Laudato Si 175: On Poverty

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Pope Francis returns to the consideration of people, of the poor.

175. The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty. A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions.

Powers beyond governments:

The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.

We might be edging closer to the day when politics cannot sanction economics. Indeed, we’ve already seen how the powerful multinationals can themselves inpose sanctions on inconvenient politicians. The banking crisis of 2008 pretty much decided a US presidency. And as long as the media can control a message …

A word from Pope Benedict:

As Benedict XVI has affirmed in continuity with the social teaching of the Church: “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”.[Caritas in Veritate 67.] Diplomacy also takes on new importance in the work of developing international strategies which can anticipate serious problems affecting us all.

“Authority” isn’t quite the same as a world government. If anything the trend over the past three generations has been more nations, not fewer.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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