The Continuity of the Catholic Church
The Most Reverend Duane G. Hunt D.D.


Another example comes under the heading of Socialism. There are Christian Socialists who insist that all Christians should follow the example of the early Church in Jerusalem. The Acts of the Apostles records that "all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need" (The Acts 2:44-45). This text and another similar one are accepted as proof that our Lord intended His followers to live in socialistic communities. Against this conclusion is that of the Catholic Church. From the first she understood that the socialism of the early Church was purely voluntary, that it established no precedent, and that it implies no obligation upon Christian people. As the record shows, the early Christians believed in the right of private property. They could scarcely do otherwise, in light of the divine command, "Thou shall not steal."

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