Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our Holy Father's take on the Economic Crisis

In a recent essay, Kishore Jayabalan, director of the Acton Institute's Rome office (I didn't even know they had a Rome office), offered his assessment of Pope Benedict's recent remarks about the economic crisis. The whole thing is worth reading, but here is his salient observation:

Rather than denounce an economic system that encourages people to follow their self-interest, the Pope denounces realities with more of a past and deeper effects - original sin, human greed and idolatry. He does not equate profit with greed, probably realizing that waging spiritual warfare against profits would mean losing the interest, attention and perhaps possible salvation of all who know anything about business and economics. And maybe most importantly, rather than tell us that we need a "new" system of producing and consuming, buying and selling, the Holy Father takes a more sober, realistic approach by reminding us that there is no just system without just people, and that sin is a permanent fact of life that we must learn to combat slowly, persistently and above all spiritually.The idea that a free economy, like a free political system, reflects the moral condition of its participants is a point to remember as we debate policy solutions in the coming months and years.

Acton has also put together a useful web page with resources for understanding the economic crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment