Fratelli Tutti 155: Populism And Liberalism


155. Lack of concern for the vulnerable can hide behind a populism that exploits them demagogically for its own purposes, or a liberalism that serves the economic interests of the powerful. In both cases, it becomes difficult to envisage an open world that makes room for everyone, including the most vulnerable, and shows respect for different cultures.

I think the swath of people who consider themselves or others near them by these labels is wide, perhaps too wide to have real meaning. Critics tend to have a much narrower range, both in definition and in tolerance for the other. 

Pope Francis is correct, however, to suggest that selfishness or celebrity worship knows no single ideology. If a person cares for the vulnerable, take care when they assign the opposite value to someone with whom they disagree. I may be out on a limb, but I see populism as described as being a strong case of narcissism, and the liberalism as described as a kind of indulgent sycophantism.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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