Home > Uncategorized > Vatican denounces “unregulated financial capitalism”

Vatican denounces “unregulated financial capitalism”

vatAlthough the world is sadly marked by “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that “the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind.

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-on-new-years-day-find-inner-peace-in-god

  1. Smart 5th Grader
    January 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

    At last, unregulated Capitalisim receiving criticism. Capitalisim, the economic system embracing the acquisition of capital (wealth), has often hid behind the cover of ¨Free Enterprise¨, the freedom to conduct business with minimal interference from Rome/Moscow/Washington, which it is not. At times they are in direct conflict with each other. For example, Monopolies are anti-free enterprise, they prevent freedom of business. Monopolies are great for Capitalist, it helps them lock up the capital. Free Enterprise is one of the great freedoms of our society. Preditorial Capitalisim, their Banksters and their 15 cent per hour Sweat Shop factories in the Third World are an embarrasment to modern society. In Free Enterprise, profit is the reward for a job well done. In Capitalism, profit is the reward for overcharging your neighbors, underpaying your neighbors, exploiting third world children, and/or getting trillion dollar bailouts from the public trough while collecting multi-million dollar CEO paychecks. The fact that Capitalist have been able to publically hitch their wagon to the Free Enterprise star has been a Black-eye for Free Enterprise. With some public discussion and awareness, we can put the ¨Free¨ back in Free Enterprise and put the Preditorial Capitalist in check.

  2. Mitch
    January 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

    The Vatican has long been critical of capitalism — the American press doesn’t devote a lot of energy to publicizing the Vatican’s commentaries on the subject, which are far to the left of either mainstream US party, and could easily come from Ralph Nader or Bernie Sanders. Here’s an excerpt from a 1991 address:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus_en.html

    42. Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

    The answer is obviously complex. If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy”, “market economy” or simply “free economy”. But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.

    The Marxist solution has failed, but the realities of marginalization and exploitation remain in the world, especially the Third World, as does the reality of human alienation, especially in the more advanced countries. Against these phenomena the Church strongly raises her voice. Vast multitudes are still living in conditions of great material and moral poverty. The collapse of the Communist system in so many countries certainly removes an obstacle to facing these problems in an appropriate and realistic way, but it is not enough to bring about their solution. Indeed, there is a risk that a radical capitalistic ideology could spread which refuses even to consider these problems, in the a priori belief that any attempt to solve them is doomed to failure, and which blindly entrusts their solution to the free development of market forces.

  3. January 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

    And you were worried.

  4. just middle finance
    January 1, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Those kids are lucky to have jobs. Nike and WalMart have created thousands and thousands of jobs and people hate them for this. Those kids are free to apply for the jobs or not apply. I mowed lawns for less than minimum wage when I was a kid. Every bank CEO in America is paid by the Board of Directors who are accountable to the stock holders. Sounds like a free system to me. The bailout which has been much malaigned was voted on by a freely elected Congress and approved by the elected President of the United States. Sounds like a free system to me. If you don´t like minimum wage, vote to change the law. Until then, expect the Free businesses of America to respect the law and pay you just that, minimum wage.

  5. Anonymous
    January 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    The Catholic Church has no grounds for preaching to anyone about morals.

  6. Wall-E
    January 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    JMF, just a few holes in your arguement: I too delivered papers as a kid, and was happy to have the job. . .as long as my parents didn’t charge for rent or food. For those who live on their own, minimum wages and no helth insurance are NOT making it. CEOs are elected and paid by boards made up of. . .OTHER CEOs. They’re elected accoring to how many shares of stock the electors own. . .and since CEOs are paid in large part with stock and stock options, guess who gets the vote? Same is true for our election system: the Koch Bros and their buds have lots more money,m so they own lots more congressmen to vote against raising the minimum wage than we do. That’s NOT a free system.

  7. Mark 10:25
    January 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    ¨It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.¨

  8. A pesky fact
    January 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Many persons are quite surprised when they discover what the Church actually teaches, which is usually quite different from what they thought it taught.

    We Catholics have been against unfettered capitalism since Rerum Novarum, and against usury since Tiberus was Emperor.

    I highly recommend “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization” by Thomas Woods.

  9. January 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    My knowledge of the Catholic teachings took a big leap–Now, lets learn about IsIam–

  10. Quran 102:1-2
    January 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    “You are obsessed by greed for more and more until you visit your graves.” (Quran 102:1-2)

  11. Just Watchin
    January 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Capitalism at it’s finest:
    http://vaticansouvenirs.com/

  12. Making a Living (not a killing)
    January 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Free Enterprise is the freedom to conduct business on a level playing field. Capitalisim is greed. Greed is not good.

  13. Mitch
    January 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    pesky,

    As an outsider, the “church” seems to consist of nuns who teach what Jesus taught and bishops who are fat and happy. No different than many organizations.

  14. Anonymous
    January 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    An organization that built its wealth on oppression, murder, slavery, theft and fraud while claiming to speak for god has no room to preach, but they do.

  15. I´m Only Asking
    January 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I agree with the criticism of the Catholic church, and there´s been a lot of misdeeds no one has brought up in this thread. Lots of organizations have sordid histories, i.e. the American government and genocide, the American govt. and slavery, almost every organized religion, almost every government, et al.
    Are they all forever discredited when they speak out against bad things in the world? What is the incentive for Islam or America to lay down their swords if they are forever ¨guilty¨? What is their incentive to ¨do the right thing¨ and equally important, encourage their ¨people¨ to do the right thing? i.e. Stop being a bunch of greedy jerks who exploit each other.

  16. Anonymous
    January 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    The Church has done nothing to divest itself of the mountains of wealth it has been accumulating for hundreds of years while their believers struggle in poverty. It has no credibility on the subject of economic justice.

  17. Ponder Z
    January 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    And the last time a Catholic blew up a bus full of children was when?

  18. Mitch
  19. Eric Kirk
    January 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    The Catholic position has been clear since Rerum Novarum.

    http://kunsoo1024.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/top-10-books-to-promote-socialism/

  20. pizzaro
    January 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Doctrine of discovery, baby. Kill, rape, steal, pillage, etc., but if they ain’t Christian, and you kick back some of the booty to the church, you will be known as an intrepid explorer. Yeah, capitalism nowadays is corrupt, not like the old days at all.

  21. Anonymous
    January 2, 2013 at 7:33 am

    The church oppose capitalism because the church is supposed to believe we can all live singing kum ba ya and sharing everything together living in paradise, peace & harmony.

    That ain’t the way the real world works. Capitalism benefits everybody because it rewards people who work smarter and harder. Too many people would lay on their backside and never work at all if they knew they would get an equal share of the goods.

  22. Mitch
    January 2, 2013 at 7:47 am

    7:33,

    The church doesn’t oppose capitalism, probably for the reasons you describe. The church recognizes that capitalism needs to be regulated.

    It’s only in textbooks that capitalism rewards people who work smarter and harder.

    If that were the capitalism you were in favor of, you’d want to see a 99% tax rate on large estates; you’d want consistent, strong efforts to prevent people from gaming the inevitable externalities modern capitalism relies upon.

    You’d insist that society provide a level playing field for the members of each new generation, so that they would rise and fall based on the work they do.

    You’d carefully monitor for situations where people were cheating the system by creating phony desires rather than satisfying real needs, or by taking advantage of people’s vulnerabilities in order to unjustly enrich themselves, or by running operations that destroy everyone’s environment while enriching only the operations’ owners.

    If that were the capitalism you were in favor of, we’d be in agreement. The moral justification for capitalism is that it aligns people’s self-interest with the needs of society. To whatever extent a system doesn’t meet that requirement, it fails to be justified. “Kumbaya” is insisting that the real world is just like an elementary school textbook, and that people engaging in capitalism do not need to be strictly regulated to ensure the system remains morally justifiable.

  23. Smart 5th Grader
    January 2, 2013 at 7:53 am

    ¨Capitalism benefits everybody ¨ Capitalism benefits those who hold the Capital (wealth).
    Capitalism and Free Enterprise are NOT the same thing, that´s just a myth. The Preditorial Capitalist want you to think they are the same, just like they want you to believe Socialism and Communism are the same. And there is no Global Climate change. All these myths clear the way for the continued plundering of the Earth and the enslavement of mankind.

  24. Smart 5th Grader
    January 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

    ¨Capitalism … rewards people who work smarter and harder.¨
    Sure, like those ¨smart hard working¨ scumbag Bankster CEOs.

  25. Plain Jane
    January 2, 2013 at 8:14 am

    You would also outlaw college legacies which virtually guarantee a seat for the progeny of alumni while denying better qualified, harder working students equal opportunity.

  26. January 2, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Anonymous :
    The Catholic Church has no grounds for preaching to anyone about morals.

    Exactly my thought.

  27. A pesky fact
    January 2, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Mitch,

    May I make a dangerous suggestion?

    Perhaps it’s time to sit down and read a few key Catholic documents? Rerum Novarum is great place to start.

    Might I also suggest reading a bit on a few key catholic saints? I highly recommend looking into Padre Pio.

  28. Mitch
    January 2, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’ll do that, pesky.

    I don’t doubt that, if you can set aside the unfortunate medieval belief set regarding conception and the soul, the Catholic church speaks up for social justice. Whether the church hierarchy (as opposed to some footsoldiers and saints) actually puts its papal proclamations into practice is another question. I don’t think it exactly lined itself up behind liberation theology.

  29. January 2, 2013 at 10:05 am

    How about how they finally apologized to Galileo’s family in 1992 – the year the Vatican finally conceded that Earth revolves around the sun?

  30. A pesky fact
    January 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Mitch,

    I appreciate your openness to dialog.

    To understand the Catholic position on contraception (most persons, Catholics included, ESPECIALLY Catholics!, don’t) there are 2 documents I would highly recommend:

    1) humane vitae, the document that lays it out in “this is the pope speaking” format. Linked here:
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

    2) a reflection on HV from 1998 (30 year anniversary) from a prominent American Bishop, in language that is, well, American in it’s clarity and structure. I find this letter to be exceptionally persuasive.
    http://www.archden.org/archbishop/docs/of_human_life.htm

    On the matter of liberation theology, I’d be glad to point you to it’s seminal-and-accessable works, the CDF condemnation of liberation theology, and to discuss them. Some of the books produced from that movement are quite good.

  31. pizzaro
    January 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Pesky, since you seem to know this stuff, when and why did the church switch from ‘a soul begins at God’s breath’ to the whole current abortion and contraception belief. Just wondering what caused the change?

  32. A pesky fact
    January 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Pizzaro,

    When you say, “a soul begins at God’s breath’ I am unsure what you mean. However, the rest of your question is easily addressable.

    From the earliest days of the Church, the immorality of abortion has been taught. Some are surprised to learn that abortion existed in the ancient world at all, but it did in various forms.

    The original Hippocrattic Oath (used until the 20th century) included an explicit clause forbidding participation/procuring/etc abortions for patients. Additionally, the Didache (likely the oldest non-scriptural Christian text, apx year 100) explicitly and expressly forbids Christian participation/procuring/etc in regards to abortion.

    So, regarding abortion, the moral prohibition dates to the very foundations of the Church, and was also not unique to the Church.

    As for contraception, it is addressed in minor ways throughout history, but doesn’t get much attention (for a variety of mostly practical reasons, such as, except for ‘pulling out’, there wasn’t much in the way of contraception) until the 20th century, with the advent of mass produced petrochemical condoms, and chemical birth control. It is in response to those things (and the sexual revolution they created) that Humanae Vitae is published in 1968 (linked above).

    The matter of when a soul is joined with the body, as you can see, is not directly related to the morality of abortion and contraception.

  33. Mitch
    January 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    pesky,

    I read Bishop Chaput’s letter, though I have not yet read HV. I started by writing responses after each paragraph, but decided relatively quickly that the responses are pointless. If you find this writing persuasive, we are such different sorts of people that there is little to discuss. You are obviously no fool, and I can honestly say I simply cannot understand how you can find it persuasive.

    I wish you well, and thank you for pointing out the document. It is helpful for me to gain some clarity on what others believe.

  34. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I find Chaput’s letter persuasive because it deals with the very accurate predictions made in HV about the impact widespread birth control would have on society.

    Evaluating something like “birth control on a society” is complicated, but it can be seen that in some regards the impact has been quite negative. I would add, 15 years later, that we are now very aware of the impact hormonal birth control has had on the environment (and waterways), esp. In the more population dense areas of Europe and the East Coast.

    When I use persuasive I use it differently from “compelling” or “sufficient”. Chaput’s case is a persuasive one in defense of HV.

  35. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 7:37 am

    pesky,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t find the “predictions” meaningful, except to the extent that it is undoubtedly true that birth control has enabled heterosexuals to have more sex without fear of unwanted pregnancy.

    The Bishop’s use of what must have been a news item of the week at least helped me to understand what sort of document this was.

    http://www.infanticide.org/history.htm

    As for environmental impacts of hormones, that’s a significant issue, and one that can be discussed and debated.

    That was hardly the thrust of the Bishop’s letter.

    The key point, as I understood it, is that intimate relations must always and at all times include the gift of fertility, or they are improper or at the very least incomplete. That’s a “gift” that I believe people should be at liberty to reject when they personally believe it would damage their lives and/or lead to their bringing a child into the world at a time they don’t feel they can properly provide for the child.

    I confess I find it hard to believe even the Bishop believes what he has written — it sounds like an after the fact justification for injunctions that are based in actuality on ancient beliefs about souls, eggs, and sperm; a topic which the Bishop, at least, left unmentioned.

  36. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I reread ++Chaput’s letter this morning, and would add the following for your sake and the sake of other readers following along:

    Integral to all Catholic though (this comes up in the first few paragraphs of Rerum Novarum and is then constant in the document), is the concept of “Rights and Responsibilities”. In Catholic thinking they can never be divorced from each other. Whenever a right is possessed (be it a natural right, like, free speech, or a granted right, like, holding a public office) it always carries accompanying responsibilities. The inverse is also true.

    So, i must use free speech in the appropriate fashion, and sometimes I MUST use free speech (as a matter if responsibility, I am obligated to shout “fire!” if the theater is intact burning). If a person is sheriff (they are given a “right” by the people to arrest folks, wear the uniform, etc) responsibilities accompany it. In some circumstances that nay include the responsibility of dying to defend the public.

    So, rights and responsibilities. Attempting to separate them is almost always itself an immoral thing, and the social impact if separating them is almost always objectively negative.

    The above discusses matters of morality, not legality, though good laws have morality at least as a component.

    This may aide greatly in making sense of the document(s) and/or understanding why you may disagree.

  37. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 7:48 am

    pesky,

    I can certainly accept the idea that rights and responsibilities are always and everywhere naturally intertwined. I even believe that our society has failed to recognize this wisdom to the necessary extent, and I believe that failure is part of our difficulty.

    I do not see how that enters into the Bishop’s letter.

  38. January 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Pesky, have you ever seen the movie Dogma? I recommend it.

  39. Maria Monk
    January 3, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Spain was going through convulsions toward the end of the 1800s. She went back and forth between a Roman Catholic monarchy and an attempt at free republican government. Finally, in the 1930s, bodies of babies were discovered under several convents in Spain. Doctors discovered that these infants had died as the result of suffocation. You see, nuns and priests had engaged in adultery, and the unwanted babies were killed at birth. The Catholic people of Spain, who knew nothing of these awful crimes, were outraged by the discoveries, and many laws were passed that hindered the papacy’s power in Spain.

    In 1936 the new Spanish inquisition exploded. It was called ‘The Spanish Civil War,’ secretly orchestrated in the Vatican…The Pope excommunicated the heads of the Spanish republic and declared war between the Holy See and Madrid…. Under the banner of the Vatican the Muslim forces invaded the Canary Islands and then attacked southern Spain… When the inquisition accomplished its goals, Spain was in ruins, bleeding and beaten, but safely back in the hands of the Vatican… General Franco eventually became the Roman Catholic dictator of Spain. Franco’s government was recognized Aug. 3, 1937, by the Vatican, just 20 months before the civil war ended. — Jack Chick, Alberto pts. 1, 3, 6, Chick publications, pages 12, 21, 28, 29.

    http://amazingdiscoveries.org/CHAPTER-7-WORLD-WAR-TWO

  40. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    The anti-Catholic bigotry above is no different than The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Even the name chosen by the poster is sad…

    http://www.english.upenn.edu/~traister/hughes.html

    The first thing you have to understand about the Awful Disclosures is that they are not true. The second thing you have to understand is that Maria Monk had very little to do with writing it. Her story is a pathetic one, just not the one she would have you believe. Maria Monk was born to a Protestant family in St. Johns, Quebec in 1816 or 1817. In an affidavit written after the scandal of the Awful Disclosures broke, Maria Monk’s mother described her as an uncontrollable child, a fact she attributed to a brain injury suffered when Maria was little more than a toddler: a slate pencil was rammed into her ear, penetrating her skull. From that time on, according to her mother’s testimony, Maria was uncontrollable and subject to wild fantasies. Her only known contact with a Catholic institution was as an inmate of the Magdalene asylum in Montreal. When it was discovered that she had become pregnant while resident in the asylum, she was asked to remove herself from that institution. It was then, aged eighteen and pregnant, that she met William K. Hoyte, head of the Canadian Benevolent Society, an organization that combined Protestant missionary work with ardent anti-Catholic activism. Hoyte took Monk as his mistress, and together they traveled to New York. At this late date, we will never know how much of the story originated with Monk’s disordered imagination and how much of it was created by the opportunistic Hoyte. Hoyte called upon his fellow nativists, Rev. J. J. Slocum, Rev. George Bourne, Theodore Dwight, and others; collectively they wrote the Awful Disclosures. Maria Monk is believed to have contributed details of the city of Montreal and of the practices she observed in the Magdalene asylum. This much is known because shortly after the publication of the Awful Disclosures, the cabal began to fight amongst themselves over the profits, and several suits and counter-suits were initiated in the New York courts: Slocum was the principal author, Hoyte and Bourne were major contributors, and the others mostly just offered suggestions. Slocum and Maria Monk banded together in suing the others and their publishing house, Harper and Brothers. Maria Monk then left Hoyte to became the companion of Slocum. Monk was still under-age, and Slocum was appointed her guardian.

  41. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Mitch,

    We are making progress.

    We agree on the broad concept of rights and responsibility, at least in part.

    I suspect that if you reflect on the matter of rights/responsibility, especially after reading HV, you will see that Chaput is asserting (as does HV) that contraception by it’s nature (the word literally meaning against (contra)) divorces rights and responsibilities in sexuality/sex. Which explains his statements, I think, far better than he is working out of a framework regarding when ensoulment occurs.

    Your disagreement them stemming from his application of the principle (you broadly agree with the principal, rights/responsibilities, but disagree with it’s application, either to the topic at all, OR, to the way he applies it to the topic.)

  42. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 8:53 am

    it occurred to me that presenting a rough syllogism might be helpful.

    I. Rights/responsibilities applies to sexuality
    II.a. Things that divorce rights from responsibilities are wrong
    II.b. Contraception does just that
    III. Ergo, contraception (being an active choice by free moral agents), is wrong.

    The above framework should aid greatly in understanding HV.

  43. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Bolithio,

    Yes. Hilarious.

  44. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

    pesky,

    The right to sex carries with it the responsibility to ensure to the best of one’s ability that no unwanted child is brought into the world and that no disease is knowingly spread. That’s my understanding of the sum total of the responsibilities associated with sex.

    To my way of thinking the Church has seriously interfered with Catholics’ ability to attend to the responsibilities involved.

  45. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I. Rights/responsibilities applies to digestion
    IIa. Things that divorce rights from responsibilities are wrong.
    IIb. Restaurants offer food but impose no responsibilities.
    III. Ergo, eating at restaurants (being an active choice by free moral agents), is wrong.

    The above framework may help in understanding why your syllogism leaves me cold.

  46. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Or, to be a bit less snarky, your 2b is assuming its conclusion. I would state that contraception enables people to take responsibility in what matters, which is that unwanted children, or children who cannot be well-cared-for, not be brought into the world.

  47. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Mitch,

    Strictly speaking, my 2b is ‘necessary’ for the conclusion.

    Change 2b and you change the conclusion.

    Which us why I set it up as a syllogism, to show the point of disagreement is on the application of the principle to a particular topic (we seem to agree that it does apply, but disagree on how it applies.)

    I hope it makes sense why I call that progress. You now understand your own thinking more clearly (you don’t disagree with the Church in principal, you disagree in application.)

    Oddly enough, HV concerns itself with making the case for 2b. Enjoy the read.

  48. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

    pesky,

    One thing that may not be obvious to you: every agnostic or atheist I’ve ever met agrees that rights come with responsibilities. We are not attempting to deny that; we are saying that to base the link on what we consider to be ancient superstition is unhelpful. I’ll add that I’ve never seen evidence that any God-based religious hierarchy is more moral than the average person. I can’t speak for other atheists.

    I will read HV and let you know what I think.

  49. January 3, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Sorry I couldn’t resist:

  50. Pizzaro
    January 3, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Responsibility for, like, over-population?

  51. A pesky fact
    January 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Pizzaro,

    Both Malthusian and Neo-Malthusian have been thoroughly and objectively debunked. I encourage you to do your own digging into it.

    You will be quite alarmed, and it will raise serious questions about the real motives of those who keep pushing those theories. Margaret Sanger (founder of planned parenthood) was an outspoken eugenics advocate.

    Justice Ginsberg wrote in her book that she always assumed Roe v Wade was about population control, with some other interesting insights.

    Id rather avoid derailing the thread on that particular deception, except to point out that there is a method of population control called abstinence. Which returns to a core that underlies this debate: what is the nature of man?

    Is man a rational animal capable of controlling it’s desires, or is man really a type of beast, powerless to act against it’s impulses?

  52. Mitch
    January 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Is man a rational animal capable of controlling it’s desires, or is man really a type of beast, powerless to act against it’s impulses?

    I think you’ve summarized a question that is apparently real to many religious persons but is bewildering to others. It’s hard to know where to begin.

    For starters, we are both rational and animal. We could go on with a discussion of that for lifetimes.

    But to stay on the topic of contraception, your question assumes that the impulse to have sex is a desire that must be controlled at all times, and that is something I by no means agree with. In past times, lacking contraception, there was probably a connection between sex out of wedlock and bad consequences, and the bad consequences were generally born by women and children. Contraception has severely reduced those consequences, which the church seems to think is a bad thing — this strikes me as reflexive conservatism not based on thinking.

    The impulse to privilege our own pleasure over the more necessary or significant interests of others is what must be controlled. When we intentionally or thoughtlessly do damage to others in pursuit of our own pleasure, that is evil. But pleasure is not intrinsically evil, as the Bishop allows in his letter.

    Contraception has enabled people to have sex with far less potential of damaging their own or other people’s lives. That’s a blessing.

    There’s a story I heard about a Buddhist monastery that had long had a cat. Because the cat would wander into the meditation hall, one of the rituals that had developed was “tying the cat,” in which a monk was responsible for (carefully and kindly) leashing the cat to a tree just prior to meditation. Years passed, and the cat died. Alarmed discussion ensued, because without a cat, there was no way to tie the cat to the tree, which was now deemed a necessary part of the practice leading up to the meditation.

    That story is my understanding of Catholic teachings about contraception, and about a great many things to do with religion.

  53. Pizzaro
    January 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    No problem with overpopulation. Got it.

    Sex bad. Abstinence good. Got it.

    Church opposes unbridled capitalism. Now. Got it.

    Every sperm is sacred (Thanks Bolithio!!!). Got it.

  54. January 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Maria you haven’t even scratched the surface of the Fascist’s propaganda against the Catholic Church in Spain in the 1930’s.
    Of course we can take Franco’s word for it. It’s not like the Fascist’s ever committed any crimes against humanity or anything….

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,161 other followers