Most people are raised to be fully middle calss and ultra-materialist - even most activists and people who think or pretend to be poor......
The Pope understood far more than almost any one who has ever lived - his only mistake was in underestimating cpatialist materialism and the Evil of GW Bush (Almost all americans!)
He did and said many great htings. His expoeriences in Poland under the Nazis and Communists (stalinists) did warp hjis perceptions of the spiritual and real battles raging across the planet.
He thought that if he vanquished communism thaT THE CHURCH COULD DEAL WITH THE EXCESSES OF CAPITALISM - iN THIS ONE VIEW ONLY WAS HE WRONG - bUT IT WAS A TERRIBLE BLUNDER THAT will DOOM HIM TO BE REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST EVIL MEN IN ALL OF HISTROY!
hIS VIEWS ON MORALITY AND EVILS OF MODERNITY WERE NEARLY PERFECT. hOMOSEXUALITY, BIRTH COINTROL, ABORTION AND WOMEN IN THE church were correct - but I would not expect the narrow-minded left of the US or Europe to understand this - thought they matter very little now that Bush has taken over the West and the Pope has deformed latin America.
The Pope opposed these diseases because he knew that to accept them meant to embracec band-aids rather than truth. He wanted a spitritual life for all instead of a life mediated by technology and vices.
From the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:19- 31
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal…”
Jesus asked his followers to sell everything, give their money to the poor and follow him. It is a time-honored tradition in India for a man who has completed his working life to give away his possessions and retreat to the forest to pray. The focus of Islamic life is devotion and surrender to Allah. Theravadan Buddhist monks take a vow of extreme poverty as they dedicate themselves to realizing the Buddha's teaching. The world's prophets knew that the material world offered limited satisfaction and directed us to look beyond it.
“The message of the Christmas tree is that life is always green if you give, not many material things, but of yourself through friendship and sincere affection, through help and forgiveness, by spending time together and listening to each other," said Pope John Paul, December 19, 2004. (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/041219/325/f8uy9.html
“Wealth should not be accumulated for its own sake. It should not be gained by injustice or oppression. Wealth often leads to covetousness. It belongs to God, not to us; we are simply stewards. We sin if we do not use it to help the poor, the weak, and the oppressed (Ezek. 22:29)
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed” (Luke 12:15
The church in Latin America
has much to say about humanity.
It looks at the sad picture
portrayed by the Puebla conference:
faces of landless peasants
mistreated and killed by the forces of power,
faces of laborers arbitrarily dismissed
and without a living wage for their families,
faces of the elderly,
faces of outcasts,
faces of slum dwellers,
faces of poor children who from infancy
begin to feel the cruel sting of social injustice.
For them, it seems, there is no future –
no school, no high school, no university.
By what right have we cataloged persons
as first-class persons or second-class persons?
In the theology of human nature there is only one class: children of God.
John Paul II was no follower of neo-liberalism. For him, markets and profits were not a solution to human problems, but a mechanism to be used for moral purposes. Indeed, we often forget that both Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer’s reasoning are very similar. Both of them – the two greatest thinkers that promoted the idea of the free market – were also moral philosophers.
For them, as for John Paul II, the free market and profits were ways to improve humanity. They were sometimes naive, as when Spencer hoped that rich citizens would nearly automatically be good citizens and thus find it natural to help those who were not so successful. John Paul II might have been na?ve, too, but only up to a point.
Everything depends on our idea of human nature. If we believe, as the Catholic Church believes, that human beings bear the burden of original sin, but are perfectible; that human beings can understand what is good and bad and can choose between them because we have free will, then approval of the free market is understandable and not naive. By this one encyclical, John Paul II moved Church teaching from the Middle Ages to modernity.
The debate the Pope began on the relationship between the free market and moral problems remains unfinished. Eliminating the abuses that accompany capitalism and harnessing it for the benefit of society and human morals still needs to be tackled. John Paul II had the courage to raise the fundamental questions that needed asking. We will ask continue to them without his leadership and prompting? http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0404-33.htm
- Archbishop Oscar Romero, March 2, 1980