Not to those who love one another as Christ has loved us – longing for our eternal salvation, rather than some earthly pleasure.
As Buttiglioni explains:
If you do not try to explain to him why it is wrong, if you don’t want to enter into a confrontation with him in order to convince him to save his own life, then you don’t really love him.
To put it succinctly: love without truth is dead.
As Francis Cardinal George observed some years ago, “Social Justice without love is Marxism.”
The love that Cardinal George has in mind is not the false love of the Left. It is caritas, the theological virtue that Saint Paul calls the greatest virtue of all (I Corinthians 13:13).
“Without charity, I am nothing,” Paul tells us. And that is Benedict’s point, and Francis’, regarding the economy. Caritas, yes, but always and indelibly infused with veritas – truth.
“Social Justice” advocates might sneer at capitalism, but they often harbor a similar disdain for truth. They want to bypass Benedict’s caritas because it is inconveniently inseparable from the truth of the Catholic faith.
Cardinal Dolan builds on this foundation, but bear in mind that he is trying to calm the secular nerves of a restive gaggle of American Crony Capitalists. In doing so, it’s fair to say, he lets them off easy.
“The spread of the free market has undoubtedly led to a tremendous increase in overall wealth and well-being around the world,” he writes. “Yet Pope Francis is certainly correct that ‘an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress.'”
He continues: “the church certainly disapproves of any system of unregulated economic amorality, which leaves people at the mercy of impersonal market forces.”
Well, the church has never approved of any “amorality,” as far as I know. And many of Cardinal Dolan’s Wall Street neighbors routinely leave a lot of people at the mercy of some amoral and very personal market forces – namely, those manipulated by the Cronies.
The Cardinal continues: “That kind of environment produces the evils of greed, envy, fraud, misuse of riches, gross luxury and exploitation of the poor and the laborer.”
All too true. And both Crony Capitalism and the “People’s Paradise” of socialism create “that kind of environment,” although the Cardinal can’t bring himself to say so.
After all, Cdl. Dolan wants to go easy on his Wall Street neighbors. So he tells them that they’re not the problem; it’s those other guys: “The Holy Father is speaking to this world-wide audience,” he explains; and “for many in developing or newly industrialized countries, what passes as capitalism is an exploitative racket for the benefit of the few powerful and wealthy.”
So our domestic Crony Capitalism is compassionate, generous, and charitable?
“Stop asking questions.”
Let’s get real: The Cardinal is trying to cajole his capitalist neighbors, perhaps even to persuade them, certainly not to attack them. He’s trying to defend Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, and, when all is said and done, the Catholic Church.
“The church has consistently rejected coercive systems of socialism and collectivism, because they violate inherent human rights to economic freedom and private property. When properly regulated, a free market can certainly foster greater productivity and prosperity.”
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