In the wake of the most recent up-and-down stock market, it seems as good a time as any to revisit why we’ve all put such faith in capitalism.
And in that vein, I’m reminded of comments Pope Francis made in 2016.
As Pope Francis told reporters,
“Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person…This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity.”
But he took on religion, too.
“If I speak of Islamic violence, I should speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent…In almost all religions there is always a small group of fundamentalists.”
And he took on the global war machine, too, noting that war is about money.
“There is war for money…There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people who want war.”
Given the Catholic church’s history at the center of all too many global conflicts, these are bold statements from the Pope.
The church has often profited from war, and even waged it itself. Consider, for instance, the Crusades—which were as much about land, war, and taking advantage of other people as they were about religion.
It isn’t much, to be sure. Pope Francis has hardly said Catholics should stop supporting the companies that have built the war machine, or stop voting for politicians that put our countries in mindless conflicts. He hasn’t denounced the way the church has often taken advantage of marginalized populations. He hasn’t denounced the way the church has often oppressed and repressed women. He hasn’t said much of anything about the church’s long history of pedophilia, bigotry, and oppression.
He hasn’t said much about much, to be honest. But be willing to say something about the dire consequences of this capitalist machine we’ve chosen is at least a step in the right direction.
And we do have our own roles to play. We don’t have to support the war machine. We don’t have to vote for warmongering politicians. We can advocate for humanistic policies.
We can be the voice of the marginalized. We can work toward a brighter future. We can fight back.