Saturday, April 16, 2005

Feser on Capitalism, Conservatism and Catholicism

Edward Feser has an interesting post on the Conservative Philosopher, "Capitalism, Conservatism and Catholicism." In it, he quotes Cardinal Ratzinger's writings in regards to fitness to recieve Holy Communion:
"Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." [emphasis Edward's]

Cardinal Ratzinger's writings on this can be read in whole here. Cardinal Ratzinger also writes on those politicians that support abortion and euthanasia:
Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Ted Kennedy and John Kerry better hope that Cardinal Ratzinger doesn't become the next pope (which, according to many, is a distinct possibility--the NYT is planning a story on it tomorrow, according to Drudge). Those that fervently promote the legalization of abortion should also be wary of the repercussions:
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

Feser also writes on the seeming Catholic hostility to capitalism:
Regarding capitalism, it is important to remember that even Pius XI, who was perhaps more critical of existing capitalist societies than any other pope, said in Quadragesimo Anno both that the capitalist system “is not to be condemned in itself” and that “no one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.” Leo XIII, who in Rerum Novarum inaugurated modern Catholic social teaching, also excoriated socialism as intrinsically unjust, defended a natural right to private property on the basis of arguments that echo those of John Locke, condemned high levels of taxation as a violation of private property rights, rejected equality per se as incompatible with the natural order, and expressed reservations about governmental action as a means of remedying the plight of impoverished workers. And John Paul II, in Centesimus Annus, went farther than any of his predecessors in acknowledging the superiority of the free market as a means of generating wealth, the legitimacy of profits, and the dangers inherent in the welfare state.


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