Unfortunately, it still remains a potent force in the Church, as this article from The Stream notes.
The useful church news site Crux reports:
Italian Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, from the diocese of Ancona, spoke to the Italian site Vatican Insider and promised a fight against capitalism similar to the one against communism under Pope St. John Paul II.
Of course, John Paul II had direct, personal experience of Communism. Neither Cardinal Menichelli nor Pope Francis has ever lived in anything like a free economy; both Italy’s and Argentina’s economies are prime examples of “crony capitalism,” a system in which powerful private interests use government intervention to shackle the market and fleece consumers through a mishmash of cronyism, subsidies, nepotism, and corruption.
Actually, those two countries are so far gone in this direction that it would be more accurate to describe their systems as “crony socialism.” In such a system, entrenched business interests wield populist rhetoric and back-room connections to boost prices and crush competitors — often in collusion with Marxist-controlled labor unions. So judging “capitalism” by their experiences with such countries is about as fair as evaluating democratic socialism based on Ceausescu’s Romania.
It can be hard for those who have never seen a free economy operate to believe that a society with transparent rules and honest, limited government can really exist — much less, that such societies typically prosper and improve the prospects for every class, especially the poor. Such colors are invisible to those born in deeply unfree economies, where the economic math is confined to zero-sum equations: If one man becomes a bit richer, it’s because he has stolen from the poor. In conditions of crony capitalism, outright socialism or feudalism, such an assertion is usually true.
Thus, the fierce anti-business rhetoric of many on the Catholic New Left might well be justified, if applied to oligarchs who manipulate government power via cronyism. But when such language is used indiscriminately to denounce honest businessmen, and blended with muddled versions of Christian warnings against materialism, the result veers between high-toned, harrumphing nonsense and historical revisionist goofiness.
We all remember the long list of capitalist countries that have descended into mass starvation, and the gulags, torture and political trials that marred American, British and Canadian history. Oh wait, such atrocities happened not in those but in socialist countries. The capitalist countries, for all their flaws, raised the lower classes out of extreme poverty by the millions and now billions.
But with the Catholic New Left such historical facts, and even human reason, are asked to retire back awhile. Leftist economics are now a matter of dogma, imposed by religious authority:
The prelate said that the social dimension is an integral part of the faith, and quoted Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in which the pontiff warned against ideologies that defend absolute market freedom and financial speculation. [emphasis added]
Retrieved February 20, 2015 from https://stream.org/italian-cardinal-promises-war-capitalism/