Cardinal Cupich on Catholics Who Use Libertarianism to Distort Catholic Teaching

Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

via Brian Roewe:

As Catholics and other people of faith take measures to better safeguard the environment, they must be aware of the opposing tides they’re up against, including libertarian strains within their own flocks, said Cardinal Blase Cupich during a recent webinar.

Cupich said that while Catholic and other religions’ teachings make clear that caring for creation is central to the practice of the faith, there are many people of faith who “reinterpret the tradition in a way that is more in tune with a libertarian understanding of life and the economy.” That worldview, he said, has limited some people from delving into the message of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”

“The command in Genesis to go and make fruitful and multiply for some has been reduced to ‘Go and dominate creation for your own good, for our own profit,’ ” Cupich said. “And I think that that is the real challenge that we as leaders of faith have with our people, because in fact there are people of faith who are not faithful to that tradition.”

He continued, “It is really up to us to challenge how so many believing people, faith-filled people, have bought into a libertarian notion of the world and the economy as something that we are to dominate for our own profit,” without considering the consequences “not just for the created order and material world, but also for how humanity is organized and how it contributes to human flourishing. So that is a real challenge for us.”

The event marked the latest critique of libertarianism by Cupich. In 2014, he was among the participants at the first “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism” event at the Catholic University of America. There, the cardinal said that Francis and libertarians offer “two compellingly different pathways for humanity at this moment in history.”