Pope Francis has done it again.
With the release of his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel”, he has stirred the pot of pundits, conservatives, and, well, all of us practicing capitalists. It is long but has some very sobering messages for all of us.
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion.”
Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s response “It’s sad how wrong Pope Francis is (unless it’s a deliberate mistranslation by leftists)” He zones in on some of the Pope’s message: Here’s a passage: “You talk about unfettered, this is an unfettered anti-capitalist dictate from Pope Francis. And listen to this. This is an actual quote from what he wrote. ‘The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle. They fail to move us.’ I mean, that’s pretty profound. That’s going way beyond matters that are ethical. This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets. He says that the global economy needs government control.”
Here’s the New Yorker’s take “Pope Francis’s challenge to Global Capitalism“This is a quote:
The core of the Pope’s critique is moral and theological rather than economic, and that is what gives it its power. Referring once again to the idolatry of money, he writes:
Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of Ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it threatens the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, Ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace.
What might that response be? Once again, the latest heir to St. Peter doesn’t hold back:
Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect, and promote the poor. I exhort you to a generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.
I know, I know it’s Advent, and I want to hear about how everyone is observing this season – it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year…But I couldn’t pass up this hot news.
I will see you at 9:30 am in the library downstairs. Bring a friend and toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc) for Food Connection. John