Friday, May 09, 2014
Has Pope Francis Forgotten The Ten Commandments?
With apologies to my Catholic readers, it appears to me that he has.
I've pretty much let much of the current Pontiff's remarks on income inequality pass because I'm familiar with Pope Francis' history dealing with real poverty in the slums of cities like Buenos Aires and Rosario in his native Argentina. But he appears now to have crossed the red line - literally.
The AP is reporting that the Pope is now calling for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a speech he made to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies when they met in Rome this week.
Pope Francis called for the UN to promote a "worldwide ethical mobilization" and said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
'Legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state?' Wouldn't that be forced redistribution, using the police power of the state beyond what we'd consider normal taxation in order to seize assets legitimately earned by some people in order to gift them to whomever the state felt was 'more deserving'? And forced redistribution, of course, is simply another word for theft. As I recall, one of the Ten Commandments has something to say about that, not to mention another commandment that has something to say about coveting the possessions of others.
What the Pope is essentially doing here is mouthing a version of a familiar slogan used to deprive millions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Lenin's 'From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs'. And, of course, the almighty State decides who's who and which is which.
Aside from the severe damage to individual liberty (including religious freedom in those societies the Pope is urging us all to emulate) Pope Francis is badly wrong on a number of counts.
Capitalism, within a few necessary legal fetters has lifted more people out of poverty and raised the individual standard of living far more than any other economic system. Coming from South America as he does, Pope Francis ought to be able to look around and see for himself how badly the quasi-socialist economies in his own neighborhood handle the problem of poverty as opposed to America, Canada,Japan or Western Europe.
Part of the reason for this is that when government isn't 'legitimately redistributing' other people's money they do the only two things you can do with money. They either spend it on goods and services or they invest it,both of which create economic activity and prosperity in an ever widening ripple. Not only that, but as people develop an economic surplus, they may choose to 'invest' it (for religious and/or tax purposes) in giving to charity, with the Catholic Church being a prime beneficiary.
Yes, by voicing this recycled Marxist nonsense, the Pope is actually working to destroy the ability of the Catholic Church to help the very people he claims to be concerned about! Or does he anticipate that the Church will be one of the beneficiaries of this forced redistribution he's talking about?
Based on previous history, I'd say he's fooling himself badly.Socialist Big Government is not noted for its generosity to religion.
It's a pity that Pope Francis can't have a long conversation with Pope John Paul II at this point. That Pope, who experienced in his native Poland the natural result of what the current Pontiff is pushing could definitely provide Pope Francis with some enlightenment.