Skip to comments.Catholic Capitalist Replies to the Pope
Posted on 12/12/2013 5:01:30 AM PST by Kaslin
Dear Holy Father,
I say to you Peace Be with You and Merry Christmas. May God continue to bless your work in spreading the Good News. I ask especially for your prayers for me.
I congratulate you on your recent selection as TIME Magazines man of the year. USA Today reports that you edged out Miley Cyrus.
Time's other 10 finalists were a mixed crew, says USAToday, President Obama, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syria President Bashar Assad, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gay rights activist Edith Windsor and Miley Cyrus -- the pop singer who made twerking, a lascivious, grinding dance move, a household word.
Of course some in this country would look at this honor as a sideways accolade. And given recent debate regarding your wording of the EVANGELII GAUDIUM, I see their point. On the other hand, the Miley Cyrus reference in USA Today tends to highlight your point.
While there is much to be praised in your exhortation to evangelize, you have many who are confused by what seems deliberate wording that chastises some of the most ardent, church-going Catholics in the United States.
Many are aggrieved by your contention that 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 naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.
I am among the ones a little offended.
Im offended by the inclusion of the words trickle down theories as it relates to free markets. It seems deliberately provocative.
Perhaps you meant it so
Of all the economic systems that the world has known, it is only free markets that have encouraged, not by government but through individual liberty, greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.
You might call that trickle down theories, but here in America, we call that "history".
To the contrary, I think that it is a little naïve for you, or anyone else, to trust the goodness of those wielding political power and economic power -- as you seem to imply would happen in some alternate system of economics besides capitalism.
In fact, while so-called "trickle down theories" may not have been proven to liberate individuals economically, socialist theories, as some would attempt to paint your alternative, have "never been confirmed by the facts," and have never succeeded "in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world." They have, in fact, proven to enslave, politically, economically, and individually.
As a Catholic in America, I can tell you with certainty that as economic power has been concentrated into the hands of the government, the Church has been a big loser. This is true especially of American Catholics who are under fire both institutionally and individually.
The advantage we see, as Catholics, in a free market system is that no one holds true economic power. At least not for long.
Hence, those in economic control have had little power to prosecute, hinder or mind the Church.
That is changing in the United States and it is not to the advantage of those who believe in Christ.
I am concerned that your words, deliberately aimed at those of us who do support the church both corporately and individually, will be usedas they must beby those who seek to degrade and nullify the Church in America and replace it with government-inspired, government pasteurized, religion-free charity organization that supports charity for some at the expense of others-- all in a bid for crass power and not for Christ.
Supporting higher taxes, after all, on those who make more than you-- and this is what opponents of free markets wish for-- is not the same as a rich man feeding and clothing the poor. Or even a widow donating out of her want.
Charity, like salvation, is left, I think, to individuals. Some of those individuals are capitalists, perhaps even many of them are. Some of them are socialist as well, but not automatically.
Institutions of government and economics are not moral or immoral. Rather, they are amoral. It is only individuals who are moral or immoral.
The Budget Deal I Support: Reduce the Number of Democrats in Congress http://t.co/wn5LsbmiTs #tcot #gop #sgp #rush #xcot #economy John Ransom (@bamransom) December 12, 2013
And it is only through free markets, encouraged by liberty of the individual that the salvation and liberation you speak of is possible through Jesus Christ.
Im an admireras are most Catholicsof John Paul II, who, like you, also took exception to materialism and the outsized capitalism of the modern world, especially in America.
The enemy here is a system of thoughtmaterialismas opposed to a system of economics.
The alternative a socialism in which the Church is replaced by the state as the bearer of alms is just as material and even less attractive than the worst features of capitalism.
The materialism of the socialist state is threatening the Church here in America and the individuals who make up the church.
The materialism of capitalism will admit of God. The materialism of socialism has no god or admit no power but that of Mammon.
We ask for your help and prayers in restoring the Church to us and helping protect freedom of religion, and opposing freedom from religion posing as charity and social justice.
Jesus loved a happy giver, not a coerced giver.
He does indeed
Imagine if a bishop wrote this.
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“Naïve to trust economic as well as political power” to sinful men
Goes to the heart of the left/right ideological split.
I hope rush reads this. And I hope he gets around to reading the pope’s original document, doing so will boost his correct position and he will have less emotion more confidence in the onslaught to come
Rush is right. The pop’s position is indeed at odds with catholic teaching as many bishops are especially in matters of economics wherevtheyve been socialized to believe outside of the catechism that telling the government to be charitable is the way to go
They can’t see what a mess that has wrought not to mention the disobedience
Subsequent to Pope Pius XII popes began to speak an entirely new language: papal doubletalk. Analyzing or parsing their comments was a tedious and pointless activity as they were saying virtually nothing. Meanwhile the church was circling the drain.
There's actually a name for it: "studied ambiguity":
To be sure, the contents of the letter to Ryan werent just a product of Dolans need to appease both sides in the intra-Church struggle. It was also a classic example of a style of ecclesiastical document that the Vatican employs in complicated situations....This style of writing aims at studied ambiguity, a Vatican diplomat explained to me, noting that the people who write such letters are trained to think in terms of centuries, not sound bites. So you always need to be able to say fifty years on, Well, of course we never meant that, the diplomat said.
-- from the thread Mixed Blessing: The Ryan budget and the raging battle within the U.S. Catholic Church
I would NOT go that far
Naivete is all the author’s.
Indeed free market is the best force for prosperity, and the best background for a society wishing to engage in a spiritual pursuits. That, however, is only true if the free market is made up by moral and spiritual men. That indeed lifts all boats as American history prior to 1973 (to pick one date) shows.
Today in America we have a remnant of a free market: our domestic industrial base is nearly destroyed and the economy is rapidly becoming that of a third nation tourist attraction state: banking and entertainment sector, with overpriced high-tech enclaves employing mostly foreign labor.
With the destruction of family structures in the US and despiritualization of the American nation, the remnant of free trade capitalism that we have domestically is on its way to complete extinction.
The international trade is not by itself a bad thing, but a free market it isn’t. Our industry has relocated to China, a Communist country with one party rule and planned economy. Foreign trade is trade between governments, — not free by definition. Anyone with libertarian leanings should abhor it as any other statist plague.
But the Pope is not a pope for America. His is the pope for the world. Globally, so-called “free trade” capitalism surely prospered some areas, mostly in SE Asia trading posts and, again, in Red China. And the countries that wisely retained national economies, like Japan, prosper as well.
But to apply the wonders of “trickle-down economics” to the slums in Argentina or Brazil is laughable. These are truly islands of exclusion and are likely to remain just that.
The Pope is right, the limbaughs of the US should get out some more before they air their parochial opinions.
Look at pushback to begin starting next year. It has started against Obamacare BIGITME.
They then set out to make a blend of Americanism and Modernism they would say was Catholicism when in reality they were aiming for their own church that was as pliable as Protestants and a break with Rome to form something like the Church of England.
People are right to decry American Bishops and how badly they've gone off the rails and betrayed Christ. It's easy to do that but it's worth considering that Catholic Church in this country is still full of faithful Catholics serving Christ in spite of a century of undermining from within and without that's been far worse than the attacks that toppled, with the possible exception of the SBC, every single non-Catholic Church in this country.
The One True Church in this country is now like the Army of Gideon, stripped down to the point that the victories soon to come will obviously be the work of our Lord, not of men. Be ready for hard battles and amazing victories, not pity parties.
Yeshua NEVER did and NEVER could have and NEVER would have preached to his flock that what he wanted them to do was go and get the permission from Ceasar (secular power) to have his sword as a sign of authority (secular law) to go TAKE from their neighbors all they saw fit for achieving some benevolent act.
Yeshua NEVER preached that to take was to give.
Socialism, couched in a “democratic” venue is ALL about taking, not giving.
Yeshua was offered the keys to all the kingdoms of the world - secular power - and He rejected it, saying His kingdom was not of this world - the secular power systems.
Whatever our mission as Christians is, in charity toward others, secular authority is the last place for it, not the first.
That is because He understood the economics of Leviticus 25, unlike 99% of the Church. Without an accurate reading of Exodus 23:11, one never could understand it.
BTW, you won't find an accurate rendering of Ex. 23:11 in any English translation other than at chabad.org (they changed it pursuant to my book on the topic; albeit they have one more tweak to go :-).
regardless, socialism is no answer or valid substitute
regardless of our lapses in charity - our own failure to personally live in accord with Exodus 23:11, socialism is no answer and no valid substitute
In the 1840's, as "Communism" began to rear its ugly head, the Official Church came up with "Christian Socialism," which morphed into a pan-European political party, directly leading to the EU, and the socialistic welfare states that are bankrupting Europe.
Here in the US, there was Dorothy Day and the "Catholic Workers' Movement," in Europe there were the "Worker Priests," and in SA, the rise of Catholic Liberation Theology. The theory was, "Keep the lower classes from becoming atheistic communists .... by giving them everything the communists promise,in the church!"
Christian Charity has been replaced by Government Welfare ... oddly enough, that was aided and abetted by the Roman Catholic Church in many ways. In Maine it was Catholic Charities that worked hand-in-glove with state and federal welfare bureaucracies to dump Somali "refugees," on one state in the union that could not afford a quarter-million primitive, polygamous, and often quite violent Muslims.
How sorrowful, but true!
Was the Pope talking about capitalism or materialism? Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, also that where your treasure is there your heart will be. To accuse the Pope of being somewhat of a Marxist is like saying Jesus was just a community organizer.
Leftists Try to Paint Pope As a Marxist: What the Pope Really Said: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/what_the_pope_really_said.html
The media heard what they wanted to hear in Pope Francis’ words. Despite what you hear, he’s no Marxist:
We can’t have a pushback against the international Left until we have the right wing movement in order, and with shallow globalist ideologues like Limbaugh it might take a while.
Capitalism is simply economic freedom for individuals to wield. When people choose to put their “betters” in charge of their economic choices you end up with an enslaved, dependent and poor society.
That is one definition of it. We could also speak of Real Capitalism, — just like we can speak of Communism envisaged by Karl Marx and Real Communism implemented in the Soviet Union. Real Capitalism today is very far from that ideal you describe: it has governments, some of them patently oppressive, involved; it has fragmented by nations global market where governments shield and channel individual acts of exchange through tariffs, industrial policies and currency manipulations; we have vise regimes so that goods move but labor doesn’t. We further have the ideology of moral permissiveness and unfettered consumerism coming from the West, the ideology that is promoted aggressively leading to moral ruin. That is what we have practically speaking; this is a vastly suboptimal system that leaves “pockets of exclusion” all over the world and moral decay accompanying prosperity where there is some prosperity. The Pope, unlike Rush Limbaugh, is a global leader with responsibilities for a billion of faithful and indirectly for the entire human race, and he rightly speaks of the defects of Real Capitalism.
Freedom isn’t a defect. It does have consequences. I’ll take the consequences instead of slavery to the state.
The freedom you speak of in not real and the Pope is speaking of practicalities, not theories. For example, a Chinese worker cannot come to the US and get a job here: various visa laws will prevent him. So his low wage is an artefact of unfreedom.
I understand and share your sentiment, but we don’t live in the world of ideal capitalism.
Wait until all the Catholic capitalists stop contributing to the Peter’s Pants collection.
Frankie might change his tune.
**Im offended by the inclusion of the words trickle down theories as it relates to free markets. It seems deliberately provocative.**
This was the line that was mistranslated by Vatican staff.
You are very perceptive.
Nearly every Chancery in the country has a very expensive steak house right down the street, where “the guys” hang out putting drinks and prime ribs on our tab.
And leaving their phone numbers on little cocktail napkins for the goodlooking waiters and bartenders (male).
I’ve seen it in practice.
Pope Frankie should clean up his own house first before telling us how to clean up ours.
They are all politicians now.
Wondering if Mr. Ransom read the exhortation.
I believe that’s Peter’s Pence.
I was being snarky.
(The Pence has become billions.)