In Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sí, he took aim at the West’s “extreme and selective consumerism” and “throwaway culture,” arguing that the developed world’s voracious appetites are a bigger threat to the planet than population growth. Blaming overpopulation in poorer parts of the world, he writes, “is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.”…
If Pope Francis is working at least partly on faith, surely the same is true of boosters of supply-side economics. Conservatives can believe that the laissez-faire policies pursued by George W. Bush didn’t directly lead to the 2008 economic crash, or that the tax changes pushed by Reagan aren’t a primary cause of the growing chasm of disparity between the rich and the poor — they can believe that Reaganomics works. But plenty of real economists would find that faith naïve and misguided.
You can disagree with the pope on economics or the environment or any host of issues — again, plenty of people do, including Catholics of all political persuasions. But it’s a little rich for the high priests of Voodoo Economics to be calling the Vicar of Christ an economic charlatan with nothing important to say.
I will soon be ending my “Pope Francis” posts and return to the normal day-to-day world so I want to put some closing thoughts into this post. I am shockingly surprised just how aligned I am with the messages of Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. One of the advantages of being retired is that I was able to watch much of his activity in real-time.
I’m not sure that there was a single issue he brought up that I didn’t whole heartedly agree with. This guy just seems to speak to my heart. I definitely have my differences with the church he leads but maybe even those will mostly diminish as he re-shapes Catholicism.
One of the sad things I see about Pope Francis is that he was not made pope long ago. It seems like Pope Benedict was just wasted time. Pope Francis is 78 years old and his physical movement show it. I don’t know how long he will remain on this earth but I hope he has a long life. The Church, and by that I mean all of Christianity, needs him and his teachings.
What I most fear, or maybe expect is a better word, is that the attention,his words and actions have brought forward will quickly subside and we, and the church, will go back to the way we were.