The Corner

Re: The Pope and His Politics

It would help, Stephen, if Pope Francis spoke about these matters with more care and precision. “We don’t want this globalized economic system that does us so much harm. At its center there should be man and woman, as God wants, and not money.” These are not intelligible propositions; they do not help us think through any actual challenges in our economic or moral life. To what is “this globalized economic system that does us so much harm” supposed to refer? If the criticism is not meant to imply support for tariffs or regret for the expansion of markets to new parts of the world, then what does it mean? Wouldn’t any economic system have at its center the question of how men and women make and use money? The interpretive challenge of filling these words with actual intellectual content can perhaps be met; but only through an extreme act of charity.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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