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Key advisor to Pope Francis criticizes some approaches to 'libertarian' economics

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/6/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Cardinal Maradiaga is a key advisor to Pope Francis.

One of Pope Francis' top advisers has gone on the record opposing some brands of libertarian economic policies. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga from the Honduras, spoke during a visit to Washington D.C. to attend a conference on economic libertarianism and Catholic Social Doctrine.  Cardinal Maradiaga explained that Pope Francis "has a profound knowledge of the life of the poor," and that he [Pope Francis] believes "the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed."

Cardinal Maradiaga spoke in Washington DC in a conference concerning economic libertarianism and Catholic Social Doctrine

Cardinal Maradiaga spoke in Washington DC in a conference concerning economic libertarianism and Catholic Social Doctrine

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/6/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Cardinal Maradiaga, economics, libertarian, Catholic Social Doctrine


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga from the Honduras, spoke during a visit to Washington D.C. to attend a conference on libertarianism and Catholicism at the Catholic University of America.

Cardinal Maradiaga explained that Pope Francis "has a profound knowledge of the life of the poor," and that he [Pope Francis] believes "the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed."

Do you agree with the Cardinal? Act now to do your part. Make solidarity a part of your commitment to a better world.

"The hungry or sick child of the poor cannot wait."

Cardinal Maradiaga is a key adviser to Pope Francis. The Cardinal heads a group of eight others who advise Pope Francis on many matters. He explained that occasional acts of charity are too little, and that charity needs to be a continual, ongoing effort. "Solidarity is more than a few sporadic acts of generosity," he said.

The Cardinal said that the real structural causes of poverty and injustice need to be addressed. He also reassured the conference that the Church has no ill will toward those who are wealthy and is not against business. But that all should endeavor to "serve the common good."

He had critical words for certain approaches to what are increasingly called libertarian economics, warning that trickle-down economics was "was deception." Trickle-down theory suggests that if the wealthy are more free to operate and generate wealth, that wealth will eventually permeate society and enrich everyone.

The Cardinal's keynote speech was entitled, "Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism." It was delivered in a symposium sponsored by the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies of the Catholic University of America. 

The social teaching of the Catholic Church offers principles which Catholics are encouraged to apply to every area of social concern, including economics. The symposium was an effort to foment a sincere discussion on economic policy in light of the nature of the human person, the family and our obligation to the common good.

Catholic Social Doctrine is a branch of moral theology. It offers such principles to worked as leaven into the social order by lay Catholics who recognize that this teaching is not simply religious but truly promotes the common good. For example, insisting on solidarity - that we are our brother  and sisters keeper - yet promoting subsidiarity in its application.

Charity and solidarity should become a way of life and a worldview, as opposed to a sporadic act around holidays or when a little extra money comes in. Also, these duties are shared by individuals, families, local, state and federal governments, each in their appropriate sphere - and governments as well as mediating associations, enterprise and corporations.

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