God Bless Cardinal Pell. (And Margaret Thatcher. And, for that Matter, Capitalism.)

 

From an article in the London Spectator describing the changes Pope Francis is making in the curia:

154078-cardinal-george-pellThe Pope has begun his attack on the Curia by placing its scandal-ridden financial structures under the control of a new department with unprecedented powers: the Secretariat for the Economy. Its first prefect is Cardinal George Pell, the conservative former Archbishop of Sydney.

Further

The blunt-spoken Pell is a close friend of Tony Abbott and, like the Australian prime minister, a climate change sceptic. In an interview with the Catholic News Service earlier this month, he said: ‘I remember Margaret Thatcher’s comment, that the Good Samaritan, if he hadn’t been a little bit of a capitalist and had his own store of money, couldn’t have helped. We can do more if we generate more.’ (One can only imagine how this went down with the bishops of England and Wales, whose politics and financial acumen are those of the 1980s public sector.)

Not that the pontiff has inquired into my state of mind, but if he’s going to continue spouting left-wing nonsense on the economy, and his trip to Korea last week indicates that he’s going to do just that, then the appointment of Cardinal Pell, who understands the virtues of economic liberty, makes me feel a lot more at ease.

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  1. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    If I go to mass and hear in a homily a priest warning against the danger of egotism creeping into even our religious lives, do I think, “That’s a straw man. No one advocates egotism! No one is thoroughly egotistical!” No. I search my heart and conscience for traces of egotism in myself.

    Likewise, if the Pope warns about the problem greed and disregard for the poor in the world’s power and economic structures, if he reminds us that commercial values are not the only values in the civil society and shouldn’t be allowed to overwhelm other elements, should we yell, “Strawman! No one advocates contempt for the poor. There is no country on earth that exhibits only commercial values!” Or should we rather, take the caution to heart? Ask ourselves whether we can improve matters in our own sphere of influence?

    • #91
  2. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    katievs:  Those “basic rules of conduct” are, precisely, not given by capitalism (nor do they suffice, since we need not only rules, but values). And capitalism exercised outside the ethical limits of the civil society does harm, not good, even if it “creates wealth.”

    But free market capitalism doesn’t work without enforced rules against fraud and coercion (among other things).  If you see something called “capitalism” that turns a blind eye toward those things, they’re either foolish or using words improperly.

    • #92
  3. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    katievs: Those “basic rules of conduct” are, precisely, not given by capitalism (nor do they suffice, since we need not only rules, but values). And capitalism exercised outside the ethical limits of the civil society does harm, not good, even if it “creates wealth.”

    But free market capitalism doesn’t work without enforced rules against fraud and coercion (among other things). If you see something called “capitalism” that turns a blind eye toward those things, they’re either foolish or using words improperly.

     Fraud and coercion are not the only economic evils out there, never mind the only social evils. And capitalism can “work” very well for capitalists without serving the good of a community as a whole, or the good of employees as persons.
    Capitalism, qua capitalism, for instance, doesn’t care if jobs go overseas to factories that ill use their workers. It doesn’t care if the natural resources of a country are exploited by rich power brokers in other countries, who use them to fund luxuries lifestyles in places far, far away.

    Monetary policy under Obama is working really, really well for the top 20%, not so much for everyone else.

    • #93
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