I remember once reading an author who began by saying that he wasn’t a big fan of Paul. I was offended by that because I thought, “Who are you to pronounce yourself a non-fan of Paul? Furthermore, who cares whether you’re a fan of Paul?”
I say this because I have been reading Caritas in Veritate by Pope Benedict. As I read, I find I agree and disagree with different portions of it. I can imagine a Catholic saying, “Who are you to disagree with the Pope? And who cares, Protestant boy?” I am very sensitive to that sentiment.
The quick version is this. The pope is very impressive as he writes about the nature of knowledge. He has very clearly grasped that the way we view knowledge is unnecessarily stunted and frankly, unworkable.
The part that brings me up a little short is the way he writes about economics. There are some very substantial insights there about how capitalism has a tendency to undermine its own foundations. At the same time, however, he seems to be hinting at the kind of social programs and employment guarantees that have often proved harmful to the development of productive lives by whole groups of human beings.
I continue to work my way through the document which is fairly heavy lifting.