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PopeWatch: La Vanguardia Interview-Merchants of Death

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Ah, the Pope has given another interview!  This interview is with the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia.  The Pope makes several comments in the interview, and PopeWatch will be dealing with them this week.  First up is the musings of the Pope that what undergirds the international economic system is war:

 

The rate of unemployment is very worrisome to me, which in some countries is over 50%. Someone told me that 75 million young Europeans under 25 years of age are unemployed. That is an atrocity. But we are discarding an entire generation to maintain an economic system that can’t hold up anymore, a system that to survive must make war, as the great empires have always done. But as a Third World War can’t be done, they make zonal wars. What does this mean? That they produce and sell weapons, and with this the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously they are sorted.

Go here to read the rest.

What the Pope said was a fairly common meme in the thirties when it was argued with a straight face, in the wake of World War I disenchantment and the growth of pacifism in the democracies, that World War I had been caused by arms dealers and by governments eager to profiteer from war.  Alas it was complete and utter rubbish and it is rubbish still.  The Pope’s comments indicate a man who does not have a clue as to how economies actually work and apparently believes the myth of wars being fought to produce economic riches for the few, a not uncommon trope in the comboxes of many leftist websites.  A Pope who is ignorant of economics is one thing, a Pope who believes he knows how economies functions and manifestly does not is quite another.   It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so, is an observation that has been attributed to 19th century humorists Artemus Ward and Josh Billings, and to 20th century humorist Will Rogers, but whoever said it history will verify that it is resoundingly true.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

32 Comments

  1. ” It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so, is an observation that has been attributed to 19th century humorists Artemus Ward and Josh Billings, and to 20th century humorist Will Rogers, but whoever said it history will verify that it is resoundingly true.”
    .
    History and Mary De Voe will verify that it is resoundingly true.

  2. Has the Holy Father ever read James 4:1-3? It doesn’t mention arms dealers as the cause of wars.

  3. The Pope might do well to employ a research assistant to produce briefing memoranda for him on such topics, preferably one who can read descriptive statistics on national income accounts and inform him that less than 3% of the world’s domestic product is devoted to military uses, That assistant might also tell him and that in the last sixty-odd years shooting wars in Europe have been limited to one country comprehending 4% of the population of the continent, in the Far East to three countries and regional venues in two or three others comprehending about 7% of the population thereof, and in Latin America have been entirely intramural (and have not implicated north of 80% of the population of the region).

  4. I can’t find it now but if I recall correctly, while still Archbishop, Francis in a meeting of Latin American Bishops commented that the Bishops were to devise plans for society and the laity were to carry them out. A clericalism that is still quite prevalent in the Church. Can you imagine what plans he would have us carry out?

    Sorry Your Holiness, the clergy is to preach principles and the laity, with their proper knowledge of the world, are to apply them to concrete situations. This is a charism that is granted by God to the laity. A charism that is not granted to the clergy.

  5. The Pope’s comments indicate a man who does not have a clue as to how economies actually work and apparently believes the myth of wars being fought to produce economic riches for the few, a not uncommon trope in the comboxes of many leftist websites. A Pope who is ignorant of economics is one thing, a Pope who believes he knows how economies functions and manifestly does not is quite another. – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/06/16/popewatch-la-vanguardia-interview-merchants-of-death/#comments

    So true. It began almost immediately with his polemical use of the term “trickle down” to describe market economies. That term is purely political and yet he used it in a theological frame of reference. I find the Holy Father is not tempered or prudent or learned in many of his remarks but it is also becoming discomfiting to many people across the religious spectrum. Unfortunately, such commentary along with reinforcing economic ignorance, detracts from the pastoral mission. I was hoping, praying actually, that he would seek to enlighten himself but this continued theme tells me that he may be captive to some bad advisors.

  6. The rate of unemployment is very worrisome to me, which in some countries is over 50%. Someone told me that 75 million young Europeans under 25 years of age are unemployed. That is an atrocity. But we are discarding an entire generation to maintain an economic system that can’t hold up anymore… woot! the Pope is turning against the lavish European social welfare state with its employment guarantees for baby boomers that make it impossible for young people to get jobs! woo… oh, wait. nevermind.

  7. Some have said that the Pope has been advisors. Perhaps. But this Pope wouldn’t even listen were he to have good advises. As a liberal, he KNOWS what is true and what isn’t regardless of the field of endeavor – economics, science, sociology, theology, etc. We do not have an evil Pope. But we have a bad one – bad not that he wants to do evil or has evil motivations, but bad in that like every liberal he KNOWS so much that ain’t so.

  8. I wish Pope Francis would stick to telling people to go to confession.

    The sheer absurdity of an Argentine discussing economics is, well, disturbing.

    For what it’s worth, most other Catholic bishops know little about economics as well.

  9. Here’s where the Swiss Guard gets their submachine gun …a relationship which none of the recent Popes has altered:

    http://www.hk-usa.com/military_products/mil_submachine.asp

    Here’s where they get their pistols:

    http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductList/pistols-p226.aspx

    Now if these two sold guns to ISIS or Boko Haram etc. or to Somali pirates, that’s a moral issue. If they sell to Christians in northeast Nigeria or Faluja who want to protect their families from execution, that is what Aquinas called…” the due act”. Go to CNN now and they have a video of a Iraqi border guard, father of three little children executed by jihadi pond scum…men walking or rather running toward eternal damnation unless God has mercy on them though He might not.
    Romans 9:18…
    Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will; and whom he will, he hardeneth.

  10. O my! there’s enough fodder for concern for years to come in that interview. Somewhat embarrassing. Like an opinionated uncle who comes in from left field and joins a kitchen table conversation with a family that is well-read and used to discussing politics and religion. (the family I grew up in ;0) The mom and dad want to explain his remarks away so the kids won’t think ill of him.

  11. The offenses to the Holy Father continue in this blog. Why are you keeping the name “Catholic” on it ?
    Oh yes. The Holy Spirit chooses Popes, but then he fails to help them in doing their job. That’s why it is possible to offend and attack in a daily basis the Holy Father.
    Are you really catholic ? I don’t think so !
    Let’s see what the Pope said which make him such a ignorant fool, as it is said in the post:
    1) European unemployment is a fact, not a stupid invention of a ignorant. It’s a fact.
    2) Don’t be so naïve that you think that the Pope is talking only about the army industry. Army manufactures are behind many presidents; they lobby and have strong influence in Washington and other countries. On another hand, regional wars specially in the Golf and Syria increase the oil price on the markets and even though expenses with production are kept the same the profits of producers and the big companies and big Golf families increase due to speculation. Men die due to local wars, Christians are slaughtered. But you don’t seem to consider that relevant, do you ? The Pope is a ignorant. He doesn’t know what he is speaking. You are the smart one. That knows everything.
    3) Your attitude towards this Pope is basic and shows that you haven’t understand much about the core of Christianity. For you selling armoury is a business like any other one. Killing someone makes a company profit.
    4) Is this a pro-life who wrote this post ?
    God have mercy on you !

  12. “The offenses to the Holy Father continue in this blog. Why are you keeping the name “Catholic” on it ?”
    Because that is who we are.

    “Oh yes. The Holy Spirit chooses Popes, but then he fails to help them in doing their job.”
    I will assume that you have very little knowledge of Catholic history and the number of bad popes the Church has had. As for the Holy Spirit choosing popes, I will defer to then Cardinal Ratzinger in an interview in 1997:

    “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

    There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”

    “Are you really catholic ? I don’t think so !”
    We will attempt to soldier on in spite of some anonymous personage on the internet doubting our Catholicism.

    “1) European unemployment is a fact, not a stupid invention of a ignorant. It’s a fact.”
    Yep, and no one contended that it was not.

    “Don’t be so naïve that you think that the Pope is talking only about the army industry.”

    What the Pope said is clear enough. He believes that the basis of capitalism is war and he is completely and utterly wrong on that.

    “Your attitude towards this Pope is basic and shows that you haven’t understand much about the core of Christianity. For you selling armoury is a business like any other one. Killing someone makes a company profit.”

    Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it?

    “Is this a pro-life who wrote this post ?”

    Yep. I helped start the pro-life student group at the U of I, was the only male member of Birthright while I was there, and just finished a 15 year stint as President of the Board of the crisis pregnancy center in my county.

  13. My MRC initials mean Miguel Reis Cunha. I just use my initials for a practical reason, in my signature, in my e-mail etc I do the same, not because I’m afraid and hid in anonymously

    “Bad popes”) Are you suggesting that we are dealing with Borgia Popes !? In the past, that is true, but in the past 1 or 2 centuries I believe that the Holy Spirit has indeed chosen the right Popes. They all have imperfections, but I’m very upset with your behaviour of speaking more of the “bad” things of this Pope rather then the “good things” which are far better then the bad ones.

    “Holy Spirit”) It seems that according to your interpretation of BXVI words, this Pope never received anything from the Holy Spirit, besides being chosen. After that he is being fighting with the Holy Spirit all the time. That’s why you have to write this offensive posts to show us how strong his the Pope resisting to the Holy Spirit. I wonder I the Holy Spirit hasn’t chosen you as a Pope ?

    Army profit from deaths) Even if army industry was 1% of the total economy it would always be bad specially if it is used to increase the profits of oil companies and the big Arabian Monarchs. Have you seen Michael Moore 9/10 ? In fact sometimes we just understand what we want to understand…

    He believes that the basis of capitalism is war) Have you read other speeches of Pope Francis ? I don’t think so !
    What he is saying is that one of the characters of this economy (besides others) is war to provide profit to companies that manufacture them, as pay back their support to corrupted politicians, using religion as way to create wars and promote religious persecution against Christians, etc.. Some years ago, I saw a article that said the army budget of the USA could feed almost a average country

    Being in a board of pro-life activity isn’t enough. Being pro-life means fighting also against a vision of the world based in weapons, being pro-life means fighting poverty and selfish people and companies who just care on their ones and don’t care about social responsibility.

  14. “Are you suggesting that we are dealing with Borgia Popes !?”

    Nope, we are dealing with a man in a high office who sometimes says smart things and sometimes says stupid things and PopeWatch attempts to shed light on both. Even the best of popes make errors and mistakes and Catholics do the Church no favors when they pretend otherwise. I believe Pope Francis would approve of this attitude based on his criticism of some of his predecessors that they “have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.”

  15. “It seems that according to your interpretation of BXVI words, this Pope never received anything from the Holy Spirit, besides being chosen.”

    No, it is precisely the point of Cardinal Ratzinger that the Holy Spirit does not choose popes.

  16. “What he is saying is that one of the characters of this economy (besides others) is war to provide profit to companies that manufacture them, as pay back their support to corrupted politicians, using religion as way to create wars and promote religious persecution against Christians, etc..”

    No, what the Pope said was quite foolish but not quite as foolish as the words you are putting in his mouth.

  17. But we are discarding an entire generation to maintain an economic system that can’t hold up anymore, a system that to survive must make war, as the great empires have always done.

    .
    I hope I’m wrong, but that sounds to me like second or third hand Leninism.

  18. Dear Donald
    Just three thoughts:
    1) If you read “Evangelii Gaudium”, you will see that the focus of Pope Francis critics to selvatic liberal economy isn’t only in war industry but in many other items. You must realise that he was giving a interview to a jew jornalist and also to several European media (Cymerman works for many of them at the same time). So you must include the Pope remarques into this context.
    2) I don’t see you much speaking about the very good speaches that Pope Francis does. For instance last sunday he spoke about the daily quests that a family works in a city have and what are the answers the Church has that. It was a marvelous speech. What I see in your posts is that you are very worried and diligent in attacking the Holy Father, but very less in highlighting is good speachs. Do you think this a good strategy ? When Catholics are being attacked in your country and all over the world, is a good strategy to add more fights against the Pope ?
    3) Being pro-life isn’t only prevent abortions. It’s about a attitude towards life. Last homily of Cardinal O’Malley in Washington spoke very well about this.

  19. “If you read “Evangelii Gaudium”, you will see that the focus of Pope Francis critics to selvatic liberal economy isn’t only in war industry but in many other items.”

    I have read it and given it quite a bit of PopeWatch commentary.

    “that he was giving a interview to a jew journalist”

    ?

  20. Saint James says that wars come from our passions and Cicero said that fury will find its weapon. To say that the making of arms causes war is illogical. My reading of the interview also tells me that while the Pope spoke of an economic system that does not work to provide gainful employment for the many, that does not amount to a condemnation of capitalism. Where does a capitalism not distorted by Marxist modification exist in the world today? The references to “fundamentalism” can be clearly laid at the doorsteps of many a Mosque but who dares say so out loud? The current persecution of Christians being numerically greater than that of the First Century is something needing to be shouted from the rooftop, while throughout the establishment media it is swept under the rug. His Holiness is perhaps too prone to the off-the-cuff remark but we do not see anything approaching the approbation of pacifism or socialism. Finally, MRC should clarify his “jew journalist” remark. Perhaps an unfamiliarity with English has left an undeserved bad impression. After all, who can argue against the fact that “Salvation is from the Jews”?

  21. In 1 Samuel 13, the oppressor Philistines tried to keep the Israelites subjugated by not allowing them to manufacture weapons.
    The Israelites even had to take their ag implements in to Philistine blacksmiths and were charged excessively for the service.
    In chapter 14 Jonathan and his armor bearer fought an uphill battle, literally, against heavily armed enemy and won. And God was for the war.
    I don’t know for sure how this fits you discussion but I thought it interesting.
    Of course you know there were many wars in the OT, and all are instructive about the necessity of good relationship with God.
    .
    1 Samuel 13:19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, ‘The Hebrews must not make swords or spears for themselves’; 20 so all the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes, or sickles; 21 The charge was two-thirds of a shekel* for the ploughshares and for the mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.* 22 So on the day of the battle neither sword nor spear was to be found in the possession of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
    .
    oremus Bible Browser : 1 Samuel 13:19-22

  22. War comes from sin, spiritual moral depravity, and capitalists and communists are equally sinners. Wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony all around.
    WE need to be in right relationship with God, and thus with our neighbors. The iniquity must be nearly complete it seems.
    Thank the Lord for his forbearance and beg for the grace of national repentence, and for the repentence of nominal Christians worldwide. As long as we are killing our unborn, our elderly, selling children into slavery, making and selling pornography and on and on, we are in trouble.

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