Skip to comments.Social Justice And Pope Francis: Choosing Freedom Over Serfdom
Posted on 03/21/2013 11:37:59 AM PDT by bronxville
Having spent most of his life in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis has given proof that he can rise above his environment. As his compatriot Bishop Alberto Bochatey remarked, he is a man of few words. I lived half of my life in Buenos Aires. Few things are more difficult there than finding leaders with his humble demeanor and his preference for teaching by example.
Most in his native Argentina have been captured by a political and economic environment ruled by a government dominated social justice mentality. Hopefully, Pope Francis will also rise above his culture and help recover a different type of social justice, which was nurtured and developed by members of his religious order.
From the moment that the term social justice became a mandatory term in the lingo of Argentine politicians, the country went down the hill. This was during the mid-1940s, when Col. Juan Domingo Perón created the Justicialista or the Justice party. Perón, an admirer of Benito Mussolini, was following his recommendation: in each country where it would be adopted, fascism will need a new name. The Latin word fasces, came from one of the symbols used by Romans to refer to justice. Perón made social justice a key pillar of his policies.
The term, however, was not created then. Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek was correct in pointing out that the term became widely used after a noted Jesuit, Luigi Taparelli dAzeglio (1793-1862), used it in what was the most important Natural Law treatise during the 19th century in the Latin language world....
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Even his opposing intellectual giants, like Father Antonio Rosmini Serbati (1797-1855), had similar views on this topic. Rosminis daring views were condemned for some time. His cause for beatification was started by John Paul II, and he was the first person beatified by Pope Benedict. Rosmini wrote The Constitution Under Social Justice. Published recently by the Acton Institute, it carries an outstanding introduction by the translator Alberto Mingardi. Mingardi, founder of the Bruno Leoni Institute, wrote that Rosmini openly criticized redistributive policies, which limit and seize private property in the name of compulsory benevolence.
During the period that goes from Aristotle to Adam Smith, there is an abundance of moral philosophers and jurists who have focused on distributive justice. It is almost impossible to find one who equates it with Peronist social justice. Wages, profits, and rents were always parts of commutative justice, or contract law. Distributive justice dealt with taxation, rewards, and honors. Even those who had a warm heart for the poor, such as the Jesuit Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), argued that equality before the law required some inequality, as it was just that the most productive should earn more. Mariana was a scholar and his copious writings made him into a one-man think tank. His works were known to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. A small but effective think tank analyzing and promoting free enterprise, now carries his name in Spain, the Instituto Juan de Mariana.
Pope Francis has a chance to renew the old tradition of social justice and, in this way, move the focus from redistribution to the building of an orderly framework of society that is effective in lifting the poor. Respecting private property, promoting sound money, combating corruption, weeding out crony capitalism, protectionism, and other causes of unjust inequalities, which especially affect the poor, is a path to a truly liberated and more just society.
Emphasis and italics mine.
Social justice has NOTHING to do with government redistribution. Nothing. In fact Capitalism is, in my opinion, the ONLY system that allows FOR social justice.
Good article. Social justice is all too often a code word for socialism. When I heard the new Pope’s claim to fame was “social justice” I was immediately wary. Many people are arguing that he isn’t a supporter of big government and point to his distancing himself from liberation theology, but I’m still not that confident. It certainly looks like he is on record as opposing “austerity” cuts in Argentina because they would supposedly hurt the poor. Argentina has been unstable for years because they’ve spent too much money building disastrous social welfare states.
Quite frankly, and I know this is very politically incorrect, I am tired of hearing about the poor. I think a misguided focus on helping the poor through government is precisely why the West has run up massive debt and is slowly imploding. We’ve spent far too much time talking about “the poor”. It’s time society focuses on people that actually produce something, folks that make free markets work, entrepreneurs that build businesses and employ people, business that bring food and medicine to people all over the world, etc.
The Catholic Church used to always condemn Marxism and Socialism, as intrinsically evil, because they use humans as slaves of the State and destroy the family unit. They are systems which use human beings as “means to an end” which is unacceptable in Catholic Theology. It is why contraception, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality is always intrinsically evil.....you can never reduce humans to a commodity which Marxism/Socialism always does.
Subsidiarity—and the integrity of the Family unit, is the most essential element of a civil society. I have read encyclicals which state that all systems have flaws but the best economic system which has been proven the best for all is the one based on Free Market Capitalism. For it to work-—as even Adam Smith and John Locke and Founders knew-—you have to have a Virtuous society (religious) and promoting Virtue was essential for all Just governments.
>Social justice has NOTHING to do with government redistribution.<
Government redistribution is socialism.
I do believe that the pope realizes that wherever socialism is established, Christianity becomes its first and most important target to be destroyed.
He doesn’t even have to go all the way back to the Stalin era — all he has to do is look at what has happened in Europe in the last 50 years and what is presently happening in the US.
God's word calls for private property which should not be stolen. Also, Leviticus 19:15 says "You shall do no injustice in judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly."Any law which gives an advantage in the economic sphere to anyone, rich or poor, violates Biblical justice, because Biblical justice requires equality before the law, not equality of incomes or abilities.
The Christian, firstly, must call for true social justice which is compatible with Biblical justice: equality before the law and freedom of opportunity, rather than equality of opportunity, which means not that everyone must start with the same skills and social contacts, but that no one must be prohibited by law from attempting something morally legitimate in the market place, and secondly, he must declare with Proverbs 16:8, "Better a little gain with righteousness than much gain with injustice."
Excellent and most informative article. Thanks for posting..