The pope, the “world” and that funeral for the social doctrine of the Church

We had long understood that Pope Bergoglio was fascinated (a correspondence of amorous senses) by the celebrities of economic power, secular culture and show business. This pontiff is so surprisingly in tune with the times, so "pop" and fashionable, so "open", ecumenical, transversal, easy and smart that we are reminded of the famous warning of Jesus ("Be in the world, but not of the world "); declined, however, on the contrary. Which, of course, does not mean at all that he is a little "ecclesiastical" pope.

After all, the Church in two thousand years of history has been able to adapt in a chameleon-like and ductile way to any contingency and to the most varied circumstances. Maybe you could call it a different Christian, but it's a matter of taste. However, one detail led us to trust in his residual evangelical connotation: the social question. Often, Pope Francis has been recounted as a worthy adversary of capitalist degenerations. In short, a point of reference for those who still refuse to accept the logic of the only possible world: the globe of techno-finance, of the subjection of the public to the private sector, of the domain of anonymous and trans-national capitals, of the decline of concepts old, nineteenth-century (and yet so wonderfully "social") as "people" and "nation".

Now, however, we can finally say that it was only an illusion: this pope is not only partially, but entirely the son of his time; as well as a complete expression, at the curial summits, of the spirit of an era. This is confirmed by Mario Draghi's call to the Pontifical Academic of Social Sciences. Coopting someone like Draghi means sharing his lines of thought, of course.

To get to know them in detail (and Bergoglio knows them very well) you just need to resurrect the famous letter of 2011 signed by the then president, Jean Claude Trichet, and the future number one of Eurotower, Mario Draghi. There was all the quintessence of the triumphant neoliberal and Ordo-liberal logic today. You find us in the budget balance, spending cuts, increasing the retirement age for women, reducing pensions, horizontal cuts in discretionary spending, performance indicators in public administration, the merger or abolition of administrative bodies intermediates (such as provinces and municipalities).

In addition – despite the space bale on the so-called "independence" and "third party" of the ECB compared to national governments – the warm advice to Berlusconi's executive to approve the whole package by decree law, within a month and, possibly, consolidating it with a nice constitutional reform. That letter is the unsurpassed bignami of an economic-social conception in antithesis not only with the "socialist" and "popular" constitutions of many European states of the twentieth century (those, so to speak, to be scrapped as soon as possible, according to JP Morgan), but also and above all with a century of Christian thought at least in the matter of economics and society.

Here, Bergoglio's last choice can be considered as the funeral of the social doctrine of the Church. That it was officiated by the bishop of Rome will perhaps make a little impression on traditionalist Catholics. But all the other aficionados of Jorge Mario can only give pleasure. The lovers of this Order of Things will be able to exclaim, breathing a sigh of relief: the social doctrine of the Church is dead and no longer struggles against us.

Francesco Carraro

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This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Sat, 11 Jul 2020 16:30:08 +0000.