In the second Millennial at Distinctly Catholic post, Christopher Hale writes:
In short, Francis isn’t a socialist, capitalist, or any other political or economic label, but a radical Christian who takes Jesus Christ’s command to exclude no one and put the poor first seriously. With that being said, there is room for some measure of socialism within the Christian worldview.
Ironically, Benedict XVI — wrongly mischaracterized as a hardline conservative — made the best defense of Sanders’ democratic socialism in a 2006 essay for First Things. In it, Benedict argues that democratic socialism provided a third alternative to the radical left-wing and right-wing political movements that dominated Europe in the 20th century.
“In many respects,” Benedict argues, “Democratic socialism was and is close to Catholic social doctrine and has in any case made a remarkable contribution to the formation of a social consciousness.”
Of course, socialism isn’t without its limitations. There are strands of socialism, particularly in Europe, that too often value the collective good of society over the well-being of individual persons. In the Christian worldview, those are false dichotomies. We value both the individual person and society. In short, we’re called to care for each person and all persons.
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