St. Thomas Aquinas and Modern Catholic Doctrine
AbstractIn modern Catholic social doctrine, private property over social means of production is defended as a natural right; and any thought of the social use of goods is subordinated to and interpreted in such a way as to maintain intact and guarantee the legal inviolability of this property and the resultant appropriation of unpaid labor by the employer. Capitalist labor relations, then, are considered as part of the order decreed by God; and the official hierarchical Church, while pretending to be neutral in the struggle between the two ideological blocs, is in fact one of the staunchest defenders of capitalist economy. What the official Church does is to seek reform in the system in order to confirm the latter's conservation and perpetuation: one can only have interest in the betterment of the situation of the poor under the condition of assuring that unpaid labor continues to find its way into the pockets of the capitalists.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.
Click here to purchase a PDF version of this article at the Monthly Review website.
Please see here for reprint requests.