[Father] Sirico, however, told CNBC in an interview that free markets are wrongly conflated with the urge to splurge on goods, or idolizing material wealth. Capitalism, Sirico insisted, is far more than that.
“The economic question with regard to morality is a subset of a broader theological question: Is human freedom compatible with religious beliefs?” said Sirico, the head the Acton Institute, a right-leaning think tank that studies the nexus between religion and liberty.
Sirico expressed broad agreement with the Pope on those left behind, but at the same time said laissez-faire capitalism and entrepreneurship is still the best way to address the challenges of poverty and economic need.
“If you love the poor, it’s not enough to have good intentions,” he said. “You can wish the poor to have bread, but if you don’t build bakeries and factories, the poor don’t get it.”