Lent is the ideal time for conversion (from the Latin 'convertere', to turn toward). We are called to turn toward God and leave the path of evil; to steer away from our failings and sinful inclinations, and seek the strength to resist temptation. The Gospel offers three traditional means: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But for true conversion, Lent needs to be more. We must renounce ourselves and our selfishness, and open ourselves to others needs; we must make others happy.
We can read in Isaiah (58: 6-7) God's words: "Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen? Loose the bands of wickedness, undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh."
We must open ourselves to those in need and not be indifferent to our fellow man's misery. In the words of Pope Francis in his Lent 2018 message, "More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, the root of all evil."
According to Swiss sociologist Jean Ziegler, United Nation's (U.N.) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2000 to 2008, 100,000 people die from hunger daily throughout the world; 37,000 are children below age ten. A child dies of hunger every five seconds today. According to the World Food Report of the FA0 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.), in 2008, the world's agricultural output could feed 12 billion people. The population at the time was 6.3 billion. There is enough food for everyone, yet thousands of children and adults die of hunger. Ziegler concluded: "The children who die of hunger are being murdered. This is the scandal of the century."
Anyone with a modicum of compassion cannot remain indifferent in the face of such a scandal. If children die of hunger when food exists, it is because their parents do not have money, or purchasing power, to obtain food. The new coadjutor Archbishop of the DRC's Kinshasa Archdiocese, Fridolin Ambongo, states we have a "satanic murderous system." And he is pleased that MICHAEL offers a solution in Social Credit, "a set of principles we can approve wholeheartedly." (We came, we saw...)
The Church cannot remain indifferent to hunger in the world and indebtedness that threatens the very salvation of souls. This is why she has developed, since Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Rerum Novarum, in 1891, a set of principles we have come to know as the Social Doctrine of the Church. If these principles were applied, all peoples of the world would be without burdens.
The Church is bold in her condemnation of today's financial system. (It is urgent to...) Pope Francis speaks of "a basic terrorism that is born of the global control of money on earth, and threatens the entire humanity," adding "the entire social doctrine of the Church and the magisterium of my predecessors rejects the idolatry of money that reigns rather than serves, that tyrannizes and terrorizes humanity."
Throughout history, statesmen have also denounced this all-powerful banking dictatorship. As a matter of fact, the International Financiers' campaign to install their fraudulent debt-money system was particularly fierce in the United States from the early days of its foundation.
The Roman Catholic Church calls for reforms of the financial and economic systems so that they serve man. The Church enunciates principles, but She leaves it to the laity to find the technical means to apply these principles. This led Pope St. John XXIII to say in his encyclical Mater et Magistra, "differences of opinion in the application of principles can sometimes arise even among sincere Catholics," that is, solutions may vary, but the main concern is that any solution should conform to the Church's teaching.
For this reason the founder of the MICHAEL Journal, Louis Even, began to spread the Social Credit doctrine — a set of principles and financial proposals first expounded in 1918 by Scottish engineer, Clifford Hugh Douglas. Louis Even understood that this solution would embody the teachings of the Church on social justice, primarily ensuring that everyone has a right to their share of earthly goods, through a Dividend given to each citizen as heirs of past generations and because of God's gift of natural resources to all men.
Today, there is much discussion about Basic Income and Guaranteed Incomes. Unfortunately, the method to finance these schemes has relied on a strategy of taxing the affluent. Social Credit offers a solution for financing a Basic Income, or Dividend, that would harm no one. (See page 29.)
The Directors of the Louis Even Institute have decided to include in this special edition of the MICHAEL journal a booklet written by Louis Even in 1966, A Sound Financial System. This booklet explains how Douglas' proposals could be applied immediately and concretely in any country. (See pages 14 to 37.) Social Credit is not a utopian scheme or a theory without practical application. The ideas are not "too good to be true." They must be taken seriously. The booklet is also available in leaflet format for free distribution.
The poor must be fed, whether through a Social Credit economy or through some other system. The abundance that surrounds us must be distributed. As Mr. Even explained, "If some people dislike Social Credit, what do they have to offer to distribute the abundance of goods?" Our duty as Catholics is to find a solution that applies the Church's teachings in the social domain. MICHAEL does not claim that Social Credit is the only viable solution. But anyone who studies Social Credit closely will recognize that it effectively addresses all of the Popes'expectations. Happy reading!
Alain Pilote has been the editor of the English edition of MICHAEL for several years. Twice a year we organize a week of study of the social doctrine of the Church and its application and Mr. Pilote is the instructor during these sessions.