Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pope Francis and Capitalism

I am thoroughly amazed that so many are surprised that the current Pope seems so different than all his papal predecessors of whom we have memories. My goodness, he is different! Begin with the fact that he is Franciscan and we have never had a Pope from that Order before. I am not a Catholic but I really like this Pope.
by Charlie Leck

“We do not live better when we flee, hide, refuse to share, stop giving and lock ourselves up in our own comforts. Such a life is nothing less than slow suicide.”
                   [Pope Francis, in a recently released Apostolic Exhortation]

Pope Francis openly acknowledges and supports capitalism, but he reminds all Christians that certain demands (responsibilities) have been placed on us “to restore to the poor what belongs to them.”

Capitalism cannot be at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. The successes of capitalism should be used to fulfill the commands of the gospel. The Pope says that “private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them so that they can better serve the common good.” Do not yield to the temptation that the Pope is talking about communism here because he is not. He clearly supports “private ownership.” He is referring to the demands the gospel places on those who are fortunate and successful -- a demand to share with those who are not.

“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 naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
                   [Pope Francis, in a recently released Apostolic Exhortation]

What an extraordinary Christmas message has come from Pope Francis!

If you want to read the Pope’s exhortation (in English), it is provided to us in all its glory on the Vatican website at this location:


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