Our two new saints

20 October 2018 | The Tablet

In the 1960s and 1970s the Four Asian Tigers – South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong – found the path to prosperity and peace: control population growth and use the market economy, capitalism, the world economic system. Their success was so great that soon China and most other countries in the Far East followed their example and prosperity and peace are spreading across the whole region.

Catholic leaders who also search for prosperity and  peace, have taken the opposite view. By his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae banning the use of artificial contraception Pope Paul VI made it impossible to control population growth, whilst in Latin America and elsewhere Liberation Theologians, including Oscar Romero, denounced capitalism and the world economic system. Consequently, in those developing countries in which Catholicism is influential poverty continues and conflict is common.

Those heart warming tributes to our new saints in your edition of 13 October make it clear how Pope Paul and Archbishop Romero longed to bring prosperity and peace. It is a  tragedy for the Church and the poor that they didn’t know how to do it.

Gerald Danaher