Vatican condemns "selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods" — UPDATED

Details, from CNS:

A Vatican document called for the gradual creation of a world political authority with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development.”

The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale.” A supranational authority, it said, is needed to place the common good at the center of international economic activity.

The 41-page text was titled, “Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.” Prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, it was released Oct. 24 in several languages, including a provisional translation in English.

The document cited the teachings of popes over the last 40 years on the need for a universal public authority that would transcend national interests. The current economic crisis, which has seen growing inequality between the rich and poor of the world, underlines the necessity to take concrete steps toward creating such an authority, it said.

One major step, it said, should be reform of the international monetary system in a way that involves developing countries. The document foresaw creation of a “central world bank” that would regulate the flow of monetary exchanges; it said the International Monetary Fund had lost the ability to control the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.

Read more.

And Rocco has the full text.

UPDATE: The observant John Allen has some insight into the note that others may have missed.

"I think I would have been happier had the CDF handled the nuns the way ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."
"Blaming "Islamics" for this is like blaming the Pope for the Holocaust Denial of Hutton ..."

One killed, 44 injured in Catholic ..."
"It smacks to me of hyper-sensitivity, a veiled spiritual and intellectual pride, with regards to ..."

Pope Francis: “A Christian who complains, ..."
"Oh, no, we never change our mind, and we always agree, even on points of ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

110 responses to “Vatican condemns "selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods" — UPDATED”

  1. Yesterday — Sunday Oct 23 — I was the presenter at a fairly large area-wide RCIA program. My topic was “Social Justice.” I started my 90 minute presentation with a study of the Prophet Amos (that lasted about 30 minutes) and ended by reading an advance summary of this Vatican message compliments of Jesuit Fr. Reese at Woodstock.

    Not one peep of comment or questions at all from anyone. Most acted like they had just been hit with something they had never seriously considered before.

  2. Yikes, one world government. I assume this means the United States’ sovereignty would be eroded or eliminated in this new scheme.

    The current financial crisis had its origins in extending credit to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back. It was actually motivated by good intentions. I don’t see how a central supranational authority is a solution to any of this.

  3. Sounds like a resounding approval of occupy wall street.

    Probably written by Rev Anthony Frontiero
    Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who is a New Hampshire Native and a priest with the Diocese of NH.
    With excellent credentials recently back from assignement to the Vatican.

    I would be interested in seeing what the “Religious Right” has to say on this.

  4. I’ll bet the statement that will get the most attention among American Catholics is not in the document itself but in the commentary about it from the Vatican press office–namely, that it is “‘not an expression of papal magisterium,’ but instead was an ‘authoritative note of a Vatican agency,’ the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.” I say that because it runs so contrary to the current anti-government, anti-UN fervor in our contemporary politics that I expect every effort will be made to write it off.

    Without some background in both economics and Catholic social teaching, the statement is a tough read. One of the most confusing aspects of it is the use of the term “liberalism” for what most Americans would call economic conservatism or laissez-faire capitalism. I think the commentary from Michael Sean Winters at NCR is helpful in explaining where this critique of “liberalism” fits on our own political spectrum:

    Deacon Greg just posted a thread about the religious inclinations of the “Occupy” protesters. If they can wade through it it, I think many of them may find this Vatican statement quite uplifting.

  5. The Catholic Church has always worked for a one-world system of justice — and there was a time it was getting close to being established, then the Protestant Reformation came.

  6. Just what we need, one world government. I will worship as a Catholic and vote like a tea party conservative. Very appalling.

  7. I am baffled; the Vatican is advocating a particular authority of the world?:

    Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

  8. Wow, the MSM is going to have a field day with this one! Sadly, few if any will read it for what it REALLY says, as is already in evidence from some of the above comments like “one world government.”

    Also, Kevin (#2), how is lending money to people unable to pay it back “good intentions?” It was a no brainer that the recepients of bad loans would end up worse, losing not only their homes but much more, one more step to ” Godless, government dependancy.”

    Henry Karlson is right (#5); the goal of the Catholic Church is nothing more, nothing less than equal justice, which start with FREEDOM, from “entitlement government” to one being able to practice religious beliefs.

  9. Good to have this place to share opinions (I’m stlll precolating mine, rereading to avoid misrepresentation of intent, a serious moral error that think Commonweal has made, this document isn’t Left of Nancy Pelosi, for pity’s sake!!!!)

    Pls read also the Press Conference talking point from the Cardinal the Sec of J&P and the italian Professor s here:

  10. It is rather “pie in the sky”, whatever its good intentions, given the economic clout of the PRC. They are not about to give up power to any international financial body, nor to allow others to set the value of their currency. But, it is the role of faith organizations to make bold and prophetic statements so the RCC gets an “A” for effort.

  11. Well said Jack (#11). Most of the secular world won’t see that the Vatican is not about power, but saving souls and the dignity of every life on planet earth.

  12. And parse it all thru a lens of The Incarnate Word, perhaps ths text may help focus thoughts for non-Catholic readers:

    Key to understanding subsidium in the context of the G20/IMF, the Vatican ‘has teeth’ and has named and shamed both these institutions of contemporary “club” global governance as incapacitated (‘too big to fail’ is a fail!)

  13. I would think that the experience of the European Union, where formerly Christian countries have banded together and are now trying to force legalized abortion on all their members, or the United Nations, where the Vatican must constantly fight the liberal democracies on “reproductive rights,” would give them considerable pause in advocating a world-wide political authority as the solution to distributive injustice.

    (Note: I haven’t read the full document; I’m just reacting to the headline and the excerpt.)

  14. The Catholic cafateria just opened a new door, but you will need a Tea Party ID to get in though. (-;

  15. How does does the PCJP reconcile the call for a single supranational authority with the principle of subsidiarity?

  16. re: Jack (12)
    “nor to allow others to set the value of their currency.”
    this is EXACTLY the fallacy that the document addresses, the abstraction of value from reality “in an inflationary spiral” none of us (China included) determine the value of our currency, we can only gamble the value of our creditworthiness (separation of material goods markets from monetary and financial markets)

  17. #15 Kevin

    What do you think subsidiarity means? It doesn’t mean everything must be done on small, micro-means; it suggests two things: access should be local, and that the smallest unit necessary for engagement be followed. However, when dealing with economic systems which cross over the world, individuals, nor cities, nor states, nor even countries can do it all by themselves. Subsidiarity therefore declares the need for a universal governance. This, btw, is something 19th century thinkers like de Maistre also said, looking to the Pope as being the one who should hold that position, with Solovyov thinking it should be a Tsar and the Pope should be the universal spiritual leader.

  18. “explosive” isn’t the usual diplomatic tone — this chart maybe help to unpack that term:

    “credit default swaps” helped Greece fake its way into the Euro, but somewhere the math maxed out and Lehman bailed…
    AIG was bailed out so that it could bail out the CDS’s on Lehmans now woefully UN-creditworthiness, kicking the can down the road to the ECB (which has not the political authority the US constitution granted to the Fed to print money to bail out private firms, only member sovereign states who are CREDITworthy)

    ‘creditworhty’ from credo. believe. have faith, trust, goodwill (absolute values based on charity in truth)

  19. We have the responsibility as the stewards of the global reserve currency to speak to what it means for the milion who love on $1 or less a day

    when that purchasing power is eroded by our imprudent QE monetary policies* designed to bail out banks trading in valuations of credit contracts (not Wall Street, which trades in valuation of entities that produce real things) at the expense of the rest of the world’s populace…!
    * politics of our democratic system, in pursuit of virtue for the common good? Who holds us accountable for the harm we’ve done to the purchasing power of the money we expect people to trust in their global commercial dealings with us?

  20. mea culpa that’d be a billion, not a million
    “more than a billion people are forced to survive on an average income of less than a dollar a day.”

  21. Oh Lord, save us from clumsy Vatican interpreters…

    “The same effort is required from all those who are in a position to enlighten world public opinion in order to help it to brave this new world, no longer with anxiety but in hope and solidarity.”

    unless such poiesis was intentional and the ghost of George Orwell is the new patron saint of the PR dept in St Peter’s Square!!

  22. Webster’s credits C.J. Friedrich, the author of The Philosophy of History with coining the term “polyarchic” — is this a clue to the Holy Sees perspective on temporal affairs?

  23. He also authored “Totalitarian dictatorship and autocracy” with Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter’s polish-american National Security Advisor, a friend of JPII)

  24. Clue: what perspective of polyarchy would permit you to “see” all multifarious archy’s at once?

    Clue: ts not temporal at all, its metaphysical. A form that is perfect, by which one may judge the perfection of other forms…

    Clue: think Flatland, where the autocracy of the sphere was not the blissful state the heroes in the material universe were seekng… conclusion? It must lie in a greater dimension than mere material…

  25. In #17, Kevin asks about the principle of subsidiarity, a favorite of the political right in America. The document anticipates the question and discusses subsidiarity at great length, just as Pope Benedict does in Caritas in Veritate. Here are the key lines:

    “In the tradition of the Church’s Magisterium which Benedict XVI has vigorously embraced, the principle of subsidiarity should regulate relations between the State and local communities and between public and private institutions, not excluding the monetary and financial institutions. So, on a higher level, it ought to govern the relations between a possible future global public Authority and regional and national institutions. . . .

    “According to the logic of subsidiarity, the higher Authority offers its subsidium, that is, its aid, only when individual, social or financial actors are intrinsically deficient in capacity, or cannot manage by themselves to do what is required of them. Thanks to the principle of solidarity, a lasting and fruitful relation is built up between global civil society and a world public Authority as States, intermediate bodies, various institutions – including economic and financial ones – and citizens make their decisions with a view to the global common good, which transcends national goods.”

  26. Indeed Ron (#28).
    As John Paul II warns us, “Just as the time has finally come when in individual States a system of private vendetta and reprisal has given way to the rule of law, so too a similar step forward is now urgently needed in the international community.”

    for private vendetta and reprisal the “plague on both your houses” of colonialism and terrorism, perhaps?

  27. Is this the same Vatican that was headed by a Pope from Communist Poland? We had the attempt at redistribution. It doesn’t work, and leads to Soviet and Maoist tyranny.

    The scriptural imperative regarding the poor has always been on the individual. In the last judgement scene in Matthew 25, the people don’t reply with, “Lord, when did our One World Government see you hungry and not feed you?”

    The Vatican’s heart is in the right place, but the sort of proposed diffusion of responsibility easily leads to moral infantilization. I see it in my fundraising efforts for maternity homes when people say they pay enough in taxes…

    Jesus tells us that the poor will always be with us, and the Bible tells us (cover-to-cover) that we must each act in a very personal way to embrace the poor.

  28. No, it has not always been on the individual. If you look, for example, to the prophets, they often speak of the nation and the nation’s neglect of the poor as being a part of the reason why Israel suffered in the world.

    And, lest we forget, Christendom was founded, in part, on the redistribution of wealth. The Church and Christians, under Constantine, received the wealth given by the state which was taken from those who had unjustly assumed it.

  29. This is not a pronouncement from the Holy See. And the term “Vatican” is frequently confused with that. The Pope did not author this document.

    Having said that, the establishment of a centralized, global ,supranational banking authority does give me visions of Sam Neil in the Omen.

  30. Henry (#32), the key is “unjustly assumed it.”

    What about hard working people who through years of hard work, “justly assumed it?” Don’t they have a right to their hard earned money and the right to redistribute to their discernment?

    I’m totally against greed, and there is plenty of it, and that is what the church teaches. What isn’t “social justice” is to take what isn’t yours and redistribute willy nilly, often against the moral values of the person from who it was taken. That would be called THEFT.

  31. In Italian

    «un’Autorità pubblica mondiale»

    it sounds a little less threatening: grammatically it radiates out from the particular to the general,

    whereas the English

    “a global public authority”

    lacks ‘capitalization’ for proper nouns so our minds eye reads (and hence ‘forms’) a term beginning with the lesser (and very imprecise) adjective “global,” an abstraction or defocussing from any particular sense, thence to a categorical (but politically loaded) adjective “public,” with a highly polarizing or misleading sense, to our noun “authority,” which like-it-or-not is unlikely to yield any metaphysical or even spiritual comprehension by the time the reader gets to this place in the sentence as structured.

  32. In #33, Kevin confirms the point I made back in post #4: those who dislike the document will use the circumstances of its composition as an argument to dismiss it. Thomas Peters does essentially the same over at, not discussing the arguments in the document at all but instead reminding his followers of the “key points” that the document does not come from the pope himself and is not to be taken as “dogmatic,” and then adding as a by-the-way, “With those extremely important guidelines in mind, we can more fruitfully read the text.” Yeah. As if anybody would want to.

  33. Klaire

    You need to move beyond the absolutist understanding of possession found in capitalist ideology. You will find, for example, the Church has called taking food from others, out of need, is not theft, though capitalist ehtics would. The problem is that there is a universal destination of goods which is being circumvented, and the idea that “people are just protecting what is justly theirs” is false if you look to the facts of how money was attained.

  34. I have not yet read the text of the Vatican’s document and so I cannot comment on it yet. However, I would be interested in how it compares to the Pope’s Caritas in Veritate?
    From what I am reading this recent document seems consistent with the encyclical.

  35. This will go nowhere. When the UN is able to end wars and have global political acceptance and control, then we might start to see a time when we can look at some sort of global bank.

    And again, for any who know the Catholic faith, this has no magesterial backing and thus is not something Catholics are called to beleive or accept. Some never seem to understand the difference.

    I will take some time to read it and expect to find different things which will be used by both sides of the spectrum. Social justice is not about redistribution of wealth as seen from the liberals or socialists based solely on amounts, but must take into consideration the value of private property and work. Bringing down one nation to improve another where the other nation is in constant turmoil and has bad government is simply throwing the assets into a fire. You have to have stable governments first which gets us back to the UN and insuring that this works effectively before you can even think about movement of wealth. Right now, the USA props up the UN and without it, the UN collapses. We have seen the horrible results of the countries within the EU trying to solve problems and that is far from working well.

    Once again, this paper is good for discussions, but will have no legs.

  36. Wow– can’t believe how certain buzzwords can generate such a flurry of attention. It’s actually kind of amusing.

    Aldous Huxley was actually the author of “Brave New World”.

    And in Matthew 25, it is indeed the NATIONS of the world that are assembled before the Son of Man.

    This is what happens when we let our kneejerk reactions take over on the keyboard.

    With that said, I’m not sure how any sort of international authority would somehow be exempt from the same influences of greed and selfishness.

    I guess I don’t see how the Vatican condemning greed and selfishness is newsworthy. Seems as though that’s been pretty consistent teaching from even before the time of Jesus…

  37. let’s parse for solidarity and subsidiarity:

    ___ “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… etc”
    What time preference applies to soldarity? Only valid for ‘present’ Americans, future Americans don’t count?

    ___ that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..
    Again what time preference applies? May alienation ever be licit? Apriori to cohesion of solidarity under authority? Or post hoc ergo propter hoc a ‘private’ definition of ‘public’ authority?

    ___ that among these are Life….etc
    Time preference again. The static shape of the ‘global’ sphere/globus or ‘world’ is irrelevant. The property of motion is what counts: a cosmic chronology of phases of the moon seen universally at night determines life’s flourishing, a menstrual constant in all human creative poiesis.

  38. #8:”… I will worship as a Catholic and vote like a tea party conservative….”
    Even if tenets of the Tea Party’s platform turn out to be in direct opposition to Catholic Social Teaching?
    It’s really not surprising to know that there are also “conservative Catholics” sliding their trays down the same Catholic cafeteria line as “liberal Catholics.”

  39. thanks Steve P. (41) your correction makes ‘clumsy’ even more poignant: Huxley was an atheist, Orwell was at least a somewhat muddled Christian!

  40. RE:“I don’t see how [this] is newsworthy.”
    The G20 meet 9 days from now, go pray a novena, wouldya?

  41. Henry (#37)

    I think we are probably on the same page. I well understand that Catholic Moral Theology for example, would permit anyone of us to steal (without sin), a loaf of bread if I we were starving, based on the fact that in essence, it all comes from God and belongs to the world, or something along that line.

    That said, that’s a far cry from a corrupt thug administration “redistributing” hard earned wealth that may well, if left to the individual, have gone to higher moral people and charities. My point Henry is that there is a big differnence between that and pure wall street greed, of which I’m the first to admit there is plenty out there.

  42. In our world today there is a global economic crisis that does not seem to be going away. Both the European Union and the United States face major financial problems that no one can find a solution for at the present time. There have been calls by members of the G-20, the 20 leading economies of this world, for a worldwide financial structure to resolve this global economic crisis.

    Now the Vatican has released a plan that they believe will bring about the end of this financial crisis. In fact the Vatican plan says if there is not a resolution to the financial crisis violence will break out across the world. The Vatican plan with a central authority and a world bank is a page out of Bible prophecy for the last days.

    The book of Revelation reveals that there will be a central authority to rule over a global economic structure and it will be headquartered in Babylon which is modern-day Iraq (Revelation 18). This economic system will cause all in the world to take an identification mark on their forehead or the back of their hand in order to be able to buy or sell any necessity of life (Revelation 13:16-17). The fulfillment of these prophecies will take place after the Rapture of the Church.

  43. Doesn’t any one even remember Ayn Rand ? Her famous utopian novel, “Atlas Shrugged” outlines a philosophical system known to professors of ethics as “Ethical Egoism.” Bottom line, this novel described a “perfect” society where the vice of “greed” was captured as a human right.

    A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal admitted in an op-ed piece that “Ethical Egoism” is the driving force behind Wall Street. That WSJ editorial so impressed the ethics prof at our local college that he made it required reading — in a unit where his classes discuss the savings and loan collapse of the mid 1980’s; the Enron/Arthur Anderson Collapse; and the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. He may also have to include the Euro crisis that we now are in.

  44. Henry,

    I don’t think that we can confuse God’s anger at Israel with an expectation that they surrender the fruits of their labor to an elite and trust that it will be distributed equitably.

    Holding up Israel also doesn’t work in the context of this Vatican suggestion, as Israel was engaged in a covenant with God. What the Vatican is suggesting here is something far removed from a covenantal bond with God.

    Getting back to your original objection, when God becomes angered with Israel, he does so because of the extent of the dry rot that has set in. His anger is actually His passion for getting things made right again. The imperative before, during and after His wrath has always been on the individual to do the corporal works of mercy. Jesus confirmed as much in Matthew 25.

  45. Gerald,

    Have you read the prophets? “You neglect the widow, the orphan, the poor.” The demand was the state – the kings and priests — to work for them, and this was through the distribution and redistribution of wealth. Sorry, Scripture is quite clear – justice demands state’s intervention.

  46. deaconnecessary. No, conservative Catholics or Traditionalist make certain they follow Church teaching as it applies to those things that have been clearly established by magesterial teaching and are thus part of the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church. I know of nothing in social justice teaching that has been declared things we must believe as Catholics but am open to being enlightened.

    As I stated before, I missed any reference to Jesus talking about the solutions for the poor being big Roman government programs where they took tax money from the rich to set up programs for the poor out of Rome.

    Catholic teaching calls for us as individuals to give what we can to help the poor and has nothing to do with government being our robber in cheif or for government to set up who is poor and who is rich. It may have evolved into something like that with the liberals in the church, but it has nothing to do with Catholic teaching that is magesterial.

    However, we do know that we must not in any way support abortion by voting for those who make it legal and supported or for those who support marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman. Those are Magesterial teaching and we have the direct words of Pope Benedict on these items being non negotiable.

  47. No, Henry. The prophets are addressing a nation of individuals, each of whom is bound by the Covenant. The only national level prescripts deal with the Year of Jubilee.

    Read Isaiah 58. It’s all about how the individuals behave at the end of their fast days, and what EACH of them needs to do to make an acceptable fast unto the Lord. Jesus would follow that with yet more admonitions on how the individuals are to behave.

    Also, you keep ducking out on MAtthew 25. That is the clearest teaching in all of scripture regarding how EACH individual will be judged. The burden is on the individual. To suggest otherwise is to distort the clear meaning of the scriptures.

  48. Joe- #49, The intreptation of the Book of Revelation is not a Catholic one, but a fundamentalist view. The prophecies were not fortelling the future, but were messages written in apocolyptic “code” to the Christians persecuted under the Emporer Domition.
    “Rapture” is not Catholic.

  49. Henry Karlson
    “Have you read the prophets? “You neglect the widow, the orphan, the poor.” The demand was the state – the kings and priests — to work for them, and this was through the distribution and redistribution of wealth. Sorry, Scripture is quite clear – justice demands state’s intervention.”

    You must have different scripture. Where does it talk about big government driven by a government which at the time would have been Rome being in charge of care for the widow, the orphan, or the poor? It talks about each of us doing what we can as part of our own final judgement with God. Once again, the rich man was separated from the poor man who he had not even provided scraps and who now was resting on the bosom of Abraham. It did not say the party or government of the rich man had failed to protect the widow or the poor, but the man himself.

    There is no place that we see a call for the government to do anything. In fact, what government has done thus far has not turned out to well anywhere in the world. The social programs are largely failing on their own weight of ever more people at the public trough and at some point an end to anything that makes practical sense.

    I have posted this link before and it seems very appropriate now since the topic is greed…

    And who on this new super non government comittee is going to be free of greed or bias to make everything fair for everyone? And if everyone has equal funds, what drives innovation and progress? God seems to have made greed of different amounts and levels part of our very DNA and who is the one to decide when greed crosses the line?

    Wonder if the Vatican will divest itself of all wealth and give everything to the poor. I once saw a statement that what is now owned by the Vatican if put out to the market for open sale, would feed the poor for decades. Should all the Church live as St Francis? What would happen to the schools, the hospitals, the other services provided by the Church?

  50. Trying to dodge the squabbles, which reflect already-defined party lines, sadly. But have to jump in and remind readers that the originator of the “brave new world” line was neither Orwell nor Huxley, but Shakespeare. It’s Miranda’s joyful description of the first off-islanders she’s ever seen, from The Tempest. Interestingly, this last known complete Shakespearean play is a romance in which the effects of greed and villainy are overcome by the power of love, with the assistance of a little magic.

    Now you may argue amongst yourselves who in heck Shakespeare was and what his/her/their religious convictions may have been!

  51. My reaction to the document is pretty simple: it does not sound like something Jesus would promulgate.

    How does the Vatican’s desire for a massive redistribution of wealth from rich nations to poor ones comport with the 7th and 10th commandments? Am I the only one seeing the elephant in the room here?

    Also, wasn’t there a one world body a couple of thousand years ago (Rome) that ended up crucifying our Lord at the behest of a prevailing religious authority?

    As a member of the laity which represents the Body of Christ, I suggest that not much has changed over the last 2000 years.

  52. #44 – I submit that the tea party platform’s conformity to Catholic teaching far exceeds that of its opponents. Nothing is 100% when it comes to politics. I need to learn to keep my opinions to myself. When will I ever learn.

  53. Gerald,

    You are ignoring teaching of social justice, confusing our own personal responsibility means there is no role for justice. Pope Benedict has spoken against this false perception of charity — he said in a perfectly just society, charity would still be needed. Try to imagine if we talked about abortion in these terms — it’s up to the individual to show charity to the unborn, not the state… see how it doesn’t work?

  54. Henry,

    First, my name is Gerard, not Gerald.

    Secondly, given the state of Christian persecution around the world and the hostility toward religion in general, and Christianity in particular, what set of principles would animate a one-world government? Atheistic redistributionist schemes wit a global perspective were all tried in the 20th Century with disastrous consequences. They collapse into brutal totalitarian regimes.

    No, the scriptures speak of the individual’s responsibility, and all you have to do is read the New Testament to get that. I’m not going to reprint half the Bible for you. It’s all right there.

    Surrendering individual autonomy to a globalist oligarchy is dangerous, and an abdication of the individual’s responsibility. Contrary to the socialist whispers in certain Roman circles, the truth of the matter is that the quality of healthcare, of scientific advancement and discovery, of overall living exploded upward under the capitalism of the past two centuries.

    Yes, capitalism has its faults, but no, I don’t need a lecture from the clerics of Europe on the beauty of their failed socialist schemes on that continent. They are all but irrelevant as a church, and the most vibrant Catholic Churches are in the Southern Hemisphere.

    We can’t mindlessly cede our autonomy and wealth to a godless international oligarchy, especially with the horrors of Soviet and Maoist Communism and its residue still with us.

    A world that can’t perform charity individually will never do so collectively. Such a scheme will ultimately lead to the reemergence of nationalism and the nationalistic wars that have scarred the planet for the past two centuries. What is ultimately needed is a new evangelization, and not cheap authoritarian short-cuts to something that merely resembles the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

  55. #59 Don’t count on it sister, The idea that everyone is on there own has never been the mantra of the Catholic Church.

  56. #61 “Yes, capitalism has its faults, but no, I don’t need a lecture from the clerics of Europe on the beauty of their failed socialist schemes on that continent.”

    Countries in northern Europe have the highest “happiness” rating among all countries in the world.

  57. George Weigel has now put in his 2 cents worth, and, not surprisingly, it is a highly devalued 2 cents indeed. The document, he insists, is merely “a ‘Note’ from a rather small office in the Roman Curia. The document’s specific recommendations do not necessarily reflect the settled views of the senior authorities of the Holy See.” In other words, Weigel chirps, it “doesn’t speak for the Pope, it doesn’t speak for ‘the Vatican,’ and it doesn’t speak for the Catholic Church.” At least he didn’t say the pope must have let a few left-wing cardinals slip it past him so he could stay in their good graces, which is what he said about the parts of Caritas in Veritate that contradict his neoconservative views

    Though you might expect a leading Catholic intellectual like Weigel to at least read a major Vatican document before attacking it, a search of his full review offers no evidence whatsoever that he is familiar with the document’s actual contents:

  58. Gerald,

    Your words speak loud and clear. Your liberal individualism runs counter to Catholicism’s universality. You call the long social dimension of the church “socialism,” following a false Gospel. Indeed, that you confuse it as either collectivism or individualism shows you ignore communio, which is personal and unitive. And that you ignore the constant declaration for justice in states — again, in Scripture itself. The fact that persons are also to show justice and be charitable does not neglect the state — and indeed, they do not stand in opposition to each other, but work together (see my writing on Spock:

  59. Ron

    One of my favorite responses to the “it’s just a note” response was on my facebook by someone who works at the USCCB: “it is an ‘authoritative note’ from the Congregation for Divine Worship that bans liturgical dance.”

  60. Okay, Henry.

    Let’s address the fact that AGAIN, my name is NOT GeraLd.

    It’s GeraRd.

    I think if we can get you to master the name thing, then there’s hope for the sacred scriptures.

    Now, me a LIBERAL??? Cue up the Twilight Zone theme. Check out my blog.

    I don’t know where you got your theological education, but I studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York. HARDLY a bastion of warm fuzzy theology.

    AGAIN Henry, you will not engage Jesus in Matthew 25. It is the capstone piece of all Divine Revelation. The Word made flesh telling us EXACTLY the criteria by which we shall be judged for all eternity. But that threatens Henry’s comfy theology of diffused responsibility, which actually lets you off the hook when it comes to personal responsibility for the poor.

    Since you are so adamant about collectivism, trot out for us all of the passages that describe how we are to surrender our material wealth to the government for redistribution.

    Engage Matthew 25, Henry. You need to engage Matthew 25.

    To continue to ignore this clear-cut instruction from our Eternal Judge borders on idolatry, with your visage at the top of the totem pole.

  61. Gerard

    Yes, liberalism, as discussed in the document released today by the Vatican. Did you note its use of the word? Did you read it?

    I did answer your question about Matthew in several fashions. I pointed out that we, as persons, are called to charity, this however, does not mean we can ignore the role of the state for justice. I pointed out already, even if the state is perfectly just, charity does not end. You are confusing a statement about the eschatological judgment as showing why there should be no social justice. That is quite invalid in reasoning — the fact that I am called to be good does not mean, therefore, the state should not strive for a good order. Moreover, as Cardinal Henri de Lubac pointed out, the Church does look to communion and not mere individualism. Your push towards individualism outside of communio (solidarity) is where your liberalism comes out quite clear.

    The fact that you call anything which is not individualism collectivism shows how far away you are from thinking with the Church. The Church is called the Body of Christ, not mere individuals separated from each other. Salvation is communal within the Church — if you die to the self, and live in charity, you join with Christ — and in Christ the whole of the redeemed, the Church.

    The fact that you do not know the role of justice in Scripture and limit everything to individualism shows how much you neglect Scripture itself. Once again, the prophets called ISRAEL (not just mere individuals) to repent because of the communal failure — failure seen in their lack of social justice. Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, Jonah, et. al., demonstrate this social role, this social justice. The Covenant of Moses speaks of a communal response, it is the whole of Israel, not mere individuals. The failure to follow the Covenant was communal. The prophets preached this to the leaders because it was a communal failure.

    So yes, Gerard, you are quite the liberal, and your liberalism is what makes it nearly impossible for you to follow Catholic Social Doctrine. The fact that you follow American secular ideals over social justice and follow through with fallacious arguments about “socialism” shows the taint of liberalism throughout.

    Here, this should help you:

  62. Henry,

    Your understanding of communio in relation to individual charity is what is in error here. Communio must be as freely practiced as individual charity, or else there is no virtue in it. The absence of freedom to engage communio on the part of individuals is evidence of coercion.

    Communio is also legitimate when engaged by the Church, but has never, ever found a state where it did not collapse into totalitarian compulsion and coercion.

    When Paul took up the collection for the Church in Jerusalem, the money was donated freely. That is the prime example of communio. When one gets to the level of compulsive taxation and redistribution, it isn’t communio.

    It’s compulsive taxation and redistribution.

    You throw around the term “liberal” as an intended slur, which demonstrates the weakness of your position and your capacity for argumentation. By “liberal”, you infer all of the immoral freight that goes with that term. It doesn’t make you look like anything other than an intellectually dishonest lightweight.

    Your commentary is fraught with great ecclesiological terminology, snatched from a good glossary, but devoid of the most fundamental understanding of the scriptural operational definitions that give rise to the true majesty of a language you simply ape.

    If you wish to preach the virtue of communio, you need to practice it by your individual example. That begins with an intellectually honest approach to dealing with a brother in Christ on a blog.

  63. Gerard

    Once again, the document we are talking about discusses the term liberal, and I am using it in relation to the document itself. It is quite clear, you are the one who is impoverished, showing you do not know the term and its implications, and why the document itself calls this the problem of liberalism.

    Second, you are still making everything on the level of individualism. This, once again, is your problem. As I pointed out several times — if the state makes for justice, this does not end charity, it is only the beginning. The state’s role is for the common good, for the creation of a just order. This is basic and traditional. The fact that you call the state working for justice as preventing charity shows the confusion is yours. When discussing the role of the state for the creation of the common good, saying that the common good would prevent charity is like saying “the state preventing abortion is halting charity towards babies.” When one can demonstrate the injustice of how wealth has been generated, the state has authority to act in justice. After all, the restoration of property to someone who has had it unjustly taken from them by the agent of the state does not, somehow, end charity, does it? Should we just theft creates the possibility of charity, so theft is fine? But this is exactly the silliness of your argument.

    The fact that you keep making it “individualism vs collectivism” without seeing the personalism of the Church which rejects both also says much. I am not creating things — I am presenting the social doctrine of the church.

  64. So what if a nation’s leader is a fully initiated, faithful, practicing Catholic – and what if that person decides that Matthew 25 calls him/her to do all within his/her not insignificant power, to address social justice issues via government policy. As an individual they have influence over other policy makers and as an individual they have the opportunity to bring people together to work towards addressing some of the very real needs of the poor.

    Are they to set aside their moral conscience, their interpretation of what they are called to do as a Catholic individual – to help the poor, the widows, the orphans, the homeless, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned? Because it doesn’t explicitly say in this chapter that they SHOULD use their political influence – that they should therefore interpret this as that they are forbidden to do so?

    I am geniuinely puzzled?

  65. Interesting that Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson is from Ghana, not the poorest country in Africa but certainly not a first world country. What that means to me is that he knows that this economic situation will have devastating effects on more than just the U.S and western Europe.

  66. If we are called as individuals to be charitable and to act with justice, and if we as indiividauls tolerate and even support a system or a state that is not just and not charitable, then aren’t we as indivuduals acting uncharitably and unjustly? Dont you as an individual have personal responsibility for the state and system you support?
    I tried to read the document but the only version I could find was the link on the Whispers in the Loggia site and it was hard to follow. It seems to me to be the point of the paper is that we are in a new reality with global implications for our actions and that geographical boundaries are no longer relevant so that the common good we are to consider is the global common good. What I dont understand is how this world public Authority will make anything more fair and how its decisions will be enforced.

  67. Annie (#74) is right on track in her (perhaps feigned) bewilderment. Our Christian responsibilities do not end when we assume public positions or when we have the opportunity–as all of us do at voting time–to influence public policy. Quite the contrary. The social teaching of the Church has long taught us that bringing our faith into the public square is “the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person” (Cardinal Ratzinger, quoted in the Compendium, 566).

    The notion that only personal acts of benevolence toward the poor qualify for the reward promised in Matthew 25 reflects the distinction the medieval Church made between public and private behavior in, for example, allowing that Christians acting as agents of the State could exercise forms of violence forbidden to private individuals. In Gaudium et Spes , however, the Council Fathers decried the “false opposition between professional and social activities on the one part, and religious life on the other” and recognized that a “merely individualistic morality” was inadequate to the “communitarian character” of human life. That is, the Church officially recognized it, but evidently not all Catholics have gotten the message.

  68. Henry,

    May I ask what world you have been living in?

    We have a globalist agenda to sterilize and abort the third world into oblivion. Are you familiar with the Maputo Protocol being aggressively promoted by International Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes, and the rest of Sanger’s progeny?

    Are you aware that any U.S. aid to the third world, including relief to Haiti comes with the stipulation that the country accept the full spectrum of abortion, contraception and sterilization?

    Are you not aware of the rise of militant Islam? Of Christian persecution? Of the culture of death?

    Are you not aware of Ireland’s lonesome and heroic stand against E.U. pressure to adopt abortion?

    Where is this noble and benign world government with an ascendent Christian Anthropology? To suggest ceding nationalist boundaries is to visit suicide on the African continent and to cut brave Ireland’s legs from under her.

    If ever there were 1960’s mindless, John Lennonesque “Imagine” ideology (and no religion too…) this is it. Were it not for nationalism, Africa would have been depopulated by now. We see the heroic stand the Africans make when forced to accept your one-world communio with the added strings of abortion, sterilization, and contraception, or else face starvation.

    Look around the world, including the Obama Administration. We see malignancy and malevolence in all but a few isolated pockets. One-world order in this milieu is tantamount to civilizational suicide. Sure, communio sounds pretty. It is a seed that would die in the parched and arid landscape that has become the current world order.

    To quote Jesus, you don’t cast your pearls before swine.

    If we don’t have a Church that is responsive at the grassroots level, then we have a serious problem on our hands.

    Surrendering one’s political power along with the fruits of one’s labor to such an extant order is to spit on the Gospels. Start with your brand of communio in your parish, Henry. Let me know how successful you are. If you have trouble getting it off the ground, then you can’t compel it through the government at the point of a gun. There’s no virtue in that. My barber who grew up a Jew in the Soviet Union would love to educate you on communio.

    You don’t understand as much as you think you do.

  69. Ron,

    The Great Society is perhaps the biggest example of failed charity, where the State becomes the provider. It has uterly devastated the inner-city. No government has ever gotten it right.

  70. #79 – Gerard, I know of some personal acts of benevolence, including a few of my own, that have gone radically awry as well. Does that mean I adopt a Randian ethic and steel myself against the pleas of the poor from now on? The Church has explained very clearly that we are not to give up on government either:

    “The individual person, the family or intermediate groups are not able to achieve their full development by themselves for living a truly human life. Hence the necessity of political institutions, the purpose of which is to make available to persons the necessary material, cultural, moral and spiritual goods” (Compendium, 168).

    When political institutions fail to do that, we are morally obligated to help them chart a different course. As Caritas in Veritate explains, that is “the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly.”

  71. Ron,

    First get governments to back away from:

    Ethnic Cleansing
    Christian Persecution

    Get a brand new human nature that is not motivated by:

    Radical Feminism
    Power Hunger

    Then we can talk about government compelling radically more money from us than they already do. What is on the table here is something radically and profoundly more confiscatory than anything we have ever known, and at stake is nothing less than human freedom itself.

  72. Gerard,

    I am going to reply only one more time. It is quite clear you do not know what you are talking about, and look at everything in line with American political thought, not the Church. This is how you think of things as either “individual” or “collectivist,” when both are the twin errors of modernity which the Church denounces. The fact that you are attacking the document along the lines of “socialism” shows you have not studied Catholic Social Doctrine. Please, do so. The fact that you still fail to see your liberalism shows you do not even know how to read the document, which talks about liberalism in the exact same fashion as I do. You claim I am ignorant of the terms I use, but the truth is, you are the one using terms imprecisely and against the Church’s own use of them (again, not the use of the word liberal).

    The fact that you follow an Americanist “individualism” says how much you have not explored basic Catholic thought. Why do you think Pope Benedict has been constantly decrying individualism and pointing out that we must get beyond it? The argument so many have had with this document, that it wasn’t written by Pope Benedict therefore it can be ignored, is silly for two reasons — one, because there is still ecclesial authority involved with the Pontifical Council, but second, the document is consistently putting forward the ideas already discussed by Pope Benedict himself.

    Thus, Pope Benedict points out it is liberalism which promotes liberalism:

    It’s not peculiar to him. Pope John Paul II wrote against individualism — in EV!

    “The eclipse of the sense of God and of man inevitably leads to a practical materialism, which breeds individualism, utilitarianism and hedonism. Here too we see the permanent validity of the words of the Apostle: “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct” (Rom 1:28). The values of being are replaced by those of having. The only goal which counts is the pursuit of one’s own material well-being. The so-called “quality of life” is interpreted primarily or exclusively as economic efficiency, inordinate consumerism, physical beauty and pleasure, to the neglect of the more profound dimensions-interpersonal, spiritual and religious-of existence.” (EV 23).

    The problem of widespread individualism was something Pope John Paul II mentioned to Bishops:

    Finally, the CCC:
    The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor (2425)

  73. Kevin in #2 said it perfectly, so I’m going to repeat it:

    “The current financial crisis had its origins in extending credit to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back. It was actually motivated by good intentions. I don’t see how a central supranational authority is a solution to any of this.”

    Why is the Pope getting involved in political wrappings that can only lead to people being cynical with him? Who is going to take the Pope seriously on matters of economic policy? No Government is going to say, yeah I’m going to follow the Pope on this because he said it. Let economists decide what is best economic policy. This will only lead to people being cynical, either from the left or the right, but more likely both. It serves the Church no good to call for any governmental structure. And no one is going to heed it anyway.

    I thought Popes had learned their lesson in getting too involved in government and politics. Isn’t that why the Vatican is reduced down to small town? The Pope should stick to theology.

  74. @Henry #82, you said:
    “It is quite clear you do not know what you are talking about, and look at everything in line with American political thought, not the Church. This is how you think of things as either “individual” or “collectivist,” when both are the twin errors of modernity which the Church denounces.”

    I don’t know if the Pope is advocating socialism or what not, but he is advocating economic policy, of which the modern world has learned economists. For the Pope to get involved in economic policy is ridiculous and he is inserting himself into the modernist discussion. Therefore he will be judged on whether his economic policy is prudent for a modern world. The Pope should speak out on human dignity and conditions. For him to devise the right economic solution is useless (no one is going to follow it anyway on his word), specious (what expertise does the Church have relative to Universities, Governments, and Corporations full of economists), and counter productive (it cqn only breed skepticism with the Church).

  75. Excellent clarity in your statements Henry. The problem is that it creates an identity crisis within the person who identifies himself as “conservative” but is really liberal in his individualistic thinking. When individualism is threatened from a higher authority to give more because he has more we see resistance to the call from Christ that we must give up everything to be His disciples. From St. Paul in Romans 8 it is quite apparent when we are subject to the desires of the flesh and controlled by them when we fear giving up what we have for the greater good.

  76. The Vatican is stepping in to an area that can only be classified as “dangerous”.

    I do not want my Church getting involved with world wide politics. The Catholic Church has a dismal record of handling money.

    The idea of “sharing wealth” is immoral and we would be agreeing to the idea that if someone has property or wealth then we “have a right” to their property. God Help Us All.

  77. Manny:

    “The Pope should speak out on human dignity and conditions.”

    That is precisely what he is doing.

    “The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim ‘to interfere in any way in the politics of States.’ She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation.” (Caritas in Veritate)

    Look how many times the word “dignity” is used in the Caritas in Veritate. My count is 14 times.

  78. Manny

    It’s always funny when I hear people talk about “learned economists.” Yes, they have the actual role in taking the principles forward beyond the moral necessity, but the moral necessity must be there as a means by which the economists work. But what is funny is that the same people who say this — often without economic background themselves — are the first to ridicule what they have to say if it doesn’t fit their “capitalist” mentality. Look to Paul Krugman and the way he is vilified, despite the fact his policies often (not always) work with the moral principles outlined by the Church. And look at how economics experts examined the claims of Obamacare and how they were rejected by the so-called “pro-life” people… though these people are the first to decry the Vatican for its moral stand — which is where its strength lies!

  79. Bill

    Do you also get upset when the Church talks about politics when dealing with abortion? The thing is, I do not. The Church has a moral position which it must uphold, and it must examine the prudential implications of those positions.

  80. Bill (#84) “The idea of “sharing wealth” is immoral ”
    Er, tell that to the Commonwealth countries who share the same Monarch, the original QE2!!

    Wealth is not money, it is leisure to enjoy the dignity we are created for – worship of our Creator on Sunday’s being the height of human riches!

    There is much to be learnt from a careful reading, I think all the talk of the G20 removing the privilege of the world reserve currency (a commonwealth of the dollar if you will) is at root for the reflection questions that close the document. The Vatican has politely (diplomats trade on discrete rebukes tp change hearts and minds, think “adjure” in Song of Solomon) sent a message to the movers-and-shakers to think VERY carefully about such an undertaking, that the “basket of currencies” that may or may not constitute a new form of ‘money’ for international trade has to be “fair” to assure justice, to preserve peace, and to give any hope of pursuiing justice.

    The sad lesson for all Americans has to be:
    How did this come to pass?
    What happened to our ranking as leader of the free world?
    Why do the rest of the world’s nations not appreciate the benefits of using our money for trading their goods?

    Clue: see chart I posted earlier (#21)
    There never were any “appreciable” benefits, the dollar’s purchasing power has steeply depreciated, compare when Pope Paul VI’ PP was published in 1968 to today… the military might of the US and its NATO allies was not enough to sustain the monetary inflation and consequent dilution of “values”…
    Right makes might, not vice versa!

  81. re 92: Pray, what say ye about the immoral Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

    Actually that may have a ring of truth to it …
    … if you believe what the BBC has to say

    about the sad state of affairs in that State’s capital… and if you can spare a moment weep for me, hubby and I are residents of the Keystone state. The “arch” of our domestic polyarchy is looking mighty wobbly….

  82. 59 Joanc57 #44 – I submit that the tea party platform’s conformity to Catholic teaching far exceeds that of its opponents. Nothing is 100% when it comes to politics. I need to learn to keep my opinions to myself. When will I ever learn.

    #59 Don’t count on it sister, The idea that everyone is on there own has never been the mantra of the Catholic Church.

    Query: don’t count on what, brother? where in blazes did you discern my message as being “the idea that everyone is on THEIR own”? And “mantra of the Catholic Church?” I don’t seek a third party lecture on a non issue; there is no mantra of the Catholic Church.

    It is truly amazing how divisive political discussions can be.

  83. Wasn’t this tried once with the Roman Empire? What has changed in human nature since then that would give any indication that this is possible?

  84. Now that I have read the document, it is not even a good read and really has no practical solutions to the economic issues we face today. This will go nowhere and thank God it is not a document the Catholic Church says is a magesterial document or something we would have to believe.

    I agree with Weigle on this one. It is a document that appears to be put out by the liberal social justice wing of the Vatican that favors socialist concepts and ideas.

    It appears as something that might be celebrated by the occupy crowd and those who still dream of the pure socialist state without greed. Of course that has never existed and never will.

    Meanwhile, the same folks celebrating this document of no magesterial component want to ignore Humane Vitae which and to support the same politicians who push this type socialist concept along with abortion. Strange.

  85. Weigel also said all kinds of things against Pope Benedict’s encyclical, which is where much of the ideas of this document comes from. It is not “liberal,” indeed, it is following the traditional teachings of the Church. Stop thinking within the American system — think within the Church!

  86. Oh, and the idea that this has no authority — is ludicrous. The fact that Benedict has said similar things already is ignored — yes, the cafeteria is wide open with some people.

  87. As john Allen said in the article quoted in a latter post on this blog, “The note is hardly a dogmatic definition, and on matters outside the Catechism, the Vatican rarely speaks with one voice.” He calls this a note, not an encyclical. And to say that Benedict has said similar things does not mean he is in full support of this document and would like to raise if from a note or white paper to some magesterial level is simply not true. You can’t take a few sentences from something the Pope has said elsewhere and use it to make this “note” more than what it is, an opinion of a small office in the Vatican.

  88. Greta

    You do realize it was in an encyclical that Pope Benedict also talked about a need for a world authority? Again with this “oh, I can dismiss it, it’s not from the Pope!” Sorry, that is now how Catholic teaching is addressed.

  89. Greta #101:

    You may want to revisit your use of the term, white paper, for this latest document from a not “inconsequential” Vatican curial office.

    A “white paper” is by definition an authoritative report used to help policy makers in problem solving and making decisions. It is used by policy makers who often request them of persons who have expertise in a particular area.

    Given the fact that Cardinal Turkson stated that the note was issued in anticipation of the Summit of the G-20 nations (the world’s richest economies) due to take place in Cannes, France, on November 3-4


    Given the track record of study and involvement on a global level of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace since its inception in 1967,

    it is entirely appropriate that this note be given the status of an authoritative report and be read respectfully and prayerfully by all who have deep concerns about the global economy.

  90. Love it when the single issue folks revolt. Who are the obedient Catholics now? Whats that you say? Conscience wins out? Ha ha ha. Go get em your Holiness!

  91. Henry. Sorry, but this “note” does not carry any real weight as stated. If the note had some words or statements from an encyclical, it still is a note. If the Vatican Magesterium wants to put out something that all Catholics are called to believe, it has the means of doing so and this is not the way.

    If I say ‘all men are created equal’ and therefore we should have a world orgainization control of the economy, it does not in any way mean that the US constitution supports this view? If the Pope wants to see this viewpoint as something that needs to be part of the non negotiable Catholic teaching, again, he certainly knows how to do that and you and others know this quite well.

    HMS, if you don’t like the word ‘white paper’ I have no issue with calling this a “note’. I could care less, either way, it is not Catholic method of delivery of solid Catholic teaching. It certainly was not an encyclical. Yes, Pope Benedict has discussed various issues within an encyclical, but if he has done so, why was this “note” needed? The simply fact is that the Pope has never said what this document said and using a few words from an encyclical does not mean this note holds any more requirment on Catholics than one from the NYT.

    Folks, releasing this around the G20 is proof of nothing as we have these type of economic meetings around the world all the time. To think the Vatican would time something of importance to a world economic meeting shows that few really understand the way the Vatican works. It might show a move my a single Cardinal, but not the Vatican. And does anyone really believe that this “note” will become something of importance at the G20? Give me a break. Please show me a time when anything the Vatican said has had a profound influence on these 20 countries?

    Deacon Don, I realize you might not be concerned about an issue which involves the murder of 54 million people over a note from a vatican office, but that is what makes one non negotiable and the other ink on paper soon forgotten. I suppose you think that supporting this type of issue makes it OK to support the ongoing murder of 4,000 innocent babies a day but I do not see it as proportionate. It is sad to see what seems to be a callous statement about this ‘single’ issue. When you have something you see as proportionate, then you can share it with everyone. And social justice can find solutions in many ways including those presented by both parties. The difference between parties on abortion is stark with one supporting death and the other life. Notice the argument with the USCCB and the Democratic party when the abortion party wanted more abortions as part of healthcare reform and the USCCB said no. Same thing with partial birth abortion or using federal money to pay for abortions or executive orders to spread abortions around the world. Now the Democratic Party is in full assult trying to end any conscience clause for religious reasons and againd the USCCB is at serious odds with the party of death. So you might want to say Ha Ha Ha, but you are at odds with the Catholic Church on this one single issue. Or are you against abortion, but support the party that keeps it going just like they did for generations with slavery and lynching.

  92. Greta #106:

    I read the NYT daily with an open mind and with all the critical thinking skills that I have acquired from education and life experience.

    But, as a Catholic, I stand by my comment that this note from the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice “be given the status of an authoritative report and be read respectfully and prayerfully by all who have deep concerns about the global economy.”

  93. HMS. Please show me anything that states Catholics are to give this note the status of Catcholic Church “authority”.

    I have not said we should not read it and give it thought in the overall concern on global economy. However, it is not magesterial teaching or even a papal enclyclical in the teaching of the Church. We can totally ignore this if we desire unlike teaching on issues like abortion or marriage between one man and one woman.

    I have left a clear quote from the Pope on his saying that these issues are non negotiable and must be accepted. I see nothing on this note from this vatican office from the Pope.

    Some may want to wish this was Catholic Church teaching that all Catholics are called to accept and believe, but wishing for something that is not actually part of Church teaching does not make it so. One reason for this is that it has nothing to do with faith and morals and thus far from protected on the basis of infallibility. This represents a point of view or thought on something of this world and there can be equal or better ways of dealing with economic issues and the Church leadership knows this very well. That is why this is a note and not an encylical.

  94. Greta:

    Perhaps I was misleading when I wrote that this note “should be given be given the status of an authoritative report.”

    I am not implying that it has the same authority as an encyclical. (I know better than that.) I am saying that it deserves respect as a document produced by a curial office with expertise in such issues. If you want to disparage the members of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, so be it.

    It is obvious to me that you do not like or respect what is in this document. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    And that’s my final answer to your comments on this topic.

  95. greta,

    The problem is that you seem to say we should “give it thought,” and in the next breath you say “We can totally ignore this if we desire.” If we come to a conclusion that we need not follow what it says, that conclusion should be based on reason, not mere desire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.