h/t Harvey Miller
Pope Francis recently sent a video message that echoes teachings of the Catholic church but we as Catholics are not used to hearing it from a somewhat Marxist/Socialist perspective.
Pope Francis declaimed inequitable economies that exclude as “the root of all evils” in a February 7th video message sent to business and political leaders who were in the Italian city of Milan to discuss the theme: Feeding our Planet, Energy for Life.
The group is attempting to resolve issues such as food security, decreasing food waste and combating hunger and obesity – laudable goals certainly.
Pope Francis is rightfully concerned about there being enough food for everyone while not all having access to this food. Should he also insist on an attempt at more equal wealth for everyone as he implies?
The Pope’s idealistic speech urged attendees to prioritize human dignity in three ways, addressing the root cause, state sponsored charity and protecting the earth’s natural resources.
First, instead of focusing on emergency short-term measures, he wants to “resolve the structural causes of poverty” because the “root of all evils is inequality.”
That’s where it gets a little dicey.
The root causes of evil, he says, are “total autonomy of the markets and of financial speculation”.
Specifically, he said this:
“The root of all evil” is ” the economy of exclusion and of inequity”…it is “an economy that kills”…”fruit of the law of competitiveness that means strongest survive over the weak”…Remembering that “the root of all evil is the inequity”, Francis said that “it is necessary, if we really want to solve problems and not get lost in sophistry, to get to the root of all evil which is inequity. To do this there are some priority decisions to be made: renouncing the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and acting first on the structural causes of inequity”.
Is that true? Inequity and competitiveness are the root of all evil or is the root of all evils not providing equal opportunities? Is he talking about social justice?
Second, he wants the world of politics to help make the earth’s treasures more accessible for everybody.
“Politics, is much maligned but it is a lofty vocation, it is one of the most valuable forms of charity because it seeks the common good. We have to convince ourselves that charity ‘is the principle not only of micro-relationships with friends, family, small group but also of macro-relations: social, economic, political relations. A sound economic policy, the place for “a genuine political” debate and “the pillar of those called to administer public life” is “the dignity of the human person and the common good.
That sounds like it could end up as unbridled redistribution. The Pope applauds the positive role that the State can play in rectifying socioeconomic injustice through taxation. How much he thinks is appropriate is unknown.
Third, he’s a hard-core climate change activist. “Our planet,” he said “is a mother for all of us,” it asks for respect and not violence, or worse still, the arrogance of masters. We must hand it on to our children, cared for and improved, because it’s a loan they make to us. We need “to safeguard the earth not only with goodness but also with tenderness.”
The Pope, recalled his words to the FAO, “God always forgives insults and abuse, God always forgives. Sometimes men forgive. The earth never forgives”. We must “cherish sister earth, mother earth, to so as not to meet with destruction”.
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, he was critical of “trickle-down economics.”
He believes his views will overcome sophistry and nominalism though I would say he sounds like he himself is circling the nominalism wagons.
There is sophistry in blaming capitalism for the world’s ills while Putin, al-Baghdadi, the Mullahs and Al-Assad roam the earth.
Does he think Capitalism causes ISIS, bank robbers, Venezuelan dictators, and so on?
Pope Francis has said in the past that what he worries about most is youth unemployment while Christians are being slaughtered and anti-Semitism is on the rise.
Israel is fighting for their lives but he recently recognized the non-existent state of Palestine when he said, “Our recent meeting in the Vatican and my presence today in Palestine attest to the good relations existing between the Holy See and the State of Palestine.”
The charters of both Hamas and Fatah call for the destruction of the Jewish State.
Two thousand years of ancient Christianity are being torn from the Middle East but he hopes for dialogue with ISIS, a group that is crucifying, beheading, raping, and burying children alive.
Pope Francis has said there are limits to free speech in relation to the Charlie Hebdo slaughter, appearing to draw moral equivalence between slaughter and profane cartoons though he walked that back. It was a thought lost in translation.
The world’s dictators are invading sovereign nations, tormenting their own citizens, committing horrific human rights abuses but what Pope Francis rails against is fiscal conservatism and “trickle down economics”
What will we hear when he speaks to the U.S. Congress?
Will we hear about redistribution, capitalism and illegal immigration?
On December 19th, Pope Francis decried the “inhuman conditions” illegal immigrants face crossing into America illegally. He encouraged border communities to welcome illegal immigrants and work to end discrimination, according to the AP.
He made the appeal in a letter to a Jesuit pries who organizes Catholic teens in Nogales, Arizona to support the Kino Border Initiative which pushes humane migration.
Why doesn’t Pope Francis go to Mexico and advocate for the illegals coming into their country who get thrown in prison? There are many countries who not only imprison but kill illegals. Why not worry about them?
I’m not looking forward to his visit or his address.