The Federalist takes a stab. I don't know how accurate the article is. But it can't be missed that in only a few years, Socialism went from something decried by the Catholic Church and shunned by most Americans to the hippest trend for millennials and the approach to social and economic problems that the Church endorses in all but official seal.
Why? Not sure. Part of it is seeing things as black and white. America is a Capitalist society. Conservatives are Capitalists. Bush was a Republican. That must mean Capitalism was running the show when the economy tanked. Therefore Socialism must be OK. Or something like it. That's about the level of debate one sees in the modern era of Social Media.
Plus, liberals have long painted Europe as the society that even God can't beat in its awesomeness. And since Europe is to some degree or another socialist, at least in desire if not in actual practice, it stands to reason that Socialism must be awesome as well.
In addition, we have to admit that the old Free Market has seen its share of abuse. Out of the anti-liberal conservative movement arose a group of voices who embrace what can only be described as Darwinian Capitalism. That is, survival of the richest. If you don't like your lot in life, then go out and get tons of money. If you don't, you deserve what you get. And as a growing number of Americans fill the category of 'have nots', expect them to cool toward such an explanation of what Capitalism is all about.
And, of course, Socialism has been beloved of the Left for generations, and after decades of schools, colleges, movies, television, news, books, articles, and sermons touting the glories of Socialism and pointing out that the early Church was basically a Socialist wonderland, it's not hard to see why it's become the latest, hippest thing.
The Church's 180 on this is based on the idea that modern Democratic Socialism is no problem, it's only those mean old Socialist countries of the 20th century who gave birth to all those gulags and gas chambers that were bad. Apparently, gas chambers, gulags and panzer divisions are the only things that can compromise the moral uprightness of Socialism. Countries that seem overwhelmingly dedicated to abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, gay sex, the dissolution of marriage, dugs and debauchery in the era of 30 million dead from AIDS and assaults on religious liberty are no big deal. In fact, Conservatives with their notions of salvation through Christ, the exclusivity of the Gospel, and the belief in personal responsibility and a call for the freedom to find our own paths in life are now the ones who are suspect.
Again, just why the Church has jumped on this bandwagon I don't know. I can get why millennials are into it. It's what they've heard. It's almost all they've heard. It's like being surprised that kids growing up in the 40s thought Japan was a bad country. That's all they heard. Same here. But why the Church has decided that those who support free market Capitalism in a free country dedicated to the ancient belief of God and His moral commandments are the baddies, and those committed to destroying the Gospel in a frenzy of decadence, debauchery, tyranny and even genocide are OK because they're Socialists, I have not one clue.