Page 10 - Reflexions of African Bishops and Priests
P. 10

monetary mechanisms” and to the fact that “man
        cannot become the slave of economic systems.”
            On the occasion of the 6th United Nations Con-
        ference on Trade and Development, on September
        26, 1985, Pope St. John Paul II said:
            “Again, I  want  to  tackle  a  very  delicate  and
        painful issue. I mean the torment of the represent-
        atives of several countries, who no longer know
        how to face the fearful problem of indebtedness. A
        structural reform of the world financial system is,
        without doubt, one of the initiatives that seem the
        most urgent and necessary.”
            The Church has given us the moral foundation
        and  principles upon  which  all  financial  and  eco-
        nomic systems must be evaluated. According to the
        Second Vatican Council, the laity is called to renew
        the temporal order, bringing it in line with God’s      Every day, over 40,000 children die of hunger
        plan. We are called to develop concrete solutions to    or disease simply because of a lack of money.
        establish an economic system that is faithful to the
        Gospel teachings and to the principles of the Social   basis for the Church’s condemnation of capitalism?
        Doctrine of the Church.                              Is capitalism not better than communism?
                          Social Credit                          Yes to Capitalism, After it is Rectified
            For this reason, Louis Even undertook to spread      The Church does not condemn capitalism, per
        the  Social Credit doctrine, a set of principles that   se. On the  contrary, the  Church wishes that  pri-
        were first articulated by Scottish engineer, Clifford   vate property and free enterprise were universally
        Hugh Douglas, in 1918. “Social Credit” means social   instituted so that everyone might become the true
        money, issued by society, versus “bank credit”, the   owners of capital  and  be  true  “capitalists”.  Pope
        money issued by the private banking system. When     St. John, XXIII, in the encyclical, Mater et Magis-
        Louis Even first encountered Social Credit in 1935,   tra (“Mother and Teacher”, May 15, 1961, nn. 114-
        he at once understood how its principles embodied    115.), said:
        Church teachings  on social justice. Undoubtedly,        “The dignity of the human person necessarily
        the intentions of the pontiffs addressing economic   requires the right of using external goods in order
        and financial matters would be met in Social Credit.   to live according to the right norm of nature. And
                      No to Communism                        to this right corresponds a most serious obligation
                                                             which requires  that,  so far  as  possible,  there  be
            The Social Doctrine of the Church, confined to   given to all an opportunity of possessing private
        the realm of principles, stands above existing eco-  property... Therefore, it is necessary to modify eco-
        nomic systems. An economic system can only be        nomic and social life so that the way is made easier
        ‘good’ to the extent  that  it applies the principles   for widespread private possession of such things
        of justice taught by the Church. This is why Pope    as durable goods, homes, gardens, tools requisite
        St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical, Sollicitudo   for artisan enterprises and family-type farms, in-
        Rei Socialis (“The Social Concern”, December 30,     vestments in enterprises of medium or large size.”
             “The tension between East and West is an op-             Capitalism has Been Vitiated
        position... between two concepts of the develop-                 by the Financial System
        ment of individuals  and peoples, both concepts          The Church finds no fault with private prop-
        being imperfect and in need of radical correction...   erty or with free enterprise. Rather, the fault rests
        This is one of the reasons why the Church’s social   in the present financial system. This system dom-
        doctrine adopts a critical  attitude  towards both   inates the human person rather than serving, and,
        liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism.”        in fact, subverts capitalism. Pope Pius XI wrote in
            It is understandable why the Church condemns     Quadragesimo Anno: “Capitalism itself is not to be
        communism and Marxist collectivism with its goals    condemned. And surely it is not vicious of its very
        of destroying private property, the family and reli-  nature, but it has been vitiated.”
        gion. Pope Pius XI called this political ideology an-    What the Church condemns is the financial sys-
        ti-Christian and “intrinsically evil”. But what is the   tem, not capitalism. Pope Paul VI explained the   u

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