Let me start this out by saying that while I was raised, baptized, and confirmed in the Catholic Church, I am far from the most religious Catholic out there. I have alot of respect, even reverence, for the traditions of the Church, but, as this latest encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI seems to confirm, the contemporary Catholic Church really has no understanding of fundamental economics:
Pope Benedict XVI is working on a doctrinal pronouncement that will condemn tax evasion as “socially unjust”, according to Vatican sources.
In his second encyclical – the most authoritative statement a pope can issue – the pontiff will denounce the use of “tax havens” and offshore bank accounts by wealthy individuals, since this reduces tax revenues for the benefit of society as a whole.
It will focus on humanity’s social and economic problems in an era of globalisation. Pope Benedict intends to argue for a world trade and economic system “regulated in such a way as to avoid further injustice and discrimination”, Ignazio Ingrao, a Vatican watcher, said yesterday.
The encyclical, drafted during his recent holiday in the mountains of northern Italy, takes its cue from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples), issued 40 years ago. In it the pontiff focused on “those peoples who are striving to escape from hunger, misery, endemic diseases and ignorance and are looking for a wider share in the benefits of civilisation”. He called on the West to promote an equitable world economic system based on social justice rather than profit.
Leaving aside the fact that the encyclical ignores historical facts such as the complete failure of any economic system based on the idea of “an equitable world system based on social justice rather than profit,” it’s disturbing that the Church seems to ignore history, and the complete and abject failure of that laboratory of socialism known as the Soviet Union and it’s allies. Moreover, given the fact that socialism in power has traditionally been an enemy of religion, one would think that the Church would think twice about endorsing its underlying premises.
So, yes, according to the Catholic Church, taking steps to prevent the state from taking your property is wrong.
Something tells me there’s something wrong with that idea to begin with.