The Socialists Declare That the Right of Property Is a Human Invention Opposed to the Innate Equality of Man

May 5, 2016

The Socialists Declare That the Right of Property Is a Human Invention Opposed to the Innate Equality of Man

[From Leo XIII’s encyclical Quod Apostolici muneris, of December 28, 1878]:

But Catholic wisdom, sustained by the precepts of natural and divine law, provides with especial care for public and private tranquility in its doctrines and teachings regarding the duty of government and the distribution of the goods which are necessary for life and use. For, while the socialists would destroy the right of property, alleging it to be a human invention altogether opposed to the inborn equality of man, and, claiming a community of goods, argue that poverty should not be peaceably endured, and that the property and privileges of the rich may be rightly invaded, the Church, with much greater wisdom and good sense, recognizes the inequality among men, who are born with different powers of body and mind, inequality in actual possession, also, and holds that the right of property and of ownership, which springs from nature itself, must not be touched and stands inviolate. (Catholic World, Vol. 27 [March 1879], p. 856).

Trotsky, Lenin, and Kamenev (from left to right), May 5, 1920, Moscow, Sverdlov Place

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents V, p. 478.

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