Economics For The Pope

Francis started to like the role...

Francis started to like the role…

Two very interesting interventions about Francis’ latest (demolition) effort, Evangelium Gaudii.

The first is from Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. The man should have had a text editor (who would have told him EG is not an encyclical letter), but for the rest seems a very smart guy, with a solid grasp of (real) Catholicism. Napolitano finds that Francis’ effort “reveals a disturbing ignorance about economics”.

I wholeheartedly agree. The more so, because the disturbing ignorance about economics is – though Napolitano doesn’t say that – the fruit of his disturbing ignorance about Catholicism. 

The second is from Fox News, and it is interesting because it shows that even among the mainstream media (Fox News is now obviously so) there are those who have seen the game, and say so. Just as an example, take this:

In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, “we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”

This softly-softly approach of not making a fuss has been tried before, and failed. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s aimed to “open the windows” of the Church to the modern world by doing just this.

The result was the Catholic version of New Coke. Across the West where the effects were felt, seminaries and convents emptied, church attendance plummeted, and adherence to Church doctrine diminished.

I invite you to read both articles (the first link works strangely on my desktop, hope it will be fine), but here I would to reflect shortly on what is happening.

Jorge Bergoglio made his career in a rather provincial environment, dominated by populist rhetoric. It worked well for him as long as he remained in the motherland of Peronism, and would probably work well pretty much everywhere else in South America. When Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he thought it was business as usual and went on in the accustomed way. He is obviously unable to see his limits, and it is evident he feels he can give lessons in the way of dealing with the economy to the entire planet. The vastly publicised criticism shows this is not the case. The world has listened attentively to what he had to say, and found he would have been better off if he had kept his mouth shut. I think this is going to be the second very brutal awakening after the disaster of the interviews to Civilta’ Cattolica and Scalfari. Can’t wait for all the Monsignori explaining how the Pope did not mean to say what he has said.

The ugly truth is that a shallow and petty man is made Pope and thinks the world will be his new Argentina, but it clearly doesn’t work. Now if you make a clown of yourself, you will be told. More and more, the limits of this man are emerging in what can be appropriately called “disturbing” measure. 

As I have already written, he will either have to change his tune or be buried in ridicule. 

The world is not Argentina.


Posted on December 7, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Some years back, the Peruvian economist Hernando Desoto wrote a book called “The Mystery of Capitalism”. He stated that his reason for writing his book was to find out why capitalism worked in some countries, but not others. What he found out was that if people didn’t have well defined property rights, they would not participate in an open economy. Instead, they would do all their business in an underground one. This prevented the free flow of capital to the open economy, thus hindering economic growth. Since the Pope is from South America, he should know about Desoto. If he doesn’t, he’s an extremely ignorant man.

  2. Another bit of the Fox piece:

    “On world matters, Francis’ statements are embarrassing. About communism, a destructive ideology that slaughtered millions of Catholics, he said:
    “Learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized…an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.”

    Not such kind words for the free market, however. In his recent apostolic exhortation he slammed unfettered capitalism, calling it ‘a new tyranny.’ – Adam Shaw is a News Editor for

  3. Where in Rerum Novarum did Leo XIII teach in support of unrestricted Capitalism?

  4. Both articles were dead on…The Pope had better learn better to use few words wisely than more stupidly, or he’s going to lose what little authority he already has….It’s a real good thing that this was not an encyclical….God spare us!

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