Communist regime
For the Church: hope or self-demolition?

For a long time, the attitude of communist governments was painfully clear and coherent, not only in relation to the Catholic Church, but also in relation to all religions.

Author: Editorial Staff | Source:

Communist regime
For the Church: hope or self-demolition?

By: Editorial Staff | Source:

In view of the recent agreements of the Holy See with the communist government of China - agreements whose entire content has not been revealed, the current study by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira is particularly relevant. Written in 1964, when communism tried to hide its murderous face behind a smile, the work was widely disseminated even behind the Iron Curtain.

Agreement with the communist regime: for the Church, hope or self-demolition?

For a long time, the attitude of communist governments was painfully clear and coherent, not only in relation to the Catholic Church but also in relation to all religions.

    a) According to the Marxist doctrine, every religion is a myth, which carries with it the "alienation" of man to an imaginary superior being, that is, to God. This "alienation" is exploited by the oppressor classes to maintain their dominion over the proletariat. Indeed, the hope of an unearthly life promised to resigned workers as a reward for their patience, acts on them as opium, so that they do not rebel against the harsh conditions of life imposed on them by capitalist society.

    b) Thus, in the religious myth, everything is false and harmful to man. There is no God, nor the future life. The only reality is matter in a state of continuous evolution. The specific objective of evolution is to "unlearn" man from all kinds of subjection to real or fictitious lords. Evolution, in whose free course is the supreme good of humanity, finds then a serious brake on any religious myth.

c) Consequently, it corresponds to the communist state - which through the dictatorship of the proletariat must open the way to the evolutionary "disengagement" of the masses - the obligation to radically exterminate all kinds of religion.

The fear that, in the case of a communist world victory, the Church will have to be everywhere, subject to the horrors that it suffered in Mexico, in Spain, in Russia, in Hungary or China, is the main cause of the decision of Catholics scattered throughout the world to resist communism until death.

This heroic decision represents, in the field of psychological factors, the greatest obstacle - perhaps the only appreciable one - for communism to become established and maintained throughout the world.

Therefore, the attitude of certain communist governments in religious matters seems to present new nuances. In these countries, as announced by their respective propaganda bodies, the intolerance of the government in relation to some religions has been replaced by a tolerance that, if initially malevolent, is becoming, if not benevolent, at least indifferent.

A complex problem

By changing, to a certain extent, the way of proceeding of the communist authorities, two paths open for the Catholic Church in these countries:

    a) to abandon clandestine and catacomb existence, which until today was carried in the countries behind the Iron Curtain, and move to live in the light of day, coexisting with the communist regime in an express or tacit "modus vivendi";

    b) To reject all "modus vivendi" and keep underground. 

Choosing between these two paths is the complex problem that, at present, poses to the conscience of numerous Catholics. This option will depend on the solution given to the following moral problem: is it permissible for Catholics to accept a "modus vivendi" with a communist regime?

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