It is unfathomable today that Communism, which had been so completely condemned since the middle of the 19th Century by the Holy Fathers, was not even mentioned during Vatican II, though available Council histories do explain why (great lobbying by Russia).
This article from Crisis Magazine has links to the documents the Council wanted to include but were not allowed by the Vatican.
In recent weeks there have been a number of articles regarding the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bolshevik Revolution—that is, the birthday of a bloodbath. In fact, here at the centenary of communism, the number “100” is fitting, given that 100 million is a good stab at the number of people annihilated by the Marxist-Leninist monstrosity the Bolsheviks sought to spread worldwide. (Actually, 100 million is probably a conservative estimate. The true number is likely closer to 140 million.)
Ronald Reagan called communism a “disease.” Good description, although it’s hard to find even a twentieth century contagion that killed as many people as this ideological pathology. Reagan put it better when he described communism as “evil” and “a form of insanity.”
And yet, all along, from the very outset, no institution foresaw the scourge of atheistic communism like the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church’s scathing condemnation of communism preceded even The Communist Manifesto, the ridiculous piece of work Marx and Engels published in 1848 as the official programmatic statement of the communist movement. In 1846, Pope Pius IX released Qui pluribus, affirming that communism is “absolutely contrary to the natural law itself” and if adopted would “utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself.” In 1849, one year after the Manifesto was published, Pius IX issued the encyclical, Nostis Et Nobiscum, which referred to both socialism and communism as “wicked theories,” “perverted theories,” and “pernicious fictions.”
For the Church and its shepherds, this was just the start of a never-ending response to communism and its ugly step-sister, socialism. (In strict Marxist-Leninist theory, socialism is a transitionary step on the way to full communism. See, among others, Lenin’s awful screed, The State and Revolution.)
In 1878, Pope Leo XIII followed with Quod Apostolici muneris, defining communism as “the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.” More such Church statements followed, in 1924, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, and on and on.
Among these, 1931 saw Pope Pius XI issue his seminal Quadragesimo Anno, which ought to be required reading in every parish religious education program. If you’re tired of hearing Sister Social Justice prattle on about the wonders of “democratic socialism,” hand her this document. Few passages in Quadragesimo Anno put it as bluntly as this one (section 120): “Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.”
To repeat: you can’t be a socialist and a good Catholic.
And then came, in 1937, the strongest statement of them all, Divini Redemptoris. There, the Church made clear that the notion of a “Christian Marxist” was an oxymoron. In Marx’s dialectical materialism “there is no room for the idea of God.” Communism was a “truly diabolical” instrument of the “sons of darkness.”
And so, I share this now not only for the purpose of reminding us—and we badly need reminding—that the Church was a pillar of strength in the battle against the deadliest ideology of the last 100 years, if not of all time, but because scholar Matthew Cullinan Hoffman has just done a great work: he has dug up and translated (from the original Latin) Vatican II’s unpublished condemnations of communism.
It’s not these documents were lost, but they’ve certainly been forgotten. Hoffman told me that the documents, in their Latin form, can be found in some large research libraries, squirreled away on old shelves. They are contained in heavy volumes that include all of the acts of the Council and its preparatory phases. In his translations, Hoffman lists the precise volume and page number of the acts that contain the document in question. “However,” adds Hoffman, “the documents have only been available to academics with a knowledge of Latin until now and the very existence of these condemnations has not been widely known—they are mentioned in certain histories of the preparatory phase of Vatican II, but they have never been translated into any vernacular language that we know of.”
What Hoffman has published (courtesy of LifeSiteNews) is extraordinary. The documents are lengthy and worth reading in their entirety, and so rich that there’s too much to try to summarize here. What follows is a general summary of highlights that doesn’t do justice to the full text.
Retrieved December 2, 2017 from http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/vatican-iis-unpublished-condemnations-communism