Quotes of the day

posted at 9:41 pm on November 26, 2013 by Allahpundit

Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church…

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money”, and urged politicians to “attack the structural causes of inequality” and strive to provide work, healthcare and education to all citizens.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?”

***

Francis said trickle down policies have not been proven to work and they reflect a “naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.”

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis wrote.

“This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system,” the 76-year-old pontiff added.

***

All this would warm the heart of even the most fervent atheist, except Francis has gone much further. It seems he wants to do more than simply stroke the brow of the weak. He is taking on the system that has made them weak and keeps them that way.

“My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost,” he tweeted in May. A day earlier he denounced as “slave labour” the conditions endured by Bangladeshi workers killed in a building collapse. In September he said that God wanted men and women to be at the heart of the world and yet we live in a global economic order that worships “an idol called money”.

There is no denying the radicalism of this message, a frontal and sustained attack on what he calls “unbridled capitalism”, with its “throwaway” attitude to everything from unwanted food to unwanted old people. His enemies have certainly not missed it. If a man is to be judged by his opponents, note that this week Sarah Palin denounced him as “kind of liberal” while the free-market Institute of Economic Affairs has lamented that this pope lacks the “sophisticated” approach to such matters of his predecessors. Meanwhile, an Italian prosecutor has warned that Francis’s campaign against corruption could put him in the crosshairs of that country’s second most powerful institution: the mafia.

***

For the second time this year, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is aligning with Pope Francis on global economic views

Sanders says he continues to welcome Francis’ criticism of the global financial system, which both the senator and the pope say has plunged more of the world into poverty while benefiting the wealthy few.

“At a time when the gap between rich and everyone else is growing wider, at a time when Wall Street and large financial institutions are exerting extraordinary power over the American and world economy, I applaud the pope for continuing to speak out on these enormously important issues,” Sanders said. “Pope Francis is reminding people of all walks of life, and all religious backgrounds, that we can and must do better.”

***

Albeit in somewhat passive terms, the Church had made its political and economic position clear: It rejected communism, and specifically its suppression of religion, in favor of the West and democracy—which were tied tightly to free-market economic principles. Many years later, the Polish Pope John Paul II was given credit for helping to undermine communist rule in his country, where Catholic churches provided a space for anti-communist artists and thinkers to hold discussions and distribute anti-regime writings.

In light of this long-standing tension between the Church and communism, Pope Francis’s aggressively anti-capitalist posture seems all the more remarkable. The bishop of Rome hasn’t just condemned what he sees as a failed free-market—he’a condemned the ethic and ideology that underlie free-market economies. “The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase,” Francis writes. “In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

This is more than just a lecture about ethics; it’s a statement about who should control financial markets. At least right now, Francis says, the global economy needs more government control—an argument that would have been unthinkable for the pope just 50 years ago.

***

It’s interesting to think of Pope Francis’ assessment in light of Pope John Paul II’s past condemnation of communism and the “social assistance state.” In 1991, he observed…

“In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of state, the so-called ‘Welfare State.’ This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoke very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the ‘Social Assistance State.’ Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

“By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending, In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them who act as neighbors to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need.”

***

[W]hat I think is curious about this document is a longstanding peeve of mine. Ever since the Galileo incident, the Catholic Church has generally tried to be careful to get its science right before it opines on ethical matters related to science. It takes seriously questions of bioethics and has developed internal expertise on those issues. Yet when it comes to economics, the Church seems to have no qualms about opining on issues of economics without even the slightest idea of what it is talking about.

I mean, seriously?

“204. We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”

Well darn that John Paul II for helping to bring freedom to Poland and getting rid of all those “decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes” that were so beneficial to the Poles under Communism.

***

Capitalism does not breed poverty; it alleviates it. Compare the life expectancy of a medieval serf–rarely 30 years–to someone living in Western Europe today: Pope Francis, for example, who has reached the ripe old age of 76 thanks to modern medicine. He lived through the Cold War and its showcase of the obvious disparity between the United States, a land of economic “survival of the fittest,” according to Francis, and the Soviet Union. It was “a country with some of the most fertile land on the continent of Europe,” writes economist and TAS contributor Thomas Sowell, where the market principles that Pope Francis rergards suspiciously were abandoned, and as a result “at least 6 million people starved to death in the 1930s[.]”…

The pope, who recognizes in his exhortation the importance of economics, should keep in mind that the limited resources of the world could not possibly be allocated or “distributed” without some sort of system that allocates them efficiently, taking into account supply and demand, as well as scarcity and the difficulty of production and extraction: that is, prices. For someone who writes of others’ displaying “crude and naïve trust”, the pope sometimes betrays a rather naïve understanding of economics.

***

I don’t wish to stand in the way of people enjoying other people’s prejudices, but Francis’s hyperbolic rants about the role and allegedly dictatorial power of free markets are embarrassing in their wrongness. Cheering them on is like donating money to a Creationist Museum, only with more potential impact…

More people have escaped poverty the past 25 years than were alive on the planet in 1800. Their “means of escape” was largely the introduction of at least some “laws of competition” in endeavors that had long been the exclusive domain of authoritarian, monopolistic governments…

To look upon the miracles of this world and lament the lack of “means of escape” is to advertise your own ignorance. To call it a “tyranny” is to do violence to any meaningful sense of that important word (much like Francis’s predecessor did with his silly “dictatorship of relativism” crack). And to make such absolutist statements as “everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest” is to admit up front that you are not primarily interested in spreading truth, but rather in exciting popular passions. Which I suppose makes sense.

***

Troubling? Yes, and that’s probably too gentle a word. If this was just a discussion within the Roman Catholic church aimed solely at how its members should behave that, for the most part, would be up to them. But the pope’s words are rather more than that. In Francis, we see a charming and charismatic advocate (complete with large megaphone and the attention of a sizeable slice of the world) for economic policies of a type that have failed and failed and failed again, not least in the Argentina of his youth, the Argentina of Perón, the Argentina that he evidently still sees as some sort of model.

That’s not good news, nor is it likely to be the source of much joy.

***


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For some ALT…..for some

cmsinaz on November 27, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Btw: At Wally, Black Friday starts @ 6P on Thursday.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 27, 2013 at 7:13 AM

You mean like Catholic Jew (Jewtholic) Thursday or something? So, last week, Monday night at 3:46 or something? :P

Axe on November 27, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Driving around D.C. last night late, some unknown radio show host had it exactly right: the Catholic Church has conflated Jesus’ statements to care for the poor with government Marxism. To take the Peter and Paul metaphor to the perfect level, the Catholics advocate robbing Peter to pay Paul, and thus have the undying support of Paul.

Jaibones on November 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Without the example of Wall Street having purchased the services of two Presidents in a row (the poodles Bush and Obama), I’m not sure that Francis would have been so militant in his denunciation of Casino Capitalism.

No one can argue that the racket state we have today is either free or fair. However, if Francis is arguing that what we have today is a result of unbridled free enterprise, then I would assert that he is a Bishop of Rome with much to learn.

I suspect that what we have here is a Peronist in Pope’s clothing.

victor82 on November 27, 2013 at 7:44 AM

A fascist pope? That’s interesting.

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 7:48 AM

A fascist pope? That’s interesting.

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Certainly not the first one.

Happy Nomad on November 27, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Whatever you think about the Pope’s endorsement of a redistributionist state, there’s absolutely no denying that our society worships money as though it were a God. Idolatry is the exact correct word.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

The Pope looks so much like Harry Reid he must be his twin separated at birth. One goes on to be a corrupt politician, the other a corrupt priest. Kind of like Powers Boothe and Rutger Hauer in Sin City.

Count Mahdrof on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Okay. Turn in your salary, perfesser.

And, work for free.

kingsjester on November 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I consider Guthrie>Eddie, too, but it’s hard for me to argue that someone’s “best,” once they’ve reached a certain level…

\m/

Anti-Control on November 27, 2013 at 1:39 AM

MSG is one of my favorites, and I agree, it’s hard to rate one pro at the top of his game over another, it’s apples and oranges a lot. I love to have this discussion with my musician friends. I’m an electric bassist now, playing 60′s thru 90′s classic rock/alt/grunge stuff mostly, but I love the blues. The “arguably the best” label has been hung on Guthrie by his peers. What sets Guthrie a tick higher is his willingness to teach others all his tricks, plus I just love to hear his accent when he talks!!
As much as I love hard rock/early heavy metal like Iommi, Blackmore, KK and Tipton, Eddie and Steve Vai, Guthrie’s fusion with the Aristocrats speaks to me in a different manner, kinda like BB King and the blues. I just wish Jimi had stayed around a little longer. I’m glad we live in an era where these artists have another platform besides the stale wornout big music industry (gaga me with a spoon)to get their music to the masses.

Support your local musicians, go to local shows and watch the local bands. Buy there CD’s or downloads instead of bt’ing them.

\m/ (that always makes me miss Ronnie James Dio)

http://youtu.be/wxxOPvLg7o0

Mini-14 on November 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Whatever you think about the Pope’s endorsement of a redistributionist state, there’s absolutely no denying that our society worships money as though it were a God. Idolatry is the exact correct word.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

But hearing those words come from the head of the wealthiest religion the world has ever known seems rather ironcic, doesn’t it?

I’m assuming this pope will begin auctioning off all of those priceless works of art and artifacts to redistribute that wealth, right?

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Well Popes blunder and the media makes hay of it…always have…always will.

I thought this sermon from Msgr. Pope dated 11/26 might be another way to look at some of the issues. (The point being one of a healthy balance I think)

“In the Gospel from Monday, Jesus praises a woman who gives from her substance: He noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood. (Luke 21:2-4)

Now in praising her act he also gives a teaching for us all which highlights the kind of freedom that often comes with poverty and simplicity, and also the kind of bondage that can come with wealth and worldly connections.

The teaching is very paradoxical since, in worldly thinking, we usually conclude that those with the most money, power and access are the most free to do what they please. But frequently the opposite ends up being the case, and our worldly possessions, power, popularity and access lead us in to a sort of bondage and fear that wasn’t featured in all the promises and advertisements about “the good life.”

Why and how is this so? In effect, those with great wealth and who have power, popularity and deep connections in the world, have “too much to lose.” You can’t steal from a man who has nothing and it is a lot harder to intimidate him. Yet those who go up on the heights, tend to look down from those heights, and fear the fall.

Yes, wealth brings on the bondage of many worries.

Scripture says, The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep (Ecclesiastes 5:12).

And this evident, society-wide. We have never been so wealthy as modern Western culture affords. And yet, despite this, our stress is off the charts; fears and worries abound. Insurance buildings dominate our skylines, and huge numbers of Americans are on psychotropic medicines to stay calm and less depressed. Many others self-medicate with alcohol and drugs and addiction looms large in our culture.

Wealth also tends to bring on the bondage of insatiable cravings.

Again, Scripture says, The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. (Eccles 1:8).

St Augustine says, For of a forward will, was a lust made; and a lust served, became custom; and custom not resisted, became necessity….a hard bondage held me enthralled. (Confessions 8.5.10).

Thus in our wealth we seldom reach a point where we say, I have enough and am satisfied. When does a person ever say, “Gee, I make $600,000 a year, that is more than enough. I think I can get by on 100K and I’ll give away the rest, or invest in something to help others. No, now we want 700K, and our 3,500 square foot home is just too small. Now we need the 7,000 square foot home with all the appointments, and the beach house too. We’re hooked, living well beyond what we need, we are now in bondage to what we merely want. And we thus mistake mere wants as needs. This is not freedom is the “necessity” that St Augustine describes as “bondage.”

Wealth and excess also lead us easily to the bondage of compromise and surrender of our soul to the world.

St. Paul writes, But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim 6:8-10)

Indeed, it is a very great tragedy that on account of the bondage to money, power and access, many sacrifice their vocation on the altar of career and advancement. Many set aside their vocation as husband and father, wife and mother, disciple and beloved child of God, for the sake of some career, and the money, power and access that comes with it. Their children are raised by strangers and the home fires grow cold. Most do not do this out of wickedness, but out of a kind of bondage, even a desperate fear, that if they do not do so, they will lose out on money, access, power and prestige. Too many cannot break free of this bondage, or do not want to.

None of this says “freedom” it says bondage.

Scripture attests that Jesus told a would be follower who seemed to seek Jesus for the power and access it might give him: Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. (Mat 8:20).

Jesus owned next to nothing in this world, save for the seamless garment his mother likely wove for him. Even his deathbed of the cross was not his own. But in this, he had a radical freedom. He owed no one anything. Having nothing, he had nothing to lose. He could not be intimidated, he could not be owned, or pressured to compromise. He had no “access” or worldly power to lose. He could not be excluded because he was not desperate to join, to fit in, or gain worldly footholds. You can’t take from a man who has nothing, he is free from your influence. Jesus was free.

Yes, for all our talk of how wealth can free us to do what we want the paradoxical opposite seems more the case. Consider some other paradoxes beyond the mere question of wealth and perceive how what seems to offer more freedom and abundance actually leads to bondage and lesser fulfillment.

1. We moderns have more leisure time than perhaps ever before. Yet having all this time we seem to have less time. We are over-scheduled, running here and there to this diversion and that; taking the kids to the soccer practice, dance rehearsal, etc. Options multiply and now become required as we are expected to be here and there. The important is eclipsed by the urgent; scheduling and hurrying about goes off the rails, and many more central things, like eating dinner with the family, prayer and sleep give way. Having more time we strangely have less time and “busy” becomes the usual way we describe our lives.The freedom of leisure time too often turns to a kind of bondage.

2. We moderns have more food, more calories available to us than ever before. Food is quick and cheap. Such freedom, and such variety! Yet, it seems clear, many of us are in bondage. Obesity and all the health problems that go with it are rampant. The food that should sustain life is killing many of us.

It is interesting to observe that centuries ago, when food was far more scarce, fasting was a more rigorous and common Christian practice. Many fasted from meat the whole of Lent. Many also undertook fasting in Advent. Over the years as food became available in great abundance and predictability, it would seem we could fast more easily. But the opposite has happened and most people seem incapable of even the most simple fasts. The bishops, wisely or not, have relaxed the fasting laws to something almost meaningless, concluding that the traditional fasts were “too hard” on people.

We have so much food today that you’d think after a while we’d say, “Enough, I don’t need to eat for days!” But the opposite seems to happen. The more we get the more we want. Portion sizes get ridiculous, and super sizing a way of life. And increasing numbers simply cannot stop, or even approach a reasonable caloric intake.

Thus our abundance does not bring us freedom and variety, but bondage and the limits of poor health. More does not bring freedom, it brings bondage.

3. Many sinfully claim a freedom regarding sex today that Scripture forbids. But honestly, for all the modern claims of freedom, sexual bondage is very deep for many today.

Calls to teach chastity to children are greeted with incredulous looks and remarks that such approaches are unrealistic, and the best that we can hope for is to throw contraceptives at youth who cannot really be expected to control themselves. This does not speak to freedom, but to bondage.

Internet porn is off the chain and many are in deep bondage to it.

And no matter how high the body count grows through abortion, broken families, teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, children raised with out proper families, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs etc., no one seems to be able to connect the dots and say, “Promiscuity is unhealthy, even deadly, and we must become more serious about addressing this public health hazard.”

Here too the result of sexual revolution that marched under the banner of freedom, is not freedom, it is bondage.

Well, you get the point. Freedom is often paradoxical. We usually think the the “more” of riches, power, choices, and connections brings freedom. Usually it does not. Bondage is more often the case when we embark on the fool’s errand of living beyond what is needed, reasonable or holy.

Jesus looks to a poor woman in yesterday’s gospel and admires her freedom. Free from fear and having little to lose she is able to be generous. Too often our riches, abundance, variety and choices disable rather than enable us. Having much, we have too much to lose. Bondage is never far when this be the case….”

http://blog.adw.org/2013/11/on-the-bondage-of-abundance-and-the-freedom-of-poverty-and-simplicity/

Something to think about…

“Greece’s unemployment rate stands at more than double the eurozone’s average reading of 12.1 percent. Nearly one in four Greeks are unemployed.

Since the economic crisis suicides have increased up to 40%.

Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Monday there was 26.5 percent increase in the suicide rate in 2011 compared to a year before and 43 percent compared to 2007, the year before the crisis began…”

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/09/10/323016/greece-suicide-rate-up-43-in-3yr-span/

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Okay. Turn in your salary, perfesser.

And, work for free.

kingsjester on November 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM

*sigh* earning a wage does not invalidate an analysis of the way our society worships money and consumerism.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Good morning all!
Twerp…17 at Aurelio’s tonight! They won’t take reservations for big groups this year….ought to be interesting.

KJ, without reading your article yet, I’m going for sheer Stompy-foot petulance!

herm2416 on November 27, 2013 at 8:16 AM

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

This piety of yours, considering both your lifestyle and political ideology, is extremely hypocritical, to say the least.

kingsjester on November 27, 2013 at 8:16 AM

*sigh* earning a wage does not invalidate an analysis of the way our society worships money and consumerism.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

And equating consumerism with capitalism is lazy theatrics.

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 8:17 AM

But hearing those words come from the head of the wealthiest religion the world has ever known seems rather ironcic, doesn’t it?

Indeed. I have been less willing to jump on the Pope’s bandwagon. The Catholic Church has an *intimate* relationship with the founding of modern global capitalism and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The Pope really should be endorsing reparative justice alongside his analysis. But, as I said to the Court Jester, having money does not invalidate an analysis of our society’s relationship to money.

I’m assuming this pope will begin auctioning off all of those priceless works of art and artifacts to redistribute that wealth, right?

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 8:12 AM

But, did you read the document? He says quite clearly that the structure of redistribution is one thing, but that the larger problem is a “human crisis” wherein we devalue and even sacrifice other humans in the name of profit and then (in a weird twist) call that violent sacrifice “moral.” So until we tackle that spiritual issue, the Church just selling all its belongings won’t change much.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:18 AM

*sigh* earning a wage does not invalidate an analysis of the way our society worships money and consumerism.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

The problem is not consumerism…nothing wrong with buying and selling goods or services.

The problem is materialism.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:19 AM

And equating consumerism with capitalism is lazy theatrics.

ButterflyDragon on November 27, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Equating the two isn’t just lazy theatrics, they are two different words and they mean two different things.

But that isn’t what Pope (or Marxists in general) do. The argument is that capitalism breeds consumerist culture, and then vice versa, they feed into each other. The relationship between culture and structure isn’t a particularly controversial idea. Conservatives employ that dialectic all the time when they claim that welfare reproduces the “culture of poverty.” So I am not sure why you don’t recognize the same type of argument here when describing the relationship between consumerism and capitalism.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:22 AM

The problem is not consumerism…nothing wrong with buying and selling goods or services.

The problem is materialism.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:19 AM

I think you mean there’s nothing wrong with “consumption” or with “trade.” But when people are talking about “consumerism” or “materialism” they are talking about essentially the same thing. So if you want to say the problem is “materialism” rather than “consumerism” OK fine. The argument still stands.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Unfortunately the new Pontiff sounds like Obama with a crucifix.

How is the church going to deal with having someone that appears to be a Marxist in charge?

Very interesting to watch.

PappyD61 on November 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

When the value of life is measured by the material…there’s the problem of demoralization and despair.

“So this is all the study found – it pointed out a problem we all knew was there, it but doesn’t make an attempt to lay out causes. The researchers stress that the larger issues – and the fact that there are a lot of nuanced connections between economics and mental health – should be treated with special sensitivity by the influencing organizations: the government, nonprofit organizations, and particularly the media.

One issue is that suicide is just one “marker” of mental health, and it is the most dramatic one. In other words, other mental health phenomena, like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, are much more prevalent. “The rise in the number of suicides is only a small part of the emotional distress caused by the economic downturn,” said the authors. “Non-fatal suicide attempts could be 40 times more common than completed suicides, and for every suicide attempt about 10 people experience suicidal thought.” So the issue is much larger than “just” suicide alone, which makes it all the more important to devote some serious resources to.

Another factor may be the well-known gender split in the likelihood of reaching out to the medical and mental health communities. “Past research also shows that men are less likely to seek help than women,” Chang points out, which could contribute to men being more likely to commit suicide than women. Addressing this problem by encouraging men to take action and seek help, rather than stay silent, may help address the problem at least in part. Taking care to encourage high-risk groups, like younger European men and older American men, to seek help may be especially important.

Of course, this makes the assumption that there’s help to be sought. People who are losing their jobs may not feel they have the money or time to devote to mental health, particularly if health insurance is also at stake. Chang says that “austerity measures (e.g. cuts in welfare/mental health care) should not be targeted on those most vulnerable in society.” Providing and making people aware of low-cost options during these times seems especially important (see below for resources)

The authors urge people not to see suicide as a normal, inevitable problem, but one that is preventable, provided we come up with some better interventions….”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2013/09/18/on-the-global-recession-suicide-link-experts-call-for-sensitivity/

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM

KJ, well done. I like how you linked the lawsuits to the closing of the embassy. You just KNOW Captain Kickass had that card waiting in the wings.

herm2416 on November 27, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I think you mean there’s nothing wrong with “consumption” or with “trade.” But when people are talking about “consumerism” or “materialism” they are talking about essentially the same thing. So if you want to say the problem is “materialism” rather than “consumerism” OK fine. The argument still stands.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Materialism is different then consumerism philosophically.

Consumerism is a marxist term.

Materialism is a theological term and addresses the unhealthy imbalance between the material and the spiritual.

When an individual is bound in an unhealthy way to the material he confuses his relationship with his creator and his community. The material can take many forms besides monetary wealth as described in the sermon by Msgr. Pope posted upthread.

Marx and his socialists equated the material to capitalism in order to popularize their class agenda but the two are not the same.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:35 AM

But that isn’t what Pope (or Marxists in general) do. The argument is that capitalism breeds consumerist culture, and then vice versa, they feed into each other.
libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Wrong again.

Capitalism doesn’t breed consumerism.

Secularism breeds materialism because individuals fill the spiritual void with the material and lapse into moral decline.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Whatever you think about the Pope’s endorsement of a redistributionist state, there’s absolutely no denying that our society worships money as though it were a God. Idolatry is the exact correct word.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

That’s not unique to our society, though. It’s pretty much a human condition.

Axe on November 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM

People worship something.

Axe on November 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

That’s not unique to our society, though. It’s pretty much a human condition.

Axe on November 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM

People worship something.

Axe on November 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Agreed.

The material cannot feed the spirit and ignoring the spirit of an individual leads to demoralization and eventually despair.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/04/17/remarkable-declines-in-global-poverty-but-major-challenges-remain

That’s right Your Holiness, lets go back to the feudal system your Marxist brethren proffer.

It’s working out SO well in Argentina, after all.

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Unfortunately the new Pontiff sounds like Obama with a crucifix.
How is the church going to deal with having someone that appears to be a Marxist in charge?

Very interesting to watch.

PappyD61 on November 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

It makes me think of the Chinese American curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

Fallon on November 27, 2013 at 9:00 AM

http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/09/poverty-declines-as-inequality-deepens/

I love this one. Poverty isn’t the problem. There are still RICH PEOPLE!!!!

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Did anyone post this, yet? Apologies for redundancies, but I’ve had it with the work hard, succeed and you’re evil crap.

Fallon on November 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

To paraphrase and adapt a word from Shania Twain:

“Man, I’m glad I’m a Protestant.”

UODuckMan on November 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

One of the funnier comments at the linked ABC article (and there aren’t very many good ones):

“We hate corporate greed! Give us (your) money!”

Fallon on November 27, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Capitalism does not breed poverty; it alleviates it.

This is true in the American context.

Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”

This is true in the Chinese context.

imho

This is what unfettered capitalism looks like

“Hong Kong, one of the world’s richest cities, is abuzz with a luxury property boom that has seen homes exchanged for record sums.

But the wealth of the city has a darker side, with tens of thousands priced out of housing altogether and forced to live in the most degrading conditions.

These pictures by British photographer Brian Cassey capture the misery of people – some estimates put the figure as high as 100,000 – who are forced to live in cages measuring just 6ft by 2 1/2ft…”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084971/Hong-Kongs-cage-homes-Tens-thousands-living-6ft-2ft-rabbit-hutches.html#ixzz2lr3rhwJ3

In America we have a political system which allows for responsible capitalism fettered by commonsense regulation…but this system is under attack to our detriment by socialists who abuse regulations in a corrupted fashion to achieve their political agenda of control.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

The pope, who recognizes in his exhortation the importance of economics, should keep in mind that the limited resources of the world could not possibly be allocated or “distributed” without some sort of system that allocates them efficiently, taking into account supply and demand, as well as scarcity and the difficulty of production and extraction: that is, prices. For someone who writes of others’ displaying “crude and naïve trust”, the pope sometimes betrays a rather naïve understanding of economics.

Yep!

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Whatever you think about the Pope’s endorsement of a redistributionist state, there’s absolutely no denying that our society worships money as though it were a God. Idolatry is the exact correct word.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM

But, did you read the document? He says quite clearly that the structure of redistribution is one thing, but that the larger problem is a “human crisis” wherein we devalue and even sacrifice other humans in the name of profit and then (in a weird twist) call that violent sacrifice “moral.” So until we tackle that spiritual issue, the Church just selling all its belongings won’t change much.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:18 AM

You are dodging the point. Capitalism and free markets have enabled more people to lift themselves out of poverty more than any other thing in history. Redistribution doesn’t alleviate poverty – it stifles economic freedom and opportunity, redistributive governments embody everything in government you claim to hate about corporations. You want to alleviate poverty then the only moral choice is free market capitalism.

gwelf on November 27, 2013 at 9:23 AM

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

much of the poverty in China is a result of poor farmers moving into the cities to find jobs. But what is a poor farmer? If I can grow all my own food and am self sufficient, I could live on 1.25 per day. How do you measure barter?

Perhaps we should really just be looking at the number of people who die of starvation, instead of attaching a number to the definition of poverty.

here’s one for you
read paragraph 12

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21578643-world-has-astonishing-chance-take-billion-people-out-extreme-poverty-2030-not

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Not sure what to make of this Pope .
Would be nice to hear words of encouragement on
leading a productive life , being responsibile , hard
work and prudence .
With ocare it’s going to take big $’s just to stay alive .
Is it wrong to save for retirement or health care ?
I need a drug that costs over 100,000 $ a year .
I may have to pay most of that next year , I don’t
know . The church is vehement about suicide but
this Pope might call my drugs a luxury .
Ask 10 priests and you’ll get 10 different answers .
A conundrum at best .

Lucano on November 27, 2013 at 9:25 AM

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

much of the poverty in China is a result of poor farmers moving into the cities to find jobs. But what is a poor farmer? If I can grow all my own food and am self sufficient, I could live on 1.25 per day. How do you measure barter?

Perhaps we should really just be looking at the number of people who die of starvation, instead of attaching a number to the definition of poverty.

here’s one for you
read paragraph 12

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21578643-world-has-astonishing-chance-take-billion-people-out-extreme-poverty-2030-not

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Crop yields have been an important development as has water development.

The problems in China are predictable as it matures economically.

The politics lag behind the economics and this social instability will only get worse.

Currently that country is bleeding it’s wealthy…which is also happening in some european countries.

Things are getting kinda ugly everywhere…and Faith and family unity will undergo even more stress.

Those that have strong bonds with both will come out better I think.

Glad I live in Texas.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Pope Francis has shaken my Catholic faith to it’s core.

The Pope should speak with great moral clarity. There should be no doubt as to the morality of what he says no matter how brilliant or simple one is.

One should not need to be a theologian who has to parse his words in some contrived defense of his actions. That is not the way of Christ.

Instead we have a clueless Leftie who seems to want to aid and abet the forces of evil at every turn. Now we have a situation where the righteous can be attacked and vilified by the forces of evil using the very words of the church hierarchy.

He has beclowned the Papacy, and greatly undermined the moral authority of the church.

He should resign immediately.

The end times must be near.

Unsk on November 27, 2013 at 6:54 AM

The pope does not have papal infallibility on matters of economics.

Yes, it is irritating that the left, which hates Catholicism, will continue to spout off their unending ignorance regarding the nature of papal infallibility, and assuming the pope is a Jim Jones figure whose every utterance is a mandate on his followers.

It is also unhelpful that Francis cannot see this method does him no favors. The left does not care about souls, it cares about validating its own evils.

These wretched people are the sort who will say “See! The pope agrees with me on economics! Now stop saying my soul is in peril because I support intrinsic moral evils like abortion and sodomy! The pope agrees with you on that, but he agrees with me on economics! Souls aren’t even real anyhow!”

BKennedy on November 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Not sure what to make of this Pope .
Would be nice to hear words of encouragement on
leading a productive life , being responsibile , hard
work and prudence .
With ocare it’s going to take big $’s just to stay alive .
Is it wrong to save for retirement or health care ?
I need a drug that costs over 100,000 $ a year .
I may have to pay most of that next year , I don’t
know . The church is vehement about suicide but
this Pope might call my drugs a luxury .
Ask 10 priests and you’ll get 10 different answers .
A conundrum at best .

Lucano on November 27, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Same here.

I don’t think he’s politically savvy and his views on capitalist economics are those of a populist simpleton.

I do think the philosophical argument is Materialism…But he’s made a mess of it.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

The “capitalism” that Pope Francis has seen is nothing like “free markets.” He has seen cronyism and we all see it today in DC. China has no free markets, it has controlled markets set up in select cities to generate wealth for just a few and for the communist regime running the country. It is not “unfettered” free market capitalism and it is simply wrong to say it is. There hasn’t been true free market capitalism in Europe – ever. They went from monarchies and oligarchies straight to socialism. Latin America has largely been run by corrupt cronyists since the colonial days. The antidote they chose always seemed (and seems) to be socialism which, in the hands of the corrupt, merely benefits a few and impoverishes the many. As a Catholic I’m disappointed in what the Pope is saying. He clearly does not understand economics and does not understand that the corruption of the human spirit corrupts all human activity in some way. That means if you centralize power in a command and control economy you amplify the power of that corruption. A free system diffuses the corruption and brings more opportunity for altruism and real charity. On this matter, the Pope is simply wrong.

BillyWilly on November 27, 2013 at 9:48 AM

The pope does not have papal infallibility on matters of economics.

Yes, it is irritating that the left, which hates Catholicism, will continue to spout off their unending ignorance regarding the nature of papal infallibility, and assuming the pope is a Jim Jones figure whose every utterance is a mandate on his followers.

It is also unhelpful that Francis cannot see this method does him no favors. The left does not care about souls, it cares about validating its own evils.

These wretched people are the sort who will say “See! The pope agrees with me on economics! Now stop saying my soul is in peril because I support intrinsic moral evils like abortion and sodomy! The pope agrees with you on that, but he agrees with me on economics! Souls aren’t even real anyhow!”

BKennedy on November 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Well stated.

Pope Francis blundered…Giving fuel to the fire so to speak.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:49 AM

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM

ALL TRUE.

The availability of energy is what, in the end, determines poverty.

I’m so glad the libs are so pro-energy

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I’ve read your comments on this post and I
believe you have a a very clear understanding
of what the Pope actually said .
Bravo …or Brava !

Lucano on November 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church…

The mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle are one in the same and have the same goal.

Chalk another ‘told ya so’ up to Ayn Rand.

Good Lt on November 27, 2013 at 9:59 AM

BillyWilly on November 27, 2013 at 9:48 AM

What this guy says.

KirknBurker on November 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Unsk on November 27, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Yep.

KirknBurker on November 27, 2013 at 10:04 AM

As a Catholic I’m disappointed in what the Pope is saying. He clearly does not understand economics and does not understand that the corruption of the human spirit corrupts all human activity in some way. That means if you centralize power in a command and control economy you amplify the power of that corruption. A free system diffuses the corruption and brings more opportunity for altruism and real charity. On this matter, the Pope is simply wrong.

BillyWilly on November 27, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Agreed.

He should have consulted Benedict XVI who was much more adept initiating discussion.

Caritas in Veritate is both philosophically provocative and beautifully written.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

ALL TRUE.

The availability of energy is what, in the end, determines poverty.

I’m so glad the libs are so pro-energy

WryTrvllr on November 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

True enough.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I’ve read your comments on this post and I
believe you have a a very clear understanding
of what the Pope actually said .
Bravo …or Brava !

Lucano on November 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Pope Francis is early yet in his papacy.

His heart is in the right place theologically…but he’s a bit clumsy in his approach politically…imho

This is likely due to the isolation of his personal experience and his pastoral duties before becoming Pontiff.

I also think he suffers from undue pressure to make an immediate impact that separates him from his predecessors…This may be self imposed or generated from those around him?

It happens.

*shrug*

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Then why does he turn a blind eye to Christians being oppressed and even murdered by muslims? He ain’t no Pope Urban II.

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM

This.

KirknBurker on November 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Unfettered Capitalism lacks ethics and morality resulting in corruption.

British Mercantilism is an example of that extreme where the law is toothless and easily manipulated to benefit the power class.

Dickens wrote about it in Bleak House and many other novels.

Pretty simple really.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Then why does he turn a blind eye to Christians being oppressed and even murdered by muslims? He ain’t no Pope Urban II.

VorDaj on November 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM

This.

KirknBurker on November 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Different times…Christendom no longer exists and is now fractured and mostly secular.

The Vatican is actively engaged…we just don’t read about it in the press so much.

” Pope Francis on Thursday called for the respect of religious freedom in the Middle East, as he welcomed to the Vatican senior prelates from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt.

“Life conditions of Christians, who in many parts of the Middle East suffer particularly from the consequences of ongoing tensions and conflicts, are a source of great worry,” Francis said.

Violence against Egypt’s minority Christian population has been in the rise since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011. Christians in Syria fear persecution by militant Islamists engaged in the civil war.

“Today, along with the pastors of the Churches of the East, we make an appeal: that the right of all to a decent life and to freely profess their faith be respected,” Francis said.

The pontiff added he would “not rest so long as there are men and women, of any religion, affected in their dignity, deprived of life’s basic necessities, robbed of a future, forced to the status of refugees and displaced persons…”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/11/21/3393348/pope-calls-for-religious-freedom.html#storylink=cpy

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Regarding Church doctrine, I believe that the Pope is infallible.
His opinion of economic systems is as infallible as his opinion of ice cream flavors, which is to say – not.

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Regarding Church doctrine, I believe that the Pope is infallible.
His opinion of economic systems is as infallible as his opinion of ice cream flavors, which is to say – not.

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

True enough.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM

This is a sad day for the Church, and for the late Pope John Paul II, who grew up under Communism and worked tirelessly against “liberation theology”, which originated in Latin America and tried to conflate Christ’s concern for the poor with Marxism. Now we have a Latin American Pope, who grew up in the Argentina of Peron, blasting capitalism as “tyranny”, and Marxists everywhere are celebrating that God is on their side.

Pope Francis needs to educate himself by traveling to eastern Europe, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, or Hungary, and asking the people there whether they were happier under Soviet domination pre-1989 or now, because their governments impose lower taxes and are probably more pro-capitalist than those in western Europe or North America. Greece, the historic cradle of democracy, is now an economic basket case due to socialism, and needs the capitalist Germany to repeatedly bail them out.

Steve Z on November 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

*sigh* earning a wage does not invalidate an analysis of the way our society worships money and consumerism.

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

“Sigh.” — drama queen

Typical rationalization from a leftist weasel. For them to profit from their “labor” is righteous…

For a Conservative to profit from his/her labor is greed…signifying idolatry.

One wonders if liveasaslaveanddie will ever become aware enough to recognize his/her hypocrisy.

Solaratov on November 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM

As a Catholic I’m disappointed in what the Pope is saying. He clearly does not understand economics and does not understand that the corruption of the human spirit corrupts all human activity in some way. That means if you centralize power in a command and control economy you amplify the power of that corruption. A free system diffuses the corruption and brings more opportunity for altruism and real charity. On this matter, the Pope is simply wrong.

BillyWilly on November 27, 2013 at 9:48 AM

An excellent point, Billy! Pope Francis is correct that “unfettered” capitalism could lead to a greedy monopoly which oppresses the poor, but capitalism has rarely been completely unfettered–even the Founders of our Constitution gave government the right to “regulate interstate commerce”. Also, in a free society even a greedy monopoly is likely to be challenged by upstart enterprises who can make the same product more cheaply and bring down the market price within reach of the poor.

Christianity (from the Bible) teaches that human beings are intrinsically corrupt and need redemption, and the desire for money and/or power can corrupt people. But in a free society, any business owner who becomes too greedy can be brought down by a competitor. In a socialist society, a government which controls everything can cling to power unfettered.

For those who have not experienced it, socialism “feels good” by appealing to people’s charitable hearts, especially of Christians. But, as Margaret Thatcher pointed out, it only works until the government runs out of other people’s money. After that, the government needs to steal to maintain power, which is against God’s Commandment.

Steve Z on November 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Pope Francis is early yet in his papacy.
His heart is in the right place theologically…
workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Oh please. He’s not a new Christian and this isn’t Christianity 101.

His heart is in the right place THEOLOGICALLY? Are you kidding me? Do I need to remind you that EVERY heresy introduced into the Body was introduced by BELIEVERS with their hearts “in the right place” and not by atheists or non-believers.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

reparative justice

libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Too shy to just say REPARATIONS (but jus’ fo de black folk, dontcha know)?

And you’d be first in line with your hand out, you greedy poofter.

Solaratov on November 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Regarding Church doctrine, I believe that the Pope is infallible.

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

And you believe that because they tell you that they are infallible.

No wonder the secularists don’t take you seriously.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

There’s a lot to chew on in the EVANGELII GAUDIUM document…just sayin’

“61. We also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise.[56] On occasion these may take the form of veritable attacks on religious freedom or new persecutions directed against Christians; in some countries these have reached alarming levels of hatred and violence. In many places, the problem is more that of widespread indifference and relativism, linked to disillusionment and the crisis of ideologies which has come about as a reaction to anything which might appear totalitarian. This not only harms the Church but the fabric of society as a whole. We should recognize how in a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions.

62. In the prevailing culture, priority is given to the outward, the immediate, the visible, the quick, the superficial and the provisional. What is real gives way to appearances. In many countries globalization has meant a hastened deterioration of their own cultural roots and the invasion of ways of thinking and acting proper to other cultures which are economically advanced but ethically debilitated. This fact has been brought up by bishops from various continents in different Synods. The African bishops, for example, taking up the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, pointed out years ago that there have been frequent attempts to make the African countries “parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel. This is often true also in the field of social communications which, being run by centres mostly in the northern hemisphere, do not always give due consideration to the priorities and problems of such countries or respect their cultural make-up”.[57] By the same token, the bishops of Asia “underlined the external influences being brought to bear on Asian cultures. New patterns of behaviour are emerging as a result of over-exposure to the mass media… As a result, the negative aspects of the media and entertainment industries are threatening traditional values, and in particular the sacredness of marriage and the stability of the family”.[58]

63. The Catholic faith of many peoples is nowadays being challenged by the proliferation of new religious movements, some of which tend to fundamentalism while others seem to propose a spirituality without God. This is, on the one hand, a human reaction to a materialistic, consumerist and individualistic society, but it is also a means of exploiting the weaknesses of people living in poverty and on the fringes of society, people who make ends meet amid great human suffering and are looking for immediate solutions to their needs. These religious movements, not without a certain shrewdness, come to fill, within a predominantly individualistic culture, a vacuum left by secularist rationalism. We must recognize that if part of our baptized people lack a sense of belonging to the Church, this is also due to certain structures and the occasionally unwelcoming atmosphere of some of our parishes and communities, or to a bureaucratic way of dealing with problems, be they simple or complex, in the lives of our people. In many places an administrative approach prevails over a pastoral approach, as does a concentration on administering the sacraments apart from other forms of evangelization.

64. The process of secularization tends to reduce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal. Furthermore, by completely rejecting the transcendent, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a weakening of the sense of personal and collective sin, and a steady increase in relativism. These have led to a general sense of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood which are so vulnerable to change. As the bishops of the United States of America have rightly pointed out, while the Church insists on the existence of objective moral norms which are valid for everyone, “there are those in our culture who portray this teaching as unjust, that is, as opposed to basic human rights. Such claims usually follow from a form of moral relativism that is joined, not without inconsistency, to a belief in the absolute rights of individuals. In this view, the Church is perceived as promoting a particular prejudice and as interfering with individual freedom”.[59] We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data – all treated as being of equal importance – and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values….”

65. Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries – even those where Christians are a minority – the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need. Again and again, the Church has acted as a mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defence of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and universities around the world! This is a good thing. Yet, we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good.

66. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born “of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life”.[60]

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html#Some_cultural_challenges

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”

This is like attacking the Tooth Fairy.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

*sigh* earning a wage does not invalidate an analysis of the way our society worships money and consumerism. libfreeordie on November 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

If you have a problem with it, stop worshiping money and consuming.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

You have to wait for the end of the thread to submit the thread winner?

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Dickens wrote about it in Bleak House and many other novels. Pretty simple really. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Do you have any examples not 150+ years old?

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

You have to wait for the end of the thread to submit the thread winner? Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I like to let the kids play first… see what they come up with.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Pope Francis is early yet in his papacy.
His heart is in the right place theologically…
workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Oh please. He’s not a new Christian and this isn’t Christianity 101.

His heart is in the right place THEOLOGICALLY? Are you kidding me? Do I need to remind you that EVERY heresy introduced into the Body was introduced by BELIEVERS with their hearts “in the right place” and not by atheists or non-believers.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

huh?

Theologically he is making the argument against Materialism.

Politically his economic argument uses clumsy phrasing and generalizations that are probably the product of his isolation. Compared to both of his predecessors John Paul II & Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has been isolated in his experience both personally and pastorally.

That is what I meant and have stated upthread.

Jesus and his apostles made the same argument with regards to Materialism as did the Old Testament Prophets.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I don’t think infallible means what you guys think it means.

tlynch001 on November 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Dickens wrote about it in Bleak House and many other novels. Pretty simple really. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Do you have any examples not 150+ years old?

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Does it matter how old the social commentaries examples are?

My point is that Dickens commented on an extreme form of unfettered capitalism in the society of his day…something we call British Mercantilism.

Sarah Palin…another social and political commentator comments on Crony Capitalism in the America of her day.

Not much of a difference between the two.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

ebrawer on November 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Thank you for this, and the other replies.

————
Note to the extraterrestrials…it was just a ‘normal’ night on HA’s QotD.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

liblikeaslave, for you

Colmes exposed himself to be what he always is, a horse’s azz. Carlson Tucker had him for b-fast and spit him out, and he was still going. Tucker “obama is hated in DC and across the land, had to go to Hollyweird to be ‘loved’ by the Katzenbergs, for green energy, amnesty and other bullchit…he hates the middle/lower classes and they are full of Starnesvilles across the land…why doesn’t he visit them and do something for them, instead of the fat cats?” a.s.o., paraphrased.

“Why is all about obama’care’ now…Romney…Bush…wonderful obama…gave insurance to all the poor who didn’t have it”….

“What about the millions who lost it?” Tucker

“Bla, bla, bla, obama is great for the stock market….same ol’” Colmes

Indeed. obama is a 1%r, who enriches them and himself, and destroys the middle class. Fall for him and be destroyed by him. Sheepleton, you deserve him and his destruction in full, you morons.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Oh please. He’s not a new Christian and this isn’t Christianity 101.
Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

This is nonsensical.

He is a new Pope and hasn’t been in office for even a year.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Theologically he is making the argument against Materialism.

Well, in the context of theology, Materialism posits that there is nothing but matter, not spirits, no God etc. So, find a tree with a raccoon in it.

Politically his economic argument uses clumsy phrasing and generalizations that are probably the product of his isolation.

Excuses excuses. He was chosen to be pope because he was the most qualified candidate, or at least that’s putting the best face on it. If this is the best they can do…

Compared to both of his predecessors John Paul II & Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has been isolated in his experience both personally and pastorally.

Then what makes him qualified to be pope of a Chuch with a billion members?

Jesus and his apostles made the same argument with regards to Materialism as did the Old Testament Prophets. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Why don’t you put some scripture up for our benefit?

Mt. 20:15, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

Jesus tells a parable of a man who had paid idle men to work in his vineyard, and each made the same amount regardless of how long he worked. The one’s that worked the longest complained about the injustice, and Jesus approvingly told them that the man’s property is his alone and how he lawfully disposes of it is no one else’s business.

You wills search in vain for any biblical support of socialism, or even busybodies, for that matter.,

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Quote, not strikeout, obviously…

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Do you have any examples not 150+ years old?

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Good one, in defense of another good one, 150 years is but a speck of a speck of a speck in time…

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Conclusion, the new pope wants global socialism which is state-sponsored, just like obama, which is a form of fascism.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Does it matter how old the social commentaries examples are?

Uh, yes. Does it make any sense to condemn America for owning slaves today? Since it’s illegal today? Should the pope tell the US to let its slaves go?

My point is that Dickens commented on an extreme form of unfettered capitalism in the society of his day…something we call British Mercantilism.

So the pope was telling us that we shouldn’t repeat the sins of Britain in Dickens’ day? Really? Seems to me he was talking about our day.

Sarah Palin…another social and political commentator comments on Crony Capitalism in the America of her day.

Because it’s a problem in her day. Today. Nowadays. Currently. Presently.

Not much of a difference between the two. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

…which makes it ironic that obama closed the Vatican location embassy…moved it into the state one…see kingsjester.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Not much of a difference between the two. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

So we can just stop using past tense verbs because everything is now?

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM

He is a new Pope and hasn’t been in office for even a year. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

He’s been a priest and a bishop for decades. How many do-overs are popes allowed until you stop making excuses for them? If he next declares that the Virgin Mary was not a virgin, are you going to make the same excuses?

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Some of you like to pick nits and keep going, and going, and going.

The big picture is that this pope aims at modern day global fascist socialism.

He might do this out of a need to restore the Catholic Church, rather than out of conviction.

He used to argue the exact opposite against the insufferable scumhag who totally destroyed Argentina, whom he now embraces.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM

By which I meant, bring in a new flock, by any means.

See amnesty and how/why so many Catholics voted for obama, in spite of their religious convictions.

See also how the oh-so-Catholic illegals and legal Meskins cheered at the newly passed/retained “keep killing fully grown babies” law in Albuquerque.

See the hypocritical priests in the US…all just to keep the flock to show up on Sundays…the pews would be even more empty otherwise, not only in Western Europe.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Regarding Church doctrine, I believe that the Pope is infallible.

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

And you believe that because they tell you that they are infallible.

No wonder the secularists don’t take you seriously.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Nope.
I believe that as an article of faith, just as my belief in God is an article of faith.
I also believe that what I see with my eyes is real, as opposed to a dream.
Pretty much everything that humans believe is an article of faith, no?

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Theologically he is making the argument against Materialism.
workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Look again. He’s making the argument against Capitalism.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I’m not going to chase you around in a circle.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL IN TODAY’S WORLD Vatican.va November 24, 2013:

252. Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”

253. In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

By which I meant, bring in a new flock, by any means. Schadenfreude on November 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I dunno, given what he says about Islam maybe he’s looking for a merger.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Theologically he is making the argument against Materialism. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Look again. He’s making the argument against Capitalism.
Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Excellent. Plus, he thinks that in theological terms, Materialism means consumerism, which it doesn’t as noted above.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Does it matter how old the social commentaries examples are?

Uh, yes. Does it make any sense to condemn America for owning slaves today? Since it’s illegal today? Should the pope tell the US to let its slaves go?

My point is that Dickens commented on an extreme form of unfettered capitalism in the society of his day…something we call British Mercantilism.

So the pope was telling us that we shouldn’t repeat the sins of Britain in Dickens’ day? Really? Seems to me he was talking about our day.

Sarah Palin…another social and political commentator comments on Crony Capitalism in the America of her day.

Because it’s a problem in her day. Today. Nowadays. Currently. Presently.

Not much of a difference between the two. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I guess social commentary only matters to you if it’s current.

So Ben Franklin is irrelevant cause he’s over 150 years old.

See how that works?

sheesh!

I posted upthread that I thought he blundered and why I thought he blundered.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I guess social commentary only matters to you if it’s current.
So Ben Franklin is irrelevant cause he’s over 150 years old.
See how that works? sheesh!

No genius, that’s not how it works unless he was specifically condemning something someone said 150 years ago, which would be a waste of time, and obviously isn’t what he was doing. Are his quotes about the wonders of Islam referring to Islam today or 150 years ago?

I posted upthread that I thought he blundered and why I thought he blundered. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Pardon us for not properly interpreting your equivocation.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Theologically he is making the argument against Materialism. workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Look again. He’s making the argument against Capitalism.
Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

It’s reasonable to interpret that…I’m still reading it.

Like I commiserated with another commenter upthread…Not quite sure what to make of this Pope.

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Pardon us for not properly interpreting your equivocation.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM

touchy aren’t we?

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I’m not going to chase you around in a circle.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Er…actually, my point was only to ‘refute’ this:

And you believe that because they tell you that they are infallible.

No wonder the secularists don’t take you seriously.

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Telling someone that they believe something only because someone told them to believe it is somewhat insulting.
Not majorly insulting. Just somewhat insulting.

And yes, arguments about faith, such as believing in the existence of God, are totally fruitless.
:)

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Like I commiserated with another commenter upthread…Not quite sure what to make of this Pope.
workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I’ll assume your a Catholic so I want to make clear that my issue isn’t with his Catholicism. That’s an argument for another time.

For me, a born again believer, the issue is his obvious lack of discernment of spirits that he so misses the spiritual conflict raging and stumbles into the enemy’s camp. And this is the spiritual leader of a billion people?

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM

touchy aren’t we? workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:42 PM

“We”? You got a mouse in your pocket? I’m not the one having his arse handed to him in this thread sparky.

Akzed on November 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

justltl on November 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM

But, justltl, the argument of Papal infallibility isn’t BIBLICAL. It’s a self-fulfilling rhetorical argument!

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Like I commiserated with another commenter upthread…Not quite sure what to make of this Pope.
workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I’ll assume your a Catholic so I want to make clear that my issue isn’t with his Catholicism. That’s an argument for another time.

For me, a born again believer, the issue is his obvious lack of discernment of spirits that he so misses the spiritual conflict raging and stumbles into the enemy’s camp. And this is the spiritual leader of a billion people?

Cleombrotus on November 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Well in that I can understand your point and it’s nuance.

It’s a lengthy document so I’m still reading it.

He covers a lot of territory in it and frankly unlike the encyclicals of his immediate predecessors it’s a real slog to go through…stylistically speaking

Example: He says sermons shouldn’t be too long or people will get bored or something.

138. The homily cannot be a form of entertainment like those presented by the media, yet it does need to give life and meaning to the celebration. It is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching which is situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his words become more important than the celebration of faith. If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. When preaching takes place within the context of the liturgy, it is part of the offering made to the Father and a mediation of the grace which Christ pours out during the celebration. This context demands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist. This means that the words of the preacher must be measured, so that the Lord, more than his minister, will be the centre of attention.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html#Charisms_at_the_service_of_a_communion_which_evangelizes

Huh?

The document is kinda allover the place…

workingclass artist on November 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM

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