Some of the Pope's comments about inequality...

realinvestment

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<<<Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.>>>

<<<some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.>>>

<<<The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.>>>

<<<While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few.>>>

<<<To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.>>>

<<<Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.>>>

<<<But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root.>>>

<<<Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. It serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.>>>


<<<We are not simply talking about ensuring nourishment or a “dignified sustenance” for all people, but also their “general temporal welfare and prosperity”.[159] This means education, access to health care>>>


<<<I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.>>>
 

hunarcy

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I see him describing what he sees as a problem, but no solutions other than a certain kind of politician. However government doesn't really bring anyone UP economically. All it can do is tear people DOWN economically.

After all, 50 years of the war on poverty has not eradicated poverty...just taken billions from the upper middle class and destroyed it to give to the poor who have not been made rich.
 
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realinvestment

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hun, as a Catholic convert by marriage, I'm a bit troubled by the statements, because the statements I've listed seemed to be representative of the entire Apostolic Exhortation.

It seemed all the rich people were lumped into one group, not acknowledging that anyone of them could have ever done anything good, regardless of how they got their money, or what they did with it after they got it.

At the same time, it let everyone else in the world off the hook from helping others, stopping the violence, or having responsibility to help themselves through hard work, education or self improvement.

Am I missing something.
 

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Aberham was a very rich man. I'm not talking about Aberham Lincoln.
 

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ye shall be judged by how you treat the poor and the least among you....in Matthew 25:41-45.

The Pope is not lumping all rich people, hun. He is talking about 85 people who own the wealth equvialent to 3,500,000,000 people. Yep, that's right 85=3.5 Billion<<<<link

That is wealth disparity that continues the long forgotten Master/Slave dialectic. Don't misconstrue the Pope's comments to fit your politics. That is shameless. The lifestyle that you think you earned was blessed by God with the opportunities that came your way. For many people the INITIAL opportunity is not even there. To think of the poor as a breed of losers who refuse to earn their way is simple denial. For every job in the US there are 3 people. The math doesn't add up. The lack of jobs is the main reason people are not working and have given up. Not because they prefer their generational poverty and welfare life but people like you keep demanding they earn their way without offering any opportunity to do that. That is incessant daily struggle that is welfare is tied to the point from Jesus: how society cared for those with the least is the gauge for how they were spiritually. Either consumed by greed and pride or giving and compassionate. Compassion is a highly extolled virtue by Christ and it comes from the Latin meaning, to empathetically suffer with
 
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realinvestment

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<<<The Pope is not lumping all rich people, hun. He is talking about 85 people who own the wealth equvialent to 3,500,000,000 people. Yep, that's right 85=3.5 Billion>>>


I didn’t see where the Pope said anything about that in the his Apostolic Exhortation. Nor have I found such a statement by the Pope in any google search.

Where did the Pope define who is rich? Again, I thought the Pope did lump all the rich together. IMO there might be an argument that Hosni Mubarak got his billions by feeding on the powerless, I don’t think the same could be said of Bill Gates. Others got that money through inheritance.

I don’t know what authority the Catholic Church expects these statements to have. Do they consider it merely the Pope’s personal opinion? Or do they consider it an irrefutable message from God?
 

hunarcy

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The Pope is not lumping all rich people, hun. He is talking about 85 people who own the wealth equvialent to 3,500,000,000 people. Yep, that's right 85=3.5 Billion<<<<link
Then why didn't he say that, for he didn't say that in his remarks. I think it's YOU who are misconstruing the Pope's comments to fit your politics and agree that is shameless.
 

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Tell me what this says to you quoting above:
"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few." - Pope Francis
 
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realinvestment

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Tell me what this says to you quoting above:
"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few." - Pope Francis
The above is one of the numerous statements made by the Pope about inequality. I didn’t just try to take one out of context, instead listed several of them to show that it was a theme from the Pope.

I my own mind, I am trying to understand what the Pope’s purpose was for these statements. He focused on the fact that some people are rich, as opposed to addressing the sinful ways some of them may have gotten their fortunes. Likewise, he didn’t suggest any obligation of the middle class or poor to look for ways to bring themselves up. It was only an obligation to the rich. Of course in the US, we’ve seen that there are some unintended consequences to government backstops.

It’s hard to tell what the Pope considered rich. You mentioned the top 85 ultra rich of the world. How do we know the Pope wasn’t referring to the top 5% in the US? Or for that matter trying to justify more equity between Nigerian citizens vs. US citizens?

There was a statement about the powerful feeding upon the powerless. There wasn’t much acknowledgement how some people got their wealth by bring something new to the world that made it a better place, whether it be people like Paul McCartney or Bill Gates, etc.
 

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Got news for ya. The Pope is human. Why should i believe he is right about economical subjects? What made him an expert in anything outside the super rich (Tax free) catholic church?
 

gnarlylove

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He focused on the fact that some people are rich, as opposed to addressing the sinful ways some of them may have gotten their fortunes. Likewise, he didn&#8217;t suggest any obligation of the middle class or poor to look for ways to bring themselves up.
Do you expect every statement made to cover the breadth and scope of everything and everyone?

That is a tall order. If you want to know what the Pope says for the poor, don't read what he says about the rich. Maybe you can ask the Pope about what he thinks the struggling single mother can do. Undoubtedly he has advice for them and I hope you find it out so you can tell it to the struggling single mothers and it can bring them closer to God and live a better life.

But the first thing you should do is be concerned about what the Pope is saying about YOUR life. It's super-easy to meddle in the lives of others and demand they work harder or pray harder. It's what makes authority and power so appealing: the literal control over human life.

It's another matter to focus on how you can make a difference in impoverished lives: I encourage you to volunteer at local soup kitchens. Instead of all the assumptions you have about the poor, why don't you put a face with your assumptions? I've been homeless on and off and you are clearly not looking to know what its like to be poor.But if you just took a few evenings to talk with them while volunteering those assumptions will be eroded because they are people too and face life's challenges just like every human. In other words, they are not to be controlled and dominated. They are NOT a group that needs to be controlled because "clearly they can't do for themselves." Offer them proper food, shelter and love and you will see them develop into esteemed individuals. Why would you expect them to be like you if they regularly lacked essential human needs, which they often do.


It&#8217;s hard to tell what the Pope considered rich. You mentioned the top 85 ultra rich of the world. How do we know the Pope wasn&#8217;t referring to the top 5% in the US? Or for that matter trying to justify more equity between Nigerian citizens vs. US citizens?
I think you are intentionally getting hung up on precisely who the Pope is talking about. And since the Pope didn't speak to the exact level, all we can do is realize that in general, those on the higher rungs of society are living in such excesses that the Pope thinks it's worth mentioning. To him it is a travesty that society concentrates wealth and does not share enough. If we shared enough there would be no hungry person. No one deserves to be hungry. Diane Ravitch notes 1 in 7 children experience hunder insecurity, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

That is what the Pope is talking about. This EVER widening gap between the haves and have-nots is bad for the majority of people. The economy is not recovering because all the 95% of income gains since 2009 have gone to the 1% in America. There simply is no money among consumers to be spending like we should in order to recover the economy. Demand is low because money is way too tight.

Who did Jesus spend much of his time with? The poor, the sick, the lame. What did he do? Offer love and washed their feet.

What does realinvestment do? "You poor people need to work harder and do more. It doesn't matter there aren't enough jobs for you, just work anyway."
 
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Seeing how the Catholic church is complicit in starting this system its amazing he spoke out on it. There must be a trick somewhere in this.
 

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ye shall be judged by how you treat the poor and the least among you....in Matthew 25:41-45.

The Pope is not lumping all rich people, hun. He is talking about 85 people who own the wealth equvialent to 3,500,000,000 people. Yep, that's right 85=3.5 Billion<<<<link

That is wealth disparity that continues the long forgotten Master/Slave dialectic. Don't misconstrue the Pope's comments to fit your politics. That is shameless. The lifestyle that you think you earned was blessed by God with the opportunities that came your way. For many people the INITIAL opportunity is not even there. To think of the poor as a breed of losers who refuse to earn their way is simple denial. For every job in the US there are 3 people. The math doesn't add up. The lack of jobs is the main reason people are not working and have given up. Not because they prefer their generational poverty and welfare life but people like you keep demanding they earn their way without offering any opportunity to do that. That is incessant daily struggle that is welfare is tied to the point from Jesus: how society cared for those with the least is the gauge for how they were spiritually. Either consumed by greed and pride or giving and compassionate. Compassion is a highly extolled virtue by Christ and it comes from the Latin meaning, to empathetically suffer with
You mean like the wealth the Catholic church owns?

Hey the pope is free to hire millions of homeless people to work for the church after all the church can certainly afford it.
 
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realinvestment

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Got news for ya. The Pope is human. Why should i believe he is right about economical subjects? What made him an expert in anything outside the super rich (Tax free) catholic church?
According to Church doctrine, there is a dogma of Papal infallibility, which states that the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error. If you’re not Catholic that might not matter to you. In my case, I converted to Catholicism several decades ago because of marriage and have tried to practice the faith.

These particular comments on inequality seem completely new and have generally not been backed up by much that I’ve read in the Bible. Compassion and generosity yes, but I don’t recall laws requiring us to be equal.

I’d like some clarification about what this means as an American as the Apostolic Exhortation seemed to speak generally for the whole world.

Does it mean every one should be equal? Is referring to the top 1%, top 5%? Or was the Pope only referring to the super rich, as suggested by gnarlylove? Should Americans be equal to people in third world countries?

What about different needs between peoples? How could some one fund a business that employs people if everyone were equal? Is it ok to save for your retirement, or your kids college education when there are so many with less? And how does an employer justify paying people different amounts, yet if he doesn’t, the highly skilled will leave to take other jobs. And if everyone’s equal, what is the incentive to work hard?

Depending on what the Pope meant by all this, it could have an impact on lots of practicing Catholics.
 

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Loved the quote of,
"How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion." - Pope Francis (2013)

But now it's becoming a little disingenuous if not fully hypocritical when Vatican City remains one of the richest, if not the richest entity on Earth. If he's really sincere let's see him open up the books and show how he's giving away most of the liquid assets to feed the poor.

Put up or shut up time.
 

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The Pope has certainly reduced his extravagance. One example is using a ford focus rather than pope mobile. I'd still prefer to see him on a bicycle (or skateboard) but that's just me.

And to think no one is equal is supported mainly by the old testament. It makes the Israelites think they are the chosen people, and according to the OT, indeed they are. However, in the New Testament we see Jesus preach another sermon: love everyone as yourself, treat everyone like you would yourself.

This denotes that humanity is on an equal plane and hence deserves to be treated with respect and decency. Allowing millions to go hungry is not decency. It is capitalism at its finest.

To think humans are to be ranked into categories is literally to say some people deserve more than others. And no doubt before technology this meant laboring in the fields all day. Now the world is much less tied to labor and focuses on money. Money entrenches the idea of inequality because people have different amounts FROM BIRTH.

The thing is if everyone had the same love, regular food and shelter they could also achieve great things. But in our money system, there are limited amount of opportunities and those who were born with the short end of the stick tend to keep that stick their whole life. Why? Money entrenches power and control. Jesus tore up the temple because it was focused on money and power.
 
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realinvestment

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I’d like to thank for your comments. Whether they explain the Pope’s position or not, most of the other responders didn’t try to explain the Pope’s position whatsoever.

At the same time, I hope you appreciate the fact that I’m even asking the questions. Most of my rich Catholic friends don’t know the Pope published such a document. And there hasn’t been a thing said by a Priest about it at any Mass I’ve attended.

As I’ve said in different posts, I am a Catholic convert by marriage. I have many complicated businesses issues going on and I want to know the Pope’s position. Which so far seems a bit confusing, somewhat impossible, and possibly new….. However, you’ve pointed out the Pope’s example, which may be an additional clue. He is living modestly by example, taking out the extreme Bishops, but at the same time the Pope hasn’t brought his personal economic prosperity to the level of a homeless person, even though he probably feels compassion for them.
 

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hey i want to apologize. i meant to edit that post, i was in a frustrated mood to begin with. i like to think i am more cool headed then that. i know what you are talking about your rich friends. ive been among a variety of social classes including catholics in my area that have some political weight.

i was shocked to see you asking these questions in an earnest manner while also denying they have any advice worth taking or what it meant. i was confused to say the least but glad you were not staunchly against what i was trying to say. i sometimes get acquainted with such division that i forget to see the light, which is always there to be honest, just need to look for it.

i'm a taoist myself and was Christian for many years before becoming agnostic and then hedonism which lead to homelessness. i'm well aware of the various social strata and what the bible says on it but i also know what it means to be sincere. i appreciate your sincerity and i hope you simply continue to study these issues and ask for guidance. with persistence and genuine openness and honesty, you can come to understand the truth. we all can if we just seek it with honesty and earnestly.

i've never been in a position with money however. maybe a job here and there with 3k in the bank but usually i live on a 100 a month or less. my family is poor. it's all too clear to see why i have suffered for being born into the family i was born into. this does not make any sense to punish ppl before birth. not all poor people stay poor but the america has the lowest social mobility out of any developed nation in the world. that means its hard to move out of ur economic class. indeed, despite my college degrees and efforts to achieve i live in the heartland that is struggling bad, major debt. i imagine having 1000 dollars and HOW FLIPPIN MUCH that would mean to me and how piss poor it is to the wealthy elite that literally craft all economic policy, indeed ALL POLICY in america.

you haven't necessarily lived the realities i have but i know you understand struggle. all of us strive, but imagine if from day one the cards where stacked against you because of race, religion, or economic status or lack of vehicle. the less you have the harder it is to achieve and even though most people have tvs and air conditioners, we are in major debt and can never get ahead. perpetually owing debt, and that's exactly how banks make their money: for every dollar paid in principle, the poorest people making the minimum payment pay 3 dollars of interest. indeed, the poor they say is their best customer.

like i said, keep asking the right questions and the truth will reveal itself. i have faith in you to fight for the struggle of humanity and not the struggle for wealth and power.
 
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