A future “conservative” Catholic blog post
August 10, 2018 § 41 Comments
Is he going beyond his authority? Is he changing the catechism and breaking with centuries of church teaching? Is it true that if he does this he can do most anything? Rod Dreher over here seems to think so.
I’m not so sure.
The classic example is the Catholic teaching against usury. In the Middle Ages the church taught that usury was a sin. It was argued that it was a sin because it was un natural. It used money to make money rather than honestly selling goods and services. Furthermore, it was invariably seen as a way for rich people to oppress the poor through high interest rates.
However, in the modern world the practice of lending money is far more complex and it is arguable that the money lender is indeed honestly selling a service–making loans. Furthermore, with loans being available to everyone, rather than oppressing the poor it is arguable that the poor are empowered by being able to borrow. They can get an education they could not otherwise afford and purchase things on credit to improve their lives. Is money lending still abused? Of course, but that’s not the main question.
When it comes to the death penalty the real change happened not with Pope Francis, but with Pope John Paul II.