The late Jesuit Fr. Bernard Dempsey was an excellent economist who knew how to apply relevant theological considerations to his discussions of the market economy. He defends the Catholic Church’s scholastic school of economic thought (1500-1650) against the naturalistic liberal school. He makes the following distinction:
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“The chief difference between scholastic just price and classical natural price is that the liberals believed their deistic Providence constituted fair markets automatically through the magic of competition, no matter how hard men tried to make them unfair. The guildsmen believed that men were sons of Adam as well as of God and that the accomplishment of the designs of Providence required the sedulous application of human reason as well as cooperation with divine grace” (Bernard W. Dempsey, S.J., The Functional Economy, The Bases of Economic Organization, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1958, p. 100).