MOSAIC Spring 2014 - Page 29

MY PARISH, YOUR PARISH Living the Gospel in the Local Church What’s All the Fuss About Economics? I Fr. Charles Canoy had some lively dinner conversation recently. The question came up: What are some ways to respond to friends, family members, and parishioners who have been asking about Pope Francis’s view on economics? This view is a hot topic recently, given all the commentary out there—from the right and the left—about his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. First of all, I would encourage you to take some time to read The Joy of the Gospel for yourself. I think it’s important to keep in mind what the pope is not saying in the document. He is not saying, for example, that capitalism is an unacceptable economic system. We know from past Church teaching, such as Pope John Paul II’s social encyclical Centesimus Annus, that such an interpretation is far from the truth. What Pope Francis points out in his exhortation are the abuses to which free market economies can be inclined if the agents of capitalism have insufficient regard for the common good and the dignity of the human person, particularly the poor. Note that he has also spoken against Marxist thought and left-leaning liberation theology. Given his South American background, he has observed corruption of both economic systems firsthand. Here are three points I believe provide context to understanding better Pope Francis’s comments. including economics, should have as its aim the flou ɥ͡