On a number of economic issues, Pope Francis is said to be “to the left of Nancy Pelosi.”

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But as an economic mission statement, Evangelii Gaudium places the pope — as Vatican watcher Rev. Thomas Reese predicted in March — “to the left of Nancy Pelosi.” In his decidedly populist document, Pope Francis specifically criticizes the economic “trickle-down theories” that were the beating heart of Ronald Reagan’s anti-tax, anti-regulation revolution.

The part of the document that is grabbing most of the attention starts with Section 53, in the chapter on “the crisis of communal commitment.” With his caveat that “it is not the task of the Pope to offer a detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality,” Francis begins his economic critique like this:

Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. 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? [Evangelii Gaudium]

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Editor’s note: The Pope can be as liberal as he wants to, with his own money! The problem with liberals in the United States (and elsewhere) is they like to be liberal with other people’s money!

The grievous abuse begins when liberals (typically Democrats) gain control of public funding – especially Federal funding – because only the Federal Government has the power to print money – or to borrow – big time – from other countries, who also print their own money.

As for Republicans – they’re just slightly less abusive with other people’s money than are Democrats.

The Spirit of Corruption and Greed is no respecter of race, creed, or party affiliation!

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9 Comments

  1. Thanks you, editor, for tarring both major American political parties with the same brush of disgrace. They richly deserve it.

    Pope Francis condemns economic “inequality” out of hand. That pretty much defines his leftist economic philosophy in a nutshell. There is only one way to achieve “equality”: at gunpoint. And in such a system, those with the guns will be more equal than the disarmed.

  2. I just commented on a different post on this same subject. It seems to me we have to get straight on this. For one thing, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are ‘left.’ They are both liberal parties, and the Republicans are MORE liberal than the Democrats. You know very well what definition I’m using, but don’t want to apply it to these economic matters because we have been emotionally brutalized by abortion etc. and have learned to side with the economics of protestantism because of it. That’s what Reaganism is, just protestantism. That’s what liberalism is, just protestantism. And what we call ‘left’ is the reaction, and the necessary reaction, to it, and so was communism, and so was and is socialism. Protestant economics are liberal, and cruel, and Calvinistic, and false. But of course ‘leftist’ economics leave out the One Essential Thing: the Catholic state. Which was heavily regulated, boys. Regulated to stay small, regulated to stay distributed, advertising was forbidden, profits and wages were controlled. All to protect us. “The spirit of corruption and greed” was just as much Reagan’s and Bush’s as Obama’s. There is no way to compromise, there is no possible party, except the one that gives the whole Catholic state.

    • Having no personal experience living in what might be termed “a whole Catholic state” I will defer to your opinion. But my “gut” tells me that such a thing today is impossible – unless and until we witness the return of Jesus Christ.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Doug

  3. With put the threat of being accused a liberal, I remain most uncertain of the liberal notion of Property!
    The rights that Americans hold from their written Constitution which is itself a Liberal document remain first and foremost a Liberal society. Both Democrats and Republicans and much of what lies between are founded in liberalism and the Philosophies of such.
    I think the Pope was suggesting that the unrestrained market, which is still a liberal idea and not a proper conservative one, is a bad thing par-se.
    As for the (still very liberal) notion that this money etc is mine and not yours or the states etc sitting on Christian shoulders? Hardly seems proper! The Christian has no rights to finances and is at best only a janitor for their use. The notion that I have worked hard and now the money I have earned is mine remains a liberal idea but it is hardly anything to do with The Gospels.

    • Yet Jesus never promoted the idea of the Roman government taking money from some of the people and giving it to other people. Rather, Jesus affirmed the proper use of monies paid to the Temple, to help the poor – even though the corrupt Temple authorities of that time used that system for their own personal enrichment. Jesus also recommended personal – one on one – acts of charity, which is and always has been the best way to show love for God and love for neighbor. All the others are generally just other forms of human corruption masquerading as righteousness. That’s pretty much what liberalism is, too.

      Doug

      • Doug,
        Well we must not be too hard on Liberalism. For example the Birth of America as an idea which I presume you agree was a good idea at least in principle?  was because of the Liberal Philosophers in France etc.
        The Rights of the Individual over their own physical body was what led to the Attack on Slavery and the notion of innate rights and the very idea that you can retain property of any sort is a liberal one. Of course the ideas can be abused and open to conflict; the rights of the individual over their body have led to some considering abortion as a Right! Whether this is properly liberal remains contested but certainly it is true that political leaders have claimed it as such but they have rarely shown great intellect so I remain unconvinced.

        Jesus seems to have agreed with the tributes due to Caesar as that which belonged to the emperor, so that the People should pay their taxes. He also required the rich to sell everything they possessed so they might follow him. In fact Our Lords disdain for money as that tainted thing led the early Church in the Acts and through St Paul into a Commune society wherein all wealth should be held in a common fund. The entire notion of Possessions to the early Church was merely as something to be used at all events for the common good. When
        Tried to retain their money and retain something for themselves they were obliterated. Possessions were seen as spoils of the devil and their only value seems to have been that they could be given away.

        Of course I am not suggesting that this behavior as appropriate in Modern society. The Church has come to understand that it is not money that is evil but the unbridled love of money wherein the desire to achieve financial and hence powerful status in the world for its own sake and for our own sense of admiration is abusive and corrupt. The world is full of greed and todays world has corruption to spare!

        My point above was not to imply that we have no rights to property etc or that we should simply give away everything we own to the state or charity that asks us for it. Rather it is to suggest that what we own is something we do not really own (although sometimes material riches will own us) rather we are given things for our benefit and for the benefit of our neighbor. If we do not use these gifts properly then we are in grave danger no matter what the World praises us for.

        Whilst I agree that we should always help charity and our neighbor as one to one we must also allow the State (especially if we are fortunate to live in a western liberal democracy) to use our money for wider projects of humanity and charitable almsgiving. The paying of taxes or via NGOs for the common good will keep greed at bay and will allow grace to blossom in its absence.
        Hope that is better understood?

      • Please see the linked article: http://www.liberalismisasin.com/

        Doug

  4. @Doug: “Jesus also recommended personal – one on one – acts of charity…”

    There is no clearer illustration than the parable of the Good Samaritan, which included not only direct Charity by the latter to the robbery/beating victim, but also delegated Charity, via directed payment to a provider.

    What further lesson or lecturing do we need?

  5. Most interesting article but hardly surprising. As you may know Liberalism was generally attacked by the Church at the late 19th century and many books that supported it were banned as erroneous. It was well known for example that Liberalism had started the French Revolution and led to clerical attacks thereby!
    A little more research would have confirmed the fact that the attacks on liberalism were generally accelerated by the introduction of the Italian state. Such thoughts from the Church however were lifted first by Benedict 15 and latterly by Pius 11. Both pontiffs recognising the limitations such ideas within the Church provided!
    ,


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