poor

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 [...]

The Party of the Poor?

For decades liberals have claimed that Democrats care for the poor and Republicans don’t. And they really believe it. A meme that circulated widely over left-leaning blogs a few years back had a depiction of Jesus with a child on his lap, reading, It’s ironic because the biggest enemy of the Republicans isn’t Harry Reid [...]

Designing a Church for the Poor

[Saint] Peter teaches us to look to the poor through the eyes of faith and to give them that which is most precious: the power of the name of Jesus. This is what he did with the paralytic; he gave him what he had, which was Jesus.  ∼ Pope Francis, Angelus June 29, 2014, Solemnity [...]

Beauty is for the Poor, Too

“How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your [...]

How Environmentalism Harms the Poor

The book of Genesis was written in part to counteract a theory later known as Manicheanism. It held that a god of good created spirit and a god of evil created matter. In this view, the more spiritual we are, the less we are connected to matter. This position suggests that by withdrawing from matter, [...]

The Rich, Not States, are Called to Help Others

At the end of part eight in this series, I observed that Pope Leo XIII lays a heavy obligation upon the rich.  What is that obligation?  Who are the rich? Like Thomas Aquinas, whom he admired so well, Leo is quite practical.  It is right for a man to provide for his family so that [...]

Peru’s Silent Revolution

Despite Government Regulation, Entrepreneurs Are Rolling Back a Feudal Economic Order There are times when economists tell better stories than novelists. The story told by Hernando de Soto in El Otro Sendero: La Revolucion Informal (The Other Shining Path: The Informal Revolution) is one of these occasions. Although based in the reality of Peru, the [...]

Liberation Through Reconciliation

Reconciliation Theology Has Made a Difference in El Salvador. It Has Yet to Be Tried in Nicaragua. EL Salvador 1980. The place and the time conjure   up a nightmare of violence: death squad killings, the martyrdom of a Catholic bishop and four churchwomen, massacres of peasants and other innocents seeking nothing more than a measure [...]

Illusions and Realities — Latin America’s Poor: Entrepreneurs, Not Proletarians

The big argument among Latin America's Catholics today may be symbolized thus: Gustavo vs. Hernando. Gustavo Gutierrez is a sensitive, intelligent priest of Lima, Peru, the father of liberation theology. In his early writings (The Theology of Liberation, 1971), more than in his recent writings, Gustavo has argued that "class struggle" is a fact of [...]

How Not to Debate Liberation Theology: Avoid the Real Argument

I have worked with Michael Novak on five books and countless articles, speeches, and columns. Like my predecessors, I occasionally wonder whether reviewers are reading different versions of Novak's books than mine. Criticizing his, or anyone else's views is usually helpful; such debate is the essence of civilization. But little is served by ignoring or [...]

Allocution to European Jesuits Engaged in the Worker Mission

Let me first of all thank you for welcoming me J among you. I was glad to receive your invitation because I have a strong desire to know the Worker Mission, not only from without, but also — even if two days cannot suffice for it — from within. I want to convey to you [...]

Illusions and Realities: The Bishops and The Entrepreneurs

Last December 22, before the Joint Economic Committee on Economics of the U.S. Congress, Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee revealed a strange understanding of enterprise. Senator William Proxmire and Congressman David R. Obey, both from Wisconsin, listened to the Archbishop. When Chairman Obey asked the Archbishop about some views of the lay commission headed [...]

Whither Liberation Theology? A Historical Evaluation

What is liberation theology? Why has a relatively new theological current in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America become front page news in the world press? One reason for the attention liberation theology is receiving is the polarization of opinion, pro-and-con, as to its implications. For Cardinal Ratzinger, writing in a private memorandum published [...]

Special Report: Liberty and Justice for All

Report on the final draft (June 1986) of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter "Economic Justice for All" by the Lay Commission on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy William E. Simon and Michael Novak, Co-chairmen This lay commission has studied the final draft of the U.S. Catholic bishops' letter, "Economic Justice for All: [...]

Sense & Nonsense: Fighting For Christmas

In G.K. Chesterton's essay, "Dickens and Christmas," we read that "in fighting for Christmas, he [Dickens] was fighting for the old European festival, Pagan and Christian, for that trinity of eating, drinking and praying which to moderns appears irreverent, for the holy day which is really a holiday." What strikes me about this particular passage [...]

Pity the “Poor” Middle Class

Last August, U.S. News and World Report published a cover story which would undoubtedly flabbergast most of the world, and should certainly appall anybody who takes Christianity seriously. The theme of the article, entitled "Middle-Class Squeeze," is the sad tale of the contemporary middle class, which is said to be having a very rough time [...]

Cold Facts on the Bishops’ Pastoral

Cold Facts on the Bishops’ Pastoral William E. Simon, Chairman of the Lay Commission on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy, recently invited members of the Commission to submit comments on the third draft of the bishops' pastoral on the American economic system.  J. Peter Grace responded to that invitation with the following thoughts. [...]

Responsibilities of the Church in Central America Pablo Antonio Cuadra

Since Pope John Paul II's visit to Central America,  something has become evident that had earlier drawn little attention: the religiousness of our Central American peoples and that religion's moral and civic force. But in the same measure, a crisis could be observed: a new awareness, an uneasiness, a search by these great religious forces. [...]

MENU