Why Pope Francis Praises Entrepreneurs but Condemns Speculators


National Catholic Register, 14 June 2017

The distinction may offer a way to understand the role of finance in developing an economy aimed at integral human development.

The answers that Pope Francis gave to workers at a steel plant in Genoa, Italy, last monthsuggested an important distinction in the Holy Father’s economic thinking, one that addresses the increasing importance of the financial sector in the contemporary economy.

In meeting the workers of the Ilva steel factory May 27, Pope Francis had asked for the questions in advance, so that he might better prepare his answers.

He touched on a range of topics, especially emphasizing that employment is not only a means of income, but an essential means of contributing to the common good. He also spoke against competition in the workplace, criticizing “meritocracy” as a way of thinking that blames the poor as “undeserving.”

Yet it was his comments on entrepreneurs and speculators that were most notable, in terms of understanding his broader economic thinking.

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