It seems the Catholic church has moved into the 21st century with the addition of a few new, and decidedly modern, sins. The new sins on the block are:
- Environmental pollution;
- Genetic manipulation;
- Accumulating excessive wealth;
- Inflicting poverty;
- Drug trafficking and consumption;
- Morally debatable experiments; AND,
- Violation of fundamental rights of human nature.
I don’t want to be an alarmist, but this sounds like awfully bad news for Catholic economists. Who wants to be the first to say that there’s an ‘optimal’ level of pollution in the environment? The large swathe of economists who support cutting the top tax rate might be in trouble, too. As for the development economists who constructed the IMF’s structural adjustment programmes… well, they probably inflict poverty, pollution and conduct morally debatable experiments in the eyes of some.
Has the Catholic church become anti-economics? The Positive Economist suggests that perhaps the church’s position goes further and in actually anti-scientific and anti-capitalist! This may all sound like a laugh to some but, when an influential religious institution moves from the more liberal position of Pope John Paul II to an implicit condemnation of many scientific endeavours, one should take note and be concerned.