If my bank starts issuing theological pronouncements, I’m going to ignore them. I’ll probably even change banks. It seems to me that the Roman Catholic Church’s pronouncements about control of the world economy deserve just as little respect and consideration.
On Monday, the Catholic Church’s “Justice and Peace” department issued a policy paper about the world economy that is stunningly ignorant and calls for coercive measures to control the entire world’s financial business. The paper calls for a worldwide “supranational authority” that would have “universal jurisdiction” to shape the entire world’s economic policies.
The paper is couched in high-sounding language about the evils of greed and the “idolatry of the market,” which presumably means the church doesn’t understand that giving dictatorial power to human beings produces far worse results. It’s also clear that whoever wrote and approved this nonsense doesn’t understand that it was governments who created the mess in the first place.
Just Monday, a friend shared with me a video clip of Milton Friedman defending so-called greed in 1979 when he was interviewed on television by Phil Donahue. His critique of Donahue’s assumption is a perfect rejoinder to the ignorance coming from the church this week. I highly recommend you watch it.
Whether these religious officials realize it or not, they’re calling for some group to be given absolute authority over the world, because anyone who has absolute control over the world economy is a dictator, no matter what you call it.
The people at the Vatican are the world’s authorities on how to be a good Roman Catholic. If you want to be a Catholic, you should listen to them about doctrine. But the folks at the Vatican have proven they have no understanding of economics. They have even less understanding of the fact that centralizing power over the lives of everybody on the planet is practically begging for a world dictatorship.
This proposal is stunningly wrong-headed. It deserves to be ignored and ridiculed, whether you’re Catholic or not.