Church leaders in Christmas criticism of “free” market

Credit is due to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales:

“Christianity neither condemns nor canonises the market economy – it may be an essential element in the conduct of human affairs.

“But we have to remember that it is a system governed by people, not some blind force like gravity.

“Those who operate the market have an obligation to act in ways that promote the common good, not just in ways that promote the interests of certain groups.”

Admitting he was “no expert” in economics, he said he was unable to “ignore the damaging consequences of volatile financial markets” on his fellow human beings.

The Cardinal is clearly not an expert, as he freely admits, but his sincere comments are welcome.

To stop the deepening economic crisis and ensure it is not repeated, we need to extend democratic control into the economy, empowering workers to make decisions within and between enterprises. This means an reversal of privatisation, and a proliferation of worker co-operatives in place of joint-stock corporations. it is apparent to people that the super-rich have no morality, and they must give up their power over our economy.

And credit is due to Archbishop Rowan Williams, leader of the Church of England, who has also been critical of the market madness. He urged solidarity with victims of the recession in his Christmas message:

“In the months ahead it will mean in our own country asking repeatedly what is asked of us locally to care for those who bear the heaviest burdens in the wake of our economic crisis – without waiting for the magical solution, let alone the return of the good times.”

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5 Responses to “Church leaders in Christmas criticism of “free” market”

  1. vicky Says:

    I’ve met Rowan Williams- he’s one of the most shockingly dull people you can imagine.

    But I don’t think the Cardinal guy really gets what Capitalism is: “Those who operate the market have an obligation to act in ways that promote the common good, not just in ways that promote the interests of certain groups”.

  2. vicky Says:

    Errrr, what obligation is that then? …

    Happy holidays!

  3. charliemarks Says:

    Yes, clerics don’t tend to be very lively… Or knowledgeable about the nature of the capitalist system, if the Cardinal is at all reflective.

    Seasons greetings to you Vicky. All the best for 2009!

  4. vicky Says:

    You too, happy blogging!

  5. 4854derrida Says:

    Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/4854derrida

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor


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