Remember when the Catholic Church Stood as a Bulwark Against Communism?

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My how times have changed…

From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

The Catholic Church’s plans to destroy Marxism, discarded at the outset of the Second Vatican Council, have been publicly revealed for the first time.

The documents, consisting of three schemas prepared for Vatican II in 1962, explicitly condemn communism and lay out a strategy for the Catholic Church to combat and destroy Marxist ideologies throughout the world. Liberal bishops of the “Rhine Group” rejected the schemas, or the lost condemnations of communism prepared for the Vatican II. LifeSiteNews’ Matthew Cullinan Hoffman translated the schemas into English.

The liberal bishops positioned themselves on the commissions that oversaw the adoption of documents by the council, thus circumventing the council’s conservative majority, according to LifeSiteNews. The schemas have previously only appeared in Latin in the official acts of the council, until Hoffman’s translation.

The schemas lambaste communism as an “exceedingly grave and universal danger” that “offers a false religion without God” and leads to “the plundering of man’s liberty, in which the spiritual norm of living consists, and likewise the overturning of human dignity and the desecration of human life, as well as the removal of the authority of parents to educate their children.”

“On the care of souls with regard to Christians infected with communism,” the most comprehensive of the three schemas, lays out a three-part plan for the church to rout out Marxist ideologies across the world and within the ranks of the church. The plan called for the church to secretly aid the “silent church” suffering heavy persecution in communist regimes at the time, to assist Catholics who tried to escape from communist ruled countries, and to silence and discredit communist propaganda spread by Marxists in non-communist countries.

“To the Church belongs the right and duty of fighting against atheistic communism regarding doctrine and regarding action or methods of activity,” the schema states.

“A spiritual struggle against atheistic communism, or ‘this invention so full of errors and delusions,’ must be carried out so that the Christian faithful might be strengthened,” the schema adds.

The schema also calls for the Church to cut out the influence of communism from among the church laity and clergy. The schema adds:

Catholics who, infected by ‘progressive’ doctrines and zealous for revolution, or because of a false so-called ‘idealism,’ or a wavering judgment, or an erroneous notion of charity, or because of fear of Soviet power and a foolish shame of the judgment of man, impede action against atheistic communism, should be publicly silenced by ecclesiastical authority. Priests delinquent in this regard are to be severely admonished, and, if the case so merits, inflicted with penalties.

The other two schemas, “On the care of souls and communism” and “On the apostolate of the laity” with regard to materialism, particularly Marxism, pertain mostly to educating the Church on proper Catholic social teaching and the issues of materialistic ideologies.

The schemas were introduced at a time when many Christians suffered persecution and death for living out their faith under communist rule. The Catholic church was poised to strike hard at Marxism at the beginning of Vatican II, not only to combat the evils of then current regimes but also to prevent future Marxist influences that Church leadership believed could corrupt the church and lead to further worldwide suffering.

The council, under the influence of the “Rhine Group” bishops, never approved the schemas as doctrine, however, and instead adopted “Gaudium et spes.”

“Gaudium et spes” initially did not decry communism at all, to the chagrin of many church leaders, including Cardinal Paul Yü Pin, the then-exiled archbishop of Nanking, China. He pleaded for the addition of a chapter to Gaudium that would condemn communism in the name of Chinese Catholics “who groan under the yoke of communism and are forced to endure indescribable sorrows unjustly,” according to LifeSiteNews.

The chapter was never added, nor was a schema to that effect adopted even when 450 bishops petitioned for it. Ultimately, Pope Paul VI commanded the commission overseeing the documents of Vatican II to add a footnote to Gaudium condemning communism in 1965.

An added paragraph condemned “those poisonous doctrines and actions which contradict reason and the common experience of humanity.” Past condemnations of communism were referenced in a footnote to the paragraph — the only concession given in lieu of three schemas’ worth of teachings and plans to defeat the atheistic and dehumanizing influence of Marxism across the world.

“Liberation theology,” heavily influenced by Marxist philosophy, spread throughout the church in the years that followed, especially in Latin American countries. The spread of Marxist ideals held true in Argentina, where Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), allied with liberation theology church leaders.

“It has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians,” Francis also told an interviewer in 2016 in response to the interviewer’s assertion that Francis’ promotion of “a society where equality dominates” aligned with Marxism.

Francis also requested help in composing his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ that promotes environmental policies that require the imposition of heavy economic regulations. Marxist-inspired theologians like Leonardo Boff reportedly helped Francis craft the letter, according to LifeSiteNews.

Francis’ acceptance of a hammer and sickle crucifix from Bolivian President Evo Morales also denoted a show of support for Marxism.

Francis has contradicted his own statements supporting Marxism, as he denied accusations in 2013 that he supported Marxism in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, telling reporters “Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”

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