Washington D.C., Jul 26, 2019 / 16:05 pm
The Catholic Church’s teachings on economics and government have a tendency to frustrate anyone committed to a political ideology. The Church has condemned both unrestrained capitalism, as well as communism, socialism, and totalitarianism.
But a column recently published in America Magazine, entitled “The Catholic Case for Communism”, by Dean Dettloff, has resurrected questions about whether it is permissible for a Catholic to be a communist.
“Christianity and communism have obviously had a complicated relationship,” Detloff wrote, arguing that even though “communist states and movements have indeed persecuted religious people at different moments in history,” Christians have been “passionately represented” in communist movements.
“These Christians, like their atheist comrades, are communists not because they misunderstand the final goals of communism but [sic] because they authentically understand the communist ambition of a classless society,” he wrote.
Kristina Olney, director of government relations at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said that description is an unreasonable way of presenting the situation.
“It is just simply false,” she said. “The fact is, that every time what [communists] will point to is that the ideas just haven't being implemented correctly, not the fact that the results are a direct product of the ideology itself,” explained Olney.
Olney believes that communism’s very nature makes it impossible for a Catholic to be a communist.
“There can be no Catholic case for communism, because the dignity of the human person is at the root of the Catholics faith, and communism is an ideology that is anathema to religion,” she said to CNA.