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  • On Eve of Obama Visit, the Pope Stands Firm Against Relativism and for Economic Freedom

    Although the timing of its release may be a coincidence, Pope Benedict XVI’s recently published encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth), sets the stage for his meeting on July 10 with President Obama. As readers around the world continue to reflect on the 30,000-word encyclical, many would like to read in it support for Obama’s all-out push for massive government intervention in the economies of the world’s nations. But the encyclical makes strong endorsements of the market-based economic principles necessary for people everywhere to enjoy economic freedom and growth.

    As George Weigel notes, in the encyclical the Pope does not “regard the market as morally problematic in itself” but faults “the moral culture in which markets exists” in part for the global economic crisis. The well-being of humanity is “the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life,” the Pope writes, and he looks to “the market to promote [the] emancipation” of the poor.

    When the Pope says “Charity in Truth,” he means absolute truth. The Pope rejects relativism and, as Sam Gregg of the Acton Institute has blogged, insists that the market economy be based not just on any value system but on the foundational truths revealed in the Christian scriptures and the teachings of the Church.

    The encyclical makes clear that this Pope, like his predecessor, defends the same clear moral vision and principles that undergird the annual Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. As Gregg notes, the Pope also rejects protectionism and faults the traditional foreign aid models used by developed counties for creating an atmosphere of dependency among Third World governments. Since assuming office, President Obama has supported large increases in traditional foreign aid budgets and has failed to stand against protectionist labor unions and other anti-trade advocates in Congress.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to On Eve of Obama Visit, the Pope Stands Firm Against Relativism and for Economic Freedom

    1. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 07/10/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

    2. Barb -mn says:

      If anybody can put a stop to Obama, the Pope can!

    3. MaryAnn, USA says:

      There can be no just and moral economic system without just and moral people. Pope benedict XVI, as usual, is brilliant. Actually, Barb-mn, the Pope cannot stop Obama. He has, in his gifts to Obama, given the president an opportunity to allow God to open and change his heart. We all need to pray that the president thoughtfully reads the materials the Holy Father gave him, and allow this change to commence.

    4. Bonnie, USA says:

      The weakest link in Obama and his chain gang administration is people of faith…he has declared our nation as "…no longer just a Christian nation… in a foreign country; he has derided the Bible saying "…now the Bible doesn't mean that…" (I saw it on utube), he has criticized those of us who, as he sees it, "…cling to our guns and religion" (I personally stand on my faith and cling to the Rock of my Salvation), he has insisted that Christian religious objects be covered before he speaks; and, in my opinion, he bowed to a foreign king. I do not care that he hasn't found a church; he was a member of one for 20 years prior to his election–and it was led by a racist! A man is known by his actions and his speech…and this man loathes Christian America!

    5. Mike Rapkoch, Billin says:

      The mainstream media has depicted the Pope as being a supporter of Obama's policies on welfare and the poor. That same media has attempted to isolate the Gospel of Life, i.e. abortion, physician encouraged murder, fetal stem cell Menegeleism, etc. as just a set of "issues" amongst "issues." The left and its media minions have thus concluded that the Pope, too, must see these matters as mixed together with other concerns and therefore subject to trade-off and compromise. The left's mindset is the result of either deliberate misrepresentation or intentional ignorance.

      The left has also grossly misrepresented the Church's teachings on the free market, private property, and confiscatory government taking. Again, either from ignorance or dishonesty the actual teachings of the Church are brushed aside.

      First, the question of human life: this is not an issue but a Fundamental and Unchanging Truth for which the Church will/must fight to the last breath. Benedict gave no quarter to Obama on abortion, etc. These acts are inherently evil. I join with MaryAnn in praying for Obama's conversion to the Truth.

      On the economy: the market system is, as the Church has long taught, superior because of its capacity to create wealth and thus reduce, perhaps eliminate, economic poverty (the deeper meaning of the Church's Fundamental Option for the Poor is lost on the left). Socialism has been expressly condemned by the Church. For proof see Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum and the 2nd Vatican Council's various teachings including Gaudium et Spes (The Church and the World if my latin serves).

      Finally, the Church teaches that private property is essential to human dignity. Thus, while not a First Principle so at times subject to being overruled by more pressing needs, the Church teaches that confiscation by the government is almost always wrongful because it is theft grounded, not in Charity, but upon the sins of envy, avarice, and idolatry.

      Benedict cannot "negotiate" away the Truth; he is Vicar of Christ. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ Who is Truth's Incarnation. The left's adoption of politics as its religion is at the bottom of its hatred of the Church but, as Holy Father and Apostolic Successor to St. Peter, Benedict answers to an infinite and eternal authority which protects the Church and guards it against error.

      Once again the left and its servants in the media have missed the mark. Unless and until these self-annointed "prophets" (puppets?) educate themselves on True Church Teaching they ought to take their cue from Wittgenstein:" About which we cannot speak we must remain silent."

    6. Tim AZ says:

      Unless these materials contain the phrase GOD DM AMERICA Mao-Bama will have neither the time or the inclination to read the materials. Mao-Bama believes he is carrying out Gods will to DM America and everything this country was founded on to the best of his ability. Fortunately the people are beginning to see the real face of Mao-Bama. B.H.O. has visited this planet many times before under many names and faces. This time he has been recognized early enough to stop his plan of inhumanity to man.

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Americans are not buying the new Pepsi the has the "Pledge of Allegiance" on the can but does not contain the words,"Under God". Americans are beginning to see trough Obama for the same reason, the man is Godless, although he does consider himself one.


    8. Joan Taylor says:

      Who is the Pope to speak for me?

      Who is the Pope to speak for humanity?

      It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man (Vatican and it's hoard of gems and jewels) to get to heaven.

      I have faith, tho I'm not Catholic. Nor do I 'belong' to any of the Christian, Jewish, or Islamic sects. I know that the Teachings of Christ are truth, and they are few. "Love your Creator (spiritual parents) and love your neighbor (the ones nigh by) as you love yourself. Have compassion on the multitudes..(the ones you do not personally know.)

    9. Caryn Schmidt says:

      Joan the Pope is not speaking to you if you are not Catholic. He is speaking to me and the millions (billions?) of Catholics worldwide. If you choose to be offended that is your problem, but do not attack my Church. I don't know how you contort that Bible passage to refer to the CHURCH; at any rate, this is not the forum for that debate, take it elsewhere. I really don't understand the point of your post at all, especially since you choose not to belong to any denomination.

      My intent in posting here was simply to point out that I was really offended but not surprised at what the press chose to focus on. They NEVER report on what the encylicals actually say; rather, they simply choose a line or two from the entire document (usually not the FOCUS of the document) and make that their headline. I was disappointed to see that the conservative talk shows echoed the mainstream media and criticized the Pope on what the MEDIA said he said, instead of going to the source document. I would expect better of them.

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