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Libertarian Heresy

You don't often find Commonweal hunting heretics. In the latest issue, Daniel Finn takes aim at Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute and other Catholics who force fit Catholic social teaching into free market ideology. Sirico, he says, "uses his tendentious view of law and morality to conclude that raising taxes to help others is unchristian, since citizens have no choice but to pay the tax... One wonders if this conviction hasn’t been engendered by a libertarian view of government actions, where such redistribution is always immoral." Commonweal isn't alone in recognizing this distortion of Church teaching, which has always recognized the authority of government to balance private property rights with the "universal destination of goods." There is a silent majority of orthodox Catholics who resent Acton and other Catholic think tanks that are so well-funded by wealthy pro-big business donors that they're able to drown out genuine Catholic social teaching. Finn thinks its time that "neoconservative Catholics inquire into the influence of libertarianism on their work and, most importantly, that they make Catholic moral theology the standard for judging right-wing claims about morality in economic life-and not the other way around." READ MORE >


Magazine > Faith

Doubting Doubting Thomas

Doubting Doubting Thomas St. Thomas’s evangelizing journeys after the Pentecost, culminating in his brutal death, tell a quite different story from the role he has been cast in the Christian script. READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    apostle | india | martyr | thomas

News > Faith

The Puzzling Pope: Six Surprising Things About Benedict XVI

"The head of the CDF has to draw lines, level punishments and basically talk tough, a role that Ratzinger seemed to relish, but one that won him epithets like God's Rottweiller and the old standby, the Panzerkardinal. But now that Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict, he knows better than anyone that he is also the chief pastor of the church. There can be no 'Panzerpope.' His job is to be the good cop, a symbol of unity who tries to encourage people to live their faith more deeply. As he told a dinner companion about his new role: 'It was easy to know the doctrine. It’s much harder to help a billion people live it.'" READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | pope

News > Faith

Pope Benedict XVI’s Address at the End of the Way of the Cross

"Dear friends: After having lived together the passion of Jesus, let us this night allow his sacrifice on the cross to question us. Let us permit him to challenge our human certainties. Let us open our hearts. Jesus is the truth that makes us free to love. Let us not be afraid: upon dying, the Lord destroyed sin and saved sinners, that is, all of us. The Apostle Peter writes: 'He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness' (1 Peter 2:24). This is the truth of Good Friday: On the cross, the Redeemer has made us adoptive sons of God who he created in his image and likeness. Let us remain, then, in adoration before the cross." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    love | passion | via crucis

News > Faith

Good Friday is the Feast Day for Those Who Suffer

"'Jesus died in utter agony but also with total acceptance of the will of his Father: 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,' he said. Such trust and belief is hard to understand, but it lies at the heart of what faith is about.' ... Suffering and doubt is part of what it is to be human, but Jesus rising from the dead shows us that [it] is not the end of the story." ... But today it is enough to be humble and to share that sense of pain and desolation, wherever we know it to be and which many of us experience from time to time and pray that the darkness and despair will turn to hope and to light." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    good friday | suffering

News > Faith

Through His Eyes: Stations of the Cross

For centuries... many stations were crowded with Roman soldiers and jeering or appalled onlookers, perhaps set against someone’s impression of first-century Jerusalem. Eric Gill’s 1918 stations, carved in shallow relief for Westminster Cathedral in London, pointed in a new direction. The figures were few and without background; the compositions were simple and formal, not theatrical. Rather than dictating an emotional response, the stone panels left space for the devotee’s own thoughts... Don Meserve, a fervent admirer of Gill, works within this contemporary current...'What strikes one from the outset is the absence of the figure of Christ — the perplexing absence of the protagonist himself.'” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    lent | passion | stations | via crucis

News > Faith

Bearing the Silence of God: The image of Christ in the persecuted church

“…The greatest glory Jesus brought to God was not when he walked on the water or prayed for long hours, but when he cried in agony in the garden of Gethsemane and still continued to follow God's will, even though it meant isolation, darkness, and the silence of God. Thus, we know that when everything around us fails, when we are destroyed and abandoned, our tears, blood, and dead corpses are the greatest worship songs we have ever sung. The dead body is not the end of the story. The one who sacrificed his life is also the one who has been glorified: 'because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence' (2 Cor. 4:14).” READ MORE >


News > Faith

The Audacity to Hope (1990)

“It's easy to hope when there are evidences all around of how good God is. But to have the audacity to hope when that love is not evident—you don't know where that somewhere is that my grandmother sang about, or if there will ever be that brighter day—that is a true test of a Hannah-type faith. To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope—make music and praise God on and with whatever it is you've got left, even though you can't see what God is going to do—that's the real word God will have us hear…” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    hope | suffering

News > Faith

Trials of the Saints

“Catholics should welcome the Vatican’s insistence on increased rigor in its saint-making guidelines. The redoubled commitment to an impartial judging of a saint’s life demonstrates that the church does not 'create' saints as much as it simply recognizes them. Likewise, its renewed reminders that, for the church, miracles are serious scientific business, may make it more difficult for agnostics and atheists to disbelieve. And easier for believers to believe. “ READ MORE >


News > Faith

Pope urges more spiritual exercises

"He affirmed that spiritual exercises are 'a strong experience of God, sustained by listening to his word, understood and welcomed in one's personal life under the action of the Holy Spirit, which in a climate of silence, prayer and by means of a spiritual guide, offer the capacity of discernment in order to purify the heart, convert one's life, follow Christ, and fulfill one's own mission in the Church and in the world...' The Pope contended that 'in an age in which there is an ever stronger influence of secularization, and, on the other hand, in which there is experienced a widespread need to encounter God, the possibility of offering spaces of intense listening to his Word in silence and prayer should not falter.'" READ MORE >


News > Faith

20-Something Evangelicals: a new vision, a timeless orthodoxy

“Theologically, these 20-somethings are abandoning a worldview that reduces the gospel of Jesus Christ to an afterlife-oriented, fire-insurance, salvation pitch. These are Matthew 25, Luke 4, and “Sermon on the Mount” Christians. They really believe that the kingdom of God represents God’s best hopes and dreams for this present age, not only for the life to come. From coffee-infused, late-night seminary conversations to missions trips bringing them into relationship with single mothers living in the crumbling remains of America’s inner cities, with children living on garbage dumps in Mexico, with teenage girls rescued out of Southeast Asia’s sex industry, and with the boy soldiers of sub-Saharan Africa – the 20-something evangelical worldview is being disciplined by a new global context. “ READ MORE >


News > Faith

N.T. Wright says don’t think heaven, think Resurrection

“Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth... John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: ‘God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves.’ That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    heaven | resurrection

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