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Book Review: "The Papacy and Fascism"

The Papacy and Fascism by F. A. Ridley (Secker & Warburg, 6s.)

The above is the title of a book by F. A. Ridley (published by Secker & Warburg at 6s.), which is, as the paper wrapper correctly states, “An analysis of the role of the Papacy through history up to and including the present day.”

The Catholic Church, Capitalism and Socialism

Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum,or ‘Rights and Duties of Capital and Labour’ of 15 May 1891 can be seen as the social manifesto of the Roman Catholic Church. Its popularity as a social document has diminished probably even more than the atrophying authority of the Church itself, but while, effectively, other Papal pronouncements remain as Church policy only because their renunciation would bring into serious question the authority of their Papal authors, Rerum Novarum still reflects the acknowledged social doctrine of the Church.

Leo begins by denouncing on moral grounds the chasm between rich and poor – which, paradoxically, is an inevitable feature of the class society which he steadfastly supports, capitalism wherein originates the 'enormous fortunes of some individuals and the abject poverty of the masses.'

Halo Halo! Miracles Made to Order

Hello Hallo

‘Second miracle puts Mother Teresa on path to sainthood’ said the article in the Guardian (18 December). Well, that was lucky wasn’t it? They’ve been keeping their fingers crossed hoping for that second miracle, needed for her to become a saint, ever since she died and the first one took place.

But she did have a few critics. The article noted that a 2013 report carried out by researchers at the Universities of Montreal and Ottawa criticised her ‘rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce’. It also noted that ‘the vast majority of patients who visited Mother Teresa’s mission for the dying had hoped to find doctors to treat them, but instead found unhygienic conditions, a shortage of care and no painkillers’.

Editorial: The War and the Workers

It is the season when the Christian nations of a Christian civilisation gather together to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Death stalks abroad, and murder is blessed by the followers of Christ. The battlefields of France and Belgium are heaped with the corpses of working men sacrificed to the religion of Christian capital, and the god Gold.

The patriotic capitalist takes advantage of the unique opportunity, and while forcing up the price of commodities greatly in demand, schemes and contrives so that he may find the wherewithal to pay for the war by driving wages down to the lowest possible point.

In normal times the lot of the worker is not an enviable one. His standard of living is on the average lower than that of the workhouse inmate or the convict. Years ago statisticians showed that the bulk of the workers did not receive sufficient nutriment to maintain themselves in efficiency, even by depriving themselves of the small "comforts" of life.

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