67 – The Communists have stolen the flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Now when they speak one could say to them: “But you are Christians”

For the past century the world has been submerged in terrible chaos. All of the conflicts experienced by humanity until this point were nothing in comparison with the warfare of the twentieth century. And it wasn’t just because of military apparatus, but also cruel ideologies employed with the intention of oppressing humanity.

How often were ideas launched by Karl Marx in the 19th century to be found at the root of these abuses, later to spread throughout the entire world under misleading disguises. Many of those who lived during this period did not comprehend the necessity of practicing vigilance as the Divine Master had directed (Cf. Mt 26:41), and, forgetting that the children of light must also be as shrewd as serpents (Cf. Mt 10:16), they witnessed the errors of Russia spreading throughout the world, just as predicted by the Virgin of Fatima.

One hundred million deaths, the greater part of them occurring among the poor, was the sinister price paid for the lack of preparation before the steadily advancing evil… Among the dead were an unending list of priests, religious men and women, fathers and mothers of families, children, elderly, etc., people who anonymously or shining by their example, suffered atrocious persecutions especially for professing the Catholic religion.

Can a Christian find something good about an “intrinsically perverse” communist doctrine, a doctrine which is not only directly opposed to the teachings of Jesus, but also intends to finish off with natural rights, something that even the most decadent of ancient civilizations never attempted? Is there any similarity between this appalling doctrine and the works of mercy that the Church has undertaken for centuries? What “benefits” does communism bring to the world, besides the dubious effects of atheism and generalized poverty? Does the supposed standard of the poor hoisted by the communists (sic!!!) mean casting into poverty all of those who cry out under the yoke of Marxism? It must be, because to help the poor, communism is of the theory that “misery loves company”…

It has been a century, as we noted above, since the persecutions began, but let us not forget that the theory came to light many decades before… A lesson that we cannot overlook for the future of a humanity that, unfortunately, no longer has Almighty God in the heart.




Quote AQuote BQuote CQuote DQuote EQuote F
[Franca Giansoldati]: You are regarded as a communist, pauperist, populist Pope. The Economist, which has dedicated a cover to you, stated that you speak like Lenin. Do you identify yourself in this depiction?
[Francis]: I say only that the Communists have stolen the flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel. The poor are at the center of the Gospel. Let’s take Matthew 25, the protocol on which we will be judged: I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, naked. Or, let us look at the Beatitudes, another flag. The communists say that all this is communist. Yes, right, twenty centuries later. Now when they speak one could say to them: but you are Christians. (Interview with Franca Giansoldati, June 29, 2014)

[Scalfari] Were you seduced by Communism?
[Francis] Her materialism had no hold over me. But learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church. (Interview with Eugenio Scalfari, October 1, 2013)

[Andrea Tornielli] Some of the passages in the ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ attracted the criticism of ultraconservatives in the USA. As a Pope, what does it feel like to be called a ‘Marxist’?
[Francis] The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.
[Andrea Tornielli] The most striking part of the Exhortation was where it refers to an economy that ‘kills’…
[Francis] There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church. I wasn’t speaking from a technical point of view, what I was trying to do was to give a picture of what is going on. The only specific quote I used was the one regarding the ‘trickle-down theories’ which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist. (Interview with Andrea Tornielli, December 14, 2013)

It’s true that I was, like the rest of my family, a practicing Catholic. But my mind was not made solely for religious questions. I also had political concerns, though I never went beyond simple intellectualizing. I read Our Word and Proposals, a publication by the Communist Party, and I loved every article ever written by Leonidas Barletta, one of their best-known members and a renowned figure in the world of culture, and that helped me in my political education. But I was never a communist… (Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words. Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti. New York: Penguin Group, 2014, pg. 39)
My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. I lived a time of great interior crisis when I was in Cordova. To be sure, I have never been like Blessed Imelda [a goody-goody], but I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems. (Interview with Antonio Spadaro, SJ, September 19, 2013)

It has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians. Christ spoke of a society where the poor, the weak and the marginalized have the right to decide. Not demagogues, not Barabbas, but the people, the poor, whether they have faith in a transcendent God or not. It is they who must help to achieve equality and freedom (La Repubblica interview, November 11, 2016)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


I – The devastating communist doctrine versus the divine Christian doctrine
II – Intrinsically perverse system condemned by the Church
III – Communist sophisms attempt to deceive Catholics
IV – The communist ‘openness’ toward Christians is inhuman persecution
V – Helping the poor is not an ideological standard, but rather a normal trait of the Church’s charity

I – The devastating communist doctrine versus the divine doctrine of Christ


Communism: a deadly plague that seeks to overthrow both human and divine laws

At the very beginning of Our pontificate, as the nature of Our apostolic office demanded, we hastened to point out in an encyclical letter addressed to you, venerable brethren, the deadly plague that is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction; […] You understand, venerable brethren, that We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring to a head what they have long been planning – the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever. […] They leave nothing untouched or whole which by both human and divine laws has been wisely decreed for the health and beauty of life. […] They debase the natural union of man and woman, which is held sacred even among barbarous peoples; and its bond, by which the family is chiefly held together […] Lured, in fine, by the greed of present goods, which is ‘the root of all evils, which some coveting have erred from the faith’ (1Tim 6:10) they assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one’s mode of life. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Quod apostolici muneris, December 28, 1878)

Pius IX

Unspeakable doctrine opposed to the natural law

To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone’s laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow. (Denzinger-Hünermann 2786. Pius IX. Encyclical Qui pluribus, November 9, 1846)

Deceitful men who desire to eliminate entirely the doctrine and influence of the Catholic Church

And, not content with removing religion from public society, they wish even to banish religion itself from private families. For, teaching and professing that most deadly error of communism and socialism, they assert that ‘domestic society or the family borrows the whole reason for its existence from the civil law alone; and, hence, all rights of parents over their children, especially the right of caring for their instruction and education, emanate from and depend wholly on the civil law.’ In these impious opinions and machinations these most deceitful men have this particular intention: that the saving doctrine and power of the Catholic Church be entirely eliminated from the instruction and training of youth […]. (Denzinger-Hünermann 2891-2892. Pius IX, Quanta cura, December 8, 1864)

Pius XI

Communism seeks to destroy society altogether

Although We, therefore, deem it superfluous to warn upright and faithful children of the Church regarding the impious and iniquitous character of Communism, yet We cannot without deep sorrow contemplate the heedlessness of those who apparently make light of these impending dangers, and with sluggish inertia allow the widespread propagation of doctrine which seeks by violence and slaughter to destroy society altogether. All the more gravely to be condemned is the folly of those who neglect to remove or change the conditions that inflame the minds of peoples, and pave the way for the overthrow and destruction of society. (Pius XI. Encyclical Quadragesimo anno, no. 112, May 15, 1931)

Socialism cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church

That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth. […] Socialism, on the other hand, wholly ignoring and indifferent to this sublime end of both man and society, affirms that human association has been instituted for the sake of material advantage alone. (Pius XI. Encyclical Quadragesimo anno, nos. 117-118, May 15, 1931)

Enemies of all order shamelessly attempt against God

Furthermore – and this may be called the most perilous of all these evils – the enemies of all order, whether they be called Communists or by some other name, exaggerating the very grave straits of the economic crisis, in this great perturbation of morals, with extreme audacity, direct all their efforts to one end, seeking to cast away every bridle from their necks, and breaking the bonds of all law both human and divine, wage an atrocious war against all religion and against God Himself; in this it is their purpose to uproot utterly all knowledge and sense of religion from the minds of men, even from the tenderest age, for they know well that if once the Divine law and knowledge were blotted out from the minds of men there would now be nothing that they could not arrogate to themselves. And thus we now see with our own eyes – what we have not read of as happening anywhere before – impious men, agitated by unspeakable fury, shamelessly liking up a banner against God and against all religion throughout the whole world. (Pius XI. Encyclical Caritate Christi compulsi, May 3, 1932)

Despise of the light of evangelic wisdom, and revival of paganism

In some regions the evil had reached such a pitch that it seeks to destroy all private right of property, so that everything might be shared in common. […] they despise the light of evangelic wisdom and endeavor to revive the errors of the pagans and their way of life. […] And while they cast scorn on the hope of heavenly reward, they incite men to seek, even by illicit means, false earthly happiness, and therefore drive them with brazen temerity to the dissolution of the social order, causing disorder, cruel rebellions and even the conflagration of civil war. (Pius XI. Encyclical Ingravescentibus malis, September 29, 1937)

Imminent danger aiming at upsetting the social order and the foundations of Christian civilization

This all too imminent danger, Venerable Brethren, as you have already surmised, is bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which aims at upsetting the social order and at undermining the very foundations of Christian civilization. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 3, March 19, 1937)

Communism strips man of liberty, dignity and morality

Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recognition of any right of the individual in his relations to the collectivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is a mere cog-wheel in the Communist system. In man’s relations with other individuals, besides, Communists hold the principle of absolute equality, rejecting all hierarchy and divinely-constituted authority, including the authority of parents. What men call authority and subordination is derived from the community as its first and only font. Nor is the individual granted any property rights over material goods or the means of production, for inasmuch as these are the source of further wealth, their possession would give one man power over another. Precisely on this score, all forms of private property must be eradicated, for they are at the origin of all economic enslavement. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 10, March 19, 1937)

Dialectical and historical materialism advocated by Marx, and annihilation of all opposition

The doctrine of modern Communism, which is often concealed under the most seductive trappings, is in substance based on the principles of dialectical and historical materialism previously advocated by Marx, of which the theoricians of bolshevism claim to possess the only genuine interpretation. […] In such a doctrine, as is evident, there is no room for the idea of God; there is no difference between matter and spirit, between soul and body; there is neither survival of the soul after death nor any hope in a future life. Insisting on the dialectical aspect of their materialism, the Communists claim that the conflict which carries the world towards its final synthesis can be accelerated by man. Hence they endeavor to sharpen the antagonisms which arise between the various classes of society. Thus the class struggle with its consequent violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as they resist such systematic violence, must be annihilated as hostile to the human race. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 9, March 19, 1937)

A cold-blooded struggle against all that is divine

This, unfortunately, is what we now behold. For the first time in history we are witnessing a struggle, cold-blooded in purpose and mapped out to the least detail, between man and ‘all that is called God’ (cf. Thess 2:4). Communism is by its nature anti-religious. It considers religion as ‘the opiate of the people’ because the principles of religion which speak of a life beyond the grave dissuade the proletariat from the dream of a Soviet paradise which is of this world. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 22, March 19, 1937)

Communist terrorism seeks to all moral sense

After all, even the sphere of economics needs some morality, some moral sense of responsibility, which can find no place in a system so thoroughly materialistic as Communism. Terrorism is the only possible substitute, and it is terrorism that reigns today in Russia, where former comrades in revolution are exterminating each other. Terrorism, having failed despite all to stem the tide of moral corruption, cannot even prevent the dissolution of society itself. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 23, March 19, 1937)

Pius XII

To cast out every notion of God - the aim of the supporters of communism

There are those who contend that the so-called system of evolution, not yet irrefutably demonstrated within the scope of the natural sciences, and admitted imprudently and indiscreetly, extends to the origin of all things, and who boldly entertain the monistic and pantheistic theory that the whole world is subject to continuous evolution. Indeed, the supporters of communism gladly employ this theory, to bring out more efficaciously and defend their ‘dialectic materialism,’ casting out of mind every notion of God. (Denzinger-Hünermann 3877. Pius XII, Encyclical Humani generis, August 12, 1950)


The fear of God and reverence for divine laws are taken away leading to the greatest dangers and the overthrow of all things

Now, from the disturbing errors which We have described the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884)

II – Intrinsically perverse system condemned by the Church

Pius XI

The Communist system, with its authors and abettors condemned

We blame only the system, with its authors and abettors who considered Russia the best-prepared field for experimenting with a plan elaborated decades ago, and who from there continue to spread it from one end of the world to the other. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 24, March 19, 1937)

Communism is intrinsically wrong and no one may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever

See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 58, March 19, 1937)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Formal prohibition to join or favor Communist Parties - latae sententiae excommunication

1. Whether it is Formal prohibition to join or favor Communist Parties – latae sententiae excommunication to join Communist Parties or to favour them;
2. whether it is lawful to publish, disseminate, or read books, periodicals, newspapers or leaflets which support the teaching or action of Communists, or to write in them;
3. whether the faithful who knowingly and freely perform the acts specified in questions 1 and 2 may be admitted to the Sacraments;
4. whether the faithful who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of the Communists, and particularly those who defend or propagate this doctrine, contract ipso facto excommunication specially reserved to the Apostolic See as apostates from the Catholic faith.

The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Fathers entrusted with the supervision of matters concerning the safeguarding of Faith and morals, having previously heard the opinion of the Reverend Lords Consultors, decreed in the plenary session held on Tuesday (instead of Wednesday), June 28, 1949, that the answers should be as follows:
To 1. in the negative: because Communism is materialistic and anti-Christian; and the leaders of the Communists, although they sometimes profess in words that they do not oppose religion, do in fact show themselves, both in their teaching and in their actions, to be the enemies of God, of the true religion and of the Church of Christ;
2. in the negative: they are prohibited ipso iure (cf. Can. 1399 of the Codex Iuris Canonici);
to 3. in the negative, in accordance with the ordinary principles concerning the refusal of the Sacraments to those who are not disposed;
to 4. in the affirmative. (Replies confirmed by Pius XII on June 30) (Denzinger-Hünermann 3865. Decree of the Holy Office, June 28 [July 1] 1949)


No Catholic can subscribe even to moderate Socialism - opposition between Communism and Christianity is fundamental

Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority. (John XXIII. Encyclical Mater et Magistra, no. 34, May 15, 1961)

III – Communist sophisms only attempt to deceive Catholics

Sacred Scripture

Beware of false prophets

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. (Mt 7:15-16)

After my departure savage wolves will come among you

Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)

Pius XI

The Catholic Religion is the only true obstacle to communism, which takes advantage of any possibility of approach and collaboration with the Catholic side

One could say that a satanic preparation has revitalized, and with more strength, in neighboring Spain, that flame of hatred and ferocious persecution unambiguously reserved for the Church and the Catholic Religion, as being the only true obstacle to the eruption of those forces, which have already given evidence and proof of themselves in the pledges in the subversion of all order, from Russia to China, from Mexico to South America – tests and preparation, preceded and accompanied incessantly by a universal, assiduous, most competent propaganda for the conquest of the whole world by those absurd and disastrous ideologies […] It is not superfluous, but rather opportune and unfortunately necessary, and for Us Our duty , to put all on guard against the insidiousness with which the emissaries of the subversive forces try to take advantage of any possibility of approach and collaboration with the Catholic side, distinguishing between ideology and practice, between ideas and action, between the economical order and moral order: an extremely dangerous insidiousness, cunningness, destined solely to deceive and disarm Europe and the World. (Pius XI. Address La vostra presenza to Spanish refugees of the Civil War, September 14, 1936)

A system that is subversive of social order, full of errors and sophisms, in opposition to reason and to Divine Revelation

Such, Venerable Brethren, is the new gospel which bolshevistic and atheistic Communism offers the world as the glad tidings of deliverance and salvation! It is a system full of errors and sophisms. It is in opposition both to reason and to Divine Revelation. It subverts the social order, because it means the destruction of its foundations; because it ignores the true origin and purpose of the State; because it denies the rights, dignity and liberty of human personality. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 14, March 19, 1937)

Partial truths astutely presented by the preachers of Communism to conceal repulsively crude and inhuman principles

By pretending to desire only the betterment of the condition of the working classes, by urging the removal of the very real abuses chargeable to the liberalistic economic order, and by demanding a more equitable distribution of this world’s goods (objectives entirely and undoubtedly legitimate), the Communist takes advantage of the present world-wide economic crisis to draw into the sphere of his influence even those sections of the populace which on principle reject all forms of materialism and terrorism. And as every error contains its element of truth, the partial truths to which We have referred are astutely presented according to the needs of time and place, to conceal, when convenient, the repulsive crudity and inhumanity of Communistic principles and tactics. Thus the Communist ideal wins over many of the better minded members of the community. These in turn become the apostles of the movement among the younger intelligentsia who are still too immature to recognize the intrinsic errors of the system. The preachers of Communism are also proficient in exploiting racial antagonisms and political divisions and oppositions. They take advantage of the lack of orientation characteristic of modern agnostic science in order to burrow into the universities, where they bolster up the principles of their doctrine with pseudo-scientific arguments. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 15, March 19, 1937)

The Communistic fallacy spreads because of the religious and moral misery

If we would explain the blind acceptance of Communism by so many thousands of workmen, we must remember that the way had been already prepared for it by the religious and moral destitution in which wage-earners had been left by liberal economics. Even on Sundays and holy days, labor-shifts were given no time to attend to their essential religious duties. No one thought of building churches within convenient distance of factories, nor of facilitating the work of the priest. On the contrary, laicism was actively and persistently promoted, with the result that we are now reaping the fruits of the errors so often denounced by Our Predecessors and by Ourselves. It can surprise no one that the Communistic fallacy should be spreading in a world already to a large extent de-Christianized. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 16, March 19, 1937)

A doctrine shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples

This explanation is to be found in a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed it’s like before. It is directed from one common center. It is shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples. It has at its disposal great financial resources, gigantic organizations, international congresses, and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews, of cinema, theater and radio, of schools and even universities. Little by little it penetrates into all classes of the people and even reaches the better-minded groups of the community, with the result that few are aware of the poison which increasingly pervades their minds and hearts. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 17, March 19, 1937)

A powerful factor in the diffusion of Communism: the conspiracy of silence of a large section of the non-Catholic press

A third powerful factor in the diffusion of Communism is the conspiracy of silence on the part of a large section of the non-Catholic press of the world. We say conspiracy, because it is impossible otherwise to explain how a press usually so eager to exploit even the little daily incidents of life has been able to remain silent for so long about the horrors perpetrated in Russia, in Mexico and even in a great part of Spain; and that it should have relatively so little to say concerning a world organization as vast as Russian Communism. This silence is due in part to shortsighted political policy, and is favored by various occult forces which for a long time have been working for the overthrow of the Christian Social Order. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 18, March 19, 1937)

Communism has changed its tactics: it strives to entice the multitudes by trickery, hiding its real designs behind ideas like peace

In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people. It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves are good and attractive. Thus, aware of the universal desire for peace, the leaders of Communism pretend to be the most zealous promoters and propagandists in the movement for world amity. Yet at the same time they stir up a class-warfare which causes rivers of blood to flow, and, realizing that their system offers no internal guarantee of peace, they have recourse to unlimited armaments. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 58, March 19, 1937)

Communists worm their way into Catholic circles using so-called ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘charity’

Under various names which do not suggest Communism, they establish organizations and periodicals with the sole purpose of carrying their ideas into quarters otherwise inaccessible. They try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations. Again, without receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church. Elsewhere they carry their hypocrisy so far as to encourage the belief that Communism, in countries where faith and culture are more strongly entrenched, will assume another and much milder form. It will not interfere with the practice of religion. It will respect liberty of conscience. There are some even who refer to certain changes recently introduced into soviet legislation as a proof that Communism is about to abandon its program of war against God. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 57, March 19, 1937)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Communism: shame of our time - while claiming to bring them freedom keeps whole nations in servitude

Millions of our own contemporaries legitimately yearn to recover those basic freedoms of which they were deprived by totalitarian and atheistic regimes which came to power by violent and revolutionary means, precisely in the name of the liberation of the people. This shame of our time cannot be ignored: while claiming to bring them freedom, these regimes keep whole nations in conditions of servitude which are unworthy of mankind. Those who, perhaps inadvertently, make themselves accomplices of similar enslavements betray the very poor they mean to help. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Instruction on certain aspects of the ‘Theology of Liberation,’ ch. XI, no. 10, August 6, 1984)

IV – The communist ‘openness’ toward Christians is inhuman persecution

Pius XI

Communism: openly hostile to the Church and to God Himself is incredibly cruel and inhuman when in power

One section of Socialism has undergone almost the same change that the capitalistic economic system, as We have explained above, has undergone. It has sunk into Communism. Communism teaches and seeks two objectives: Unrelenting class warfare and absolute extermination of private ownership. Not secretly or by hidden methods does it do this, but publicly, openly, and by employing every and all means, even the most violent. To achieve these objectives there is nothing which it does not dare, nothing for which it has respect or reverence; and when it has come to power, it is incredible and portent like in its cruelty and inhumanity. The horrible slaughter and destruction through which it has laid waste vast regions of eastern Europe and Asia are the evidence; how much an enemy and how openly hostile it is to Holy Church and to God Himself is, alas, too well proved by facts and fully known to all. Although We, therefore, deem it superfluous to warn upright and faithful children of the Church regarding the impious and iniquitous character of Communism, yet We cannot without deep sorrow contemplate the heedlessness of those who apparently make light of these impending dangers, and with sluggish inertia allow the widespread propagation of doctrine which seeks by violence and slaughter to destroy society altogether. All the more gravely to be condemned is the folly of those who neglect to remove or change the conditions that inflame the minds of peoples, and pave the way for the overthrow and destruction of society. (Pius XI. Encyclical Quadragesimo anno, no. 112, May 15, 1931)

Subversive sect that nourishes hatred against the Lord and His Christ in Spain, Mexico, Russia…

It has therefore caused Us great amazement and profound anguish to learn that some, as if it were to justify the iniquitous proceedings against the Church, publicly alleged a necessity of defending the new Republic. From the foregoing, it appears so evident that the alleged motive was nonexistent, that we can only conclude the struggle against the Church in Spain is not so much due to a misunderstanding of the Catholic Faith and its beneficial institutions, as of a hatred against the Lord and His Christ nourished by groups subversive to any religious and social order, as alas we have seen in Mexico and Russia. (Pius XI. Encyclical Dilectissima nobis, June 3, 1933)

The Communist persecution: daily writes new and glorious chapters to the Martyrology

The vast and most afflicted Russia, due to a true fury of hatred against God, has destroyed and continues still to destroy all that belongs to religion, especially the Catholic religion: everything, except the unbreakable and true fidelity, admirable heroism that gives – one could well say everyday – new and most glorious chapters to the Martyrology. (Pius XI. Address on the occasion of the inauguration of the World Exhibit of the Catholic Press, May 12, 1936)

Communism strove by every possible means to destroy the Christian religion – assassinations and inhuman persecution

Meanwhile the sorry effects of this propaganda are before our eyes. Where Communism has been able to assert its power – and here We are thinking with special affection of the people of Russia and Mexico – it has striven by every possible means, as its champions openly boast, to destroy Christian civilization and the Christian religion by banishing every remembrance of them from the hearts of men, especially of the young. Bishops and priests were exiled, condemned to forced labor, shot and done to death in inhuman fashion; laymen suspected of defending their religion were vexed, persecuted, dragged off to trial and thrown into prison. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 19, March 19, 1937)

Destruction, slaughter, hatred and savage barbarity that would not have believed thought possible

Even where the scourge of Communism has not yet had time enough to exercise to the full its logical effects, as witness Our beloved Spain, it has, alas, found compensation in the fiercer violence of its attack. Not only this or that church or isolated monastery was sacked, but as far as possible every church and every monastery was destroyed. Every vestige of the Christian religion was eradicated, even though intimately linked with the rarest monuments of art and science. The fury of Communism has not confined itself to the indiscriminate slaughter of Bishops, of thousands of priests and religious of both sexes; it searches out above all those who have been devoting their lives to the welfare of the working classes and the poor. But the majority of its victims have been laymen of all conditions and classes. Even up to the present moment, masses of them are slain almost daily for no other offense than the fact that they are good Christians or at least opposed to atheistic Communism. And this fearful destruction has been carried out with a hatred and a savage barbarity one would not have believed possible in our age. No man of good sense, nor any statesman conscious of his responsibility can fail to shudder at the thought that what is happening today in Spain may perhaps be repeated tomorrow in other civilized countries. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 20, March 19, 1937)

These atrocities are the natural fruit of a system which lacks all inner restraint

Nor can it be said that these atrocities are a transitory phenomenon, the usual accompaniment of all great revolutions, the isolated excesses common to every war. No, they are the natural fruit of a system which lacks all inner restraint. Some restraint is necessary for man considered either as an individual or in society. Even the barbaric peoples had this inner check in the natural law written by God in the heart of every man. And where this natural law was held in higher esteem, ancient nations rose to a grandeur that still fascinates – more than it should – certain superficial students of human history. But tear the very idea of God from the hearts of men, and they are necessarily urged by their passions to the most atrocious barbarity. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 21, March 19, 1937)

The whole Christian people are continually in danger of falling away from the faith or of suffering a most cruel death

For from all sides the cry of the peoples who are mourning comes up to us, and their princes or rulers have indeed stood up and met together in one against the Lord and against His Church (cf. Psalm 2:2). Throughout those regions indeed, we see that all rights both human and Divine are confounded. Churches are thrown down and overturned, religious men and sacred virgins are torn from their homes and are afflicted with abuse, with barbarities, with hunger and imprisonment; bands of boys and girls are snatched from the bosom of their mother the Church, and are induced to renounce Christ, to blaspheme and to attempt the worst crimes of lust; the whole Christian people, sadly disheartened and disrupted, are continually in danger of falling away from the faith, or of suffering the most cruel death. These things in truth are so sad that you might say that such events foreshadow and portend the ‘beginning of sorrows,’ that is to say of those that shall be brought by the man of sin, ‘who is lifted up above all that is called God or is worshipped’ (2 Thess 2:4). (Pius XI. Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, no. 15, May 8, 1928)

John Paul II

Fidelity to Christ of the Ukrainian people in face of violent Communist persecution

In the first place I greet you, dear Brothers united by common faith in Christ who died and rose again. The violent Communist persecution did not succeed in eliminating the yearning for Christ and his Gospel from the spirit of the Ukrainian people, because this faith is part of its history and its very life. (John Paul II. Meeting with representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, Kyiv, June 24, 2001)

An intrepid witness during the Communist persecution

With the passage of time, Your Eminence, the eloquent witness that you have given to Christ stands out even more in the Church. Your name has crossed the threshold of your native land, touching and edifying the faithful in Europe and in the entire world. Where bishops, priests, religious and laity continue to be put to the test by the regimes that suppress religious freedom and freedom of conscience, it is a sure source of consolation and encouragement to know that persons like you have persevered in their intrepid witness during the Communist persecution. (John Paul II. Letter for Cardinal Todea’s 90th Birthday, May 28, 2002)

Benedict XVI

The wounds of Communism have not yet completely healed

Venerable Brothers, the Lord has chosen you to work in his vineyard in a society that only recently emerged from the sad winter of persecution. While the wounds that Communism inflicted on your peoples have not yet completely healed, the influence of a secularism that exalts the mirages of consumerism and makes man the measure of himself is growing. (Benedict XVI. Address to the Bishops of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia on their ad limina visit, June 23, 2006)

A hardened regime, but it could not make the Church bow down

Blessed Alojzije Stepinac responded with his priesthood, with the episcopate, with the sacrifice of his life: a unique ‘yes’ united to that of Christ. His martyrdom signals the culmination of the violence perpetrated against the Church during the terrible period of communist persecution. Croatian Catholics, and in particular the clergy, were objects of oppression and systematic abuse, aimed at destroying the Catholic Church, beginning with its highest Authority in this place. That particularly difficult period was characterized by a generation of Bishops, priests and Religious who were ready to die rather than to betray Christ, the Church and the Pope. The people saw that the priests never lost faith, hope and charity, and thus they remained always united. This unity explains what is humanly inexplicable: that such a hardened regime could not make the Church bow down. (Benedict XVI. Celebration of Vespers with Bishops, Priests, Religious and Seminarians and prayer at the tomb of Blessed Alojzije Viktor Stepinac, June 5, 2011)

V – Helping the poor is not an ideological standard, but rather a normal trait of the Church’s charity


Socialists distort the Gospel to suit their own purposes

For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Quod apostolici muneris, no. 5, December 28,1878)

Pius XI

Neither Socialism nor Communism would have existed if the nations had been faithful to the Church

It may be said in all truth that the Church, like Christ, goes through the centuries doing good to all. There would be today neither Socialism nor Communism if the rulers of the nations had not scorned the teachings and maternal warnings of the Church. On the bases of liberalism and laicism they wished to build other social edifices which, powerful and imposing as they seemed at first, all too soon revealed the weakness of their foundations, and today are crumbling one after another before our eyes, as everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937)

‘Charity’ without justice is not charity but only its empty name and hollow semblance

But charity will never be true charity unless it takes justice into constant account. The Apostle teaches that he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law and he gives the reason: For, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal . . . and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Rom 13: 8- 9). According to the Apostle, then, all the commandments, including those which are of strict justice, as those which forbid us to kill or to steal, may be reduced to the single precept of true charity. From this it follows that a ‘charity’ which deprives the workingman of the salary to which he has a strict title in justice, is not charity at all, but only its empty name and hollow semblance. The wage-earner is not to receive as alms what is his due in justice. And let no one attempt with trifling charitable donations to exempt himself from the great duties imposed by justice. Both justice and charity often dictate obligations touching on the same subject-matter, but under different aspects; and the very dignity of the workingman makes him justly and acutely sensitive to the duties of others in his regard. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, no. 49, March 19, 1937)

John Paul II

To proclaim mercy is a part of the life of the Church – She is the trustee and dispenser of the Savior's mercy

The Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy – the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer – and when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser. (John Paul II. Dives in misericordia, no. 13, November 30, 1980)

Benedict XV

The Church heals the wounds of society with a variety of good deeds because She is the heir and guardian of the spirit of Jesus Christ

So too is it necessary that Jesus, of Whom the Samaritan was the figure, should lay His hands upon the wounds of society. This work, this duty the Church claims as her own as heir and guardian of the spirit of Jesus Christ – the Church whose entire existence is a marvelously varied tissue of all kinds of good deeds, the Church, ‘that real mother of Christians in the full sense of the word, who has such tenderness of love and charity for one’s neighbors that she can offer the best remedies for the different evils which afflict souls on account of their sins.’ That is why she ‘treats and teaches children with tenderness, young people with firmness, old people with great calm, taking account not only of the age but also the condition of soul of each’ (Augustine de moribus Ecc. Cat. lib. I, c. 30). It would be difficult to exaggerate the effect of many-sided Christian beneficence in softening the heart and thus facilitating the return of tranquility to the nations. (Benedict XV. Encyclical Pacem Dei munus, no. 11-12, May 23, 1920)

Congregation for Bishops

Bishops ought to make every effort to expand and improve charitable activities

If a diocese is already engaged in charitable activities, the Bishop ought to make every effort to expand and improve them. If necessary, he will establish new means which correspond to the ever changing needs of his flock, particularly in the areas of services for children, young people, the elderly, the sick and the disabled, immigrants and refugees, for whom the Church’s charitable assistance must be ever accessible and ever available (Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 8). (Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, no. 195, February 22, 2004)

Sacred Scripture

Contribution for the poor in the early Church

Now, however, I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the holy ones.

For Macedonia and Achaia have decided to make some contribution for the poor among the holy ones in Jerusalem; they decided to do it, and in fact they are indebted to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to serve them in material blessings. (Rom 15:25-27)

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9 thoughts on “67 – The Communists have stolen the flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Now when they speak one could say to them: “But you are Christians”

  1. The communists stole our flag – that’s why we embrace all of them.
    And Fidel castro’s brother is even thinking of converting – he didn’t realise earlier that marxism is christian – till Francis explained.

  2. My grandma used to say – tell me who your friends are and i’ll tell you who you are. The pictures are very eloquent. He is very at ease with all the commies – and they couldn’t be better with him. So my grandma would say? Nice post – very well substantiated. This merits lots of publicity.

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