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Usury in the Modern Catholic Catechism

Discussion in 'Religion and Lighthearted Discussion' started by PatsFanInVa, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. PatsFanInVa

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    There have been Catechisms over the centuries that defined lending at interest as a sin, coming under the general heading of Usury. There's a whole history of unintended consequences that came out of this. The consequence most harmful to Christendom, to use the old term, was that Capitalism, which depends on lending at interest, could not take hold anywhere where lending at interest was illegal. (Present-day Islamic banking overcomes such problems through a system of fees, which, while not "interest," serve the same purpose.)

    Today's Catechism has this to say on the subject:

    2269 The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person's death. The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as refusing assistance to a person in danger.

    The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.71​

    Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone's death, even without the intention to do so.


    We talk a lot about abortion, and the catechism now has a lot to say about it. We have members who hold that it is inconsistent with Catholicism to vote or advocate for a woman's right to choose.

    I am, however, curious as to whether a Catholic must advocate for greater national resources to be devoted to the elimination of famine elsewhere.

    "The acceptance by human society" clause, above, makes it clear that it is our shared responsibility to eliminate famines. If you are a Catholic, and you know there are famines, and there is a bill on the floor of the House to increase aid to a region in famine conditions -- for example -- would you not have to vote in favor of it, the deficit aside, unless you are a "cafeteria Catholic"?

    PFnV
  2. RI Patriots fan

    RI Patriots fan Rookie

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    So you're saying that the Catholic faith requires us to use government to eliminate famine because that's not what I'm seeing...at all.

    If I give money to relief organizations to end famine, then I have fulfilled my obligation to help those in danger.
  3. PatsFanInVa

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    What if they are still in danger after you give what you've earmarked? Just wash your hands of it? Is it not in your power to affect American aid policy?

    It talks about the problem by invoking "society" not just RIP fan. Doesn't that mean "society" must act?
  4. RI Patriots fan

    RI Patriots fan Rookie

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    "Societies" can react to these famines by using government controlled agencies or individually through donations to private charities....but there is no requirement that Catholics use one or the other. Either is morally acceptable.

    Personally, I would encourage others to give to private charities to end these periods of danger.
    I would work through private charities just like Americans did before FDR took control and established his Progressive agenda.
  5. PatsFanInVa

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    Just like every individual can choose to act on SLAVERY!!!!???? (emoticon.)

    This is your argument vis a vis pro-choice Catholics. You are anti-choice on the subject of abortion. Yet the catechism clearly spells out that he who does not act to prevent deadly harm to others -- invoking language about what "society" is obligated to do -- and specifically explains the moral obligation not to allow famines.

    Doesn't that make you a "cafeteria Catholic?" You can be pro-choice on famine, but not on abortion.

    Politics aside you can give whatever portion you want to alleviate famine. We'll call the most you can give X. There is an amount that is X + Y when you advocate and vote for national policies that would have our "society" alleviating famine.

    If there is a bill on the House floor to do more, the catechism says you MUST support it, by the same argument that every Catholic MUST vote anti-choice on abortion.

    PFnV
  6. PatsFanInVa

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    But while we're on the subject, RIP fan, how do you feel about this aspect of the catechism?

    Respect for health

    2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

    Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.​


    Are you politically bound to vote and advocate for society helping the poor in attaining food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance, until such time as they reach maturity?

    Were a congressman to introduce legislation vastly expanding aid to dependent children, would you oppose it? Or would that make you a "cafeteria Catholic?"

    Are you "pro-choice" on aiding the poor (in this particular case, focusing on poor children)?
  7. RI Patriots fan

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    You are the perfect example of a Progressive being blinded by their agenda. Nowhere in the catechism does it says that we must support goverment funded programs....period.

    Look at church history.....charity has been almost exclusively a function of individual catholics, Catholic philanthropic organizations, or the church itself. The church has never required that one support government intervention to stop poverty.

    Unlike you, I understand church history and church teaching. This is my sandbox...not yours.

    BTW, "society" isn't exclusively equivalent to "government". I know as a Progressive your Masters teach you that all the time but society is about "relationships" which are destroyed by Progressivism.
  8. PatsFanInVa

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    I'm glad that you had time left over after teaching Catholicism to the Pope (you still have some work to do there, evidently,) to educate the likes of me.

    Unfortunately, you still have the same problem.

    In the case of abortion, you say that a Catholic can only act in limited ways in the political sphere, and you support the national and state governments acting to constrain the individual's moral choice.

    In the case of alleviation of famine, you say that despite the words of the catechism, each individual has an unlimited range of action as regards advocacy for any state policy. A good and consistent Catholic could scream to the high heavens that the United States never spend another penny alleviating famine.

    Your problem is that if all Catholics, working together, succeed in overriding the rest of the nation, you could compel others to devote their earnings to stopping famine. Therefore, you could make more progress in alleviating famine by taking the same big-government attitude you take toward abortion - just as you could satisfy yourself that you are saving little human souls if you foisted your own attitudes toward abortion on the remainder of the general population.

    Sounds like you're the cafeteria Catholic, RI.

    PFnV
  9. everlong

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    #12 Jersey

    It's funny that RI Phelps Fan will trash what he considers the progressive faith for picking what they want to believe in an ala carte fashion and yet Mr RCC himself picks and chooses more than anybody else. It's an easy choice. Anything where he can spew hate he embraces it. Anything where he can choose kindness and compassion it's not required.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. PatsFanInVa

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    Everlong - although I respect any individual's faith choices, I think respect for other outlooks should be basic for all of us. Of course, not everybody agrees :)

    The conservative faith, the progressive faith, blah blah blah. Political outlooks vary, within religions as well as between them.

    It would appear, however, that RIP has been rather thoroughly pwned on the consistency point.

    PFnV
  11. RI Patriots fan

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    You're assuming that abortion is an individual moral choice.....that a woman has the "right" to choose to kill her baby. That is where the catechism disagrees with you:


    2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."


    Catechism of the Catholic Church - The fifth commandment


    When a Catholic acts to support abortion, they're denying a human being their God given right to life. There is no "right to choice" according to the catechism there is only the "inalienable right to life". "Right to choice" is merely window dressing for "right to murder". So the baseline is "right to life"....not "right to choose murder" just like the baseline in regards to slavery would be "freedom" and not the "right to own slaves".


    As to famine, you are misinterpreting the catechism to fit your agenda. As I've said, and of course you've ignored, the church has never required that a Catholic support a government program to help the poor in any way. Did you show me evidence throughout church history to suggest the opposite? Nope....of course not because it doesn't exist.


    Catholics represent about a quarter of the population (give or take a percent). Instead of forcing others to give out of their pockets, imagine if Catholics used their own money and became an example to others of philanthropy. I think this would be a much more powerful example and would change hearts. I know Progressives don't care about changing hearts but faithful Catholics care about it.
  12. DarrylS

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    The three trick pony rides into town guns, abortion and those damned progressives...
  13. PatsFanInVa

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    Once again, the catechism only says that some rights are universal, not conferred by parents, the state, etc.

    It does not say where you should stand on enforcing one religion's viewpoint on those who are not of that religion.

    I do not know whether any person or group is advocating for abortion. I know for a fact I never have and the Mrs. never has. Neither of us go up to pregnant women in the street and hand them a tract about how difficult childbirth and parenting are, for example.

    We are both, however, in favor of a woman's right to choose without the state's interference.

    You still have never found the words in your catechism that say that Catholics in a pluralist society must act to conform people of other religions to the Catholic point of view by force of law.

    PFnV
  14. RI Patriots fan

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    Depnding on who you ask, there are approximately 200 countries on this planet. The catechism is not designed to address each and every political system in each and every country. It is designed to to give general guidelines on questions of morality and the faith. Then, it is up to the local bishops to apply these guidelines to their local situation.

    Even so, the Catechism is quite clear that it is never acceptable (Catholic or non-Catholic) to support a political system or laws where abortion is permitted. It also clearly states that the state must enact laws to protect fetuses from the crime of abortion.

    "As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."81


    Catechism of the Catholic Church - The fifth commandment


    Obviously, advocating for laws which allow for "choice" by voting for someone because they support the "choice" to kill an unborn child, is a clear violation of this teaching.
  15. PatsFanInVa

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    2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.

    However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed."106
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You, RIP fan, are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. You have an exception for self-defense; that is, the invasion of the United States by a foreign power, so that "governments" -- in this case the U.S. government -- can defend themselves.

    Did you work night and day to end the Iraq war during the Bush presidency?

    Or were you a "cafeteria Catholic"?

    I can do this all day.

    PFnV
  16. PatsFanInVa

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    By the way, in the passage above, the Catechism hints that the proper state of affairs is an international government that could obviate the need to ever fight a war. Are you in favor of one world government?

    PFnV
  17. RI Patriots fan

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    In no way, shape, or form does th Catechism call for or even "hint" at a "one world" government.

    That is, again, your Progressive interpretation. No one in the Magisterium agrees with you....no one.

    The church calls for international co-operation (a "community of nations") and ultimately an international agreement for the outlawing of war. Security would then be, as agreed upon by all, facilitated by an international body. Nations would still exist as well.

    Obviously, the church also warns....."It does them no good to work for peace as long as feelings of hostility, contempt and distrust, as well as racial hatred and unbending ideologies, continue to divide men and place them in opposing camps. But we should not let false hope deceive us. For unless enmities and hatred are put away and firm, honest agreements concerning world peace are reached in the future, humanity, which already is in the middle of a grave crisis, even though it is endowed with remarkable knowledge, will perhaps be brought to that dismal hour in which it will experience no peace other than the dreadful peace of death."

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_...vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html

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