Want to be a true ‘progressive’? Be Catholic.

 The Church has long shown the flaws in ersatz 'progressive' ideologies. Catholic progress is divinely ordered progress.

May 1, 2018 (The Catholic Thing) – In our culture, there are many abused terms, but perhaps the most abused is “progress.” The word comes originally from the Latin for “going forward.” The Renaissance gave the word a distinctly subjective meaning – new ideas about person and government that preceded their application in concrete terms, for example. The Industrial Revolution added the expectation that technology would solve the world's problems. It did not, of course; it created a world of machines without human moral development.

Historically, the greatest misuse of the word started when progress began to be understood simply in terms of ideas. When this or that elite constructs an idea of progress, their visions may have nothing to do with reality. Karl Marx, for example, may have been moved by the harsh conditions of workers, but he proposed alternative ideas about ownership and government. And not very good ones, as it turned out, as we can see quite well in the 200th anniversary of his birth this year.

There was no guarantee (except in his mind) that Marx's ideas would lead to the “progress” he envisaged. Forcing the complex dynamics of the world to fit his ideas caused the deaths of tens of millions. That is a verifiable fact – and does not constitute progress. Yet surveys show that many philosophy departments in America still teach Marxism as a serious subject.

The Church has long shown the flaws in ersatz “progressive” ideologies – Pope  Leo XIII already knew where socialism would go in 1891 – which is why those who embrace such ideologies hate the Church.

But let's consider progress and the Church more closely. Joseph Ratzinger reminded us, decades ago, that our faith in the Divine Trinity comes out of the concrete historical experiences of Jews and Christians.

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