From the moment Benedict’s encyclical was released, there were many who were unsure whether it was a Capitalist or Communist document; and this ambiguity was deliberate. Vincent J. Miller, a theologian at the Roman Catholic University of Dayton, Ohio, said: “There are paragraphs [in the encyclical] that sound like Ayn Rand, next to paragraphs that sound like ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ That’s quite intentional. He’ll wax poetically about the virtuous capitalist, but then he’ll give you this very clear analysis of the ways in which global capital and the shareholder system cause managers to focus on short-term good at the expense of the community, of workers, of the environment.”
Although Benedict may wax poetic about “the virtuous Capitalist”, it is obvious that a Capitalist is only truly virtuous (according to Benedict) when he has the “common good” in mind and as his goal; the good of the “community”, the “workers”, and the “environment” (all typical Communist terms). He calls for “a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them”, and adds, “This responsibility is a global one, for it is concerned not just with energy but with the whole of creation, which must not be bequeathed to future generations depleted of its resources.” This is straightforward Communism! – forcefully taking from the rich to give to the poor. “Redistribution” – one of the favourite buzz-words of Communists everywhere. And Benedict (and thus the Vatican) is pushing this Marxist agenda. This was made even clearer in another statement from his encyclical: “more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid, thus respecting the obligations that the international community has undertaken in this regard.” Again – classic Communism, according to that old slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Take from the rich and give to the poor. But does this make the poor richer in the long run? No – it only makes the rich poorer. It reduces the wealthier nations to the same level as the poorer ones. The history of Communism provides all the evidence we need.
The hypocrisy of this Papal call for a redistribution of the world’s wealth is astounding. As the leader of the richest institution on the face of the earth, Benedict should practice what he preaches! As he professes to be so concerned about the world’s poor, and as he professes to be the head of the “one true Church” on earth, he should immediately put into practice the words of the Lord Jesus to the rich young man: “Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor” (Matt. 19:21). He should immediately instruct his priests worldwide to sell the “Church” of Rome’s vast treasures, its cathedrals and church buildings, its priceless artworks, its stocks in innumerable corporations, its factories and other businesses, its real estate, and all the other things that have made it so astoundingly wealthy. But this he would never do. When he criticises wealthy Capitalists for making wealth on the backs of the poor, this is truly a case of the pot calling the kettle black! For this is precisely how Rome has accumulated its vast wealth over the centuries.
It might be ambiguous to many, but in truth this encyclical is so obviously anti-Capitalistic that the Vatican scrambled to deny it – predictably. “This is not an anti-capitalist encyclical,” said Stefano Zamagni, an economics professor and a consulter to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, during a press conference to present the encyclical, but it does “condemn capitalism when it becomes totalitarian.” No doublespeak from a Moscow Socialist could have said it better. Translation: it is an anti-Capitalist encyclical. “Totalitarian Capitalism” is what Socialists and Communists automatically believe all Capitalism is. Therefore, all Capitalism is condemned.