Are we over emphasizing the value of 'freedom' while largely ignoring the plight of poverty?

We must all pray for Pope Francis!

Talk about inequality and injustice! The next time you hear the word ‘equality’ or ‘freedom,’ remember the above picture and reflect.

Not asking for money, but a sharing of the world’s resources so those in poverty can become self-sufficient! We are at a point in human history when we are able to accomplish this.


“You say that the poor do not work, but do you work yourselves? Do you not enjoy in idleness the goods you have unjustly inherited? Do you not exhaust others with labor, while you enjoy in indolence the fruit of their misery?” ~St. John Chrysostom

“When someone strips a man of his clothes we call him a thief. And one who might clothe the naked and does not – should he not be given the same name? The bread in your board belongs to the hungry: the cloak in your wardrobe belongs to the naked, the shoes you let rot belong to the barefoot; the money in your vaults belongs to the destitute.” ~Saint Basil

“When we administer any necessities to the poor, we give them their own; we do not bestow our goods upon them. We do not fulfill the works of mercy; we discharge the debt of justice . . . what is given to us by a common God is only rightly used when those who have received it use it in common.” ~St. Gregory the great.

For those living just outside a larger city, new jobs can be created especially for those living just outside the city.

I believe that the same sentiment of the Pope, on his emphases toward the poor, will get expressed in Judaism.

Are we called on to give money to charity and help the world’s poor? Of course, we are. Is forcibly redistributing wealth the answer? Of course it isn’t.

Let’s take two U.S. programs: I think that PEFAR was a huge success. I don’t think that people minded that their tax dollars were going to help combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa. In contrast, everyone hates Obamacare because it is forcing people to buy something they might not want. If Obama had said that he wanted to use tax dollars to expand health care for poor people, then it would be more well received now.

Who’s talking about the redistribution of wealth? Keep your wealth, if that makes you happy. Again, we’re talking about creating jobs and the sharing of natural resources that allows the poor to become self-sufficient.

Its an interesting question…creation of jobs.

The Church is in favor of the creation of jobs. But the Church also doors not claim to have technical solutions to offer (Caritas in Veritate 9)

*]So what are the technical issues involved with creating jobs?

*]You must have a market for the products or services that these jobs will produce. Tyre products or services must be able to meet the cost and quilt requirements of that market. The supply chain must be able to deliver those products or services to market (other downstream companies or to the consumer)
*]You must have the natural resources available that will be transients into salable product or services.
*]You must have the infrastructure available to support the supply chain (e.g., roads, electricity, water, ports, communications). If infrastructure does not exist, it needs to be built…and that takes a LOT of money and time
*]You must have people who have the skills and knowledge to be able to produce and design the products or services, as well as those who can manage the process. If those skilled people do not exist, they must be developed.
*]The products and services need to priced to sell within the settled market.
*]The government in the developing country must want development more than they want to line their own pockets.

This is not an exhaustive list. The point is that out is not a simple process. Just throwing a few million barrels of oil at a developing country won’t do much except line the pockets of the ruling elite within that country.

Yes, it takes a lot of work to get a society to help the poor, and the solution will likely take a few generation to produce. For example, the children of the poor must be educated until they can become more self-sufficient in our world. And we mustn’t forget to bring people closer to God, which is vital for success.

The point is that simplistic, jingoistic buzz-phrases won’t help the poor.

The antecedent steps are not without danger, though. For example, my wife is currently in the hospital (I’m on my way over there right now). Out of the four nurses assigned to her room, two are from Ethiopia and one is from Zambia. The specialist caring for her is from Pakistan. All of them are fine people and I have no complaints about them at all, but one has to ask the question: are the health systems in Ethiopia, Zambia, and Pakistan so finely developed that they can afford to export medical providers?

If not, are those people doing their countries a disservice by expatriating themselves?

(Again, this is not a complaint about her providers…not at all…)

How can those countries ever hope to develop if their talent leaves?

(One more time, this is not a complaint about her providers…not at all…)

Redistributing natural resources from one country to another is a form of global wealth redistribution. What is ironic about it is that many countries in the global South are really rich in natural resources. What is hindering them is really two things… corruption and indifference among the elite. I read a great book recently called Behind the Beautiful Forever about a slum in Mumbai. And one thing that struck me is that every civil servant and NGO was swimming in corruption. Even the nun who ran a local orphanage (and pumped donations by claiming a phony connection to Mother Teresa) was corrupt. Also, the elite didn’t seem to care about their country as they use their money to purchase private security, send their kids to private schools, etc. The elite in India don’t even bother to vote.

I’m assuming that this is a problem in Latin America (and parts of the EU… As in many of the countries that are currently undergoing severe economic crises.)

A forcible redistribution of wealth is not contrary to Church teaching.

where does it say that?

The Church has condemned liberation theology.

Source? The world simply cannot sit back and do nothing to end severe poverty! To do so is to condone gross inequality. We already know that sitting back, waiting for donations, simply does not work.

Severe poverty needs to become an open social issue, where we declare a great war on poverty.

Perhaps we have different understandings of the term. Taxes would be an example of forcible redistribution of wealth. The Church does not at all oppose this. Liberation theology is not the same thing.

CDF, Instruction on certain aspects of the “Theology of Liberation” – Libertatis nuntius (1986)


Thanks for the source. Bear with me, I’m learning here.

What is the possibility of Pope Francis undoing the condemnation of Liberation Theology as portrayed in the Doctrine of the Faith? Could he possibly do this?

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