ePub encyclical letter of pope pius XI on atheistic communism ePub

by Pope Pius XI

A vehement condemnation of the evils of Communism by Pope Pius XI, published in 1937. As the selected quotes below indicate, the Pope was truly terrified of many aspects of Communism ... equality and fraternity ... evolution ... rejection of hierarchy ... emancipation of women ... religion as the "the opiate of the people."

LMW COMMENT: This fear of Communist ideas ultimately led the Church into a pact with Hitler as the best defender against Communism, ignoring the political realities (1) that Communism was never going to become a political force in Germany and (2) that Hitler was a demon far worse than the Communists.

Selected quotes ...

... We wish to expose once more in a brief synthesis the principles of atheistic Communism as they are manifested chiefly in bolshevism … The Communism of today, more emphatically than similar movements in the past, conceals in itself a false messianic idea. A pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor impregnates all its doctrine and activity with a deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous and contagious enthusiasm to the multitudes entrapped by delusive promises.

... According to this doctrine there is in the world only one reality, matter, the blind forces of which evolve into plant, animal and man. Even human society is nothing but a phenomenon and form of matter, evolving in the same way. By a law of inexorable necessity and through a perpetual conflict of forces, matter moves towards the final synthesis of a classless society. In such a doctrine, as is evident, there is no room for the idea of God; there is no difference between matter and spirit, between soul and body; there is neither survival of the soul after death nor any hope in a future life.

... In man's relations with other individuals, besides, Communists hold the principle of absolute equality, rejecting all hierarchy and divinely-constituted authority, including the authority of parents.

... Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity.

... Communism is by its nature anti-religious. It considers religion as "the opiate of the people" because the principles of religion which speak of a life beyond the grave dissuade the proletariat from the dream of a Soviet paradise which is of this world.

... Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.

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