Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor: ‘Capitalism is dead’
Any Christian should know that death is not the end. But this has not prevented the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster from declaring that, just as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 killed off Communism on , so the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008 sounds the death knell of capitalism.
And this he announced at a lavish black-tie, four-course, champagne reception in the palace that is Claridges – at which Sir Rocco Forte personally oversaw the decoration of the ballroom with red flowers and red lights ‘to match the Cardinal's clerical outfit’ - appealing to the great and the good (Catholicism’s wealthiest capitalists) for £3 million to restore his cathedral ‘which he fears will be forced to close within a decade if cash is not found for urgent repairs’, and £8 million ‘for the work of the bishops in England and Wales’.
£8 million to support a load of theologically ineffectual, spiritually inept and politically naïve bishops? There may be one or two exceptions who are fearless in their challenges to this Labour Government, but even they do not merit £8 million.
The Cardinal gives the impression that God has judged the entire economic order and found it wanting. And so he has sent destruction and chaos. But this is the theology of a Catholic Socialist, and his ‘carefully considered thesis’ is itself in need of judgement, for it is also wanting.
He said just last month: ‘Religious leaders are not normally economists, however, they cannot ignore the damaging human consequences of the rise and fall of economic indicators. Behind the gloomy headlines are cities, neighbourhoods, families, individuals deeply affected by the economic breakdown; and the hardest hit will be the poor: those already struggling to survive. Christians have a paramount concern for the poor. This "preferential option for the poor" is a constant theme in Catholic social teaching.’
He could have stopped after ‘Religious leaders are not normally economists…’, but since he proceeded to talk of the virtues of Catholic social teaching, perhaps His Eminence might be kind enough to provide Cranmer with an example of where application of the teaching has lifted the poor out of poverty.
Has His Eminence read Weber? Has he considered the Christian origins of Western capitalism? Does he understand the advantages of the Anglo-Saxon economic model? Has he ever studied such developments as corporatism, social doctrine, or interventionist statism? Has the Lord imparted to him the precise formula of co-operation between employers and workers, with the state overseeing wages, working conditions, production, prices and exchange?
He will find, if he bothers to research, that wherever poverty has been most effectively addressed in the world it has been through the outworking of the principles of capitalism. And it is only when capitalism is drenched in regulation and artificially controlled through state intervention (= Catholic social teaching) that it ceases to function as God intended. The Catholic Social EU is exemplary of its economic inefficiencies and moral shortcomings.
Capitalism is not dead.
It is wounded.
And it has been so by Socialists, corrupt bankers, the Left-dominated media, and the greed in the heart of man.
But there will be a resurrection.
Though Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor may not live to see it.