Today I’m going to talk about the many US Catholic’s anger and revulsion that Pope Francis “dared” to call a spade a spade and pointed out that both Socialism and Capitalism as economic systems are equally flawed and exploitive. Many poorly catechized Catholics are unaware that there is an alternative system based on private property and private ownership of production which is based on, and follows exactly Catholic Social Teaching. It is called Distributism and you can read about it on Wikipedia HERE.
Given the name Distributism, it probably evokes a really negative reaction – but I encourage people to read first and judge only after reading. I know a large number of “Catholics” who seem to find the Social Justice teachings just as impossible to follow as those on Birth Control or Divorce. They’re not guidelines or recommendations. – they’re rules of the faith laid down in the Catechism. They are not optional beliefs. We seem to have tried both of the other systems (Capitalism and Socialism) and they have failed. We have tried mixing the two together in various combinations, and still they fail.
Catholics are the single largest religious group in the USA comprising over 25% of the total population. We have an opportunity to lead here by not only learning our faith, but by putting the tenants of Social Justice based economics onto the table and hopefully into practice for the benefit of all. If all of them were better educated on the requirements of their faith in economic matters and made an effort to implement those principles in their lives and businesses. Better still if an effort was made to educate others who may not be Catholic about this economic alternative. It may be an uphill battle at first, but I like to think that people don’t know truth when they hear it, or even see it, they only recognize it when they truth when they directly experience it.
The challenge is to start taking the Social Justice teachings of the Church seriously and put them to work in our own lives, families, and businesses. In doing so we can spread the teachings by example – and allowing those around us to experience it for themselves.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments, especially how aware you were of distributism before reading this article! This is a good follow-up for those looking for some additional reading:
Yours in Christ,