The Catholic Church, The Fall of Communism and Now Facebook

Ever the economist, my return to my Catholic roots began with Pope John Paul II and his crusade against communism.  His forceful stance on what seemed like an economic issue peaked my interest to learn more.  Of course, communism is about more than economics since it also seeks to sever man’s relationship with God–which never ends well, for man at least.

Yet, Pope John Paul II would not have succeeded were it not for his own blend of public outreach that allowed his message to spread beyond his own flock–granted a billion people is nothing to sneeze at.  So it is encouraging to see Pope Benedict XVI continuing his predecessors outreach through the internet.  The church’s first attempt at the Vatican website is more of information repository than anything else.  But now the Vatican has embraced Facebook and, as an extension, Youtube (see video below).

I’ve always thought it would be fascinating to examine the church’s economic teachings through an Austrian framework.  There are quite a few Papal Encyclicals on the subject.  For instance, Pope John Paul II wrote Laborem Exercens in 1981 reflecting on the spirituality of human work.  Which, in turn, is an extension of Rerum Novarum (on capital and labor) by Pope Leo XIII delivered in 1891.

Perhaps I will explore this topic further in the future . . . if there is any interest out there please let me know in the comments.