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Catholic Dictionary




A term derived from the Russian bolshinstvo (majority) and originally used to designate the radical left among the Communists. The professed aim of Bolshevism is the overthrow of existing governments and the substitution of Communism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It has been several times condemned by name in papal documents. Pope Pius XI declared, "We have exposed the errors and the violent deceptive tactics of Bolshevistic and atheistic Communism" (encyclical Divini Redemptoris, III, 25).