Pope Criticizes Unregulated Financial Capitalism
Pope on New Year’s Day: find inner peace in God
Although the world is sadly marked by “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that “the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift.
I was reading the online news when I ran across this headline from Huff Post Religion: (Above is the exact quote from the Pope’s short statement.)
Pope Slams Capitalism, Inequality Between Rich And Poor In New Years Message
I do not believe that the headline is an accurate description of the Pope’s brief statement. The Pope says “unregulated financial capitalism.” It would appear to me we are talking about unregulated financial markets and there is probably a veiled reference to the banking scandals of 2012.
I have read a good deal about Catholic Social Doctrine but had never considered it anti-capitalistic. I had certainly noted it as being extremely hostile to free market fundamentalism but I don’t mistake that belief system for capitalism.
Maybe the headline was just meant to attract readers to click in on it, but I think what the Pope says about our current financial system is worth reflecting on.
From around the web –
From the web site, Front Porch Republic:
“The answer is obviously complex. If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy,” “market economy” or simply “free economy.” But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality and sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative. …
From the web site, Political Snapshots:
What grasped my total interest and attention was his just attack on unrestrained capitalism without any ethics. He wrote, “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty. “ As someone who has been concerned with anarcho-capitalism (an economic system that destroys government regulation of the economy, and creates anarchy within the global economic system) I think the Pope’s comments on capitalism is timely.
The conscious deregulation of the economy that started during the Reagan administration in the U.S. reached its climax during President George W. Bush’s tenure and has brought the global economic chaos the world is in at the moment. Their bankrupt economic theory of the market policing itself, has proven to be as hollow as their dreams of making trillions of dollars without manufacturing anything.
And finally from the web site, Here and Now 2012 Indy Info:
The pope said economic models that seek maximum profit and consumption and encourage competition at all costs had failed to look after the basic needs of manyThousands of peace marchers carrying rainbow banners released balloons in cold St Peter’s Square as the pope spoke.
A longer version of the Pope’s annual message was sent to heads of state, government and non-governmental organizations on December 14th.
Reuters reports that in that message “the Pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism does not protect the weakest members of society.”
The pope said economic models that seek maximum profit and consumption and encourage competition at all costs had failed to look after the basic needs of many and could sow social unrest.