The author is Catholic and the quotes were translated from the Italian.
As a Catholic, this Pope’s political and economic views concern me since he is the leader of more than one billion Catholics. I’d be very interested in hearing other peoples’ opinions on this.
Pope Francis spoke out strongly against “unbridled” Capitalism in his speech in Bolivia on July 9th. He suggested, however, that Capitalism as a system is by its nature “unbridled”.
He seemed to blame Capitalism for the ills of the world while in a country led by a Communist human rights abuser. The Pope has most certainly adopted the most extreme version of climate change mantra as his own and he referred to it throughout his speech. He also continued the idea that not accepting and responding to his view of climate change is sinful.
In his address, the Pope warned against greed for money and for making an “idol” of capital and allowing it to” direct the actions of human beings” (Capitalism?).
He denounced the love of money as “the devil’s excrement”, but did not specifically define what he means by “the love of money.”
“The service of the common good fades into the background” when ambition predominates, said Francis, warning of “irreversible” damage to the ecosystem in the name of profit. He had warned against ‘competition’ in his recent encyclical.
Pope Francis appeared to blame Capitalism and the “stench” of money for the so-called “irreversible damage to the ecosystem”.
“Colonialism, old and new, which reduces the poor to mere suppliers of raw materials and cheap labor, generates violence, poverty, forced migration and all the evils that we can see. This led to inequity and violence that no police, military or intelligence services can stop.”
“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. We say ‘no’ to an economy of exclusion and inequity where money dominates instead of serving. This economy kills. This economy is exclusionary. This plan destroys Mother Earth.”
He condemned “new colonialism” who use the “idol” – money – to control “free trade” and impose “austerity” in what sounded like a jab at the EU and Capitalists in general.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS PROVIDE MORE CONTEXT
His next comments explain what he believes happens when an entire socio-economic system is controlled by the greed of money (Capitalism?):
“Today the scientific community accepts what has long denounced the humble: you are producing perhaps irreversible damage to the ecosystem. They are punishing the earth, communities and people in an almost wild. And after so much pain, so much death and destruction, he feels the stench of what Basil the Great – one of the first theologians of the Church – called it “the devil’s excrement.” The unbridled ambition of money dominates. This is the “the devil’s excrement.” And the service of the common good fades into the background. When capital becomes idol and directs the actions of human beings, when the greed of money controls the entire socio-economic system, now ruined, he condemned the man, makes him a slave, destroys fraternity among human beings, pushes against nation and, as we see, this also threatens our common home, the sister, Mother Earth.”
In the next statement, he appears to be talking about Capitalist economies.
“The first task is to put the economy at the service of the people: human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. We say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequity where money dominates instead of serving. This economy kills. This economy is exclusionary. This plan destroys Mother Earth.”
He is a fan of what appears to be unbridled redistribution or just great generosity.
“The economy should not be a mechanism of accumulation, but the good administration of the common home. This means jealously guard the house and properly distribute the goods among all. Its purpose is not only to ensure food or a “decent livelihood.” Nor, although it would still be a big step forward, to guarantee access to “three t ‘ [land, home and work] for which you struggle. Community economy really, I would say a Christian-based economy, it must guarantee the dignity of peoples, “prosperity without excluding any good” (John XXIII, Enc. Lett. Mater et Magistra [15 May 1961], 3: AAS 53 (1961) , 402).”
In the name of “productivity”, the systems (which appears to be Capitalism), denies basic rights and the equitable distribution of the fruits of the earth. His views seem to favor Socialism in some form.
“This economy is not only desirable and necessary, but also possible. Not a utopia or a fantasy. It is a realistic prospect. We can do it. The resources available in the world, the work of generations and peoples of the gifts of creation, are more than enough for the integral development of “every man and of the whole man” (Paul VI, Enc. Lett. Populorum Progressio [26 March 1967], 14: AAS 59 (1967), 264). The problem, however, is another. There is a system with other goals. A system that in addition to accelerating irresponsibly rhythms of production and an increase in industry and agriculture methods that harm Mother Earth in the name of “productivity”, continues to deny billions of brothers the most basic economic rights, Social and Cultural Rights. This system attentive to the project of Jesus, against the Good News that Jesus brought.”
“The equitable distribution of the fruits of the earth and of human work is not mere philanthropy. It ‘a moral duty. For Christians, the commitment is even stronger: it is a commandment. It is to give back to the poor and to the people what belongs to them. The universal destination of goods is not an ornament of discourse of the social doctrine of the Church. It ‘a reality prior to private property. The property, particularly when it touches the natural resources, must always be in function of the needs of the people. And these needs are not limited to the consumer. Do not just drop a few drops when the poor shake this glass than ever pouring alone.”
Formal market economies are economies of exclusion he believes but he seems to support “free markets” but seems to prefer collaborative over competitive communities.
“I got to know closely diverse experiences in which workers gathered in cooperatives and other forms of community organization have managed to create a job where there were only scraps economy idolatrous. And I’ve seen some that are here. Businesses retrieved, free markets and cooperatives [missed words] are examples of this popular economy emerging from exclusion and, little by little, with effort and patience, solidarity takes on forms that give it dignity. How different is this than the fact that discarded the formal market are exploited as slaves!”
He supports “community production” and economies at the service of the people.
“Governments that take as their own the task of putting the economy at the service of the people should promote the strengthening, improvement, coordination and expansion of these forms of popular economy and Community production. This implies improving work processes, provide adequate infrastructure and ensure full rights for workers in this sector alternative.”
An economy must be equitable and pensions a human right.
“An economy must create the right conditions so that everyone can enjoy their childhood without deprivation, develop their talents in youth, work with full rights in the years of activity and access to a decent pension in old age.”
He is a social justice proponent. The goal is “to unite our peoples on the path of peace and justice.” He condemns colonialism. He later apologized for the church’s own colonialism.
“The people of the world want to be architects of their own destiny. They want to go in peace their march toward justice. They do not want protection or interference where the strongest subjects the weaker. They demand that their culture, their language, their social processes and their religious traditions are respected. No power or fact made has the right to deprive poor countries of the full exercise of its sovereignty and, when they do, we see new forms of colonialism which seriously compromise the chances of peace and justice, because “peace is based not only on respect for human rights, but also on the rights of peoples, in particular the right to independence “(Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 157).”
“The peoples of Latin America have given birth painfully their political independence and, since then, carry on nearly two centuries of a dramatic story full of contradictions and trying to win full independence.”
“In recent years, after many misunderstandings, many Latin American countries have seen growth of brotherhood between their peoples. Governments in the region have joined forces to enforce its sovereignty, that of each country and that of the region as a whole, which so beautifully, like our forefathers, called the “Patria Grande”. I ask you, brothers and sisters of the popular movements, to care and to increase this unit. Maintain unity against all attempts of division is necessary because the region will grow in peace and justice.”
Then there are the evil corporations:
“Despite this progress, there are still factors that undermine the equitable human development and limit the sovereignty of the countries of the “Patria Grande” and other regions of the planet. The new colonialism adopts different faces. Sometimes, it is the anonymous power of the idol money: corporations, lenders, some treaties called “free trade” and the imposition of means of “austerity” that adjust always the city workers and the poor. As Latin American Bishops we denounce it very clearly in the document of Aparecida, when they state that “financial institutions and transnational corporations are strengthened to the point of subordinating local economies, mainly by weakening the states, which are increasingly unable to carry out projects development to serve their people “(V General Conference of Latin American Bishops , Concluding Document, 66).”
Pope Francis appears to be a globalist who sees the need for some form of Big Government controlling the world as part of a shared responsibility. He appears to have the view of Marxists that the current Capitalistic system is unfair to the poor because they are reduced to “mere suppliers.” He adds that none of this is “synonymous with taxation, however:
“It must be acknowledged that none of the major problems of humanity can be solved without the interaction between states and peoples worldwide. Every act of reaching accomplished in one part of the planet affects the whole in terms of economic, ecological, social and cultural rights. Even the crime and violence are globalized. Therefore no government can act outside of a shared responsibility.”
“If we really want a positive change, we must humbly accept our interdependence, that is, our healthy interdependence. But interaction is not synonymous with taxation is not the subordination of some to serve the interests of others. Colonialism, old and new, which reduces the poor to mere suppliers of raw materials and cheap labor, generates violence, poverty, forced migration and all the evils that we can see … because putting the periphery running the center is denied the right to an integral development. And that, brethren, is inequity, inequity and violence that generates no police, military or intelligence services are able to stop.”
“We say NO, then, to old and new forms of colonialism. We say YES to the encounter between peoples and cultures. Blessed are those who work for peace.”
Pope Francis mentioned the genocide against Christians and said “it has to stop.”
In 2013, the Pope said money is “the dung of the devil” and “it corrupts us, there’s no way out.”
He added and repeated during a homily on Vatican radio at the time that “We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel!”
In 2013, Pope Francis sharply criticized growing economic inequality and free markets. He decried an “idolatry of money” in secular culture and warned that it would lead to “a new tyranny.”
At the time, he was highly critical of conservative economics.
“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,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
The pope wasn’t critical of the dictators of the world and their communist/fascist enslavement of their own peoples in his statement, he was critical of “trickle-down economics.”
Earlier in the week, Revolutionary Communist Evo Morales gave Pope Francis a “Communist crucifix” allegedly modeled on a design created by the Rev. Luis Espinal, a politically active priest murdered by right-wing paramilitaries in Bolivia in 1980.
It’s unclear exactly what the Pope told Morales in Spanish. According to some translations it was: “That’s not right;” to others: “I didn’t know that.”
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi had the final word: “Certainly,” he told reporters, “it will not be put in a church,” but added that “the origin is from Espinal and the sense of it was about an open dialogue, not about a specific ideology,” Lombardi said, according to the Washington Post.
This gift looks pretty ideological to this humble writer. The Pope said he was not offended by the Crucifix and he took it home with him.