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lunes, 5 de junio de 2017

Father Leonardo Castellani comments on the Neo-Encyclical Caritas in Veritati

Compiled by Fabián Vázquez
Taken from:
Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope

(Translator's note: Of course, you should not take the above title literally, as Father Leonardo Castellani died almost thirty years before Benedict's encyclical was published. It just means to say that this collection of Castellani's thoughts touch on the same topics covered by Benedict, but they do it in a deeper, more transcendental, traditional, God-oriented manner, whereas Benedict XIV's Encyclical is rather man-oriented.  Read them both and judge for yourselves.)

We have reached this absurd state: scarcity in the midst of plenty, poverty in the midst of opulence, hunger in the midst of food over-production. Artificial, and criminal, scarcity... the so much talked about Social Question.

The most important political and social problem in our times is the existence of a proletariat.

Proletarian is the man who depends on a tight salary for his living, which, to make things worse, he may lose at any moment.

It is degrading for the human soul to have his thoughts, necessary for him to rise higher, all tied up in the grind for his daily sustenance, and in fear of the future, of old age, of sad events and of misery.

What troubles the current proletariat is, perhaps, insecurity, more than the lack of money itself. Poverty is a blessing, because it is a Purgatory; but misery is hell.

This state of millions of men depends on an economic situation which promotes concentration of the means of production in a few hands, which is called Capitalism.

Of such great importance is this problem, that the greatest war which the centuries have ever seen has turned around it... and will continue to turn around it…

Capitalism was an unstable order which should necessarily have disappeared, because it is impossible for man to live in such terrible condition, among world wars, civil wars, class struggles and solution attempts such as Fascism and Communism.

The illusory “liberties” of Liberalism have been wiped out by the “economy”.
At the heart of Capitalism is usury, said Leo XIII; and at the heart of Communism is vengeance and resentment.

And the universe is now threatened by an immense war between the bad rich and the bad poor or, what is the same, between those which in their hearts, the ones as much as the others, “serve wealth”, as Jesus Christ said.

Avarice and covetousness are to blame for those that now starve to death. Avarice and covetousness have organized themselves in the West in a fierce economic and political system and has been replaced by a worse system in the East.

All of us are aware of the bad effects of Capitalism since we are the ones who suffer them; from the inefficacy of our  Governments, chained by the power of money, to the great modern wars.
But not everyone sees the causes of such evils nor are they easy to see. They have been studied in the social Encyclicals of the Popes, of which the first, Leo XIII's “Rerum novarum”, is still the best, the briefest and most elegant of them all. In a single paragraph, he enumerates the evils of Capitalism, without using this word which Pius XI did use later, but everything is there:

— what Capitalism brought about, namely the destruction of the ancient guilds, the laicization of the States, the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, the ruin of the small industry and trade to give way to monopolies.

— and afterward he points to the bottom of this fierce organization, which is usury; not just the superficial usury of those we contemptuously call loan sharks, but the in-depth usury of those we respectfully call “financiers”.

This in-depth usury we can summarize in three principal operations:

First, making Money pass for a producer when it is just an instrument of labor.

Indeed, Money is an instrument with which machinery and raw materials are purchased; but without labor, it cannot produce anything.

A pear tree produces pears and a cow produces calves, but coins do not give birth to new coins: labor is the one that produces.

Capitalism inverted this relationship: it made the worker an instrument and Capital the producer, allocating all gains to the latter and giving the worker just what is necessary for him to survive; and nowadays, that the workers have organized themselves, just what is necessary for them to keep quiet; but they no longer keep quiet, as many of them are bad paupers.

Second, converting both Labor and Money into a merchandise, and trading not only in Money but in credit, which is the shadow of Money

This process has a long history, a lot more complex than what I say, but the substance is this.
After it attained buying Labor, Capitalism began selling money, because money is now a living thing that engenders money. And what is worse yet, to sell the shadow of money, Credit: that is, to sell money that in fact does not exist.

All those deceits and scams, which we do not understand, started to appear: cornering the markets, destabilizing the  markets, manipulating securities, speculating, and so on, in the charge of Exchanges, Banks and Large Lenders and Entrepreneurs; accompanied by political crimes which can be condensed in a single word: bribery.

One is awed by the quantity of hidden crimes covered by that shiny curtain called “Big Business”

Third, take over the levers of public power, underhandedly or not, in order to keep the iron armor standing.

And so, war necessarily comes: class struggle between employers and employees; struggles between the employers themselves, competitions between the great monopolies and the great banks, and then the wars among nations or, better said, among entire continents, which we all know.

True, in these world wars other factors take part, as they are also “religious”, ideological, heretical wars, but at the bottom is that miserable vice of avarice and covetousness of money.

Worldly solicitude, going through the Capitalist System and the Banking System, have lead us to this absurd state of scarcity in the midst of plenty... the much talked about Social Question.

The Social Question is difficult, precisely because it is “social” in plenitude, it does not concern only employers and employees, but all of society, including the clergy.

Who can solve all this? Only Christ and His Church can solve it... or the Anti-Christ, but by means of a false solution.

The Social Question brought about by Capitalism has only one solution, the traditional, the Catholic one. The demon offers two subterfuges: the socialist and the statist.

The socialist revolution considers private property an evil in itself and proposes to convert all or almost all of it into “Public Property”, that is, put the means of production (land and capital) in the hands of politicians which administer them to the benefit of all.

The traditional solution considers private property a good thing, and its infinitesimal pulverization an evil, just as an evil is its hoarding in the hands of a minority of millionaires or a minority of irresponsible and antisocial monopolies.

This solution tends to break the infernal wheel of the proletarianization by the emergence of a nation of owners. There once was a long time when that existed and the world has never been happier. From that time comes all of our civilization.

A third proposal exists which is in the course of acting by itself alone or by the force of circumstances, which consists in providing the proletariat security at the expense of liberty, without touching latifundial private property; that is, in getting closer in latent form to the Servile State or the slavery-supporting state in which the world had remained for thousands of years before the emerging of Christianity, and for quite a number of years after it emerged.

Current society has been becoming pagan, and consequently, the crude conflicts of paganism revisit it in all orders of things.

Pagans resolved the social question by means of slavery, and modern society advances again towards slavery; towards a veiled slavery called 'The Servile State' by Belloc.

The modern world has heard Christ's words in excess but has not heeded them, and from this failure come the slums, the favelas, or the shantytowns in the modern cities, something that the ancient cities never knew. From there come many disasters and ruin.

The old Christian economic order was destroyed, and the economy, blown up by avarice, went mad, and politics lost its marbles.

The world began agonizing in universal and apocalyptic conflicts. It is well said that “the ruin was tremendous.”

Indeed, two economic systems, which are also religious (meaning to say anti-religious), Capitalism and Communism, fought with all kinds of arms during decades to try to impose their systems upon the world; both of which are deformed, because one is based on the abuse of private property and the other on its elimination.

Between the two, a third system has emerged, “Yankee neo-capitalism” which is a tricked combination of both.

This neo-capitalism pretends that with their acquisition of shares in factories, workers become owners, and its standard of living is the highest in the world, surpassing Capitalism and Communism at the same time.

The answer is at hand: workers become proprietors with no effective vote, or rather become non-owners, since property owners are those who can control their property, have command over what is theirs; and the high standard of living in the US has been achieved at the expense of the low standards of living of other nations; Yankeeland's inflation nowadays exceeds that of other dumb nations.
What is called Neo-Capitalism is a curious phenomenon, a mixture produced by the pressure of the other two systems, the result of which we will (crudely) call Paternalistic Servilization of the poor.

With that, the industrial worker starts being reduced to the “servile state” or of the slave of pagan times in a refined and veiled form: he acquires security at the expense of liberty.

It is as though the Master would say “You shall have sustenance your entire life; hospital, dentist, and movies, but you will work for me and not for anyone else during your entire life. My Parliaments will prepare for you a marvel of Laws Protective of the Worker and my wife will become a member of the Society of Capitalist Women Protectors of the Workers' Children”

Just this was the condition of the ancient slave, who was generally not ill-treated, on the contrary, he was cared for as a thing of value, like an ox or a horse.

It is a State in which workers (even the intellectual ones) are assured of their subsistence in exchange for their liberty, in other words, forced to work their entire life for the benefit of their masters

This is the state of things, the “servile condition”, towards which the modern world is advancing.

In summary, the consequence of the liquidation of Capitalism should necessarily lead to one of these three things: Communism, Property or Slavery, This means, in historical terms, that the world had no other courses than to return to Paganism, return to Christianity or advance to a New Society, currently in an experimental stage, which for a believer cannot be other than the Society of the Anti-Christ.

The state of legal slavery has already begun in the world without being noticed except by the most perceptive minds, of course, not with the name of slavery, which revolts our Christian atavisms, but with the nice names of Social Reform or Labor Legislation.

The situation of today's worker is headed to become worse than that of the ancient slave who used to work for his entire life to the benefit of someone else, in exchange for subsistence and the possibility of his emancipation. The modern worker, in contrast, lacks these two advantages. The political liberty pretended to have been given to him is entirely illusory: there is no true political liberty, nor is there any human dignity without any form of property.

These principles enable judging with certainty the pretended social reforms brought to light as great innovations by practical men specialized in social welfare.

It is not too difficult: If they lead to the redistribution of property and the multiplication of property owners, they are good; if they do not lead to that, they are not.

Salary raises, social security, pension funds, compulsory arbitration, minimum wage, compulsory clinics, free dentists, employment agencies, etc, hardly even touch the proletariat's problem, and if they do touch it at the expense of their liberty, then they are harmful and not beneficial, since they are directed to the worst of all solutions, which is the legal and veiled re-establishment of ancient slavery.

We have to tell workers, then, what they already instinctively perceive; namely: that pensions are a swindle, social security systems are a farce, salary raises are a hoax.

True social progress is achieved along the lines of freedom of contract, freedom of trade association and the right to go on strike, along with moral education which makes the masses capable of enjoying their liberty without misusing it.

Christian solution to the social question.

If Christ can solve the Social Question, why does He not solve it? Christ already solved it by coming to this world, preaching his doctrine, and dying for it.

During the ten centuries of European Christendom, people would not starve to death, there was no unemployment, there was no squalor, each one was contented in his place, the peasant would not envy the king, rather the saintly kings would envy the peasants.

If there was misery or hunger, it was due to accidental causes, a plague, an invasion of barbarians setting fields on fire, destroying or preying, but at the end they would be defeated; but there was no misery and hunger by virtue of the social structures themselves as there is today: there is a continuous plague and a constant fire nowadays.

And, will Christ not solve it again? It may be, I don’t know. It depends on us, it depends in great part on the conversion of Europe to Christ.

Renan has said “Christ gave no solutions to the social question because his entire concern was to save individual souls and not to reform society nor do politics at all; since His idyllic individual mores of a Galilean peasant could not perceive the social conditioning nor the collective problems. (Vie de Jésus)

This opinion is erroneous. In the doctrine Jesus taught by way of the Parable of the birds and the lilies, is the solution to the extensively thought-out “social question”. The social problem of the class struggle for money would disappear when society could tell its members the words of Jesus Christ; “Don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, or for your body, what you will dress: the community cares about that. Serve your Country freely as knights, and your Country will take care of you as a mother…

It seems here we have a vicious circle, as neither society nor the individual can take the first step safely. If to stop worrying the individual has to wait until society becomes perfect...; and Society cannot be perfect if its members are not seems we are in full idyllic Utopia.

But Christ broke that circle up, He invited the most fervent, spiritual and courageous of his followers to make the leap, to bravely renounce to everything, to imitate Him, without prior security against its risks and dangers, other than that of God's Providence, “to embark in careened canoes” as Kierkegaard says.

Jesus Christ sent off a small phalanx of heroes to open the way with their life of poor volunteers: 1) they prove that it is possible to “live as the birds in the sky and the lilies of the field”; 2) with their example they incite others to renunciation and confidence; 3) living with the minimum, they give the rest away to others, they leave a greater margin of temporal goods to humankind in general, since paradoxically, nobody gives away more than he who has little, and he who leaves everything gives away much,

To these two points (the commandment to flee solicitude, mother of fear, avarice, and exploitation of the work of others, and the advice for voluntary poverty) one must add the “Vœ vobis divitibus”, that is, Christ's tremendous anathemas on riches and the rich.

Making superfluous riches suspect and dangerous, to their tremendous natural appeal Christ opposes the religious counterbalance, facilitating their fair distribution, to the extent it is possible in the damaged human nature.

These three formidable levers slowly created in Christendom what is now called “Social justice”, first in the practice than in the theory, and aroused strong estates or institutions which little by little went approximating the ideal of a Society which takes care of its members.

If nowadays, when the State is becoming one of the greatest exploiters, this appears to be pure fantasy, the blame falls not on Jesus Christ, and the catastrophes we have seen and those who menace us, have left all his words intact and valid.

The traditional solution is extremely difficult to implement in the modern, wayward world, for the simple reason that the other two are on the line of least resistance and are easier, for the same reason that they are false: to righten someone who fell in the ditch it is necessary to brace him; to sink him fully, pushing a bit is enough.

That solution is impossible without a prior or simultaneous resurrection of the Faith, with a re-establishment of the Church, given that it is the loss of faith what enabled the coming of Capitalism, and afterward, its orientation towards the imminent Servile State.

For the theologian all these so complicated sociological questions are very simple, he resolves them with a plain text: “Nobody can serve two masters. Therefore, you cannot serve God and Riches”

The alternative which Christ put to the service of God, was the slavery to Riches. He did not say lust, ambition, laziness...; the other Master, fatal and necessary, is Pluto.

The kingdom of Christ

Thus, Christendom ceased serving God and fell under the yoke of avarice, of usury, of dividends, of the Bad Rich of the Gospel.

Some nations today have simply liquidated God and have quietly accepted Money as their master, that is, the blood of the poor, the Blood of the Poor among the Poor, sold for thirty pieces of silver, and what is terrible is that, up to now, they have done quite well in the business.

Other nations, in comparison, are still oscillating between the two masters, which you ought not to believe is a much better condition than the others. Because Monsignor Claudius was right when, before dying, talking about liberal Catholics, he repeated: “He who lights a candle to the Devil, lights a candle to the Devil. But he who lights one candle to God and another one to the Devil, lights three candles to the Devil.”

It is curious that when the states became virtually atheistic and said: “Religion is a private matter”, irreligion turned into a public matter, and when kings began to tell their subjects that they had no reason to think about the salvation of their souls, they had to start thinking about how to save their crowned heads.

The pale smile with which Christ ascended into Heaven (plain in those words: “even you still do not believe?”) has been fading in the course of the centuries, on seeing that the world fails ever more as it follows His teachings ever less, And if He left is with a sad smile, He will not come back but with a thunder,

Theoretical Capitalism (that of Adam Smith or Bentham) pretended to convert the world into an Eden by means of plenty achieved by overproduction. And it cannot be denied that it is the best means to attain the greatest amount of production, which is not the same as the greatest amount of collective human happiness.

Capitalism failed, as two world wars, a latent international war (the Cold War), and a hot one which is being prepared and terrorizes the world, and the permanent civil war of the “class struggle”, have belied it with a slap in the face.

In the years 1950-1988, the dominant political event in the world was a diplomatic arm wrestling between Russia and the United States, with the menace of an enormous war; the belligerent defiance between Capitalism and Communism, those two great world movements, Well, it was Liberalism fighting with its own offspring, Communism.

Modernism coalesces them, it fuses them to the religious flux. It was foreseeable, and even probable, at least to a well-thinking philosopher, that Communism would not convert but would fuse together with Liberalism and Modernism, to form the braid of the Anti-Christ.

Walther Rathenau, who occupied Germany's foreign affairs ministry in 1922, and some time later was assassinated by two Marine officers who held him as the most conspicuous German expression of the understanding between Big Money and Communism, had written in 1909: “Three hundred men, all known to each other, direct the economic destinies of the Continent and seek successors among those who surround them.” And when the Versailles talks were taking place, at the end of the First World War, expressed, without going around the bushes, what was the nature of the Order that Big Money wants to establish: “Nations, borders, armies have ended...Inheritance, wealth, class differences are over, Fatherlands, Power, and Culture are done... Nations have to transform themselves into corporations, the essential object of which will be to «satisfy plentifully the needs of individuals», corporations in which property will be entirely de-personalized, in which human collectivities will obey an authority higher and more powerful than all of the executive powers, since it will have the world's economic administration at its disposal.”

This plan cannot be achieved without the help of a spurious Universal Religion. The Apocalypse (18, 9-24) shows that a great city, sumptuous and prostituted, will dominate the world by virtue of the power of Money and of a falsified religion; let us say without fear, of an adulterated Christianity.

The apocalyptic Great Babylon has the features proper of Capitalism: the principality of the merchants, which are the ones who actually rule nowadays, stealthily and by deceit; the charms of luxury, pleasure and comfort that dazzle the masses; and at the end, which is when God strikes, homicide, war and persecution as a means for it to remain standing.

The Great Babylon will go to its own perdition when its iniquity has ascended to the throne of God; that is to say when it has falsified the Religion at its service.

Money is nowadays the owner of the world... But when it is Money what commands in a society, it is a signal that the Devil has taken possession of Money ... “All this is mine, and I will give it to you, if prostrated you adore me.”

Saint John's revelation in the Apocalypse offers to us the consummation of the mystery of the political Babylon. After Satan has been thrown upon the earth and begins there the great tribulation, knowing that he has very little time left, Saint John sees a Beast rising out of the sea with ten horns and four heads, like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion: the Anti.Christ.

According to what Saint John reveals to us, the mystery of the Anti-Christ is the spirit of apostasy of those who had previously been in the Faith and deny the coming of Christ in the flesh, be it in the past or in the future.

The spirit of apostasy, held by many, will culminate in the person of the Anti-Christ. In it will concentrate and consummate the mystery of Babylon, in its religious aspect, as well as in its political aspect, since its apostate reign will be supported by a political empire which will comprise the entire world.

This mystery of an allegorical Babylon appears to be the culmination of the mystery of iniquity revealed by Saint Paul in II Tess. 2:7, referring perhaps to some power installed there as the capital of worldliness, and perhaps with the appearance of piety as of the False Prophet.

With great clarity in the Apocalypse, a great political power and a great financial power in the person of the Great Whore are pointed out, which signify the adulterated religion.

The political power is signified by the reddish Beast, with its seven heads and ten horns, which represent a pagan and satanic empire: it is the beast which rose from the sea.

The financial power is represented not only by the gold and gems covering the Whore but especially by the sobbing of all merchants in the world when she is destroyed. It is, thus, a capitalist financial town: the empire and center of world capitalism.

The Great Whore represents three concrete things which will be, and have already begun to be; one and the same, and they mutually implicate themselves: 1) the last heresy, 2) the city where that heresy will have its head, 3) the empire which that city will rule, phoenicianism.

The fornication signifies the idolatrous religion of the State, which will later become the sacrilegious religion of the Anti-Christ. The words fornication, adulteress, prostitute, whore and other similar ones, are found about 100 times in the ancient Prophets, with the signification of idolatry and applied only to Jerusalem, never to Ninive, Babel, Memphis. Israel is the Bride of or Engaged with, God.

¿Which city will this finally be? We don't know: its notes do not all match with the current major cities. The notes drawn by Saint John are: 1) a capitalist city with world power; 2) a seaport; 3) head or center of a falsified, idolatrous or political religion.

The Woman crushes the Beast and does not propitiate it, but the ten horns (or kinglets) destroy it in one day and put all their power to the service of the Beast.

They will themselves abhor the Whore who had been the object of their passion and whose fall they will later deplore. We thus see how admirably God makes use of his own enemies to carry out His plans and extract an immense good, as will be the fall of Babylon, out of so many evils.
In this way, that Anti-Christian power in the spiritual order will perish at the hands of another Anti-Christian force in the political order, the which, in turn, with all the kings coalesced to her will be finally destroyed by Christ.

“After this, I saw another Angel descend from heaven, who had great power, and the earth became illumined with his glory. He cried out with a great voice saying: «It fell, the Great Babylon fell! It has turned into a dwelling of demons, into a refuge of all kinds of filthy spirits, into the hideout of all kinds of foul and abhorrent birds. Because of the wine of its furious fornication, all nations have drunk, and the kings of the earth have fornicated with her, and the merchants of the earth have enriched themselves with its unbridled luxury.

The Kingdom is still in the future; and the “day of the Lord”, that is to say, the Kingdom of Christ, will not come without first the apostasy is discovered in the earth and the son of perdition is manifested, who getting to seat in the Holy Place, will proclaim himself to be God, making himself adored by all of the inhabitants on earth whose names are not inscribed in the Book of Life.

And then, and only then, will Jesus come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and will kill the iniquitous with the breath of his mouth.

This sudden apparition of Christ in that night of fearful apostasy and desolation will be as the rock seen by Daniel, which unexpectedly detaches from the sky, injuring the feet of the statue, that is to say, the ten kings of the Apocalypse,

The destruction of the Anti-Christ will mark the triumph of the  Church and the beginning of the manifestation of the Children of God in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

DECIAMOS AYER — Editorial Sudestada, 1968
El Estado Servil, página 379.
Domingo Decimocuarto después de Pentecostés, página 302.
Domingo de Septuagésima, página 51.
Domingo Decimocuarto después de Pentecostés, página 253.
Los Pájaros y los Lirios, página 76.
Los Patrones Prudentes, página 117.

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