In a not-so-veiled attack on capitalism, Pope Francis tweeted this morning that his thoughts were with “all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.”
Some conservatives said that the Pope’s remarks were probably directed at Bangladesh factories that pay very low wages and provide dangerous working conditions.
Take a deep breath. The Pope was probably referring to slave labor, like he condemned yesterday. http://t.co/2rwsIb58IL
— RBe (@RBPundit) May 2, 2013
— Allie Lee (@AllieLeela) May 2, 2013
Seriously. STFU people. Understand the CONTEXT before you insist on making the Pope a Marxist.
— Mary Chastain (@mchastain81) May 2, 2013
Other conservatives disagreed with that assessment:
Given the 140 character limit, the Pope should be given the benefit of the doubt. But his tweet can easily be read as Marxist claptrap.
— Kevin (@keder) May 2, 2013
Capitalism has been under assault the world over for quite some time now. It's due for a robust defense, in my humble estimation.
— Kevin (@keder) May 2, 2013
Speaking as a Catholic who left the church over the far-left social justice teachings in the United States, I'm with @keder on this one.
— LMR (@LilMissRightie) May 2, 2013
We are too. The plain language of the tweet indicates the Pope was talking about unemployed people, not employed factory workers in Bangladesh.
The Pope made similar remarks yesterday on the radio, after he finished talking about poor working conditions in Bangladesh. Near the bottom of this article, Agence France Presse said he was apparently talking about unemployment in Europe:
He spoke of “labour market difficulties in various countries” — an apparent reference to the unemployment crisis afflicting Europe.
Unemployment is often caused by “an economic conception of society based on selfish profit outside the bounds of social justice,” he said.
If he was talking about European unemployment yesterday, it stands to reason that’s what his tweet (nearly identical to what he said yesterday) was about today.
The liberal National Catholic Reporter says that “Bergoglio has supported the social justice ethos of Latin American Catholicism, including a robust defense of the poor…” and approvingly quotes him as saying, “We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.”
[T]he age old answer to the question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is, “Yes.” But the answer to the question, “Is the Pope capitalist?” is, “Probably not.”
Here’s someone who thinks the Pope got it exactly right:
+1 RT @Pontifex: My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 2, 2013
Memo to the Pope: When Matthew Yglesias agrees with you about economics policy, it’s not a good sign.