Papal Paradox – Anti-Capitalist Calls for Capitalist Investment in Cuba?

Sunday, 20 September 2015 AD
7 Tishrei 5776

Raul Castro visited Pope Francis in Vatican City earlier this year.
Raul Castro visited Pope Francis in Vatican City earlier this year. AP photo

Contradictions or Confusion?

On one hand, Pope Francis rails against capitalism, as reported by ReutersWe have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.

Recorded in the same Reuters news article of May 16, 2015, he urges more control by states (national governments) over economies for he benefit of the poor. Well, if he wishes to test his socialist theories, no better opportunity exists for him at this moment. This week he tours the perfect laboratory of socialism: communist Cuba.

Theology Check

Presumably, Pope Francis’ reference to God is the same God whom I worship and serve: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Communism sets the state as God. Communists don’t like any competition between the state and other deities.

Financial Check

Also in the above cited Reuters story, the Pope said, “While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling.”

In 1959, the time of Castro’s revolution, the Cuban economy was fourth largest in the western hemisphere. Today? According to 2012 rankings, Cuba ranks  15th with GDP/capita of $10,200 USD while the United States ranks 1st with GDP/capita of $50,700 USD.

Benefits Check

Quoting the above Reuters article, Pope Francis declared, “need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone.”

According to the CIA Factbook, Vatican City GDP for 2014 was €371,697,000,000. Sales of religious products and visits to the Vatican museum are two components of the Pope’s global income. Due to inherent secrecy of the church, we cannot know precise figures on annual income and GDP. Up until this year, the Vatican bank was one offshore repository for unreported assets. An agreement this year between our Treasury Department and the Vatican will remove that secret sanctum’s use by Americans.

As shown in the chart below, the United States of America is the largest contributor of humanitarian aid to the world’s poor and destitute. Yes, while we Americans are merely 4.45% of the world’s population, our U.S. government ranks number one in giving. And, yes, Pope Francis, we are a capitalist society.

click on image for full size
click on image for full size | Source: Global Human Assistance Report 2014

Summary

Socialism shall forever remain an economic theory because it cannot be proven a means to raise standards of living. Capitalism, on the other hand, is the economic system by which the world’s nations build capital to fund essential services, national defenses and feed their hungry populations.

churchill on socialism

The above-charted humanitarian contributions do not reflect charitable contributions from American churches and NGO’s that alleviate suffering through medical missions, donations for life-preserving water wells, mentoring of third-world entrepreneurs and other services.

Pope Francis is confused. He confuses crony capitalism of Argentina with largely transparent capitalism practiced in the United States of America. In part, the successes of the capitalists in our country must be attributed to ethics ingrained in our society through Christian and Jewish Biblical teachings. Secondarily, we can attribute openness to government oversight and regulations, the latter both a help and a hindrance.

Adding to the Pope’s confusion is his choice of advisers. Radical leftists have his ear. His “climate expert” is an avoid atheist.

Regarding his confusion on economics, he calls for capitalists to invest in Cuba while condemning the very means by which such contributions are possible.

Do I recommend Catholics abandon their church? No, au contraire. I urge American Catholics to pray earnestly for God to reveal the truth of economics to Pope Francis. He desperately needs an epiphany of truth.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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