Money Flees

Pope Benedict addresses the openning of the Synod, from The Age:

Pope Benedict XVI says the financial crisis sweeping the world proves the futility of craving success and money and he urges instead that people base their lives on the word of God.

“We are seeing now in the collapse of the big banks that this money is disappearing, is nothing,” Benedict told a synod of bishops on Monday on the theme of “The Word of God”.

Those who seek “success, career or money are building (their lives) on sand”, Benedict said, adding: “Only the Word (of God) is solid, it is the veritable reality on which we should base our lives.”

Those who think “that matter, concrete things that we can touch are the surest reality” are deceiving themselves, he said.

Opening the synod, attended by more than 250 bishops, the 81-year-old pontiff attacked the godless character of modern culture.

The German Pope warned that “nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture”.

4 Responses

  1. Does he get that the poor are going to be horribly hit by this? Very clearly, the folks at First Things don’t relaly care much about this-Reno’s been boohooing about the middle class for a couple of weeks now.

    When these things happen by the “grace” as described by Novak, et al of the Holy Free Market, the poor get slammed, and have had decline for two years? Is Benedict still fighting a culture war he got ginned up for by talking too much to Weigel, et al and his episcopal enablers (like Burke and Chaput)?

    This failure of moral focus of these markets are not some private contemplative failures: the entire community, and the poor will suffer very hard. In concrete ways. Sorry, your holiness, if happiness doesn’t happen in concrete ways, suffering sure can.

  2. I don’t think he’s slamming the rich–rather I think he’s pointing out that putting your trust in “money” is a dead end street–whether you are rich or poor. The greed of people, again poor or rich can only lead to disaster–and you are right everyone suffers as a result of sin.

  3. “Everyone suffers as a result of sin”: actually, the poor always suffer more in this life. Far more. The consequences of disease, environmental degradation (know any rich people living next to landfills?), the indignities of bad bosses, jobs spent scrubbing the toilets in hospitals for $7/hr. No, everyone does not suffer the same in these nightmares. Jonah Goldberg even noted this during the Katrina mess-but it was also met by his internal ennui on such matters. (A “but who really cares” type attitude.) “everyone suffers” is a fallacy that is a corollary of the “everyone’s really at fault” line. A line the William F. Buckley used to berate individuals’ intelligence when this tag was used by a guest on his show.

    I and my family will likely do ok. I know many who will not. And it already saddens me.

    B16 is an elitist-an academic, who has enormous talents but enormous holes. One of these is an understanding of poverty, both in the particular, and the general. The poor will suffer the most and have already begun this suffering. (It began right about the time that B16 became interested in making sure 2 dozen Latin-loving, wealth-backed schismatic priests rejoin the Church.) The wealthy will not and the system will support them. They will continue to be able to fly to Rome and stand in line to see the Pope. And human degradation will increase enormously on the altar of the Free Market. (Are we ready for child beggars again on the streets of Rome, in New York? This is a distinct possibility.)

    Class War was defined by default in B16 mind in the early 1980’s as something that the uprising poor did to the rich and powerful. It is not something that the rich do to the poor, in the mind of B16. The evils the rich do to the poor get very generic discussions with roots in concerns of “original sin” and the like.

    And the First Things neocons don’t seem to know the poor exist. Reno seems to worry about the middle class. Seems a bit self-centered, not really the orientation required for Catholics. Not yet a mention of what this disaster will do to the poor.

    Greed is also one of the seven deadly sins.

  4. Punchline: He needs to slam the rich. He needs to beat the free market ideologues (who are his most fervent supporters) that systems based on greed do not serve the common good.

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