Evangelii Gaudium

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.” At last month’s Rome Life [...]

Will the Church Get Hit by the Backlash Against Islam?

In the wake of numerous Islamist terrorist attacks, a reaction against religion is now discernible in many quarters of society. After 9/11, the sales of books by prominent atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens skyrocketed. The gradual slide into secularism that had been underway for decades prior to 9/11 accelerated after that event. [...]

Being Charitable for the Right Reasons

Despite the recent upward trend in charitable giving, history suggests giving over the next several months will be comparatively low. According to the Blackbaud Index, almost one-fifth of all charitable giving is done during the month of December. This increased emphasis on charity during the latter part of the year, as well as its corresponding [...]

What Not to Learn from Eastern Orthodoxy

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortaiton, Evangelii Gaudium, raised eyebrows within and beyond the Catholic world for what the Sovereign Pontiff had to say on things economic. Considerably less attention was paid to the document’s other discussions which range from the so-called New Evangelization to matters of Church governance. On this latter point, the Pope suggested, in [...]

Subsidiarity Calls Us to Live Like Catholics

Subsidiarity is integral to a social doctrine based on natural law rather than technology. That ought to be a feature rather than a bug, but in today’s world it means no one can make sense of it or apply it coherently. The principle tells us that lower level associations such as families and local communities [...]

Does Francis Really Have a Marxism Problem?

Last November Pope Francis issued his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium  (The Joy of the Gospel) and it immediately met resistance from some conservatives who charged Francis with Marxism. Francis denied the accusations, insisting there was nothing in the exhortation that contradicted the Church’s teaching on social doctrine. The attention brought to Marxism in the Catholic [...]

Evangelii Gaudium on Islam: Outreach or Overreach?

Much attention has been paid to Pope Francis’ observations about economic life in Evangelii Gaudium. Relatively little attention, however, has been paid to the pope’s remarks about Islam in the same document, even though they may turn out to be of much greater consequence. One sentence in particular needs to be called into question. When [...]

Rejoice and Evangelize: He is with Us and We Have Been Loved

Advent and Christmas celebrate the joy of a new life. Like an expectant mother, we wait, with bated breath, joyful anticipation and we brim over with excitement. For God is with us, He is soon to be born, Come, Come, Emmanuel! The Visitation of Mary is a joyful visit between cousins but also an encounter [...]

The Controversy Over Evangelii Gaudium

I’ve reached the point where I cringe a little every time I hear the name “Pope Francis” at a social gathering. No hard feelings, I hope, your Holiness. I understand that you have a big world to worry about, and can’t anticipate how your words will be heard in every single corner of it. So [...]

Of Downward Mobility and the New Evangelization

 Everybody would be rich   if nobody tried   to be richer.  And nobody would be poor   if everybody tried   to be the poorest.  And everybody would be   what he ought to be   if everybody tried to be   what he wants   the other fellow to be.   — Peter [...]

Some Economic Applications of Evangelii Gaudium

I am a Catholic and it is the very intellectual foundations of the Catholic Church that drew me back to my faith. I grew up admiring Pope John Paul II’s battle against communism—a battle that we now know he played an integral part in. Pope Francis’s background is very different from his two most recent [...]

Finances in Light of the Call for a Poor Church

Crisis recently featured a stimulating discussion on finances centered on Dave Ramsey’s principles of financial planning. The first piece by Richard Becker, “Of Dave Ramsey, Babies, and Birth Control,” contrasted Ramsey’s approach to finances with Catholic openness to life. The response by Stephen Herreid, “Dave Ramsey—Our Favorite Catechist,” countered by arguing that Ramsey’s principles are [...]

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