Skip to comments.Papal Bullishness
Posted on 11/25/2008 9:16:15 PM PST by Kaslin
Capitalism Italy's anti-globalist finance minister claims that Pope Benedict made a 1985 "prophesy" of this year's market drop. What he really said was not clairvoyant, but self-evident: Economic freedom demands ethics.
"Not from greed, avarice or even self-love can one expect the rewards of commerce, but from a spirit closely akin to altruism. . . . The investor must give his money, offer his goods, freely, depending on the voluntary willingness of others to respond with creative efforts of their own."
Gilder insists that "faith in the providence of God" is "essential to successful capitalism," and he argues that "we need religious beliefs" because "they tell us that free humans with faith in the future and a commitment to it will prevail."
Four years after Gilder wrote that, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, expressed a similar sentiment at a symposium in Rome devoted to "Church and Economy in Dialogue."
"It is becoming an increasingly obvious fact of economic history that the development of economic systems which concentrate on the common good depends on a determinate ethical system, which in turn can be born and sustained only by strong religious convictions," the future Pope Benedict XVI said in a paper entitled "Market Economy and Ethics."
He added: "Conversely, it has also become obvious that the decline of such discipline can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse."
(Excerpt) Read more at ibdeditorials.com ...
Even those among us,like myself, who are not prepared to accept the anthropomorphic conception of a personal deity ought to admit that the premature loss of what we regard as nonfactual beliefs [i.e., supposedly mythical Christian morals] would have deprived mankind of a powerful support in the long development of the extended order that we now enjoy, and that even now the loss of these beliefs, whether true or false, creates great difficulties. (p. 137)