Pope Benedict on Capitalism, Marxism, and Globalization

Catholic Social Science Review 14:167-191 (2009)
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Abstract

This article presents some of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on economic matters, drawing from his writings and speeches before and after his election to the Papacy. He has spoken on numerous occasions about Marxism, capitalism, and, more recently, globalization, which can be thought of as an extension of capitalism. While he is harshly critical of Marxism, his criticisms of capitalism are more moderate, though he maintains a number of reservations about it, and draws parallels between the two systems. In both Marxism and capitalism he sees an attempt to construct a social order on reason alone, and he contrasts thiswith a Catholic vision of the social order in which reason is united to virtue in the service of moral values. He is generally supportive of globalization, though he has expressed concern about its effects on families and on the poor, as well as its effects on inequality and monopoly power.

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