I grew up Catholic. I seriously considered the priesthood. (I liked girls too much.) I have deep respect for the faith. It influenced me profoundly. But for the Pope to come out and warn that libertarianism is something to be concerned with in a world which is completely defined by predatory statism is frankly asinine.
I am Catholic no longer but I remain a Christian. And I am a libertarian. How Pope Francis can say that a philosophy based on non-aggression is cause for concern is troubling. Libertarianism is about non-coercion. It is about live and let live. It is about THE GOLDEN RULE fundamentally.
But Pope Francis, raised up through Peronist Argentina, doesn’t see that the state is the problem, not those who wish to be free and to be left alone. Not those who wish to engage in mutually beneficial relationships and to think for themselves. Francis instead places faith in the state, and believes apparently that coercive statism can create a more just world.
To think this way is just, and I say this with respect, a reflection of deep ignorance. But state veneration is not new for the Catholic Church sadly.
“I cannot fail to speak of the grave risks associated with the invasion of the positions of libertarian individualism at high strata of culture and in school and university education,” the Pope said in an message sent to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences meeting in the Vatican and subsequently shared with Breitbart News.
“A common characteristic of this fallacious paradigm is that it minimizes the common good, that is the idea of ‘living well’ or the ‘good life’ in the communitarian framework,” Francis said, while at the same time exalting a “selfish ideal.”
Members of the Pontifical Academy are currently engaged in a workshop bearing the title “Towards a Participatory Society: New Roads to Social and Cultural Integration,” which began Friday and will run through May 2.
I will address these ideas in the following video post.