Pope Francis vs. Savage Capitalism

After an epiphany he dropped his prepared text and spoke from the heart t0 20,000 unemployed workers.

I love this guy so much.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    I’ve been trying to find the full text of his remarks in English since yesterday; they’ve got it up on the Vatican site but only in Italian. Does anyone have a link? Thanks!

    • Marthe Lépine

      OR: Can any reader who knows Italian send a translation, or at least a summary?

  • Stu

    So is “Addicting Info” (which I have not seen before) sincere when it says that they believe the Pope is “channeling Lenin”, “channeling Lenin” or that the Vatican is going to “fly the red flag” or is that simply TIC?

    • Rachel

      They are probably using hyperbole or it might be a site with Marxist leanings or they were using humor. That being said, it would be good to have a decent English translation of what the Holy Father actually said

      • Stu

        Yes, I couldn’t tell what their angle is either. Regardless, I realize that doesn’t reflect at all what the Holy Father said. I’m quite confident that as with the excerpts, the totality of his comments will be simply be Catholic in approach.

        • Marthe Lépine

          You hope…

    • Marthe Lépine

      I do not know, but there is something else linked to on the same page of “Addicting Info” that seems to deplore that some Republicans have been claiming a point from the old USSR constitution, namely the quote, taken out of context from St. Paul, that “if anyone shall not work, they should not eat.” See: “House Republican Says If You’re Unemployed, You Should Starve”.

      • Dan C

        This is the quote out of context. In terms of denying charity, or seeming to, this is the only quote from all of the Pauline works that seem to suggest this.

        In the larger context of the commentary, this quote falls in the middle of a discussion that seems to suggest that those folks who think of themselves as ministers should have gainful employ. The individuals to whom this comment is directed are somewhat self-appinted ministers living off the back of the congregation, at which point Paul reminds the community that he and his colleagues always worked when they came to the community. They had gainful employ. In short, the community’s priests need to work for a living in some other sphere other than ministry.
        This is a quote out of context. It is used for purposes to deny charity.

  • jaybird1951

    Did you read those comments on that site? My God, what a bunch of clueless people. They think he is vindicating their neo-Marxist and lefty assumptions.

    • Dan C

      One only has to read Caritatas in Veritate by Benedict to have a vindication for European-style economics. Strong regulation, protection for workers, and moral demands placed on those who control capital. Great encyclical. Derided by the right wing, from Weigel to Novak to Acton to Joe Carter to Jody Bottum.

      • I normally liked Benedict’s encyclicals. I didn’t like that one. Not that I disagreed with the message. I dunno, it just didn’t seem as structured as the previous two.
        JPII and Leo XIII were the greatest at social thinking the Church has ever had. After them, it really gets kinda tough to compare.

      • I was disheartened by friends of mine, who otherwise adored Benedict, but who seemed almost to not even see that part of the encyclical. It was weird. I think their binary thinking about economics (either Marxism or full-throated “free-market” capitalism) disabled them from recognizing what he was saying. It didn’t fit into any of their categories at all.

        • Dan C

          I claim two things about those response to Benedict. One is many chose willful ignorance, warping deliberately his words to their satisfaction. Conservative intellectuals and writers wholesale ignored all but Benedict’s pieties, and would quote only his rare anti-abortion line in C in V. Amy Welborn asked “where were Benedict’s water carriers?” this past weekend. My claim is that liberals carried Benedict’s water more often and better than his reputed conservative admirers on the Internet.

          Willful ignorance and deliberate silence by conservatives has left the conservative audiences of many a writer confuse by Francis and his “radical thinking.” Or spawned a minor industry, to quote MS Winters, in What Does Francis Really Mean. By failing to adequately represent Benedict, conservative writers are left to misrepresent his views

        • Stu

          I wonder how much of that comes from our Cold War experience. The USSR and everything about her was “bad” and the USA and everything about her was “good.” Now, I am certainly not defending much about the USSR but it sure did put us in a binary mindset.

          • The 2 party system long predated the USSR and I suspect predisposed americans to binary thinking to a greater extent.

            • Stu

              Indeed. But to the most of us, the last 50-60 years is what is relevant in terms of economic systems.

              • This does not make sense to me, at all. We actually didn’t have a big philosophical change in the 1950s or 60s in terms of economic systems. That changeover happened in the 1930s and some argue earlier.

                • Stu

                  For the entire Cold War, which is still a major influencing factor in this country, we lived under a paradigm of USA (Capitalism) is good and the USSR (Socialism) is bad. No gray ares.

                  • You must have lived under a different cold war than I did where marxists weren’t influential professors and hot media interviews and detente never happened.

                    Are we going anywhere with this? What are we actually disagreeing about?

      • This is way wrong in a discussion like this, but it occurs to me that Caritatas in Veritate (sic) would be an excellent title for an encyclical against plastic surgery.

  • Elmwood

    I just checked out the total compensation for the CEOs of ConocoPhillips: $75 million (split between stock options and salaries). This would pay for 500 jobs at $150k/year.

    • Forbes keeps a list of highest paid CEOs, James Mulva, the person in question, is #95 on the list:

      He earns $1.5M in salary for running a company with a capitalization of $85B, a somewhat higher than median salary but that’s a higher than median sized firm so not horribly out of line. He got a bonus for performance in 2012 of $4.25M, again higher than industry median but not outrageously so. There’s a third category, “other” compensation where he has $0.29M while industry average is $2.85M. So far things don’t seem too far out of line. He made $9.57M in stock gains, slightly less than 2/3rds of his total compensation.

      Are you seriously advocating paying people 10% salary, 23% in bonus, and 66% in stock? That would be 90% in methods that may or may not materialize.

      • Elmwood

        Mulva left conoco with a $260 million golden dollar parachute when he retired. That would pay for 1,000s of middle class jobs. This is not putting man at the center of the economy but greed.

        • Nice dodge on answering my question. Extra points for the naked appeal to envy. Care to actually answer it?

          I have no idea whether Mulva’s compensation package was proper or improper. Most of these high compensation poster boys are highly competent and wealthy enough that they don’t have to work another day in their lives. So what does it take to get them away from sipping mai tais on the beach for the rest of their lives? In Mulva’s case, it was a big sum and the firm paid.

          How would you handle the situation?

    • Sassy3000

      Why don’t you lot mind your own business! That’s is their money, not yours. And until you start running a big business of your own, I don’t want to hear one word out of your ignorant mouths!

  • Marthe Lépine

    Here is a link to another article about this particular declaration by Pope Francis (from a source that I think everybody here would consider reliable – our own Canadian Catholic Register):
    Pope, in Sardinia, denounces globalization and unemployment
    Written by Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service
    Monday, 23 September 2013 10:11

  • Marthe Lépine

    I see that the system has cut short the link again. Here is what should have been instead of “.or…” :org/news/international/item/16921-pope-in-sardinia-denounces-globalization-and-unemployment

    • ivan_the_mad

      Marthe, don’t worry, the link is fine. The new Disqus system “hides” the rest of the link after the first 30-odd characters.

  • The article author you’re linking to is attempting to pick a fight and provoke anti-catholic bigotry from the anti-communist right. I find that somewhat disgusting and hope you pick better in future linking. The Catholic Register piece that Marthe Lepine linked to seems a much more balanced presentation of the events.

    As to the substance of Pope Francis’ remarks, I would just ask what would happen if one of those unemployed young people just started offering services and working? Who, exactly would be stopping that dignified effort at labor? I suggest that it would be the policeman, not the businessman, the regulator, not the investor. Since when is government regulation enforced by the police a feature of savage capitalism?

    • Marthe Lépine

      Well, maybe some unemployed person could start offering services in his or her trade or profession. I have done it – and have regretted it for the last 36 years! It is not that simple. Of course, I am a woman. For the banks, a single self-employed woman is actually an un-employed woman with no husband or partner to guarantee a line of credit, thus a bad risk. From then on it is downward: Surviving without ever knowing if and when there will be work, and if and when such work will be paid, while having to make all of my own payments on time or else! It has been hell! For unemployed people to start working – offering services – on their own without the benefit, and the benefits, of a job is often very difficult. There should be some government programs to make it possible, and it would be an excellent investment since the small to medium sized businesses are often the ones that create the most jobs. And I remember attending a conference on taxation a few years ago, where one expert at the round table answered a question from the audience that went like that: Was it true that tax collectors had a vested interest in pushing small businesses into bankruptcy? The answer from the expert was YES, at the time at least their performance was judged by the number of files they closed and it was obviously easier to close small files. So I get very annoyed every time I hear or read someone claiming that unemployed people should start their own businesses. I don’t know about many other people, but I can certainly demonstrate that my own “dignified effort at labour” was certainly interfered with.

      • My point is not that such an effort would not be interfered with, exactly to the contrary. They would be harassed and fined out of doing so by the state, possibly arrested and thrown in jail, certainly repeatedly humiliated by the agents of the state who favor large, established firms that have legal compliance and political lobbying departments.

        My point is all that harassment is not capitalism, but since it results in intimidating people into not even trying, some people in the Church treat this very real phenomenon as inexistent.

        As a mostly irrelevant aside, I never knew you were a woman until now. Sorry to hear about your credit troubles. Do you still have them?

    • Sassy3000

      Sorry! I didn’t understand your comment at first. I only glanced on it. I know, stupid me!

      I think the Pope stuck his foot in his mouth. Encouraging the rich to give generously is one thing, to attack them for being rich is completely idiotic.

      I would like to remind the Little Green-Eyed Monsters that

      1. No one is poor because someone else is rich
      2. what a CEO or any other company officer is paid is NONE of our business
      3. The popes comment appeals to a certain socialist tendency to encourage class warfare. otherwise known as Class Envy. Envy BTW, is a sin!

      4. Jesus told his followers TO GIVE IN SECRET! So If they are following that decree, then no one will (or should) know of it.

      I am OPEN to the possibility that the Pope has been misquoted. or that this article is a reflection of a bad translation.

      But, too many people are sticking their noses in other people’s business as if they had the right to play God. They don’t. How people run their business, (as long as they don’t break any laws of God or Man) is NO ONE’S BUSINESS. That is one of the hardest things for arrogant fools to get through their thick pea-brained skulls.

  • Sassy3000

    People attacking ALL Capitalism as “Evil” Are just showing their socialist stupidity! I am POOR AND UNEMPLOYED BY THE WAY! So save your babble talk!

    I do not know NOR will I ever sink SO LOW as to go on Welfare NOR will I accept any OTHER Govt Handouts. Oh Social Security IS NOT A HAND OUT! I have worked for over 25 years so I have PAID PLENTY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY!

    Just covering all the usual prattle fools pull out of their rear-end. Which of course forces them into making all kinds of snarky remarks and even out and out lies. Pathetic.

    The Pope has no business telling other people what to do with their money. Encouraging sharing is ONE THING, labeling them as evil is just plain stupid and ungodly! Jesus said ,
    Matthew 6:
    Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the
    hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by
    others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    In other words WHEN THE RICK OR MIDDLE CLASS DO GIVE! IF THEY ARE FOLLOWING JESUS TEACHING, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW! They are following Jesus decree of not behaving like the hypocrites and giving in secret. I know when I worked I tried to. So those attacking others for “Not Giving” are actually behaving as pawns of the Devil. Trying to force people into announce their contributions with trumpets, as it were. (Figure of speech, duh)

    So maybe instead of falling into the slime-ball socialists trap of Class warfare, Maybe fools will pull their heads out of their rear-ends and start worrying about what they are doing and how what exactly they are teaching their children and STAY THE HECK OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS! I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY BUSYBODIES IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! You lot are nothing but a bunch of judgmental nosy cows! And worse still, you’re proud of it and will defend such moronic behavior!

    How Rich People spend their money is none of your business. IF they have lived immorally then they WILL ANSWER TO JESUS! NOT YOU LOT! As if any one of us is fit to Judge? are you lot really THAT arrogant and delusional? Never mind any feeble-minded attempts to justify your inexcusable behavior.

    And A rich person who breaks the law, will be found out (sooner or later) and then go to jail. But most rich men and women DON’T STEAL! And they do right by their employees for various reasons. Some, it’s just good business sense. Some do so because of their faith. But attacking them only drives SOME people away from the faith! Is that what you losers want? To sit back all smug and proud over having done the Devils work? YUCK! PSYCHO!

    99% of people ARE NOT poor because some people are rich! PERIOD! And again, I’m not rich. However, I understand reality is simply too much for the ignorant and hateful to grasp so they have to either deny reality or attack me like simple-minded fools. (BTW, doing so only makes me feel sorry for you) I am poor. I might even be over-drawn at the bank. I’ll be checking next week to see for certain. But If I ever won the lottery there is no way I’m helping pukes like you! You losers make me sick! You are not Christians you are hate-filled bitter Trolls. I WILL help the Needy, Not you greedy pigs! Who I help is none of your business! That’s between ME AND GOD! And last time I checked NONE OF YOU LOT EVEN REMOTELY QUALIFIED AS GOD!

    The Pope has WAY over-stepped his ground. Shame on him! Instead of a sweet loving smile encouraging the rich to “Please be generous and think of the poor” that IDIOT has pissed them off and angered a lot of them. Some will still give IN SPITE OF WHAT THAT IDIOT SAID, but NEVER BECAUSE OF IT! That idiot needs to take some lessons in learning how to PROPERLY do Public Speeches! Apparently Talking from his heart, Causes him to put his foot directly into his mouth!

    • chezami

      I take it that you are a) not Catholic and b) unable to read.