In keeping with Vatican II’s call for more lay participation . . . and Pope Francis’s desire for more dialogue . . . may I respectfully offer some thoughts on his recent encyclical.
Although I apparently agree with much of his writing, particularly regarding the poor, the need for charitable support for the less fortunate and downtrodden, etc.; I do not agree with his negative perspective on Capitalism and its effects on society.
Clearly, constitutional, competitive, entrepreneurial, capitalistic, free-market, free-enterprise has produced more prosperity for the greatest number than any other system. Capital investments produce goods and services, which meet the needs, wants and expectations of the people. And these capital investments are not only self-sustaining, but growth-sustaining – unlike raw charity, which is more-often-than-not immediately consumed.
Furthermore, capitalistic, entrepreneurial societies provide more sustainable help and support for the poor, the downtrodden, the damaged, etc. than the de facto Marxist/Fabian-Socialist/Leftist-Progressive alternatives. I’m surprised that Pope Francis, as an Argentinean, and an educated man, does not more fully appreciate these obvious difference. The capital investments of free enterprise nations dwarf that of autocratic and/or socialistic nations – and is the world’s best hope for diminishing world poverty.
Instead of criticizing Capitalism, the Vatican administration should do its economic homework. The facts will certainly support the need for the growth of competitive, constitutional, entrepreneurial, free-market, free-enterprise, capital investments – which are based on natural law, versus Karl Marx’s out-of-date schoolboy theories.
Regarding climate change, I fear the Pope and other political leaders are being manipulated by leftist ideologists in their effort to centralize government power and control of business and the people. Frankly, more energy arrives each day from the sun than all the cars and factories and homes emit in a year. Furthermore, geothermal energy emitted from terranean and undersea volcanoes dwarfs anything man can produce. And just in case, God has created CO2 absorbing vegetation – if excesses actually linger.
And one more point – with all the problems in the Catholic Church today, and the serious decline in church attendance and sacramental participation – it is disappointing to see the Vatican focusing its attention, energy, and influence so inappropriately and erroneously on climate change. Frankly, if anything needs changing, it’s our antiquated and superstitious-based religion and teaching.
Times are changing with unprecedented speed as highlighted in the following summary:
Between 1990 and 2013, maternal mortality worldwide has dropped by almost 50%.
In 1981, 52% of the world live in absolute poverty. By 2010, the number was down to 21%. 721 million fewer people live in extreme poverty.
Human life expectancy has increased more in the last 50 years than in the previous 2000 years of human existence. 1915 life expectancy was 47 years. In 2011 it was 70. In modern societies it is now over 77 years.
Between 2000 and 2012, the number of out-of-school children around the world has nearly halfed – dropping from 100,000,000 to 58,000,000.
Since 1961, the amount of food we produce has increased by 25%. Around 2% of the population now produce enough food to fill the bellies of every single person on earth with 2800 calories per day.
Between 1960 and 2010, the global population rose from 3 billion to 6.8 billion.