Tuesday, February 6, 2018
China's secularist dictatorship is . . . the best vehicle for implementing Catholic Social Thought? Stupid.
It's being reported that Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo said recently that (among other things) "those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese . . . You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs . . . [T]he economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States, something Americans themselves would say.”
This is incredibly ignorant and foolish. No, my point is not that it's foolish to see, say, democratic socialism as a sometimes effective vehicle for some aspects of the Church's social teachings, nor is it to deny the observation that China is, in some respects, different from what it was during John Paul II's pontificate, nor is it that the Church's social teachings are perfectly operationalized in democratic-market economies. But . . . China? Shame on him. It is impossible to take seriously a Vatican office ("Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences") that propagates this kind of silliness -- actually, "silliness" isn't strong enough. It's repulsive.
Let's put aside the dumb and easily falsifiable claim about "shantytowns" or about China acting for "the good of the planet"; put aside too, for now, the facts about abortion, capital punishment, censorship, lawlessness, etc. The Church's social teachings rest, foundationally, on a moral anthropology and a social ontology that are completely incompatible with either Chinese communism or "socialism with Chinese characteristics."