The pope tries his hand at economics

He launches “a salvo against global capitalism,” recommending we Catholics say “‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”  

Our current economic system is “unjust at its roots,” in that it “defend(s) the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.” Such a system, he warned, is creating a “new tyranny,” which “unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.” 

Hes looking more to market than state as worriesome thing, says a theology teacher:

“Benedict seemed to aim his critique at state and market alike, whereas Francis seems to move the ball considerably in the direction of the idea that the market has far more powerthe power to do good for humanity as well as to dehumanizethan the state,” said Chad Pecknold, assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Nothing he said as quoted in news accounts demonstrates any worry about overreaching government. Dorothy Day, of Catholic Worker fame, a onetime Communist with anarchist leanings, spoke mockingly of “holy mother the state.” Maybe Francis, who has shown an affinity with her, might lean more in that direction.

He has an opinion about market effect which constitutes papal overreach shockingly:

. . . some people continue to defend trickle_down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.

This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.

Spoken with authority embarrassingly so.

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  • Jim Bowman  On 11/27/2013 at 10:54 AM

    Reblogged this on Diary of a Catholic Reader.


    • John Powers  On 11/27/2013 at 2:12 PM

      How on earth can anyone take serious the claim of “absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation” when the US Government takes 40% of the economy and their are literally thousands of pages of regulation of financial speculation?

      What is “absolute” or autonomous about that?


  • Margaret  On 11/28/2013 at 11:11 AM

    Ditto, John. I wonder how much Francis knows about the United States, its origins, governing documents, etc. Doesn’t he wonder why so many people came here from statist countries? There are two choices of governments: one that leaves non-criminal people alone to forge their own destinies and the rest who “rule” the people. We have been given the former, but are sliding rapidly to the latter. Life in Argentina should have stirred some comprehension of the dangers of Populist leaders and dictators as that county veered back and forth from Fascism to Socialism. We have a president who is a closet Communist who hates the Christian faith and now we have a pope who aids and abets his loathsome ideas on Economics.

    Pope Francis is an embarrassment to me. He doesn’t understand the basics of Economics and should not be issuing encyclicals about subjects on which he knows little. His glib remarks about homosexuals were just the excuse needed for Democrats in the Illinois Assembly to vote for same-sex marriage. I wish, or how I wish, that Catholic leaders would go back to teaching the doctrines of the Faith and morals. I am distressed that my fellow “Catholics” of just 10 years younger know little of either.


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