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Catholicism and Socialism: Mr. Wheatley's Lie

In the “Daily Herald” (March 23rd) Mr. Wheatley defended the Catholic Church against the charge of being anti-Socialist. His argument took the following form. The Catholic Church does not oppose State ownership as advocated by the Labour Party; the Labour Party is a Socialist party; therefore, the Catholic Church does not oppose Socialism.

In this Mr. Wheatley is using his customary Jesuitical method of reasoning. Of course the Church does not oppose State capitalism; why should it? But as Mr. Wheatley himself showed (“The Catholic Working Man”) the Pope and the Church do oppose the abolition of private ownership. The latter means the end of exploitation, while the former merely makes the State the direct instrument of exploitation. The capitalists as bondholders still control production.

He says:—

  It is merely playing with words to differentiate between the Labour Party and the British Socialist Party.

Unfortunately for him, Mr. Wheatley declared (”Forward,” November 3rd, 1923)


   There is no good blinking the fact that the policy pronounced at Plymouth will seriously strain the Labour Party. It would not do so if it were a Socialist Party. But it isn’t.

He omitted to mention or deal with the fact that the only organisation in Great Britain, calling itself the Socialist Party, opposes the Catholic and every other religion.

He is reported to have stated last year at a public meeting at Barlanark, that "The Roman Catholic Church is the Church of the Proletariat.” What he no doubt really means is that the Catholic Church promises him security as an exploiter of labour.


Edgar Hardcastle