Friday, July 17, 2009

"Pope blasts capitalism" - but Keep Reading

While reading the news and making notes for a post about the Pope's broken wrist, I ran into this item:
"Pope blasts capitalism ahead of G-8 meeting"
CNN (July 8, 2009)

"Pope Benedict XVI, on the eve of a global economic summit, lashed out at modern capitalism for being shortsighted and short on ethics.

" 'Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise,' the pontiff said in his third encyclical letter, 'Charity in Truth,' which was released Tuesday.

"The papal letter was released as the heads of leading industrialized nations started gathering in central Italy for the Group of Eight economic summit, which begins Wednesday...."
I've written before, about how 'Charity in Truth' (or 'Love in Truth' - actually 'Caritas in Veritate') 'obviously' validates liberal views. And, equally 'obviously' validates conservative ones. (July 7, 2009)

'Caritas in Veritate' will be confusing, I think, if the reader believes that there are only two, or possibly three, world views: western liberalism, western conservatism, and the 'moderate' view we sometimes find smiling cheerfully between those two camps.

Despite being not-liberal, I'm not an American conservative: and I'm certainly not 'moderate' as the term is used in this context.

I'm Catholic.

And, more to the point, 'Caritas in Veritate' is an expression of Catholic beliefs. It isn't intended to validate the American conservative point of view or the American liberal outlook.

Which brings me to the bit that the CNN news article picked out from the document.

I haven't gotten to the part of 'Caritas in Veritate' that CNN cites, but I'm not surprised that there are criticisms of ethical lapses among western capitalists. I doubt that there are many people who learned about the recent meltdown in financial institutions who doesn't think that deficient ethics were involved.

I don't, however, expect to find that 'Caritas in Veritate' calls for workers of the world to cast off their chains and rise up against the capitalistic oppressors: Groovy as some would find that.

I do expect to find more of the same 'love thy neighbor,' 'honor your father and mother' and 'don't steal' stuff that the Catholic Church has been passing along for the last couple millennia.

The basic message hasn't changed: what's refreshed, as civilizations rise and fall, are details of how the principles apply to the contemporary culture.

All of which reminds me: I need to get back into 'Caritas in Veritate.'

Related posts:
Links to other posts about my study of Caritas in Veritate:

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.