (a), most foolishly do. Rather, we can place things in proper perspective. We can work for equitable distribution of resources while not fomenting revolution and anti-religion to do so. And our very work unto this end is sanctifying.

We can sanctify our work in the humdrum ways. It is our cross and our joy.

This sanctification of work, and this effort to order society aright, is the Joy of the Gospel.

We have already discovered our human dignity in the above. For the individual human person is the only entity on earth with intellect and free will. The pope very simply, quite frankly, states an obvious fact that is ignored by many who promote “social justice”. The state, the corporation, has no free will. It is the persons in the state, the persons in the corporation who have free will. And free will is the primary locus of responsibility. When we act, each of us, in his own office, yes, we “amount” to something more than the sum of the individual efforts. Yes, there can be structures that cause, systematically, adverse circumstances for persons. Nevertheless, the moral culpability rests not on social structures. It rests on individuals, who are the ultimate source of such structures.

Trust God, and give him your true debt, and he in his wisdom will rightly order the resultant activity.