As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the backwash from the Second Vatican Council didn’t really have much to do with what most people think of as “religion,” but with seizing the opportunity to advance a relatively new concept of religion that had been messing things up for the previous century and a half.
This was “the Democratic Religion” (as it was called) of socialism, also known as “the New Christianity,” and generally included provisions for abolishing traditional notions of private property, marriage and family, and organized religion. The “real” message of Jesus — who turns out to be just one of the guys, but with a few tricks up his sleeve — is that socialism is great, and whatever you want to do is hokey dokey with him.
Thus, following Vatican II, as far as the dissenters from the Church’s social doctrine were concerned, the day of traditional Christianity was over. Principles of democratic socialism embodied in the New Deal were the first signs of the New Church and heralded the dawn of a New Age for humanity, everybody shout hurrah!
People in key positions now took advantage of circumstances to move in the same general direction by implementing personal agendas developed within a climate of dissent, even though open dissent had been largely absent until then. As Robert Cardinal Sarah has observed,
[I]t is regrettable that some priests allowed themselves to be so carried away by personal ideologies. They claimed to be democratizing the liturgy, and the people were the first victims of their actions. The liturgy is not a political object that we can make more egalitarian according to social demands. How could such a strange movement produce in the life of the Church anything but great confusion among the people?( Robert Cardinal Sarah, God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith with Nicolas Diat. San Francisco, California: Ignatius Press, 2015, 85.)
Consequently, a modernist reinterpretation of the Church’s social teachings was imposed on the Council documents to conform them to the democratic religion of socialism. This was almost as if by chance and applied wholesale to other areas to create a superficial consistency.
|Some changes are necessary, though. . .|
Although this involved altering the interpretation of the documents of the Council and often the facts, it is evident that specific doctrines were not the real issue. It was the idea of absolutes that had to go, whether in Church (immutable doctrine), State (absolute natural rights), or Family (traditional marriage, even sexual identity). The belief that something was not subject to change even under pressure of the greatest need or desire had to be eliminated.
Change for the sake of change — pure moral relativism leading ultimately to nihilism (Rommen, The Natural Law, op. cit., 52.) — was the motive of the dissenters, and sometimes the only thing on which they agreed. The resulting confusion accelerated acceptance of the new things and shifted power to the dissenters and away from the institutional Church and the hierarchy, especially the pope. (Cf. “Because the man of the world wants to change his place, his destiny, his idols, and to change them perpetually, the friend of God must remain and stay in the place where God has put him. Indeed, between the friends of God and the world there is an antithesis and a rupture. What the one chooses, the other rejects. Otherwise there would no longer be two camps, but only one: the world.” Father Jérôme, Écrits monastiques, quoted in Sarah, God or Nothing, op. cit., 7.)
|Pope Leo XIII|
And how was this possible? In our opinion, the single most powerful weapon in the arsenal of Catholic social teaching is widespread capital ownership. Both Leo XIII and Pius XI put great emphasis on this. (Rerum Novarum, §§ 4-6, 8, 11-16, 22, 38, 46-47, 57; Quadragesimo Anno, §§ 32, 44-49, 57-61, 63.)
This was not simply for the income as a right of ownership, but primarily for the power that ownership conveys. As political philosophers from Aristotle down to Mortimer Adler have remined us, private property in capital is the chief means by which people connect to society and participate in the institutions of the common good.
The problem was that while the popes are infallible in matters of faith and morals under the usual conditions, infallibility does not extend to science, including the science of finance. The only means of gaining ownership the popes suggested was to increase wages, thereby presumably allowing workers to save and purchase capital.
Unfortunately, this method of capital finance is simply not feasible, especially on a large scale. The required decrease in consumption demand and the rise in production costs render it self-defeating at best. Expanded ownership was simply not discussed during the Council, although it is the single best practical means by which ordinary people can participate in the struggle to counter the new things.
Ironically, it was shortly before the Council that Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler published two books that explained the principles and techniques by means of which the great mass of people not only would prefer to become owners, but have the opportunity and means to do so. These were The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) and The New Capitalists (1961), containing the core theory which, when combined with Catholic social doctrine, are the best response and alternative to the Great Reset and similar proposals.