Dr Samuel Gregg’s special report:
Poverty, Politics, and the Church in Pope Francis’s Argentina. Argentina is trying to break with 70 years of populism, corruption, and general economic decline. But in the age of the Argentine pope, what role will the Church play in this process?
Some of the same reform-minded Catholics, however, also mentioned that Pope Francis’s undisguised skepticism about economic liberalization and markets in general—which they describe as having become more rhetorically-charged and even radicalized since his election to Peter’s Chair—is helping fuel populist opposition to long-overdue changes.
They—and I—doubt this is the pope’s intention. Nevertheless, they point to speeches such as Francis’s remarks to the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia last year, delivered while sitting next to Bolivia’s arch-populist president Evo Morales. Such remarks, they claim, provide cover for Argentina’s own career-populists: people who, for all their talk about defending el pueblo, oppose any meaningful change to a status-quo that maintains their power but which has steadily eroded the Argentine economy’s ability to lift the poor out of their misery.
Read the whole thing.