Catholic Charities’ Father Snyder calls for new values base in American economy

Father Larry Snyder (CNS/Paul Haring)

One of the more interesting blogs in cyberspace rolling out recently is that of Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA.

His “Think and Act Anew” blog offers food for thought on the status of poverty in the United States today.

The blog is part of Catholic Charities’ campaign to cut U.S. poverty in half by 2020.

In his latest post, under the headline “Collateral Damage,” Father Snyder calls for a new values base in the country, one where the common values of caring for one another replaces the “greed is good” mantra that has existed on Wall Street for the last 30 years. 

Quoting from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), Father Snyder reminds American society that “the social element must be embodied in the economic one so that the market becomes an instrument of civilization once again. We need big, innovative ideas about how to meld our market economy with the common good so as to avoid collateral damage in the future.”

Inspiring words to ponder and act upon as the economy slowly emerges from a long, deep recession.

10 Responses

  1. too bad you can’t personally send this to all the elected officials callng themselves “Catholics”

  2. I see nothing “inspiring” in this vague, all-too-predictable blather. What are his ” big, innovative ideas about how to meld our market economy with the common good”?

  3. I agree with Paul’s comment, above. If creating a “values based economy” was as simple as coming up with “big, innovative ideas” we would have solved this problem centuries ago. But it’s not simple. Take the most complicated aspects of mathematics, add the most complicated aspects of psychology, and throw in the near-impossibility of trying to predict the future and you’ve got an idea of how difficult economics can be. Perhaps Father Snyder could help us find a solution by getting a better understanding of what the problem is.

  4. Father Snyder’s proposed action is good. Some folk have the wrong idea. Since all the faithful, not just the ordained all called to influence and transform the temporal order by witnessing to the faith, those who buy his arguments should take it to politicians and others who are not living consistent with the faith.

    Responding at Father Snyder suggests is not easy and some are looking for a quick, easy answer. To those of us who are looking for quick and easy, it is good to remember that we were called to be faithful, which is a call to a joyful but not an easy life.

    peace & joy of the Easter season to all

  5. To meld our market economy with the common good we need laws/regulations that somehow control money and power (i.e. banks and lobbyists) for the benefit of us tax-paying Americans and not for the private greed of a new oligarchy, which we presently have. As we have sadly seen, Congress is controlled by lobbyists. And they are effectively destroying the “golden goose”-the US.

  6. Fr.synder has a very important message if only we can take time to reflect about it. ask yourself what you have done to change this in your little ways.

  7. So, what are the ideas of the President of Catholic Charities USA? All I see are platitudes.

  8. Here’s a big innovative idea. Focus on motivating our young people to stay in school, work hard to learn, not get pregnant and then continue to use their talent and sweat to support themselves and their families. People aren’t pouring across our borders because there’s a lack of opportunity here. They’re coming for the opposite reason. Some advocate artificial markets and stifling regulation. I say they do so at their own peril and unfortunately everyone else’s as well. Those of us in the 40 to 50 or above age range have certainly observed the futility of social regulation and welfare statism. Work hard, produce, support yourself. Become goal oriented and build a life for yourself . These ideals will benefit individuals as well as society at large. Charities should help people get out of trouble, but unless they follow through to the productivity goal, the assistance will be in vain. And going further, If they don’t follow through, they’re not worthy of our contributions. Being successful and accumulating the means to take care of oneself through personal hard work, is not being greedy.

  9. Well I will be 68 co this Monday, but I am not speaking just for the 60 to 70’s crowd but for all human kind. I am also speaking as a Catholic who is or has been a manager in both industrial and federal level, international negotiator, business owner, engineer, innovator, etc. Most importantly, I also speak as a husband, father and grandfather.

    I am in total agreement Father Snyder way of thinking though I do not agree with the choice of words (i.e. value base). I would have said “Principle Based”. Dr. Stephen Covey tells us that different people can have different values which is dependent on their individual centers. So values can then be flawed unless they are rooted on Principles. Principles, or as I like to call then, Laws of Human Interaction, or as the Catholic Church calls them, Natural Laws, by the very definition of laws are changeless and as Dr. Covey says are self evident to each and every one of us.

    However with that bit of clarification, I consider Father Snyder to be a voice of great insight and wisdom worthy of our esteem and respect. Not only is what he is saying absolutely essential for sound economic policies and performances, it is also essential for good governance, and ultimately world peace. This very concept is expressed in the following web site dedicated to “The Road to World Peace”:

    http://www.OurRoadtoWorldPeace.com/road_to_peace.htm

    As the matter of fact the framers of the constitution of the United States of America had this vision of a principled centered governance in mind as they authored the constitution. I suggest all of you read “The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen. He does an excellent job of getting into the minds and souls of our founding fathers.

    What Father Snyder suggests is so simple yet so essential for the possible survival of society as we know it. All of us need to set out sights high and spare no effort in working to achieve this reachable vision. This ideal could not be better expressed than by the great Doctor Victor Frankl in the following short speech in the 1970’s:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html

    This man see the real hope in human kind especially our young in spite of his personally experiencing the worst of human nature in his stay in the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Dr. Frankl inspired many a great mind to include Dr. Stephen Covey.

    Please listen and act on the message of Father Snyder!!!!

  10. interesting…but is it real or nice words. after many years of trying to live the teachings of christ, be a good and devoted catholic,mother,daughter,sister,friend, a lifetime of being a hospice nurse (donating to catholic charities small amounts of money, but it was all i could give), at the age of 60, i found myself hopeless and coming to the end ability to hang on..i am one of the walking wounded suffering from ptsd and injured and extrem;y painful back, ..i reached out to catholic charities for help, hoping for help with food and/or basics of life, (wood for the winter), but mostly emotional support,maybe even real thearpy, i met a nice lady, who gave me 50.00 grocery coupons a little sack of food but first she asked me a load of questions, and she spent most of the interview filling out her forms, that seemed to be her main object of the meeting.
    throuugh my tears i asked her if there was any psch. help i could get to try and get back on my feet.she said she knew of nothing that could help me, i asked maybe a parish member who would donate some time for me. she knew of no one, said she would check out if there was anything and let me know………i never heard from her again, and one little bit more of hope slips away….

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