USC Book Club: This Economy Kills
This Economy Kills
Pope Francis on Capitalism and Social Justice
by Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi
Review: When Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) that the economy of the West is one that “kills,” he was immediately branded a Marxist by some conservative Catholic commentators from the United States. In This Economy Kills, two of the most informed Italian journalists covering the Vatican today explore the pope’s teaching and witness on the topic of the economy, and provide context and background from Catholic social teaching that help us understand what he is saying. Perhaps best of all, they let Francis’ own words speak for him, including an interview in which he addresses capitalism and social justice. This book should remind us all that care for the poor and forgotten is at the heart of the gospel and Christian mission.
—John Molyneux, C.M.F., Editor-in-Chief, U.S. Catholic
Liturgical Press says: This fascinating book includes the full text of an extended interview the authors conducted with Pope Francis on the topic of capitalism and social justice, appearing here in English for the first time.
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The questions that were posed to two interviewees in This Economy Kills: Pope Francis on Capitalism and Social Justice as well as some that were also asked of Pope Francis himself are interesting, challenging, and well worth consideration by any thoughtful Christian, especially those reading the book.
1. Do you share the alarm raised by Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium on the economy that “kills”?
2. Francis has criticized “trickle-down” economic theories and for that reason he was attacked and called a Marxist. Do you agree with these allegations against the pope? Is the pope right or not?
3. Is the most recent form of capitalism, the one in which we are living today, a somewhat irreversible system?
4. Can a more ethical economic system—led by men and women who care about the common good—bring about change and a greater focus on social justice and the redistribution of wealth, or is it also right to hypothesize a restructuring of the system?
5. How important is it for Christians to recover a sense of the protection of creation and sustainable development?
6. Why does a certain part of the U.S. neoconservative world struggle to understand Pope Francis?
7. Do you think that much can be done with a new leadership and the commitment of laypeople who have the confidence to take risks on these issues, even daring to question the system in which we live?
8. In today’s globalized society, what are the possible applications and implications of teachings that are not only social but are at the very heart of the Christian faith?
9. Can the world dominated by finance still be called capitalism? And what relationship does it have, or not have, with the real economy?
10. How can we live as a poor Church and for the poor?