Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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When does inequality become unjust? In this week’s Acton Commentary, Jordan Ballor considers that question in the context of Pope Francis’s teachings and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy:

Earlier this week, Pope Francis logged onto his @Pontifex Twitter account to declare that “inequality is the root of social evil.” This was of a piece with his November apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” in which he asserted that “inequality is the root of social ills.” Within the deeper context of his exhortation, it is evident that Francis is not advocating for equality in an absolute sense. He is, rather, discussing the kind of unjust inequality that results from structural evil. In this way, observes Francis, injustice carries within it the seeds of social unrest. This is as true for unjust inequality as it is for unjust equality. For as the formal principle of justice teaches, there is no greater injustice than to treat unequal things equally and equal things unequally. Or as Aristotle put it following Plato, we must “treat like cases as like.”

The full text of his essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.


  • djpeters48

    When Evangelii Gaudium was released late last year, several Acton associates, including Sam Gregg were not very supportive of Pope Francis economic sections. There, Francis offered a broad criticism of the lack of ethics in free market ideology and decried how world globalization was marginalizing millions of the world’s working and poor people. Does this analysis of inequality by Mr Ballor mean that the institute is reconsidering its earlier critique of the holy father?