Disparity Noted

Between what B16 writes and the headlines it garners. Fr. Sirico makes the point more succinctly than I:
There is no mention here of economics, politics or specific programs of redistribution, much less any ringing criticism of the free economy. If Ratzinger means to say by this passage that the poor in Africa are made poor by our wealth, that is an empirical claim which can either be verified or falsified by the facts - and none of this would touch on his authority as pope, or Catholic social teaching as such.
But I do not think that is his point, even if it is on the agenda of journalists and editorial writers. Ratzinger's writings are startlingly clear and unambiguous. This is explicitly a spiritual reflection on our own interior disposition toward those who are "neighbors" to us and for whom we have some moral responsibility - not an economic screed.