When Pope Francis wrote in his apostolic letter The Joy of the Gospel that the economy of the West is one that "kills," he was immediately labeled by some as a Marxist. Criticisms came fast and furious, not only from financial columnists and conservative cable personalities, but also from some Catholic commentators, especially in the United States.
In This Economy Kills, two of the most respected journalists covering the Vatican today explore the pope's teaching and witness on the topic: the ways it relates to other topics like war, the environment, and family life; its connections to the teaching of his predecessors; and the criticism it has generated, especially from the direction of the United States. This fascinating book includes the full text of an extended interview the authors conducted with Francis on the topic of capitalism and social justice, appearing here in English for the first time.
This Economy Kills is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Pope Francis's convictions about the world we live in and the way he believes Christians are called to shape it.
Andrea Tornielli is among the foremost journalists in the world on matters related to the Vatican. He writes for the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa and is editor of the website Vatican Insider. He is the author of several books, including Francis: Pope of a New World.
Giacomo Galeazzi covers the Vatican for the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa and the website Vatican Insider.
This Economy Kills settles an important question in the papacy of Pope Francis: are his radical economics in keeping with the tradition of the Church? And if so, why do they seem to cause upset among American conservatives? For Tornielli and Galeazzi, veteran Vatican reporters, the answer is clear: Pope Francis' theology is absolutely in keeping with predecessors from the Desert Fathers to the most recent popes, and his economics represent the application of this timeless theology to our most pressing contemporary problems. Understanding Pope Francis' approach to modern economic ills will be key to understanding his papacy-but his contributions to global dialogue on poverty and inequality will be integral to galvanizing people worldwide for change. Tornielli and Galeazzi narrate these aspects of Francis' message expertly, and their insights could not be more timely.
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, The New Republic
Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi are among the most informed journalists covering the Vatican today, and this book finds them at their best. It's a must-read primer on Pope Francis' social thought, and sets the table better than almost anything else for his trip to the United States.
John L. Allen Jr., Associate Editor, the Boston Globe and Crux
When money, instead of man, is at the center of the system, when money becomes an idol, men and women are reduced to simple instruments of a social and economic system, which is characterized-or better yet, dominated-by profound inequalities. . . . The promise was that when the glass became full, it would spill over and the poor would benefit. But, instead, when it was full, the glass magically got bigger and nothing trickled down to the poor.
Pope Francis, from the interview included in This Economy Kills
Tornielli and Galeazzi bring into focus one of Pope's Francis's fundamental concerns. They are meticulous in probing his writings and pronouncements on economic and financial matters, concern for the poor, defense of creation, and the big business of war. They also look seriously at the Pope's toughest critics. But the real value of this book is that Tornielli and Galeazzi bring us into an almost personal dialogue with Pope Francis-especially through an exclusive interview-and help us see how his authentic concern for all people, especially those who are poor and forgotten, is at the heart of his ministry.
Robert Mickens, Editor, Global Pulse Magazine
The book provides readers with the background in church social teaching they need to understand what the pope is saying. And, best of all, Tornielli and Galeazzi let Pope Francis speak for himself, presenting here the full text of an interview with the pope precisely on his comments about the economy.
Cindy Wooden, Rome Bureau Chief, Catholic News Service
This book should remind us all that care for the poor and forgotten is at the heart of the gospel and Christian mission.
John Molyneux, CMF, Editor-in-Chief, US Catholic
This Economy Kills provides a valuable window into Pope Francis's sophisticated understanding of Catholic social teaching, the economy, and the signs of the times.
Meghan Clark, Author of The Vision of Catholic Social Thought
This Economy Kills includes a new interview with the Pope and is recommended for Christian and social issues holdings alike. In including reviews of other popes and their attitudes, it successfully contrasts belief systems and theology and provides the kind of social analysis that will lend well to Christian understanding and, ultimately, a greater understanding of the pope's unique attitude towards political and social structures today.
The Midwest Book Review