Opening comment- from Fr Z’s blog:
“The Pope isn’t endorsing any system. He is speaking in generalities. Greed and corruption can effect any economic system. A free-market can, in fact, not result in a betterment of the lot of the poor on its own.
And there is no such thing as an “unfettered” free market. Nor should there be. There must be rule of law.
People who are active in the free market must take responsibility to make sure that the benefits do trickle down.
I think Pope Francis is overly negative in his view that the glass will grow bigger so that nothing can get out of it. Something is going to get out. Again, I suspect that the Holy Father has a limited perspective: the disaster that is Argentina, indeed South America. [Italics mine;exactly what i pointed out in Part I;I also want to point out we need to be careful of various translations.Some have been poor,some better than others. One or two words mistranslated can change meaning altogether.]
I call to mind what Andrew Napolitano said in his mostly negative reaction to Evangelii gaudium: the Pope is frustrated (and thus attacks capitalism) because the poor aren’t getting rich quickly enough.
I respond that, if people acting in the free market act with a view for the poor, the trickle can be far far greater, far far swifter.
I prefer to understand this to be the Pope’s main point when he comments on “trickle down” economics.
Bottom line, Francis is right… a free market will not on its own solve problems. Still, the fact remains that a free market model is the worst model we could adopt to help the poor, except for all the rest. [Bingo Fr Z]
I hope that when conservatives out there write about the Pope’s views they will weigh also the main point: por si’ mismo… di per se… by itself.”
For a minute we’ll take a look at scripture regarding labor.St Paul, the apostle, admonished the community at Thessolonia:
2 Thessalonians 3:10
“We instruct you, brothers, in the name of [our] Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us.*
For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you.d
Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.e
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.f
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.g
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.”
The community expected the parousia(Second Coming)to be imminent. We can read it in that context.
The Catechism of Catholic Church addresses it by citing the 7th commandment,thou shalt not steal.
Pope Francis is not speaking to the political order.The Church is neither Democrat or Republican. She’s not Marxist or Capitalist. Her Concern is what is ordered to the sovereign Good.
2401 The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one’s neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men’s labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world’s goods to God and to fraternal charity.
2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, “when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it.”200 In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.
PART III on Wed.