Ds. Robert Sirico: Pope Francis makes an enemy of the poor's best friend—the free market

It’s a question Pous Franciskus brought to the forefront on World Food Day in a series of twiets. “The fight against hunger demands we overcome the cold logic of the market,” the pope tweeted, “which is greedily focused on mere economic profit and the reduction of food to a commodity, and strengthening the logic of solidarity.


But without a mark, how do we feed anyone?

Ja, die Christian community must call for human nourishment. But the pope’s anti-market message leaves many wondering how food to nourish the hungry will be produced. Pope Francis’s message juxtaposes two contrasting approaches to the scandal of hunger: one expresses such solidarity and another builds businesses that attempt to meet the needs of hungry people.

In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus poses a dilemma to the religious leaders of his day. It is the story of a father who sends two sons into his vineyard to work. The first declines the command, but changes his mind and goes out to the vineyard. The second promptly replies that he will work, but never does.

Jesus asks: Which son did the will of the father? Natuurlik, it is the first son—the one who accomplished what his father commanded.

The underlying effect of the text is to marginalize the religious leaders of his day who professed to be accomplishing the word of God, but who never did the work. Jesus’s indictment is clear: To his mind, it was the very marginalized ones—the tax collectors and the prostitutes (might we include capitalists here?)”—who are entering the kingdom of God ahead of the pious do-gooders professing God’s mission.

The market system feeds more hungry people today than ever before in the history of the world

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