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Pope Francis has not condemned free markets

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The media and the uniformed voter are having a field day: Pope Francis has condemned capitalism! Except, as with many other things he is supposed to have said, he did nothing of the sort.

His latest encyclical, Evangelli Gaudium, does not condemn capitalism in any way, shape, or form, nor does it speak ill of the free market. He does not speak of 'unfettered capitalism' as a 'new tyranny'. Those are terms which the media and the Catholic and religious left have put into his mouth. You can be a Catholic in good conscience as well as a capitalist; why does the left want the Pope's views seen otherwise?

Obviously because they are trying to make what they want of the Church because the Catholic Church as an institution is the biggest obstruction to government action. They're trying to shame the Christian right into doing things which cannot be supported. Not only is that unmitigated gall, it is rank hypocrisy. The left wants the Church involved in government where it believes there should be state action. But check your religious values at the voting booth door all you against abortion, thank you.

The Pope's actual intent is really rather simple: to remind us that all human constructs will be flawed because each and every human being lacks perfection. As such, even capitalism and the free markets are not, cannot, and never will be perfect. We must be aware of those facts, and ready to act against error when the market errs, as it will.

His words are not cause for alarm on the part of the conservative religious nor a rallying cry for the activists of the religious left. They are the words of a servant reminding all who will listen of their obligations towards themselves and the world. Nothing more.

And nothing less. Our obligations are great and our weaknesses many. We must not forget either side of that equation.



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