Pope calls for redistribution of wealth

The Pope called on the United Nations to mobilize governments to help the poor through the redistribution of wealth.  This suggests a conundrum:  Catholic conservatives are the most likely to believe in papal authority, and yet what happens when the papal authority teaches against conservative principles, such as the virtues of the free market?

I’d like to hear from Roman Catholic conservatives:  Are you changing your economic or political beliefs in line with the teachings of Pope Francis?  Or are you able to distinguish his religious and moral authority from his weighing in on worldly matters for which he may not have either expertise or authority?

From The Associated Press:

Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who met in Rome this week.

Latin America’s first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity, though his predecessors have voiced similar concerns.

On Friday, Francis called for the United Nations to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”

Francis voiced a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January and in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” That document, which denounced trickle-down economic theories as unproven and naive, provoked accusations in the U.S. that he was a Marxist.

Francis urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure dignified labor for all.

“Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted,” he said.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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