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Catholic social teaching justifies squatting and shoplifting


If houses are occupied, shops are simply robbed and goods wagons are looted, then these actions, which can actually be described as robbery and theft, can be excused on the basis of Catholic social teaching.

Natural law is at the top

bicycle theft
If you absolutely need a spare wheel, you can just get it - Catholic teaching

Anyone who wonders why such an obvious massive withdrawal of capital from the territory of Germany, a slowly escalating migration and an extreme redistribution of the (remaining) money could come about could get the answer from Catholic social teaching.

In addition to other topics, Catholic social teaching also deals with property, the right to property and the obligation to share this property with those who do not have until complete transfer of ownership. These philosophies, which are based on natural law, are also put into practice according to the logic “whoever has a lot has stolen it from the poor and the poor have the right to take what is ‘his'”.

Catholic social teaching started in 1891

Catholic social teaching was launched with a “bang” by Pope Leo XIII. and his encyclical “Rerum Novarum” in 1891. With this letter, the church made a drastic change of direction. It is not the biblical statements, statutes and laws that count, but rather the Hellenistic natural law in connection with their own traditions. The encyclical caused a stir, but the Church has stayed that course to this day.

Encyclical “Rerum Novarum”

So it says in position 6:

“For every human being has the inherent right to own property as his own” and in position 9: “Here too we have further proof that private property is in harmony with natural law”

But in Pos. 22 a bit restrictive:

“It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to have money and another to have a right to use it as you will. “

Summarized social teaching in 2006

The remarks on Catholic social concepts in the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church” (2006) are already “more tangible” and contain considerably more relativizations about the right to property.

Compendium of social teaching Pos. 177:

“The Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute and inviolable: on the contrary, it has always understood this right in the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of all creation: the right to private property is the right to sharing is subordinate to the fact that goods are intended for everyone.”

This is justified, among other things, by the fact that, according to the social doctrine of the Church, ownership of goods should be equally accessible to everyone, “so that everyone can at least to a certain extent become owners.”

The individual’s right to property is thus clearly relativized, subject to the common good and only permitted to a “certain extent”. Anyone who believes that they can regard something as their “untouchable” property is, according to the ideas of the Catholic Church, terribly mistaken. Be it the mobile phone, the car or even the house, all of this must be available to the general public for its benefit when needed.

Compendium of social teaching Pos. 178:

“The Church’s social teaching also calls for the recognition of the social function of every form of private property, clearly related to its necessary relationship to the common good. Man should regard the external things which he rightfully possesses not only as his own, but also as general in the sense that they can benefit not only him but others as well. The universal destination of goods involves obligations as to how goods should be used by their rightful owners. Individuals must not use their resources without considering the impact of that use, but must act in ways that benefit not only themselves and their families, but also the common good. Hence the duty of the owners not to let the goods in their possession idle and to use them for productive activities, even if they are entrusted to others who wish to use them for production.”

Social teaching justifies many things

Catholic social teaching thus also justifies occupying vacant houses or stealing a vehicle if the actual owner does not (just) need it. Would that be theft? Yes, of course, but not for the Catholic Church, because this is ultimately allowed by natural law. With the Pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et Spes” the Church reaffirms its “closest ties with the whole human family” and expresses it there in pos. 69:

“But he who finds himself in extreme need has the right to take for himself what is needed of the wealth of others.”
and justifies this with the ecclesiastical logic, among other things: “Feed the dying of hunger, for not feeding him means killing him”.

According to the logic and philosophy of the Church, the poor have the right to simply take what is ultimately theirs by “nature”. The restraint or the defense of any such access is to be omitted, since the have finally “robbed” the non-have. It is completely irrelevant whether the owner of a thing worked for half his life and thus created value for the “common good” and the non-haves as eternal students never got off to a good start.

Implementation on experimental fields

According to Catholic social teaching, theft is only appropriation of what is actually due

So it is not surprising that a kind of “social experiment” is started in individual regions when implementing such “spiritual wisdom”. In the US state of California, for example, Shoplifting is almost legalized, as long as the stolen items are valued at less than $950. You can just walk into a shop, stuff your bags full and head out again unmolested and without haste. It’s legal now.

In South Africa, the widespread looting of shops, pharmacies and central food stores in July 2017 largely had no consequences. The non-haves simply take from the haves, who apparently have too much of it. After all, goods, whether natural or produced, belong to every human being. The looting of freight trains in California can certainly be justified in this way. This is catholic social teaching.

Overview of the “Social Encyclicals”

Pope Leo XIII published the first papal letter in 1891 with his encyclical “Rerum Novarum”, which focused on Catholic social teaching according to natural law. Further encyclicals by different popes followed up to the present time:
– Rerum Novarum, 1891, Pope Leo XIII.
– Quadragesimo Anno, 1931, Pope Pius XI.
– Mater et Magistra, 1961, Pope Joh. XXIII.
– Pacem in terris, 1963, Pope Joh. XXIII.
– Populorum Progressio, 1967, Pope Paul VI.
– Laborem exercens, 1981, Pope John Paul II.
– Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987, Pope John Paul II.
– Cenesimus Annus, 1991, Pope John Paul II.
– Caritas in Veritate, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI.
– Laudato si’, 2015, Pope Francis
– Fratelli Tutti, 2020, Pope Francis

Catholic social teaching justifies squatting and shoplifting
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