The Church and Economy

I just finished the draft of another article which may one day end up in a small collection of theological writings – actually already my three volumes “Writings on Philosophy and Economy of Power”

New PrincedomsGod, Rights, Law and a Good Society and Rights – Developing Ownership by Linking Control over Space and Time are reasonably full on this topic.

This time it is on Liberation Theology, a contribution written for an edited volume on Social Pedagogics in Latin America (Edited by Jacob Kornbeck and Xavier Úcar)

While writing, I came across this passage, from an article by Rachel Donadio in the New York Times (Francis’ Humility and Emphasis on the Poor Strike a New Tone at the Vatican; 25.5.2013:

“The economy has picked up again here,” said Marco Mesceni, 60, a third-generation vendor of papal memorabilia outside St. Peter’s Square. “It was so hard to sell anything under Benedict. This pope attracts huge crowds, and they all want to bring back home something with his smiling face on it.”

Much could be said – and is said already – on this pope, his charisma and his meaning for the development of catholicism; and much had been said about unintended consequences of action. In this case it is amazing in which way and to which extent we – even being pope – cannot escape commodification. of course, there is also a meaning for papal politics in it: the demand to take up responsibility in the world in which we live.

Indeed, we may then be grateful to read in the same article:

He has repeatedly returned to the euro crisis and the suffering it has caused in Greece and the Catholic countries of Southern Europe.

“If investments in the banks fail, ‘Oh, it’s a tragedy,’ ” he said, speaking extemporaneously for more than 40 minutes at a Pentecost vigil last weekend, after a private audience with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the architect of Europe’s austerity policies. “But if people die of hunger or don’t have food or health, nothing happens. This is our crisis today.”

Still, all this remains very limited: as important as moral statements are, it is important to work towards real redistribution, public responsibility and a new approach towards global economy, based in human rights:rights that have to go beyond protection and need to be enhanced by a fourth generation of Human Rights.

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