Fair. Balanced. American.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Heed thy own advice

Benedict's new encyclical:

In the sweeping document, Benedict denounced the private sector and blamed "badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing" for causing the current economic meltdown. He said that the primary capital to be safeguarded is people, and cautioned that economic systems need to be guided by charity and truth.

Perhaps we could start with the Roman Catholic Church's own economic system. How about full financial transparency?

Meanwhile, the Pope has also called on world leaders not to forget the poor. But not to worry, lip service transient by definition. He'll soon return to the topics his predecessor made paramount: abortion and sex.

Meanwhile, still more lip service:

Benedict lays out his view of the promise and problems of globalization, saying that it needs an ethic that puts people above profits. Systems of protection and welfare are having trouble pursuing social justice and helping people in need, Benedict writes. In the past people turned to states, but today globalization limits state sovereignty and power, social safety nets have been cut, and trade unions also face more obstacles.

Therefore, Benedict said, the world's population must engage in new ways -- through civil society, creative government collaboration and new international institutions.

Benedict also urged more respect for the environment, saying that more advanced countries must lower their domestic energy consumption, either through technology or great ecological sensitivity among citizens. He also advocated more research into alternative energy consumption and pushed for a worldwide distribution of energy resources.

We'll know whether there is any significance to the encyclical when we see American cardinals backing President Obama's health and energy bills the way they backed George W. Bush's presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

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