The discussion is certainly on-going among the 220 opinion leaders who attended and spoke at Acton’s December 3 Rome conference In Dialogue with Laudato Si’: Can Free Markets Help Us Care for Our Common Home?
The Institute’s Rome office had hoped that the “dialogue” would continue well past the conference itself – within the Vatican, its pontifical universities and mass media – after heated discussion erupted over what is magisterium and debatable opinion in encyclical letters. When discussing environmental issues treated by Francis in Laudato Si’, questions focused especially on technical matters related to economics and the material sciences as well as calling into question the expert secular counsel the Vatican often seeks to inform itself in areas of prudential judgment.
One of the panelists invited to the debate, economist Philip Booth of England’s St Mary’s University and Institute of Economic Affairs, was particularly outspoken about the pope’s own criticism of the financial industry and so-called manipulation of global food prices. (more…)