What does Pope Francis' emerging approach to economics mean for tax policy in Australia?

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Abstract

One of the most interesting, but less discussed, aspects of the pontificate of Pope Francis, now in its third year, is his emerging critical dialogue with economics. In his theological and pastoral statements, Pope Francis has already demonstrated a key interest in what we can call political economy. We must first accept that Francis' views on political economy are emerging and the emergence is a function of the way the man operates personally. His method contrasts to the approach taken by his immediate predecessors. Pope St John Paul II wrote sophisticated works of theology and philosophy seeking to engage the economic world with influence. Benedict XVI focused on creating a theological discussion between faith and reason. Francis seems to prefer to focus on a praxis of engagement which emphasises a pastoral and deeply spiritual connection with all people, especially those who are marginalised. His method of dialogue is fresh, effusive and warm. By personality, and probably by virtue of his natural Latino temperament, he tends to like to speak freely from the heart. So it is important to weigh his thoughts, and seek central themes rather than to focus on a particular statement in isolation, written or spoken. However, Francis has entered this debate with some force. There can be no doubt that he presents a kerygmatic challenge and call for metanoia to the economic community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalSt Mark's Review
Volume235
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2016

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