Monday, May 02, 2005

Pope Benedict & Liberalism (broadly-speaking)

Jimmy Akin has a short post linking an article by Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute, in which Fr. Sirico argues that Pope Benedict "will turn out to be a real liberal," meaning "liberalism of an older, classical variety that placed it hopes in society, faith and freedom."

There's a small discussion in the comments, in which yours truly is involved. While I have great respect for Fr. Sirico, I think that he (and scholar Michael Novak) are definitely stretching it when they try to claim Ratzinger/Benedict for their interpretation of Catholic social teaching with regard to capitalism and democracy. As I note in one of the comments, Ratzinger is a founder of the journal Communio, which has tended to be critical of liberalism, even the older, classical variety. That's certainly not to say that our pope is simply an opponent of capitalism or democracy... far from not. Nor does it imply that he is a supporter of the welfare state or socialism... that's certainly not the case either. It simply means that he has some serious reservations with regard to the deeper assumptions of modern democratic capitalism and the culture it engenders, reservations which Sirico and Novak do not share.

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