Philosophy

Pope Francis has released his first apostolic exhortation,Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). An apostolic exhortation

…is published to encourage the faithful to live in a particular manner or to do something, e.g., post synodal documents offered to the church in summary of a previous synod and hoping the faithful will do something helpful for the life of the church…

Acton’s Director of Research, Sam Gregg, takes a look at Evangelii Gaudium at National Review OnlineFirst, Gregg points out that this is a beautiful document in many ways, with its emphasis on the Holy Spirit and Francis’ call for more collegiality between Rome and local churches.

However, Gregg also says that some of the pope’s points are “rather questionable.” Gregg mentions the subject of Islam and the pope’s assertion that it is non-violent. However, Gregg’s main focus has to do with the pope’s economic reflections.

Prominent among these is the pope’s condemnation of the ‘absolute autonomy of markets’ (202). This, he firmly believes, is at the root of many of our contemporary problems, not least because it helps rationalize an unwillingness to assist those in need.

If, however, we follow Evangelii Gaudium’s injunction (231–233) to look at the realities of the world today, we will soon discover that there is literally no country in which markets operate with “absolute autonomy.” In most Western European countries, for instance, governments routinely control an average of 40 percent of their nations’ GDP. In many developing countries, the percentage is even higher. How much more of the economy do we really want to put into the state’s hands? Is there no upper limit? In private correspondence with the British-Australian economist Colin Clark, for example, even John Maynard Keynes suggested that the figure of “25 percent [of GDP] as the maximum tolerable proportion of taxation may be exceedingly near the truth.”

Nor does there appear to be any consciousness in Evangelii Gaudium of just how regulated most of the world’s economies are. The rules and regulations that apply, for instance, to economic life in North America and Western Europe are fast approaching the status of beyond counting. The situation in most developing countries is hardly any better. So extensive is the range and scope of regulation that, as I’ve argued elsewhere, it is now creating genuine rule-of-law problems in many countries. The amount of regulation affecting developed Western economies is now so great that it is likely that even good judges with no interest in judicial activism are issuing rulings that are ad hoc and arbitrary in nature.

Gregg believes the pope leaves too many assumptions regarding economy unexamined, and that “particular realities” are missing from the pope’s thoughts here. As Gregg concludes:

If we want ‘the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good’ to be more than what the pope calls a ‘mere addendum’ to the pursuit of ‘true and integral development’ (203), then engaging more seriously the economic part of the truth that sets us free would be a good start.

Everyone would gain — and not least those who endure poverty.

Read “Pope Francis and Poverty” at National Review Online.

Also read: Rush Limbaugh is Wrong, Karen Finney of MSNBC is Nuts: Pope Francis and Capitalism

Related posts:

  1. Audio: On NPR, Samuel Gregg Discusses Pope Francis and Economics
  2. Samuel Gregg: Is Pope Francis a Man of the Left?
  3. Can Pope Francis Deal With Toxic Contamination?
  4. Will Pope Francis Go Left on Economics?
  5. Pope Francis and Poverty

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Atheism Rationally Explained :-)

by Steve Ray on February 29, 2012

ATHEISM: The belief that there was absolutely nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits of random stuff thrown together by chance which then turned into dinosaurs who crawled out of the muck. Makes perfect sense to me.

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“Life is all about the Journey, not the Destination!” I saw this sign at the airport today. Imagine, in an airport of all places!

What stupidity! Tell passengers arriving at the airport to catch a flight, “Take any flight, sir, it doesn’t matter; it’s not about your destination, it’s only about the experience of the flight.”

I don’t know about you, but if it’s only about the journey then life is ultimately a sadistic, cruel, cosmic joke and I want off!

But I know better. Life is a journey in preparation to arrive at the destination which is all important. My destination is heaven and union with God for eternity. There is another destination as well, but I’m preparing for the better of the two.

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Dr. Peter Kreeft is the Devil: Advising How to Win the World!

December 21, 2011

What a delightful and fun hour! If you have two brain cells that connect and wish to understand God and the world — and if you aren’t afraid of the truth and talk about sex — you will LOVE this. If you aren’t polltically correct about atheism and Islam and other such things, you will [...]

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Why Young People Drop Out of Church (Protestant and Catholic) and Leave the Faith

November 26, 2011

A book and a review evaluate the sad but predictable situation. The Zenit article begins: 1. Churches do have an active engagement with teens, but many of the young people do not grow up to be faithful adult followers of Christ. 2. There are a variety of reasons people drop out, so it is important [...]

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Four Last Things in a Terrifying Story

February 20, 2011

Watch my YouTube Video: Going to Hell *************** The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. [...]

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Enormity of the Universe

November 11, 2010
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On Philippine Radio (on internet)

July 11, 2010

http://radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=14674 We are one the #1 Radio station in the Philippines from 8:30-10:00 AM Eastern time (8:30 PM Philippine time). Tell your Filipino friends in the US that they can listen at the address above

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Creation vs. Evolution: Debating the Really Big Questions in Life

October 6, 2009

“The combination of Richard Dawkins and Karen Armstrong as presenters of two contrary views on the existence of God (“Man vs. God,” Weekend Journal, Sept. 12) is in itself a “creative act.” For one, God is a fairy tale, and for the other “at least it’s a nice fairy tale.” One may as well have [...]

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