5 Responses to “The Pope and the Economy”

  1. Dottie Day says:

    It’s just that this Pope can be so blunt that no one knows what he is saying….after every public statement there are legions of interpreters trying to explain him. Oy! Here we are at a time in our country divided like never before (in my lifetime) over class. What will happen next — what brick from our foundation will come loose or be smashed to pieces. Who has been added to the enemies list? What damage to our democracy will be done today? What confusing and misunderstood thing will Holy Father say today? Even if he is not going after capitalism, it sure as heck can be read that way. I wish he would just twitter Winston Churchill’s assessment of democracy… Capitalism is surely the worst economic system, except for all the others that have been tried… and leave it at that.

  2. Ed Mechmann says:

    Actually, I think the “problem” is that the Pope is perfectly clear about what he is saying, but too many people in our world don’t want to hear that message. They want a different kind of prophet, not the one that God sent. I think of John the Baptist and his reception by the comfortable elements in his day and age.

    I also think that too many of us in the West have the notion that the way things are, is the way things are meant to be, and the way that God intended them to be. I imagine that the Byzantine Empire felt the same way.

    But all our political and economic structures are historical phenomena, destined to pass away into the dust. Capitalism, constitutions, democracy — they’re all useful in one way or another for human happiness, but they’re not necessary for salvation.

    The Pope wants us to break out of our historically-conditioned thinking, and start thinking again in terms of the radical message of the Cross. This is very much in keeping with the preaching of St. Paul, particularly when he spoke about the Law.

  3. Peter Rox says:

    Ed’s commentary is very thoughtful. I am sorry that some people are so unsettled by the Holy Father’s inspired start to his papacy. Some people only believe in the Holy Spirit when THEIR little worlds are unshaken, and when THEIR beliefs are not challenged in the slightest.
    Concerning Ed’s quote about living in a world “inundated by sin”, I believe that this is true. However, I think that an important message is that the Church is also part of this world inundated by sin and itself must reform. As a Church, we are too smug about attacking marginalized persons or groups, and self-contentedly anointing ourselves (and those who think just like us) as “saved”. The Dutch bishops reported to the Pope this week that not just the Catholic Church, but all Christian denominations in their country are dying. Is this any wonder with all the wretched scandals in the churches, the lack of recognizing the equality of women, the unwarranted attacks on gays,the refusal to look at the possibility of a marred clergy, with men and women priests, the uncharitable official denial of communion to those divorced?
    I think the Pope’s message is just in time for our consideration as the Wall Streeter’s rake in their immense bonuses, as materialism is shouted from all the roof-tops in the lead-up to Christmas, and as even Thanksgiving has become a workday for the money worshipers.