Friday, May 3, 1991

Papal Encyclical Urges Capitalism to Shed Injustices

Peter Steinfels reported in The New York Times, May 3, 1991.
...The encyclical, "Centesimus Annus" ("The Hundredth Year"), includes the fullest, and in many ways the most positive, treatment of the market economy in any papal document. But praise is typically followed with qualifications and ringing reminders about economic failures in both developing and developed countries.


As often with papal documents, different parties in the church said they believed that the encyclical provided support for their viewpoint. Richard John Neuhaus, a neo-conservative theologian and writer, said yesterday that the encyclical challenged the premises of the American bishops' 1986 pastoral on the American economy, citing the Pope's affirmation of capitalism and economic growth.

Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, who presided over the drafting of the pastoral, said, "The Pope's approach to capitalism is exactly the one we took, to accept its good qualities but also to insist that it needs to be controlled and limited by other forces in society outside it." ...