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The Great Reset

In the past few years, there has been much talk of the “Great Reset.” To “reset” means to put something back into its original condition, such as to reset a bone, or a diamond in a ring. The idea of the “Great Reset,” put forth by the World Economic Forum (WEF), proposes to “reset,” or “rebuild” society. They have written:

The world must jointly and swiftly revamp all aspects of our societies and economics, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country must participate… every industry… must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.” The founder of the WEF has written: “With the economic emergency responses to the pandemic now in place, the opportunity can be seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on a new path towards a fairer, greener future…We must build entirely new foundations of our economic and social systems… That will require stronger, more effective governments… that would steer the market toward fairer outcomes.” They have posted a video listing eight predictions, one of which says, “In the future you will own nothing and be happy.”

These statements raise questions: “Who is going to control education: the state or parents? What does a ‘reset of capitalism’ mean? Does ‘revamping social contracts’ mean destroying the family? Does a ‘stronger, more effective government that steers the market’ mean a bigger, totalitarian government engaged in central planning? Does ‘owning nothing’ mean the abolition of private property? Exactly how are these proposals different from the brutal and deadly ‘transformations’ imposed by communist governments?” Skepticism is not unwarranted.

In the Catholic Church, there are many who see the Church’s mission in a way that resembles the goals of the Great Reset. They think the main goal of the Church is to deliver people everywhere from the injustices caused by the power structures of modern society. They think of sin as a social evil, and not as a personal offense against God. This thinking has been called “liberation theology.” In 1984, our founder, Fr. Kenneth Baker, wrote an article titled Salvation and Liberation Theology, and the points he makes in it also apply to the Great Reset. Here are a few excerpts:

At Christmas we celebrate salvation and liberation in Christ Jesus. It is crystal clear from the Bible, from the Tradition of the Church, and from the recent teaching of Vatican Council II that the salvation of Jesus, intended for all men and women, is primarily spiritual salvation from sin and the power of the devil… Jesus was not a social revolutionary; he was not a radical politician. Jesus in fact said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

Today many Catholics are confused on this point because of the popularity of liberation theology. There is much good in liberation theology, but there is also a great deal of error in it. It falls into a type of Manicheanism by tagging the poor as the “good guys” and the rich as the “bad guys.” It is Gnostic and elitist by claiming that it alone knows the causes of poverty in the world and it alone knows how to cure it (by eliminating private property and capitalism)… Liberation theology falls into idolatry by divinizing politics. Among Catholics you find the tendency to use faith, liturgy and sacraments to achieve certain political goals.

It is noble and praiseworthy to work to overcome poverty and injustice, but the good end does not justify any means. Violence, class warfare and hatred, advocated by some liberation theologians, are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Moreover, they will never solve the problems of poverty and oppression.

The plight of the poor cannot be improved by falsifying the Gospel… Political liberation can and should flow from salvation in Christ, but the latter can never flow from the former. Only God can effect man’s salvation.

The Good News is this: The Greatest Reset has already happened! It is the Incarnation. “The Good News,” in the words of our advisor Fr. Welzbacher, “is that Christ Jesus our Lord, God the Son, became man, who, by His teachings and sufferings and death, opened the gates of Heaven for all who would hear His Word and follow it.” The joyful event of His coming is what we celebrate at Christmas.

Venite adoremus


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