Nicole Winfield writes Pope Francis Calls For 'Legitimate Redistribution' Of Wealth To The Poor
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the "economy of exclusion" that is taking hold today.
Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who are meeting in Rome this week.
He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
On Friday, he urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure "dignified" labor for all.
Pope Francis' authentic Christianity comes as such an unfamiliar shock to many, that Pope Francis has had to deny he was a Marxist. He had a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January.
I find this new Pope to be a refreshing change. The challenges are great. I was disappointed about the Vatican's rejection of the U.S. nuns' petition last Friday, (see link in update). Pope Francis' passion to improve the conditions of the world's poor, support for social justice inspires me.
The Pope sounds like he has become a progressive Democrat with regard to economic issues. Well actually, many of us may have to try a lot harder to catch up. The Church still has a long ways to go on woman's issues, contraception, and other issues, but on compassion for the poor, and caring for the needy, Pope Francis seems to be leading the way. (Some readers in comments suggest I change this to making speeches about compassion for the poor, but let's give the fellow a chance to show us what he will do.)
I wonder how long it will take House Republicans to establish a select committee or impeachment hearings to try to have this Pope replaced - and then have a fit when they discover they can't do that. Seriously, some conservatives may leave the faith over this.
What will right-wing conservatives have to say about this? I can not wait to see how Representative Paul Ryan revises his draconian budget proposal which contains harsh cut backs in programs for the poor. Ryan has proclaimed his budgets are consistent with Catholic teachings, a claim I assert is simply impossible to support now.
“Equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity” with the poor, the Pope said, in addition to a new spirit of generosity, according to a transcript published by Vatican Radio.
In one of the most economically liberal statements made by any Pope, Francis called for “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”
“An essential principle of management is the refusal to be satisfied with current results and to press forward,” he said. “Much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens.”
Nearly 900 priests have been defrocked in the last decade.
8:51 AM PT: These are the Pope's full comments from his website:
9:00 AM PT: Pope to UN: Resist the economy of exclusion, serve the poor 2014-05-09 Vatican Radio
I highly recommend you read his full speech which is extraordinary in its generosity of spirit, compassion, and courage.
Pope Francis met with executives from the United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Friday, led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Below please find the full transcript of Pope Francis’ address to the UN delegation from the Pope's website:
Mr Secretary General,Ladies and Gentlemen,
An essential principle of management is the refusal to be satisfied with current results and to press forward, in the conviction that those gains are only consolidated by working to achieve even more. In the case of global political and economic organization, much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens. Future Sustainable Development Goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development. Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the “economy of exclusion”, the “throwaway culture” and the “culture of death” which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted.With this in mind, I would like to remind you, as representatives of the chief agencies of global cooperation, of an incident which took place two thousand years ago and is recounted in the Gospel of Saint Luke (19:1-10). It is the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. This same spirit should be at the beginning and end of all political and economic activity. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. Does this spirit of solidarity and sharing guide all our thoughts and actions?
Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God’s providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others.The account of Jesus and Zacchaeus teaches us that above and beyond economic and social systems and theories, there will always be a need to promote generous, effective and practical openness to the needs of others. Jesus does not ask Zacchaeus to change jobs nor does he condemn his financial activity; he simply inspires him to put everything, freely yet immediately and indisputably, at the service of others. Consequently, I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 42-43; Centesimus Annus, 43; BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 6; 24-40), that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level. A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world’s peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.
Consequently, while encouraging you in your continuing efforts to coordinate the activity of the international agencies, which represents a service to all humanity, I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded.Invoking divine guidance on the work of your Board, I also implore God’s special blessing for you, Mr Secretary-General, for the Presidents, Directors and Secretaries General present among us, and for all the personnel of the United Nations and the other international Agencies and Bodies, and their respective families.
10:15 AM PT: New and improved with strengthened conclusion and 10% more snark aimed at hypocritical right-wing conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan who claims his austerity budget is consistent with Catholic teaching while at the same time slashing spending for safety net programs for the poor, sick, elderly, and children, after Pope Francis clarifies what Catholic teaching is.
Conservatives are free to believe what they wish with regard to budgets and their own religious beliefs, however, they should be more circumspect when bandying about claims of Catholic endorsement for draconian budget cuts cruel in their consequences in order not to raises taxes, at a time when the Pope is make speeches like this. In these kinds of theological issues about what Catholic teaching are the Pope is infallible. Yes, even more so than Rush Limbaugh, despite what Limbaugh says and seems to think. I call on true Catholics to call out Limbaugh, Ryan, themselves, and other conservatives on these inconsistencies.
In fact, all of us, no matter what our religious beliefs, would do well to pause and reflect on Pope Francis' inspirational and compassionate call for more care for our worlds' poor, hungry, sick, elderly, and needy.
Are we really doing enough? Can we justify disparities of the vast magnitudes we see now? What can we do to improve conditions of the most needy among us? What can we do to alleviate suffering, decrease violence, and spread love, peace, and compassion among our fellow people of earth? Pope Francis brings credit to his Church when he articulates these "radical" new messages with such apparent passion and sincerity.
Now the proof will be in the tasting, for actions speak even louder than words.
You have started well Pope Francis, bravo! Keep on truckin'
7:46 PM PT: Changed this paragraph based on some reader feedback who challenge my optimism saying this is just a speech. An excellent one I believe and that is largely what Pope do, however, I do not mind making this change to be more accurate.
e Pope sounds like he has become a progressive Democrat with regard to economic issues. Well actually, many of us may have to try a lot harder to catch up. The Church still has a long ways to go on woman's issues, contraception, and other issues, but on compassion for the poor, and caring for the needy, Pope Francis seems to be leading the way. (Some readers in comments suggest I change this to making speeches about compassion for the poor, but let's give the fellow a chance to show us what he will do.)