Re "Pope's manifesto calls for decentralized church," Nov. 27

Contrary to Pope Francis' comments, capitalism has done more to empower people and raise living standards than any other force in history.

As Milton Friedman pointed out years ago: "The only cases in which the masses have escaped from … grinding poverty … in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that."

The pope not only reveals his ignorance on this subject, but, along with the church's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the beneficial anti-poverty effects of using contraception for family planning, he does a terrible disservice to those he professes to want to help.

Francis may mean well, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

John Schatz

Newport Coast

In last Wednesday's paper, there was an article reporting Francis' exhortation for the Roman Catholic Church to curtail its lavish ways and care for the poor.

Another article reported the Diocese of Orange's $29 million conversion of the former Crystal Cathedral from a Protestant church to a Catholic one.

Seems to me the Diocese of Orange needs to heed its pope.

James S. McBride

Laguna Beach

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