…is when the Holy Father speaks to the incredibly sensitive and sacred issue of that thing we all keep in our pants.
I refer, of course, to our wallets.
A reader writes:
If by socialist, one means beloved, and by spews, one means reiterates, and by socialism, one means the social doctrine. My pastor quoted the following in the bulletin from this past weekend; the whole thing is worth the read, of course:
“This includes, first and foremost, respect for the truth of man, who is not simply an additional economic factor, or a disposable good, but is equipped with a nature and a dignity that cannot be reduced to simple economic calculus. Therefore concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ultimate measure of its effectiveness and its ethical validity.
Moreover, the goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs. Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless.In this sense, the various grave economic and political challenges facing today’s world require a courageous change of attitude that will restore to the end (the human person) and to the means (economics and politics) their proper place. Money and other political and economic means must serve, not rule, bearing in mind that, in a seemingly paradoxical way, free and disinterested solidarity is the key to the smooth functioning of the global economy.”
Kirk, ultimately a Catholic, admonished the thinking conservative to avoid “[t]hose who instruct us that ‘the test of the market’ is the whole of political economy and of morals.” It seems that neither the thinking conservative nor the pope will find much of a welcome in the modern American right. Thank God for our pope!
There are hopeful signs of attempts to move past the sheer braindeadness of the Right, if Ross Douthat is heeded. But there’s a lot of brain death to repair. Any conservatism that could nominate a Mitt Romney and a Catholic who thinks that Ayn Rand is a genius (and generate a legion of Catholics online to fly cover for Rand’s God-hating contempt for the weak) is a desperately sick conservatism with nothing like a Catholic conception of the common good. I think again of Dale Ahlquist’s wonderful little piece on The Trouble with Catholic Social Teaching.
Money was made for man, not man for money.