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Cardinal Müller sees dangers in American individualism

Catholic World News - July 03, 2014

To understand Pope Francis, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said, one must appreciate the experience of Latin American Catholics.

In an interview with the German magazine Alle Weit, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said that the Pope's approach to social questions is quite different from that of most Europeans. The German cardinal said that Pope Francis, like many Church leaders in Latin America, sees a need to change social structures, not merely political policies.

Noting that the social teaching of the Church has always offered critiques of both capitalism and socialism, Cardinal Müller took issue with American Catholics who idealize a free-market economy. “A balance must be found between freedom and social responsibility," he said. "One cannot simply absolutize US individualism, which has had a formative influence on US culture.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 06, 2014 12:04 PM ET USA

    I suspect Card Müller and I would agree about a lot of things, but he and other church leaders need to pay more attention to what states around the globe are up to, viz. promoting immorality across the board. I put no particular stock in American individualism except when it serves to thwart the evil plans of statists like Barack Obama and his party. Then it can be a useful defensive weapon. Churchmen who think they can lie down with a tiger and not get bitten are only fooling themselves.

  • Posted by: unum - Jul. 04, 2014 8:41 AM ET USA

    It is sad to see Church leadership puzzled by the American Constitution which seeks to protect our God-given freedoms with personal responsibility. Americans were personally responsible for their brothers and sisters of the world in WW I and WW II and many gave all. Americans were personally responsible for their U.S. brothers and sisters during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, Europeans seem to see things through the eyes of the State, not the eyes of the individual child of God.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jul. 03, 2014 10:37 PM ET USA

    I wonder if Cardinal Muller could point to a country that has brought about a greater standard of living for EVERYONE than the United States. We no longer have a free market economy in the U.S. anyway, and that is why our standard of living is dropping, and we have crony capitalism. The Cardinal needs some lessons in Austrian Economics.

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