The Pope on Money

Something to talk about with your family around the Thanksgiving table, if your family is anything like mine (super Catholic): Pope Francis just issued an 84-page “apostolic exhortation” about the idolatry of money and the new tyranny of unfettered capitalism. YES, PLEASE:

How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion…

…Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

You and my uncle and maybe my grandma can read the whole document over at the Vatican. I will just be sitting here enjoying the fact that the Pope took a swipe at trickle-down economics.

Photo: Semilla Luz



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