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Bishop, in National Review, criticizes caricature of Pope’s economic views

Catholic World News - December 12, 2013

Defending Pope Francis against criticism from some conservatives, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln said that the message of the Pontiff’s recent apostolic exhortation “is now being reduced to a sophomoric caricature,” much as St. Francis of Assisi has been caricatured as a “medieval flower child, preaching unbridled sentimentality.”

Evangelii Gaudium did not reject capitalism, or even particular market theories,” Bishop Conley wrote in an article published on the website of National Review. “Instead, it rejected idolatry of any economic system as a panacea, and it called Catholics to human solidarity in the context of public policy. The pope affirmed that markets must be understood and administered in justice, with due regard for the sovereignty and solidarity of families and human dignity. Pope Benedict XVI presented similar ideas in depth in 2009, as did Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine.”

“The personal and convicting message of Pope Francis requires us to examine carefully the humanity of our public policy, and of our private lives. It calls us to self-examination, and, more important, self-denial,” Bishop Conley added. “It calls us to temper the pursuit of our own prosperity by our obligations to our fellow human beings. But Pope Francis is not calling for an advent of socialist economic policy or radical income redistribution. The Holy Father has lived through Latin America’s 50-year cycle of extremist economic policies. He’s calling for moderation, for freedom, and above all, for virtue.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 12, 2013 7:41 AM ET USA

    The fact that Rush Limbaugh has recently taken to criticizing Francis by name is a feather in the pope's cap; ditto for the rag-tag army of Chicago-school economists who have weighed in on Evangelii Gaudium. Their opposition says good things about the pope's thought. With opponents like these, Pope Francis hardly needs friends.

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