Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Church's business model

Since I first started reading Sandro Magister's work a couple weeks ago, I'd have to say the articles are the most fascinating things I read. The latest from today not only calls upon my religious studies, but my political science/economics studies as well.

Why Ratzinger Is the Right Pope: The Market Explains examines an opinion piece and a rebuttal posted by two prominent economists. The op-ed piece by Luigi Zingales basically starts with the premise that the Church is a business and that due to its shrinking market share, it needs to diversify its product line, find new markets and it alters its products to make them more attractive to consumers.

Zingales' fundamental point is that Benedict XVI is not the right leader to lead the Church into new markets (Asia, Africa) and he is too 'conservative' to successfully alter the Church's products or diversify. (It's basically your standard minority shareholder argument on why the CEO ought to be ousted.)

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi's rebuttal is excellent. Sandro Magister gives it in full and I suggest that if you've not read it yet, do so. I'll just quote this:
In reality, Zingales begins with a flawed premise: the maximization of the number of the faithful is not the Church's strategic objective. This is only a means; the objective is the salvation of these persons, because the faith is not a "volume business," it is a personal call that must be addressed to everyone. So the pope is interested in all souls, and especially in the neediest souls, which are those of Europe.

1 comment:

Louis E. said...

Why don't these people understand that the test of any religion's sincerity is the extent to which its teachings are inalterable??
Anything not eternally ordained and beyond the power of the believers ever to alter is not part of a religion's sphere.Sometimes religions get into areas they shouldn't (flat-earth geography anyone?) but the answer is always getting rid of the excess,NEVER "diversifying".