Michael Sean Winters has a helpful and well-done summary of Pope Benedict XVI’s political and social teaching at the NCR website. A snippet:
In Caritas in Veritate he noted the ways capitalism fails at its core and in its ethical demands. The market requires competition, not solidarity. It lionizes self-assertion, not self-surrender, and it values thrift and frugality, not gratuitousness and generosity. The market’s heroes are self-made men. But, as Benedict taught, Christians are called to follow Jesus, whose entire life was an act of solidarity, who never asserted himself but always self-surrendered to the will of the Father, whose grace is never thrifty or frugal but gratuitous, always a bit surprising, never stingy. Most obviously, Jesus was not a “self-made man.” Benedict, like previous popes, did not propose a specific economic system, but his critique of modern capitalism, root and branch, was stinging. Why did this never garner much in the way of headlines?
Read the full piece here.