Writing at National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen, Jr. has an insightful take on the recently issued document by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.” Allen discerns in the document the influence of Catholic thinking in the southern hemisphere. Here’s a few paragraphs (but read the whole thing):
Focusing on how much papal muscle the note can flex . . . , risks ignoring what is at least an equally revealing question: Whatever you make of it, does the note seem to reflect important currents in Catholic social and political thought anywhere in the world?
The answer is yes, and it happens to be where two-thirds of the Catholics on the planet today live: the southern hemisphere, also known as the developing world.
It’s fitting that the Vatican official responsible for the document is an African, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, because it articulates key elements of what almost might be called a “southern consensus.” One way of sizing up the note’s significance, therefore, is as an indication that the demographic transition long under way in Catholicism, with the center of gravity shifting from north to south, is being felt in Rome.