Dearly Beloved Brethren and Dear Children in Jesus Christ—
Reading and experience have led us to the conviction that most of the prevalent and pernicious errors which afflict mankind at the present time in social matters, arise from false or incomplete ideas regarding the nature, rights, and duties of the individual, of the family, of the State, and of property. The object of this pastoral, therefore, is to convey to your minds, as far as possible in a limited space, accurate doctrines concerning these various subjects, and, at the same time, to contrast them with the false theories spread abroad by Socialism in reference to the same. Then a few concluding remarks will accentuate the absolute antagonism of Socialism towards Religion, which, with the family and property, forms the basis of society.
I. The Individual. In their reaction against a false individualism Socialists have rejected that true individualism which is the necessary basis of sound democracy. They tell us (by their recognised authors) that each individual man is a mere cell in an organism, and that his personality is valuable only in so far as it contributes to the welfare of the social organism. This view, based on a mistaken analogy, robs human life of its value, and deprives man of his sense of personal dignity, of his independence of character, and of all incentive to self-improvement and self-development. Man is a distinct and separate existence, not a mere screw in complex State machinery. Man is because of his soul, not because of his citizenship. Socialism would subordinate him to the State, and not to the present State only, but to some highly problematic future State of very doubtful character, which might prove to be the cruellest tyrant that ever ground a human being into the dust. "Why care about your career?" it says to the individual. "Your career is to provide a career for those yet to come. Tour reward must be to labour for generations yet unborn." "No one," says Babel, "has a right to consider whether he himself, after all trouble and labour, will live to see a fairer epoch of Socialism Still less has he a right to let such considerations deter him from the course on which he has entered." ("Women," Eng. Tran., 264). Now just note the glaring contradiction of the Socialist's position. He rails at Christianity for "dealing in futures," and deluding the people with a "draft on eternity," and yet he himself speculates in futures of far less assured character than the heaven which even a shoeless child, selling newspapers in a slum, knows to be the term of his earthly pilgrimage. Socialism boasts of its ideal as both scientific and valuable, whereas it is neither the one nor the page 3 other. How unreasonable and misleading is the Socialist's application of biological analogies to human society! Society not a physical organism, but a moral one. What does that mean? It means that it resembles a physical organism in some important points, and differs from it in other equally important points. Hence what is true of a physical organism (such as man's body, for instance) cannot be straightway applied to the organism of society. In a physical organism the members exist entirely for the body; their activity is ordained directly for the common good. In a moral organism—such as society—there is also autonomy of parts and unity. But the autonomy of the parts is real and not apparent. The individual in society has his own individual end, directly given by God. He is answerable to God alone, not to society, except so far as society is delegated with God's authority. The individual will be judged not merely as a member of society. He is not wholly immersed in society. Society exists (as we shall show) in order to protect him and to help him to do certain things which he cannot do for himself. To assert, then, that we are members, or limbs, or cells of one organism is to use an analogy supplied by St. Paul, and helpful as long as regarded merely as an analogy. The moment we argue (as Socialism does) that we are as wholly dependent on society for our life and destiny as the cell is dependent on the organism—we are talking nonsense. Catholics realise that they are members of living organisms. As Catholics they are members of Christ's mystical Body, the Church, and as citizens they are members of the organised body called the State. But in no sense does any Catholic lose thereby his personality. Neither by Church nor State has the individual been swallowed up or assimilated. Man does not exist merely as a cell in State organism. He is not merely what the eye, the hand, or the foot is to a man body. He is complete in himself, and were he to find himself alone on a desert island, he would still be, in a very literal sense, a self-determining being, responsible to God for the things done in his body. Now, this fundamental error, this misconception of the nature of the State as a real, live organism, in which man is but a cell, is widely diffused among Socialists. It colours their practical proposals, it distorts their views of the individual, of the family, of liberty, and of property. This glorification of the State has its humourous side. From Socialistic testimony one would picture the new State as a very God in disguise, or at least the [unclear: ideal] superman, but alas! stripped of its stage clothes and warpaint, it proves to be a large co-operative body of political office-holders, whose office symbol might be an axe to grind, a purse to fill, and whose fit motto might be: "We are the State.page 4
So the boasted Socialist ideal is not scientific. Neither is it valuable. No human ideal can be valuable which debases the worth of the individual man. There once prevailed a heathen principle—Humanum paucis vivit genus the human race exists but for a few. Democracy, after many a struggle, has been taught by Christianity the wickedness of such a maxim "No," says the Church, "each individual here and now has his value; he has his personal work, and must earn his personal reward for its accomplishment. He is an end in himself, and must never be made a mere means to the welfare of others." Socialists take the pagan maxim and repeat it in a no less objectionable form : Humanum futuris vivit genus—the human race lives for a problematic future. This amounts to a denial of the worth of the individual [unclear: man] even more sweeping than were the principles of the Roman slave-owner. Somebody, at all events, derived advantage from human society. Somebody got enjoyment and prospered while the majority were crushed under the wheels of tyranny. Hut the present clay Socialist must content himself with the "wait-and-see" policy, lately so much in vogue. The idea offered us by Socialism is the commonwealth State with the voice of its comrades for the law of its life. The ideal presented by Christianity is a life penetrated and permeated with the spirit and principles of Christ. It is sheer nonsense to speak of the State—as Socialism does—as if endowed with a vital principle such as exists in the human body. The State has been set up, not to appropriate, but to protect: not to absorb, but to assist the rights of the individual man. The State is not a person in the strict sense of the word; it is a thing only, an institution with its limitations well defined.
But what must be the upshot of putting before democracy an ideal offering no immediate satisfaction of man's needs but only the prospect of a vague problematic future? Nothing, of course, but a policy of grab. For human nature scorns to wait for joys uncertain. It clamours for a present instalment of justice, and at any price, even at the price of bloodshed and a reign of terror. People taught that it is right to deprive private owners of their capital will press for immediate confiscation. They will take a short cut to justice—and who can blame them? If their hopes are centred on the earthly paradise of a socialistic kingdom, the sooner that kingdom is realised the better.
How different the ideal of Catholicity! The Catholic Church takes the individual by the hand and says: "I value you exceedingly. I prize your own personal worth, and I watch with tireless delight your success, which is certains if you care to make it so. You have a personal life. You have an immortal soul, and your destiny is alike glorious and page 5 eternal. To attain your end you must realise yourself, fulfil your God-given mission. To reach your goal you must love your fellow men and work for their spiritual and temporal advantage. I will teach you how to make this world a better and a happier place for your having been in it. Your love of christ will instruct you how to combat injustice, to promote charity, to uplift the down-trodden, to stamp out sweating, to make life possible, and penury and misery impossible. And your reward will be, not merely the thought that future generations will be happy (though it will include that thought), but your reward will be that you have done what you were sent to do, and that you have secured your right place in the kingdom where personal merit meets with a re-ward which also shall be personal, though at the same time social. You will not have flung yourself away for others. You will have saved your own soul and made the best of yourself—for yourself and for others. God's grace will be your comfort and your strength in this life, God's presence and glory will fill you in the world to come. Because you will have done His work and fulfilled His designs in you, His words to you will be: 'I am your reward exceeding great.'" This message a Christian people can understand. It alone will teach them restraint, bear them up, fire them with courage, and make them truly unselfish.
Behold, then, two ideals set to man by Socialism and christianity. Socialism deems this life an end in itself, christianity regards it as a preparation for a life to come. Furthermore, Christianity views the State as a natural institution with well-defined rights and duties, limited by the prior rights and duties of the individual and the family. Socialism, on the contrary, is an economy set up to run counter to the providential purposes of the State. Under Socialism State action, instead of being supplementary to individual action would become a substitute for it. The individual would be swallowed up by the State—a mere cell in an organism; which is the inversion of the natural order. Socialism is non-natural if not unnatural. Socialism would para-lyse man's freedom. Under it man would not be master of his life, but a slave, a cog in the State machinery.
II. The Family.—No creation on earth surpasses the beauty of the Christian family in a well-regulated Chris-home. That treasure has enriched the world for nearly 2000 years. What is the family? A compound society made up of two elementary societies, the conjugal and the parental. The former is the lasting union of a man and of a woman for the propagation and the education of their kind. The latter is the lasting union of parents and offspring for the purpose of duration. The essential qualities of the family may be page 6 thus summed up: The object of conjugal society or marriage requires its indissolubility, the equal personal dignity of its members postulates their equality in essential rights; the nature of their union implies mutual love, friendship, and faithfulness; the unity and harmony of action necessary for the achievement of the common end demands obedience of the wife to the husband, not like that of a slave to the master, but rather like that of a mate to a friend and of a member to the head. Parents are under the strict obligation laid on them by the Author of nature—God—to impart to their children physical, intellectual, and moral education, and to devote their entire energy to the accomplishment of this task; but they are at the same time clothed with sacred and inviolable authority over them.
What has the Catholic Church done for the family? She has raised it to a higher plane. It was God-given from the beginning, the Catholic Church has made it God-like—a picture of God. The marriage-bond has become the autlhentic symbol of the union between Christ and His Church. It was a contract; it has become a sacrament, and a "great sacrament." The Catholic Church sees in the bridegroom and bride not merely the prospective father and mother of a family destined to rise up and call them blessed, but generations following generations, each charged with a mission and deputed to a work for the good of the Church and State. With good reason does St. Paul, viewing the grandeur of Christias marriage, exclaim: "This is a great mystery:" a mysterious rite, a great sacrament. Originally a divine institution marriage has been raised by Jesus Christ into a sacraments union. Matrimony is the only sacrament of the seven, in which, not the priest, but the contracting parties are the officiating ministers. We may fitly call marriage a sublime state, giving as it does to man and wife the claim on never failing graces to meet the special trials inevitable in their state. Hut what momentous consequences attend their sacred career, not only to themselves, but to the State and the Christian Church! Hence the Apostle, in his eulogy of the sacrament of matrimony, reminds us that he is speaking "a Christ and in the Church." Never, perhaps, in the course of ages, was it so necessary as now, with the birth-rate decreasing and the divorce list increasing, and Socialism developing, to emphasise the warning note of the Apostle, Regarded as a mere social contract marriage is shorn of all beauty and sublimity: it is a market-good, often only as economic asset. In Christ and His Church we see a [unclear: unic] in which three characteristics stand out in boldest promisence. It is a union indissolubly one—indefectibly true-in destructibly good. First, indissolubly one. "My perfect one is hut one," says Christ the bridegroom, speaking of His page 7 bride the Church. She His Body, He her Head. To her He fearlessly entrusts the proclamation of His reign, the promulgation of His laws, the teaching of His dogmas, the guardianship of His moral precepts, nay, the custody of His divine personality. He imparts to her imperishable life, "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her." And so, secondly, she is indefectibly true. Thirdly, the union between Christ and His Church is indestructibly good. She is "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing," she is holy and beautiful without blemish. And her goodness is naturally self-diffusive, prodigal, prolific. Behold the tender piety of her little children, the patience and charitableness of her many poor, and the heroic yet attractive sympathy of her saints. The union between Christ and His Church is indestructible. Here you can discern what are the chief features which man and woman who become husband and wife must copy into their wedded life. Married life is thus indissolubly one, indefectibly true, and indestructibly good. "This is a great sacrament, but I speak in Christ and His Church."
The cottage home of Nazareth was the first to reveal to the world the ideal family life; and it has been held up to the world by the Church for well-nigh 2000 years. And with what admirable results! Christianity alone has set woman in her right position in the family and in society, honouring womanhood, wife hood, and motherhood as they were never honoured before. Christianity excludes from married life the servility and frivolity conspicuous in non-Christian civilisation regarding the relations of wife and husband. Christianity refuses to consider woman as man's drudge or the sport of his lust. Christian marriage exacts no doubt a high standard, but how rich it is in rewards and blessings on itself and on the country where it is held in honour! Heroes cannot save a country when the idea of the family is degraded.
A word now about the off spring of marriage. The Catholic Church rejects the old pagan idea that the child is merely the property of the parents; she holds that the child has received its immortal soul directly from God. She also repudiates the false philosophy which would sever the child from its parents and make it the property of the State. Pope Leo XIII. says: "Parental authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself. The child belongs to the father, and is, as it were, the prolongation of the father's personality; and, speaking strictly, the child takes its place in civil society, not by its own right, but in its quality as a member of the family in which it is born. Before it attains the use of free will, the page 8 child is under power and charge of its parents. The Socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and break up the stability of the family."
"Every child," says Bebel, "that comes into the world, whether male or female, is a welcome addition to society, for society beholds in every child the continuation of itself and its own further development; it therefore perceives from the very outset the duty, according to its power, to provide for the new born child. The children must, therefore, be taken at the earliest possible age into the care of the State, and this is the Socialist ideal. All means of education, even clothing and food, will be supplied by the State." Again, the Erfurt platform demands: "Secularisation of the schools, compulsory attendance at the public schools, instruction, use of all means of instruction, and board free of charge in all public elementary schools, and in the higher institutions of learning for such pupils of both sexes, as on account of their talents, are judged fit for higher studies." The Socialist platform adopted in Chicago, 1904, advocates: "Education of all children up to the age of eighteen years, and State and municipal aid for books, clothing, and food." Surely, if this is the doctrine of Socialism, and doubtless it is, then we have a right to say that the sacred union of man and woman for mutual help, for educating and supporting their children, for providing for their future welfare, the sense of mutual responsibility and care, the true and healthy communism, that of the home, the countless co-operative associations which each family forms, the thousand ties of dependence that are occasion for the display of human nature's very best qualities—the realm of self-devotion and self-sacrifice—all become unmeaning and impossible where the Socialist State provides for the nourishment and education and technical training and material and moral outfit of each child; that the moral office of parent is gone, the sacred enclosure of home is violated, the sacred words father, mother, brother, sister, have been degraded to a lower meaning, and the next step is to reduce the rearing of man under approved physicians and physiologists and the latest professors of eugenics, to the level of a prize-cattle farm; finally, that the Christian family and collectivism are incompatible, their antagonism being so rooted that reconciliation is impossible.
Divorce is bad enough, race suicide is worse; and this is openly promoted, nay, eulogised by Socialism. To the question put to democracy: "How can I live like the man with the plug hat?" came the answer of the Socialist economist: "Stop having children." Again, "The amount of income should determine the number of children."page 9
In short, the quarrel of the Catholic Church with Socialism is this:—That in its recognised classics, in its propaganda, in its press, and in its unguarded utterances, it propoun's and proclaims a gospel about wedded life altogether subversive of the teaching of Christianity. Socialism is committed to doctrines about marriage which must inevitably destroy the home, and so undermine the State. Socialism is founded on a philosophy of life which makes the indissolubility of marriage ridiculous, race suicide rational, and children the property of the State. All this is taught in the approved works of Socialists, never withdrawn, and poured forth in a foul stream every day by the Socialist press. This being the case, the Catholic Church is bound to denounce and oppose Socialism with all her might. This she does in every way, and particularly by the voice of her supreme pontiffs. "You are aware," says Leo XIII., "that the theories of Socialism would quickly destroy this (Catholic) family life, since the stability afforded by marriage under religious sanction once lost, parental authority over children and duties of children to parents are necessarily and most harmfully slackened. Socialists, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision act against natural justice and break into pieces the stability of the family life." Therefore, as regards the family. Socialism and Christianity are poles apart, and all hopes of bringing them together vanish like a dream.
III. The State.—What is the Catholic view of the State? The State, in a wider sense, means not a society, but society itself summing up all the relations of the various groups which compose it, and which have to do with temporal well-being; for the State has no direct concern with man's eternal interest and destiny. But the word State, in a narrower sense, means civil authority, as when we speak of State interference, State monopoly, obeying the State, and so forth. We here employ the word State in this restricted sense, with occasional excursions into the wider meaning of the word.
The Catholic view of the State is, of course, based on belief in the existence of God. God the Infinite, Eternal, Almighty, All-wise, and All-loving Spirit has created man and dowered him with intelligence and freewill, and set him on earth to work out an eternal destiny. Man belongs inalienably to God, and depends' utterly on God for all that he is and has. Nothing belongs so utterly to man as man does to God. Man has been sent here for a purpose, and that purpose is to carry out the will of God. This world is his temporal place of probation. It is man's drillground rather than his playground, his school rather than his home. This life is not an end in itself, but a means to something better. It is not the play, but the rehearsal; not the terminus, but the journey; not the landing-stage, but the outward voyage. page 10 Man's purpose in this life is to fit himself, with God's help for his eternal destiny. He' must reach the goal by the exercise of his faculties, especially by his self-determining will He must himself work out his own salvation. No one else can do it for him. He cannot appoint a deputy. To God, and to no one else, man must give an account of his stewardship, and at any moment his Master may ring up.
Man, the individual, irrespective of his supernatural life is not self-sufficient as regards his temporal welfare. Man is a social animal, and only in society can he live a full and nealthy human life. Cut off from society, he is stunted and warped Civil society, then, has been established by God to supplement individual activity, effort, and enterprise. For the fulfillment of any main tendency social organisation is required. Hence civil society, or the State, is needed to protect and promote the temporal interests of its component parts.
What sort of civil authority does God, the Founder of society, demand? God leaves men to determine that, according to their special needs and circumstances. Monarchy has no distinctive blessing—nor has Republicanism. All that God commands and nature enjoins is government—effective government suited to the needs of the particular people. Observe, there is no divine right of kings; but there is a divine right of government. Every particular form of civil authority is man's work. Civil authority itself is God's command. Required by nature, it is in every sense natural. Now, what is the range or field of State action? Catholic economists inform us that the State exists—not merely for an external and negative purpose, that is, merely to protect men's liberties to pursue their private interests—but for the purpose of securing the public well-being; that is, for the purpose of setting up that complexus of conditions requisite in order that all the organic members of society may, as far as possible, attain to that temporal happiness which conduces to their ultimate destiny. Briefly, then, the State has two purposes to accomplish. First, to protect man's rights; secondly, to assist man to do what he ought to do, and yet what without State help he cannot do. "Men form societies"—says St. Thomas following Aristotle—"not only to live, but to live well." The State exists, then, not for the sake of particular individuals, not even for particular classes, but for the general good of all. The State supplements the efforts of the individual: it caters for the general good. Sometimes, indeed, it caters for particular groups or classes, as, for instance, when it builds and supports hospitals and lunatic asylums, or when it creates city homes where the people and the poor find shelter; but its aim, even then is to secure public welfare. It has no direct mission to make each individual, or each family rich. page 11 happy, and prosperous; but it helps where a man cannot help himself, provided that by so doing it furthers the common interest and temporal prosperity of the whole community.
The State protects; and how transcendental is this function! The State can do what the individual cannot rightly do. For instance, the State may say of parents grossly nelecting their children: "I will take these children from these parents, else the rights of the children to life, liberty, and a decent livelihood will be altogether violated." Similarly, the State may interfere in private workshops, where sanitary conditions endanger the toilers' lives, or where they are crippled with iniquitous hours, or are sweated.
The State assists. It must help the citizens to do what they ought to do, but what unaided they cannot do. In short, the State exists in order to secure both "negatively" (by protecting liberties), and "positively" (by giving assistance) the general temporal well-being, and this both absolutely and relatively.
As regards economic matters, the State must facilitate the production of wealth, and avoid obstacles to such production; for example, excessive taxation. It must stimulate production, encourage domestic sanitation, hygienic training, technical education, and so forth. It is not the State's function to distribute wealth itself, for such wealth it has not directly produced. But it may by just legislation cause the distribution of wealth to be conducted in accordance with equity and justice. Negatively it is called upon to repress crime against religion or morality and punish public scandals; while positively it must support and protect what tends to establish, develop, and fortify morals and the public exercise of religion.
Observe, however, that the State is not concerned directly with the morals and religion of individuals. The State is not a religious teacher, or a guide in theology, or a direct means of supernatural well-being. That belongs to the province of the Church. Our law courts are set up, not to try sins, but crimes.
State authority is limited. It can touch men only in so far as they are citizens or members of the State. And let it be ever remembered that, besides being a member of the State, man is also a moral being, with inalienable personal rights and an eternal destiny. The State is set up by man, not man by the State. Needless to remark that there are some things which the State may never presume to do. It must not enact laws contrary to the laws of our Creator. State interference is justified only when private initiative becomes insufficient. For instance, the State has no right to say "I will page 12 assume the direct control of all mines, for then the miners will be better off"; but it has a distinct right to say "I will assume the control of industries which are sweated, for in no other way can I secure the rights of the sweated worker." The State must look to the well being of all the social organism. According to the Catholic view, the State is like the parent who teaches her growing child to walk, while, on the contrary, according to the Socialist view, the State is like tie foolish mother who sets her growing child in a baby carriage, giving it a bottle to keep it quiet. Such is the State from the Catholic standpoint. Two extremes are to be avoided—a foolish distrust of State authority, calculated to prejudice the common welfare, and an exaggerated confidence in State action, which would stunt private initiative, check enterprise, undermine liberty, and suppress character. Above all, let it never be forgotten that the State is not "the output of mere economic conditions," not "the dynamic expression of material evolution," but a God-given institution resting on private property for its material foundation, on the family for its natural foundation, and on religion for its spiritual foundation. The State exists for man, and not man for the State. It is the man and not the State that matters; it is the man and not the State that is endowed with a human soul; it is the man and not the State that is called to an eternal destiny. The State must ever remember that prior to it, both in nature and in time, is man, and the family too, to safeguard whose interests and promote whose welfare it has been called into existence. That is its destiny.
IV. Property,—Property is the material basis of the State. By private property is meant man's individual sovereignty over his acres, his home, his capital, his goods or chattels, his inheritance. Among all civilised nations private ownership has been recognised, and in all civilised nations private ownership has been protected under the trible buckler of nature, justice and religion. Without it society would lose its chief material support, and would slide away like a house udermined by a landslip. By it the family clings to the native soil as the tree to the earth by its roots. All nations have held it sacredly inviolable; have been ready to defend it with the very lives of their citizens. We consider it so just that any violation of it on our part would beget within us a bitter remorse which nothing but restitution could allay. Such being the case, how can Socialists or any other men dare to contest a right so legitimate, so sacred? How in the full splendour of this 20th century civilization, with the sanction of all ages, of all schools, all magistrates, all governments, and all religions, can men who proclaim themselves civilized call in question the right of private productive property? Instead of page 12 attacking, we ought to defend it; instead of suppressing, we ought to extend it. Let every man by his labour and thrift attain this sovereignty wherewith he is endowed by the right of private property. To suppress private property because some, or even many, may have abused it, is a stupid aberration. Is there anything men may or have not abused? Then suppress everything, even bread and meat, the abuse of which digs many a man's grave. Now it is a palpable fact that Socialism denies the right of private ownership. To use the forcible words of Frederick Engels: "Three great obstacles block the way of Socialism—private property, religion, and the present form of marriage." Socialism proposes to transfer private productive property from the individual to the co-operative Commonwealth. The Socialist's ideal, his ultimate goal, is the absolute transference of all the means of production to the State. He may not charge all capitalists with formal injustice, but he deems the system of private capitalism as essentially rotten. He considers private capital an excresence, or a morbid growth in the history of man—no essential or permanent part of the social structure, answering no deep-rooted and irradicable demands of human nature.
The Catholic, on the contrary, who has grasped Catholic principles and knows how to apply them to modern conditions, may readily admit a large measure of socialization or municipalization of certain kinds of property, a wide increase of State action, as not only good but demanded. But the Catholic has principles, and these principles, directly contradict Socialism. The Catholic does not regard the private ownership of capital as something unnatural, or as a mere accident or excresence. He deems it proper and normal to man, some-thing necessary for social harmony and stability, and for the satisfaction of man's deepest needs. Catholic principles, while establishing the right, also provide its limitations. The Catholic wants to check the abuses of private capital, the Socialist endeavours to abolish it altogether. Now, against this contention of the Socialist, the Catholic Church has set her face like flint. She bans and condemns it. She may, like her Divine Master, say strong things to the capitalists; she may, like the Fathers and Medieval Doctors, insist upon the duties and responsibilites of wealth. But, in the midst of the utmost corruptions of capitalism she has never denied the right to own private capital. Nay, she has strongly upheld and vindicated it as inextricably bound up with human welfare, as a condition of normal civic freedom. According to Catholic teaching the right to own private property is a natural right, prior to society, and based on the will of God, the Founder of society. God wills that man should own property and even productive property. Private capital is not page 14 the result of mere social conventions; it is part of a natural and divine plan. Man has been brought into the world in order that he may develop his material, intellectual, and spiritual capacities. With the duty comes the right to so develop them. Now the possession of property (including capital) is a normal condition of this development. To develop according to God's designs man must own property. Hence the Catholic Church desires that as many men as possible should be proprietors; not only to secure their daily needs, but to provide their permanent possession.
Man, as an individual, is no mere cell in the social organism. As a citizen he has duties to society; but that by no means exhausts his personality. He does not exist for the State, nor is he in every particular subordinate to the State. As an individual, as the member of a family, he has rights and duties independent of and prior to the State. He has an immortal soul created directly by God; he has a direct mission from God; and hence he has certain duties and rights with which no State may interfere. As an individual man he has certain needs and requirements, and hence certain duties. He is bound to preserve his life, for that life is not his own, but lent him; it is God's. Hence he has a right to acquire, keep, control, and use whatever is necessary for the permanence of that life. This is a primary right, before which all other rights must give way. Man has a right to live, and therefore to procure and own the necessaries of life, not present only but future. He cannot be secure, he cannot be able to meet recurring needs unless he can control the source of the supplies. Nature bids him provide himself with the means of production. Further, he has to make ready for accidents, illness, old age; he ought to store up provision for it and not depend on a pension. Again, man is endowed with intellect and freewill and is therefore no mere machine destined to a definite and limited measure of work. He has faculties to cultivate, potentialities to develop. And with this God-given power of self-development comes the right of self-development. Man does not exist merely that he may labour. He is no slave of his fellow men or of society. He has a right to cultivate his mind, to adorn his life intellectually, artistically, and morally. But this requires a certain economical independence. And when we consider man as the father of a family, the justification of the ownership of capital is immensely more complete, as Pope Leo XIII. so cogently shows: "That right of property, therefore, which has been proved to belong naturally to individual persons, must likewise belong to a man in his capacity of head of a family; nay, such a person must possess this right so much the more clearly in proportion as his position multiplies his duties. For it is a most sacred law page 14 of nature that a father should provide food and all necessaries for those whom he has begotten, who carry on, so to speak, and continue his personality, and should procure for them all that is needful to keep them honourably from want and misery amid the uncertainties of this mortal life. Now in no other way can a father effect this except by the ownership of lucrative property, which he can transmit to his children by inheritance. A family, no less than a State, is, as we have said, a true society, governed by a power within its sphere, that is to say, by the father. Provided, therefore, the limits, which are prescribed by the very purposes for which it exists, are not transgressed, the family has at least equal rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of the things necessary to it for its preservation and its just liberty."
V. Religion.—Heedless of the assertion, often made by a certain party of Socialists, that Socialism is no foe of religion, let us examine dispassionately but unsparingly the Socialist attitude towards religion. How does Socialism regard morality and religion, those pillars of the State, "those but-tresses," as Washington calls them, "of human life"? I am asking whether Socialism is the concrete, as a going concern, "as a philosophy of human progress, as a theory of social evolution, as an ethical practice,' is or is not an irreligious movement, is or is not a movement hostile to Christianity. Now the spirit which has characterised the living energising thing known as Socialism is as antagonistic to Christianity as darkness is to light. Read the deliberate and reiterated utterances of its founders and its leaders in every land and in every stage of its progress—no alliance, no union can be recognised between them and religion. Take Marx and Engel, who are still classical even in the New World. They are both—as Socialists—antagonistic to Christianity. And no wonder, for Socialism is built on a conception of the universe wholly materialistic, which of course leaves no room for religion. Marx boasted that he would deliver man's conscience from what he called "the spectre of religion." John Spargo says: "The founders of modern scientific Socialism took the dogmas of Christianity and held them up to intellectual scorn." Socialism, de facto, offered itself as a substitute for religion, and intended to stand on the ruins of Christianity. "We have simply done with God," cries Marx's henchman, Engel. "We must face and wipe put," shouts another, "those two curses, the curses of capitalism and Christianity." More quotations would be wearisome. In short Socialism, which is not intent on rooting out all religion (revealed) and a personal God, is only a diluted Socialism—fit for novices. ("Socialism of the present day," says Professor Schaeffel, "is thoroughly irreligious and hostile to the Church. It says page 15 that the Church is only a police institution for upholding capital and that it deceives the common people with 'a cheque payable in heaven,' that the church deserves to perish" ("Quintessence of Socialism," page 116). The "Social Democrat" sums up the situation by saying: "Christianity is the greatest enemy of Socialism. When God is expelled from human brains, what is called Divine Grace will at the same time be banished; and when the heaven above appears nothing more than an immense falsehood, men will seek to create for themselves a heaven below." It will be a second Babel. Hostility to Christianity is, then, no sporadic growth in Socialism.: it is the very stuff and substance of the actual movement.
No doubt some of the Socialist programmers, as a good propaganda move, have declared religion to be a private affair So, for instance, in Germany and elsewhere. But the German Socialists lose no opportunity of attacking the Christian religion and doing their best to uproot it. Hence, when English Socialists declare that they would have religion to be a private affair, we look not to words but to their practical interpretations; and we find the practical interpretations to be the same in both countries. The visible Catholic Church is disliked and maligned equally in Italy and France, and in England and America no less. Truth to tell, in conclusion, Social ism and Christianity cannot come together; they move in opposite directions; they are as much apart as earth and heaven. The two antagonistic systems stand before, you which will you have? Which of the two cries must it be "On to Socialism," or "Back to Christianity"? Choose between the two; it is a choice between life and death.
Given at Wellington on this the 15th day of January, 1914.
✠Francis Redwood, S.M.,Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan.
C. M. Banks. Ltd., Wellington —1594