Pope Francis has been somewhat of a superhero ever since his inauguration this past March. He has taken progressive stances on societal issues including gay marriage, the role of women in the church and, most recently, the injustices of trickle-down economics. This past week, in his “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), Pope Francis emphasized his concern with mainstream culture’s “idolatry of money.”
In this text, Pope Francis claims that the common person puts too much trust in the goodness of those who exercise economic dominance. In other words, there is no such thing as “trickle-down” economics. He writes, “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” Pope Francis continues, “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
This interest in economic justice has been a common concern among other popes. Similar parallels can be seen in the papacies of both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JohnPaul II. They both damned the adulation of money and fought for a redistribution of wealth; however, they never made issues like these seem so real. Pope Francis has won over the world’s hearts. In only a few months, he has given the Catholic community a humble, colloquial and reliant leader.
Economic inequality is, now more than ever, quickly becoming the subject of worldwide distress. I think the introduction of Pope Francis’s voice to the conversation regarding economic justice is paramount. While economic theory may not be among Pope Francis’s strong suits, his influence can wield some major muscle. Taking into account how much people have come to admire him, Pope Francis has the power to catalyze much-needed economic reforms.
With an influential leader like Pope Francis pushing the world forward, economic reform may finally be possible. He represents a fresh perspective on how economic equality is grounded is sheer and utter goodness. It is all too common to stand back and watch bipartisan strife shoulder its way between America and justice. Pope Francis, who carries the support of millions of people around the world, has offered the world a pious opinion on modern economics. With this combination working in his favor, Pope Francis could very well become the savior of our capitalist economic system.