July 4 values: What unites? Divides? Does faith in capitalism unite us?

Pope Benedict XVI American capitalism is often called the envy of the world—even if its recent role in detonating the world’s economic system has tarnished its image (for the moment).
    Most Americans are fairly proud of our economic system. Some economists say capitalism and free markets are essential for democracy, even if we have a crisis every now and then.
    So, please, tell me what you think: Does faith in capitalism unite us?

    In his much-anticipated third encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth), Pope Benedict won’t mince words in his opposition to capitalism—especially American capitalism—which he sees as the cause of the current economic crisis, suffering in the third world, the growing gap between the rich and poor, and environmental degradation. Faith in the free market is a type of idolatry.
    “Conservatives will be shocked and disappointed by the encyclical,” writes Catholic author and scholar Father Reese, because it “will reflect Benedict’s skepticism toward unbridled capitalism based on greed.”
The Pope’s much-anticipated third encyclical has been two years in the making, but Benedict delayed it so he could include a critique and response to the global economic crisis.
    While Obama wants to reform American capitalism, Benedict’s aim is far more reaching: He wants us to rethink the entire economic system, says Reece.

    What do you think of Benedict’s opposition to worldly economic systems, especially American capitalism?
    Do you have faith in American capitalism?
    Have you benefited from our competitive economic system, or have you been injured by it?
    How about those you see around you?

    If you care to read more, Father Reese has allowed us to repost his entire commentary on the upcoming encyclical—but, please, don’t forget to leave a comment here!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email