I was born and raised as a Catholic. My parents were very devout and ensured I attended regular Sunday Masses, Catechism classes, participation in the Sacraments including two years of Confirmation classes, and I attended a Catholic High School. Clearly, my life has been heavily influenced by the Catholic Church.
Which is why I am saddened now at the prospect of denouncing my Catholicism.
Like many of you I've had an awakening about America's heritage and what makes her great are the founding principles detailed in the Declaration of independence and in our Constitution. I have been horrified as I've watched the Left's mask peeled back revealing their agenda of redistribution of wealth and social justice, which simply cannot coexist with our founding principles that we are all given the equal chance to pursue happiness with no guarantee of equal outcome.
There has been much discussion recently on how socialistic ideology has invaded our religious institutions. I've learned to recognize code words used by the Left, so, after Mass this morning when I picked up a copy of the weekly bulletin, the message immediately raised a red flag with me.
My Pastor's message discussed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2010 Labor Day Statement entitled A New "Social Contract" for Today's "New Things" written by Most Reverend William F. Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Centre (Long Island, NY), and Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
Committee on Domestic Justice? Really?
The Bishop's five page statement compares the challenges of todays workers with those faced by workers of the Industrial Revolution. In 1891, Pope Leo XII I extended legitimacy to unions and "insisted on a family wage that corresponded to the needs of the worker and family". Today's message describes how Pope Benedict XVI links three interrelated components of society: the market, the state, and civil society and in part reads:
"Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what it is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift"
In other words, the Pope says governments must create laws to ensure workers are treated justly and, by the way, this includes instituting programs for the redistribution wealth in the name of charity.
Obviously, Pope Benedict does not understand nor appreciate the basis for American government, that which gives all citizens equal opportunity, not equal outcome, which has allowed America to export freedom all over the world and with it an advancement of civilization never before realized. If you've read the book "The 5000 Year Leap" then you know what I'm talking about.
Since The Pope obviously is not American it's somewhat understandable that he does not see how the Catholic teachings of social justice cannot coincide with our laws that protect private property. But Bishop Murphy, the author of the 2010 Labor Day statement, is an American (or at least he lives here if he is not) and therefore has a duty, in my opinion, to respect the fundamental laws of our land by not preaching policy so completely contrary to our form of government.
Sadly, the Catholic Church is an instrument for Socialism infected all the way up to His Holiness the Pope. Because of that, I will find my faith elsewhere.
P.S. Imagine my disappointment while researching for this very paper, my discovery of another writing of the U.S. Catholic Bishops from 1986: "Catholic Social Teaching: Economic Justice for All" in which they state:
"We believe that we honor our history best by working for the day when all our sisters and brothers share adequately in the American dream."
That statement is just wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. Isn't this the same philosophy that gave us the Community Reinvestment Act?