Anglican Samizdat

June 27, 2009

Bad financial advice from the Pope

Filed under: Politics — David Jenkins @ 11:32 am
Tags: , ,

Making silly statements about politics and finance is not the exclusive domain of Anglicans: the Pope, presumably feeling left out, is about to play the politically correct financial morologist himself:

In Charity in Truth, which should be released next week, he is expected to point out the failings of capitalism and lament the world’s roiling markets, exploited workers and the harsh disparity between rich and the poor.

Indeed, commenting earlier this year on the global economic collapse, Pope Benedict said the Church must “denounce the fundamental errors that have now been revealed in the collapse of the major American banks. Human greed is a form of idolatry that is against the true God, and is a falsification of the image of God with another god, Mammon.”

The problem with this is that capitalism, for all its faults, is the only system that has ever managed to produce wealth for the benefit of both the rich and the poor. If the Pope wants to be “on the side of the poor and the disadvantaged” it might be a good idea to be less critical of capitalism which does a moderately good job of holding the consequences of greed in check, and more critical of socialism, which does not.

Surely the real problem is, [f]or the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils – (1Tim 6:10) – and the love of money – human greed – afflicts the wealthy and poor alike. If the Pope were really interested in helping the poor, he would be working to encourage democracy, freedom and capitalism in countries ruled by corrupt tyrannies, and for individuals – wealthy or poor – get to the root of the problem by emphasising the truth of the gospel.


  1. On this topic, take a look at the recent article in First Things, Economic Heresies of the Left.

    Comment by Andrew — June 29, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  2. Thanks Andrew, interesting article.

    Comment by David — June 30, 2009 @ 8:02 am

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