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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pope Calls for Decentralized Church, Condemns Capitalism

From The Guardian:

Pope Francis has attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticising the global economic system, attacking the "idolatry of money" and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare".

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. "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," Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

"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?"

Read more:
Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism 'tyranny' and urges rich to share wealth

From the Los Angeles Times:

Eight months into his headline-grabbing papacy, Pope Francis issued a wide-ranging manifesto Tuesday in which he sharply criticizes the excesses of capitalism and says he wants a decentralized Roman Catholic Church that is "bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets."

Francis' 84-page Apostolic Exhortation, titled "The Joy of the Gospel," gathers together a number of the causes he has championed in speeches and homilies since being elected in March, including the need for "a conversion of the papacy," to reverse the "excessive centralization."

Read more:
Pope Francis calls for decentralized Catholic Church in manifesto

I cannot help but admire the more progressive and more open-minded statements which Francis has made on a number of subjects.  The unbridled free market really is unjust and unethical.  Capitalism really is appalling.  The centralized polity of the Roman Catholic Church really has usually produced undesirable results.  The Church really has been too hung up on condemnation and really has been too inflexible on a number of issues.

However, considerable room for improvement will still exist, even if he successfully gets the Church to improve in the small ways he seems to desire.

See also:
Pope Francis Denounces ‘Idolatry of Money’ And ‘Tyranny’ of Capitalism

Pope Francis's Theory of Economics

Lessons in leadership from Pope Francis

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