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Is Wealth Contrary to the Gospel?
Catholic Teaching on Private Property
I haven't written much for Where Peter Is the past several months. It's been difficult to find time to write anything more than the short posts I share here because of grad school. However, Christmas break is here, and along with it a new article for WPI. And not just any article, this turned out to be one of my favorite things I've ever written.
Here's an introduction:
The Church’s ancient tradition and modern teaching about private property is profound, challenging, and almost entirely unknown by many Christians today. Whenever I present this teaching in RCIA classes, it is often met with shock and leads to a lot of questions. In my experience, the Church’s teachings on private property are virtually absent from the general Catholic consciousness.
In this article, I give an overview of the Church's authoritative and consistent teaching about having wealth. This teaching is not easy.
We have been baptized priest, prophet, and king. We are other Christs. Our values are different from the world’s values, so our lives ought to look different as well.
We see this explicitly when we look at sexual morality. Scripture and Tradition teach clearly that a Christian is to follow specific moral principles when it comes to sex—principles that the world may not share. St. Paul repeatedly calls upon new Christian converts to cease the sexual excesses of their past life. Now Christ lives in them and they are temples of the Holy Spirit, so their sexual behavior must change as well.
How is money different? The world’s financial values center on material security and growing wealth. But those are not Christ’s values. Followers of Christ are challenged to understand and use money differently from the rest of the world.