The “common thread” in this story begins on May 17, 2018, with the Vatican’s release of “‘Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones’ (Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic-financial system.)” Prepared with the approval of Pope Francis, and authored by Luis F. Ladaria, S.I. and Peter Card, the document offers reflections about the world’s current economic situation, the need for structural reform and a call for economic justice, particularly for impoverished people around the globe.
Shortly after the issuance of the Vatican’s economic treatise, a Chicago Tribune Editorial “Pope Francis’ Mistrust of Free Markets” classified it as a “lengthy document” that “goes into surprising detail in its takedown of business, competition, deregulation and the shareholder system. Concepts named and vilified in the paper include derivatives…credit default swaps and offshore banking.” Citing Nobel Prize Economist, Milton Friedman. the editorial continued: “The only cases in which the masses have escaped (grinding poverty), and the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”
This brings us to Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich who responded to the Tribune editorial with two significant questions: “Why Does Our Economy Leave So Many Behind?; What structural reforms can mitigate the fact that the world is still divided into the haves and the have-nots – and that the difference between the two is growing at an alarming rate?
Cupich acknowledged that: “market mechanisms have lifted many out of poverty”….. He continued: “They have also left millions behind as a result of unrestrained greed, excessive materialism, and massive inequality. The Tribune editorial has nothing to say about that. The Catholic Church does.”
Here are the resources related to this story:
The Vatican’s document on economic systems Please use this link for the complete text.
Click here to review “Pope Francis’ Mistrust of Free Markets: A Chicago Retort May 18, 2018”
Cardinal Cupich’s response to the Tribune Editorial is available here – please use this link.