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Is Pope Benedict XVI a Commie?

There seems to be an opinion from some conservative corners that Pope Benedict XVI is quite the commie and as dangerous to the free market as leftist icon Warren "Raise my taxes, please" Buffet. Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institution and Andrew Stuttaford of National Review Online seem to think so anyway.

Epstein writes that socialism has gotten Europe and the United States into trouble and says the solution is "limited government, low rates of taxation, and strong property rights." On that we agree. But Epstein then posits that based on his comments at World Youth Day, capitalism clearly has an enemy in Pope Benedict XVI. On that we disagree. There is no greater friend in the world of individual rights than the Catholic Church...

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register>>>

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Pope's views seem to be somewhat at odds with the establishment Republicans and with Tea Party Republicans on fiscal issues. This also seemed to be Pope John Paul the Great's view too (and he was by no means a Marxist). When the republican party's policies and rhetoric move so far to the right, everything looks communist, even Ronald Reagan. American catholics need to play a bigger role in shaping Democratic and Republican policies.

Mack Hall said...

The Bishop of Rome's critics should make up their minds -- he can't simultaneously be a Nazi and a Communist. And of course he is neither, he is the Successor to Saint Peter, and speaks simple truths that transcend fashion and ideology.

Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict XVI is the Servant of the Servants of God, our Creator and Endower.

Blackrep said...

His "Charity in Truth" contains his approval of "forms of redistribution" of wealth and a "true world political authority" whose job would be "to manage the global economy by political means [that means coercion] and the necessity of a one-world authority to manage said task."

Spade, thou art a spade, white beanie or not. He is not a God, infallible on matters of economic principles, so I cut him some slack. However, the binding status of his economic documents = 0.

"There is no greater friend in the world of individual rights than the Catholic Church..." Hmmm. Still thinking about that one.

Anonymous said...

Nor are you infallible on economic principles and you might even be wrong no matter how confident you feel you are right. The Pope may not be infallible on fiscal matters but he is infallible on matters o of Faith and Morals and one could argue that the way the church teaches us to treat the least among us might fall in the category of morals. Your partisan politics blind you from seeing the full truth.

Anonymous said...

@Blackrep: "political means [that means coercion]" Politics and politicians are servants of the people. God speaks to the servants of the people through the will of the people, the governed. It is government's job to listen to the will of the people, its constitutents, because the will of the people, its constitutents, constitute government. And while this sounds circular it is every bit true. So, if one's neighbor is starving and you cannot offer assistance, you notify the community or government and enable them to assist...

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

The Pope's comments are nothing but standard boilerplate that anyone in his position would be expected to say. Then again, who cares about what he says? It's what he does that's important. How has the Vatican handled its own financial house? Read some of the chapters of David Yallop's "In God's Name," which posits that Pope John Paul I was murdered to protect criminals who were using the Vatican Bank to launder money. You might not agree with that thesis but that's a different issue; the research about how much the Vatican received when it concluded the 1929 Concordat with Mussolini's Italy -- and how it placed those funds in the hands of an investor who received carte blanche from Pope Pius XI -- is eye opening.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Blackrep, I share your skepticism about Catholicism being "no greater friend of individual rights" -- especially when the Index of Forbidden Books was in force as recently as 1966, when Catholic bishops have traditionally supported authoritarian governments, when Liberation Theologians rely on a Marxist interpretation of the Gospel, when individual Catholics who have legitimate grievances (such as clerical sex-abuse) cannot find satisfaction in Canon Law, when Canon Law is routinely ignored or disobeyed by bishops, when priests who are innocent of sex abuse are thrown in with the guilty by bishops who are trying to protect their financial assets.

Friend of individual freedom, indeed!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Besides, Benedict XVI -- like JPII -- has been heavily influenced by contemporary European thought on economics, which has had a socialist tinge since the late 1940s. It would be impossible for any European intellectual, religious or secular, not to be so influenced, given how strong the push toward "social democracy" was after WWII.

Anonymous said...

In the Bible, if an employer did not pay his worker his days wages and the man died on the way home, the employer was guilty of murder. People who die because of usury or overtaxation also bring the guilt of murder to those who extort their very livelihood.

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