Reply To: The Church and the Market and the Catechism of the Catholic Church


Anything on how the church can support both public and private property? Does the church advocate stealing from private property owners to make public property? Or has property been claimed by the public before private entities? If, so how is that property maintained but by taking from private owners? Does the church think it needs to reconcile this contradiction? In other words, how does public property exist without theft and if theft is morally wrong, then how can public property be accepted? Does the church believe that public property is financed by voluntary contributions and is only justified by voluntary contributions? What do you think about this?

Still, a nagging concern about private property for me (that is not solved with the concept of public property) is that one cannot truly own himself, himself being private property, if he does not have exclusive land rights, because he takes up space and must reside on land. Is this a paradox of scarcity to which the world outside of heaven limits us? Anything on this?

Another question I have regarding the article you referred to me is about the need to work less for an item over a time frame of 1900-1999 is, do the distributionists take credit for that? We give credit to the market even while it happened during a time of government expansion. I thought that real wages stopped increasing in the early seventies, if that is so, how do we have greater use of our labor in 1999? My guess is that this point in the article is only taking bread into account because the production of bread was less hampered by government even during a time of government expansion and inflation. Perhaps the article should show that a priori suggests that our units of labor should be able to buy even more bread if not for the expansion of government and inflation.

Lastly, and thank you for your precious time, is I have interpreted the distributionists’ theory that wealth is both finite and infinite–a contradiction that must be addressed. It is finite and must be distributed to raise the condition of the poorest but infinite because it calls for a sustainable standard of living to which is better than previously obtained even with greater population and uncontrollable events such as natural disasters. Unless, of course, it is their objective to control the population?–and the natural world? It is a free market belief, in my understanding, that wealth is only finite in so far as it can be oppressed by force; conversely, it is infinite in so far as freedom from force (distributionists policies and such) is enjoyed.

Thank you,

Patricia Colling