(FT) Vatican finance chief sings praises of free markets

(FT) Cardinal George Pell (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)©AP

Cardinal George Pell

A senior cardinal chosen by Pope Francis to manage the Vatican’s finances has launched into a spirited defence of free markets, countering the perception that the Catholic church under the Argentine pontiff has turned against capitalism and business.

George Pell, the head of the Holy See’s secretariat for the economy, told a conference hosted by The Global Foundation in Rome on Sunday that “no better model is available at the moment” than market economies, citing their capacity to “rejuvenate” after the Great Depression and recent global financial crisis, and their failure to produce the “massive alienation” predicted by Karl Marx.

“I like to quote Maggie Thatcher who pointed out that if the Good Samaritan had been without capital he could not have paid for the care of the man who was beaten and robbed on the road to Jericho,” he said, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Financial Times. He went on to add: “We may have too much sugar in our society, such as consumerism, but we are not being poisoned by deserts of salt.”Vatican-finance-chief-sings-praises-of-free-markets-FT