According to the World Giving Index, Americans rank second worldwide in terms of donating money, volunteering time and helping strangers. In 2014, private giving in the United States amounted to $358 billion, a full 72% from individuals. Christian values, which Pope Francis often emphasizes, are a motivation.
Pope Francis has said: Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians . . . it is a commandment.
But private donations are not the charitable giving the Pope often speaks of. Instead, he advocates for government-to-government transfers and a larger role for international organizations to facilitate those transfers.
Other key factors in giving are economic freedom and private property rights, essential ingredients of capitalism, which the Pope attacks constantly. Pope Francis spends much time lambasting private markets, writing in this May that those who favor the invisible hand of markets suffer from the same mindset that leads to slavery, the sexual exploitation of children and the abandonment of the elderly. The popes anti-market fervor stands at some distance from the facts.