Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Beware the "Idolatry of the Market"

In this Zenit story, Pope John Paul II "says the great danger posed by the "civilization of consumption" is the so-called idolatry of the market." The story quotes the Pontiff's address to the Czech ambassador to the Vatican:
    History teaches us that the journey from oppression to liberty is arduous, often marked by the lure of false forms of freedom and hollow promises of hope [...] While economic development and the accompanying social transformation have benefited many in your country, the weaker members of society, particularly the poor, the marginalized, and the sick and elderly, must be protected [...] Authentic development can never be attained solely through economic means. In fact, what has become known as the 'idolatry of the market' -- a consequence of the so-called civilization of consumption -- tends to reduce persons to things and to subordinate being to having. This seriously detracts from the dignity of the human person and makes promotion of human solidarity difficult at best. Instead, recognition of the spiritual nature of the human person and a renewed appreciation of the moral character of social and economic development must be acknowledged as prerequisites for the transformation of society into a true civilization of love.

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