poverty

Metropolitan Hilarion meets Pope Francis March 20, 2013

What Would the Conversion of Russia Look Like?

For much of the twentieth century, Catholics around the world prayed after every Low Mass for the conversion of Russia. Called the Leonine Prayers, originally they were conceived as a protection of the sovereignty of the Papal States, which were then under attack. This intention ended with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 but the prayers [...]

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 [...]

Distinguishing the Wealthy from the Worldly

Our Lord never despised the rich. Throughout his life, he moved among different classes of people with authority and ease. He converses with poor fishermen, but also with the scholars in the temple. He heals blind beggars, but also responds to the request of a centurion with a household full of servants. He was born [...]

The Jesuit, Pope Francis, and the Poor

Since the first Jesuit pope’s election earlier this year, the words "poverty" and "the poor" have acquired fresh resonance inside and outside the Catholic Church. Of course the Catholic Church has always devoted special attention to the materially poor and otherwise suffering. And with Pope Francis, one senses he is the real deal regarding poverty. [...]

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is [...]

Pope Francis and the Gospel of Life

Though the world barely knows Pope Francis, it has rushed to judge him. As Caitlin Bootsma has lamented, “Catholics, of all stripes, immediately sought to measure Pope Francis against their own goals for the papacy.” Rather than measuring him according to our interests and wants, we should make haste to pray for him. We should, further, [...]

The Great Lie: Pope Benedict XVI On Socialism

One doesn't usually expect a thorough-going reconstruction of the history of socialism in the late 19th century from the pope, but Benedict XVI delivered to us a wonderful--and oh-so-needed--reminder of what socialism was (and is), and why it went wrong. One can't but marvel at his intellectual power: He has discerned the essential problem that [...]

A Musical Path out of Poverty

Public School 129 in Harlem, New York, has a name straight out of the bureaucrat’s bottom drawer, and its street frontage is pretty dreary too. But inside, something beautiful and inspiring is going on. Kids who live in what can politely be called challenging neighbourhoods and who struggle with reading and basic maths are learning [...]

Mother Russia Needs More Mothers

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Russian Prime Minister is seeking re-election to the presidency (for a third term) and is setting out his policy platform.  The fourth of his programmatic articles trying to convince Russians to vote for him in three weeks time (or else!) deals with his plans to reverse Russia’s population [...]

Economics: The Cheerful Science

Chances are, you’ve heard economics referred to as “the dismal science.” That unflattering description is glib and catchy; it is also 100 percent wrong. Let me set the record straight and explain why economics—far from being dismal—is cause for hope, joy, cheer, and optimism. Thomas Carlyle, a 19th-century Scottish essayist, coined the phrase “the dismal [...]

The Population Bomb, Still Fizzling

A new report was released on Monday by the UN’s high level panel on global sustainability. Unsurprising its conclusion is that the world’s current economic , environmental and demographic trajectory is wildly unsustainable.  According to the UN estimates, as reported by Reuters: As the world's population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by [...]

Of Good News and Bad News

Have you heard any good news lately? Bad news abounds. It’s been another tough year. Economic woes continue. Greece and Italy are on the verge of bankruptcy. Unemployment is still high in the United States (around 8.6 percent), and the stock market has taken a beating. With approximately $108 billion in insured catastrophic losses, 2011 [...]

In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization

The following essay was commissioned as part of this week's symposium on "the bourgeois spirit." See also Dawson's Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, and Gerard Russello's account of Dawson's contribution.   Tell me this. Would you rather that your neighbor had a Serta brand iComfort mattress with Cool Action Memory Foam nicely elevated above a [...]

Poverty in America?

According to CBS News, "the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty in 2010 rose for the fourth year in a row, representing the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years since such estimates have been published by the U.S. Census Bureau." MSNBC said, "The U.S. poverty rate remains among [...]

Wealth and Giving It Away

American Christians are said to be at ease in our secular consumer culture. But didn’t Christ talk about giving away one’s worldly goods and living as the lilies of the field, not pursuing wealth and luxury? The New Testament isn’t a textbook in economics or politics. The New Testament is interested in the poor. But [...]

The ‘Hunger’ Hoax

Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over "hunger in America." Dan Rather opened a CBS Evening News broadcast in 1991 declaring, "one in eight American children is going hungry tonight." Newsweek, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with or without that unsubstantiated [...]

Cooperation: A Free Market Benefits Everyone

The following will explain the most important idea in the history of social analysis. The notion (actually, it's a description of reality that is all around us but rarely noticed) has been around for many centuries. It was first discovered by late-medieval monks working in Spain. It was given scientific precision in the classical period. [...]

Money Matters (But Not the Way You Think)

  St. Matthew, patron saint of bankers, pray for me. This is how I open and close each day. I am a banker and in the business of buying and selling money. There is a common misconception among the faithful that having money is bad, and having a lot of money is really bad. Conversely, [...]

Reactionary Liberalism and Catholic Social Doctrine

The debate over Catholic social doctrine and U.S. social welfare policy took an unhelpful turn in May when a gaggle of academics fired a shot across the bow of House Speaker John Boehner, prior to his commencement address at the Catholic University of America. Their charge? That Boehner’s House voting record showed him to be [...]

Not Whether to Help the Poor, But How

The debate over the application of the core teachings of the Christian faith began when Jesus was presented with a Roman coin containing Caesar’s image. In that moment, the Lord drew both a limitation to the legitimate power of the state and a distinction between it and the supreme authority of Almighty God. What would [...]

As the Family Goes, So Goes the Economy

  According to a New York Times editorial this week, “As Housing Goes, So Goes the Economy”. It is a call to the United States government to intervene in the housing market which, nearly two years after the housing bubble burst, is still in trouble and will not, says the Times, fix itself. That may be [...]

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