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Saturday, February 28, 2009


Robert Miller

The Holy Father is an incredible blessing to us.

I think he sees the economic fiasco for what it is: the shipwreck of Liberalism (I use the capital "L" to signify the movement in both its "right" and "left" wings) -- and, maybe (I hope) Americanism, too.

Since World War II and, in the United States, especially since the 1960s, Catholics (at least, those of us who care about what the Church teaches)have felt most comfortable in alliance with the militantly anti-socialist right Liberals. This alliance made sense, I think, as long as the Soviet Union survived as a menace to the whole world.

Increasingly, since 1989, and decisively since 2008, however, a Catholic/right Liberal alliance has made little (Catholic) sense. The right Liberal ascendancy in the late 1990s and early 2000s did little to arrest the debauchment of European and North American culture. In fact, arguably, its sponsorship of a culture of greed closely parallelling left Liberalism's culture of death hastened the descent.

My hope is that the Holy Father will renew the Church's condemnation of Usury, Competition, Liberalism and Modernism as the root causes of the current economic catastrophe.


"renew the Church's condemnation of ... Competition ..."?

Renew? Where has the Church condemned competition?

Carl E. Olson

John Paul II spoke of a specific, destructive type of immoral competitiveness in Centesimus annus:

The historical experience of the West, for its part, shows that even if the Marxist analysis and its foundation of alienation are false, nevertheless alienation — and the loss of the authentic meaning of life — is a reality in Western societies too. This happens in consumerism, when people are ensnared in a web of false and superficial gratifications rather than being helped to experience their personhood in an authentic and concrete way. Alienation is found also in work, when it is organized so as to ensure maximum returns and profits with no concern whether the worker, through his own labour, grows or diminishes as a person, either through increased sharing in a genuinely supportive community or through increased isolation in a maze of relationships marked by destructive competitiveness and estrangement, in which he is considered only a means and not an end. (par 41)

I think it is obvious that the Church does not condemn competition that is honest, fair, and moral, whether in business or athletics or what have you. I do think Robert has a very good point, however, when he mentions usury, liberalism, modernism.

Robert Miller

Carl and JPII have made my point much better than I did. My hat's off to both.

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