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Is the pope a bitcoiner?

Pope Francis has warned against “myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism” in some countries, and a “growing loss of the sense of history” in a major document outlining his view of the world.

Fratelli Tutti – the third encyclical, a pastoral letter addressed to the whole of the Catholic church, of his papacy – was published on Sunday, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, amid global uncertainty and anxiety over the Covid-19 pandemic and rising populism.

In the 45,000-word document, the pope urges nations to work towards a just and fraternal world based on common membership of the human family. He expands on familiar themes in his teachings, including opposition to war, the death penalty, slavery, trafficking, inequality and poverty; concerns about alienation, isolation and social media; and support for migrants fleeing violence and seeking a better life.

Pope Francis had begun writing the encyclical when the pandemic “unexpectedly erupted”. But, he says, the crisis has reinforced his belief that political and economic institutions must be reformed to address the needs of those most harmed by it. The global health emergency has demonstrated that “no one can face life in isolation” and that the “magic theories” of market capitalism have failed.

“Aside from the differing ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident,” Francis writes. “Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.

“The fragility of world systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom. It is imperative to have a proactive economic policy directed at ‘promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity’ and makes it possible for jobs to be created, and not cut.”

Francis says ...

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