We must manage economy, argues Hondouran cardinal

The economy is a human creation, so humans have the responsibility to manage it in a way that benefits the most people, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of the Church’s aid and development agency Caritas Internationalis and co-ordinator of Pope Francis’ nine-man council of cardinal-advisers.

“The economy is not a god. We have to have the courage to put it in its place”, Cardinal Maradiaga said at the launch of Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, by Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi.”

The cardinal said he has often been told priests should stay in the sacristy and keep their noses out of discussions about the economy, but countered that as a pastor who deals daily with people suffering the impact of poverty, he felt obliged to study economics.

Economic activity, like every human activity, has a moral and ethical dimension, he argued, calling on Catholics to find the strength at least to question the current system, saying that “If the economy is for the human person and it’s not working, then it must change. But the voice of the people must call for it.”

The book’s title is inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, which says: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”