Now suddenly, in his reaction to Caritas at National Review Online, [George Weigel] has himself become a dissenting Catholic. He was not pleased that, for example, the encyclical says more about wealth redistribution than wealth creation and spoke of its "clotted and muddled" language and "confused sentimentality." Caritas was disjointed, he declared, the work of so many hands that "the net result is, with respect, an encyclical that resembles a duck-billed platypus."With respect? Quack, quack. What irked Weigel especially, I suspect, is that Caritas in Ventate lavishes great praise on the Pope Paul Ws 1967 social encyclical Populorum Progressio, which was denounced as "souped-up Marxism" by the Watt Street Journal. For some rightwing Catholics that verdict became de fide, along with National Review's gag "Mater, Si, Magistra, No" - on the publication of John XXIII's equally progressive social encyclical Mater et Magistra in 1961.Conservatives in the 1960s should really not have troubled their shaggy little heads with the Church's apparent "lurch to the left." The fact is that capitalist ideology - as it has emerged in modern times - has never been embraced by the Church, and it should come as no surprise that it is not now being embraced by Benedict. The historian Eamon Duffy summed up Catholic social teaching nicely when he wrote of Pope Pius XI (no lefty he), "he loathed the greed of capitalist society, 'the unquenchable thirst for temporal possessions,' and thought that liberal capitalism shared with communism 'satanic optimism' about human progress."
Is the Pope Capitalist? Stuart Reid American Conservative; Sep 2009; 8, 12; Docstoc pg. 19 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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