A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Fiscal Reform 

moneyNearly one million Catholic religious priests, brothers and sisters have been challenged to issue critiques of the global market economy based on capitalism.

At a recent conference in Rome for treasurers for religious orders, a constant theme was criticism of capitalism.

Several speakers denounced it as a “structure of sin” that purposefully does not attend to the needs of the poorest.

Outlining the Church’s response to the global economic system over past centuries, Stefano Zamagni told the conference it was “an unforgivable mistake” that the Church had not more openly critiqued the capitalist system.

Zamagni, a professor of economic politics at the University of Bologna and a member of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, critiqued the American model of capitalism.

He said this allows people to exploit the world’s resources to gather wealth and then only expects them to focus on charitable work once they are wealthy.

“A Christian just cannot accept this,” Zamagni said.

“It is not me saying this. It is the sacred Scriptures. We cannot accept this logic.”

Quoting Popes Paul VI’s and John Paul II’s writings on “structures of sin”, Zamagni also told the religious that if they allow their money to be used according to societal norms for getting rich, they are contradicting Church teachings.

The religious orders were also challenged to evaluate their own holdings of wealth.

Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, told the conference “Disciples must have nothing, not bread, not money in their bags”.

Accumulating such wealth, the archbishop said, “entails the danger of not being in the presence of God … to lose the memory of God — trust in him — and forgetting about the poor”.

Pope Francis had asked the congregation to organise the conference.

Last year, the Pope critiqued market capitalism in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

With permission of Cath News  www..cathnews.co.nz


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