VIDEO: Fr. Sirico of Acton Institute reacts to Evangelii gaudium

Fr. Robert Sirico of Acton Institute has a video with a reaction to Pope Francis’ Evangelii gaudium.  He has sincere questions for the Pope.

This is useful.

Also useful is a short excerpt from the series Poverty Cure which explores the possibilities of micro-capital to help people rise of poverty without harming their dignity.  Find that video HERE.


Also Fr. Sirico produced a book entitled Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.He makes good points.

Hardback HERE, Kindle HERE. (UK HERE). If you don’t have a Kindle yet, consider getting one.  I love mine.

One of Fr. Sirico’s great strengths is his ability to write with clarity and concision which enables me, decidedly not an economist, to follow easily what he is talking about.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lin says:

    Interesting commentary. Good intentions do not end poverty. Enterprise and freedom end poverty. When are our liberal friends ever going to understand this concept. They continue to go down the same rabbit hole. Common sense has become very uncommon! Our government (taxes) pays farmers to not farm as a form of price support, when we would be better off using the tax money to buy the farm products for the truly poor and needy. It would kill two birds with one stone. End land owners who never intended to farm, from getting free money and issue food instead of money to those who truly need it. Our current approach to aid, does very little to eliminate poverty.

  2. av8er says:

    This was a perfect follow up from the preceding post.

  3. Pingback: Evangelii Gaudium and Acton | Opus Publicum

  4. donato2 says:

    The tone that Fr. Sirico adopted to critique the apostolic exhortation was pitch perfect.

  5. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Yes, Father Sirico makes excellent points with tactful, respectful restraint.

    As he rightly says, where are the unhampered markets? Everywhere they are interfered with by the state: incompetent and often mischievous interference, with an elaborate and expensive tax-funded regulatory framework (a hypocritical fig-leaf) constantly subverted by self-serving government manipulation.

    In Britain – for example – this can be seen in the deliberate creation ten years ago of a large urban colony of the permanently workless, bribed with benefits; the deliberate large-scale importing of low-cost foreign labour to do the work of the ‘workless’; and the growth of a bloated state client-payroll – with all these three sectors being cajoled into voting for the party in power at that time.
    Recently we have seen a flagrantly deliberate inflationary manipulation of property prices by the other of our two major parties (the one now in power) with the same short-term electoral end in view – although this time the bribe is aimed at other social sectors: this ‘policy’ of asset-inflation is so mistaken as to lead pretty inevitably to a further crash two years from now or sooner.

    There are further gross examples of state distortion in the energy markets, but this post is long enough already.

    In all these cases, the state has and had the power to lead, to direct, to guide, to channel. In all these cases it has blatantly abused that power or lazily let it sleep, and then (depending on which party) either blamed the dire consequences on ‘capitalism’, or refused to focus on any causation at all. ‘Just one of those things. Lessons to be learnt.’

    It is not enough to assume (as the Holy Father seems to) that the role of the state is benign but hindered by untrammelled capitalism. The state is not benign, as successive popes pointed out a century ago and more. It is not the ‘invisible hand of the markets’ (a cliché I was sorry to see in this papal letter) but the increasingly and deliberately invisible hand of the state that is the problem.

  6. Eric says:

    I read somewhere that pope Francis recently said his favorite book is “The Betrothed” by Alasandro Manzoni.

    There are several instances in that book of government “regulators” making economic situations much worse by their meddling. Manzoni, in that book, comes across as being on the side of less “fettered” markets.

    Maybe the pope should reread it.

  7. Maria says:

    Education centered on God will help solve poverty. Sad to say that the most countries experiencing deep poverty are run by catholic leadership.

    Give fish and then teach how to fish … but sometimes, people does not want to fish because they are already so deep into dependency of “other people’s” charitable act.

  8. Deacon Augustine says:

    This is a very pertinent and respectful analysis of some of the Pope’s comments on the markets and economic policy. I think part of the problem of the Latin American liberation theology approach to economic systems is that everything is viewed in terms of “structural sin”, and not enough attention is given to personal sin which is usually at the root of the failure of markets to operate justly. Markets are not autonomous systems remote from human influence – markets consist of people and are merely the aggregate effects of their collective herd behaviour.

    As somebody who earns his daily crust from the financial markets, I can only agree with Fr. Sirico’s comments about “Where are these unfettered markets?” 60-80% of my time is taken up with satisfying unproductive regulatory requirements and as the burdens of regulation increase, the costs of gaining access to the markets escalate exponentially. After the last bout of retail regulation in the UK, we are now experiencing a situation where financial advice and access to the markets is becoming unaffordable for an increasing majority of the population. Excess regulation and bad regulation can be a contributory cause to poverty.

    Vecchio di Londra, I agree with much of what you say, but there is an error in your assumption that our regulatory framework in the UK is tax-funded. It is not so in the case of financial regulation. The PRA and FCA are funded by the financial services industry which means that ultimately they are funded by the consumers of financial services products i.e. everybody who has a pension, an insurance policy, a savings or investment plan, or a bank account. These bodies operate with de facto autonomy from the government – their budgets are above scrutiny and their actions are de facto above the law and beyond the competency of government bodies to control. They are necessary to maintain the integrity of markets and to bring fraudsters and manipulators of the markets to justice, but they are effectively unaccountable for the consequences of their own actions with respect to the markets. Regulation has been the outstanding boom-industry since the credit crunch, but is itself unregulated!

  9. Pingback: PopeWatch: Father Robert Sirico | The American Catholic

  10. Lin says:

    Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Father Robert A. Sirico is a good read.

  11. Pingback: More on Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel -

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