Francis and Economics

As I have mentioned before, I like the current pope. But since I am unburdened by the belief that he is infallible, I heartily recommend this piece to readers, which critiques the pope for his less-than-accurate grasp of economics and the state of the world in general:

It’s official: 2013 has been the Year of the Pope. The latest evidence? Time has named Francis its Person of the Yearnoting that the pontiff, during his first nine months in office, “has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power.” Indeed, the pope’s writings and public pronouncements reveal a deeply caring and passionate man who speaks from the heart. In Evangelii Gaudium, an “apostolic exhortation” released late last month, the pope bemoans inequality, poverty, and violence in the world.

But here’s the problem: The dystopian world that Francis describes, without citing a single statistic, is at odds with reality. In appealing to our fears and pessimism, the pope fails to acknowledge the scope and rapidity of human accomplishment—whether measured through declining global inequality and violence, or growing prosperity and life expectancy.

Read the whole thing–especially if you are Andrew Sullivan.

2 Replies to “Francis and Economics”

  1. I am unburdened by the belief that [the Pope] is infallible,

    I hope I may gently and respectfully point out that Roman Catholics only believe the Pope speaks infallibly when he speaks ex cathedra (in his role as Peter’s successor) on matters of faith and morals. The Pope’s infallibility does not extend beyond the pale of the spiritual realm, so his blathering on about economic matters is just that – blather. As a Catholic, I respect his blather, but I am not obligated in any way to adopt his perspective.

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