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Opinion: TV

HBO’s The Wire: Dignity or Despair?

HBO’s The Wire finales this Sunday at 9 p.m.., and the themes of this fifth and final season—centered around the newsroom of the Baltimore Sun, where the show’s creator David Simon once worked as an editor— have been integrity and honesty, or as Simon says—“just how far you can go on a lie.” A Sun reporter who fakes quotes, a… READ MORE >


Opinion: Business

Thinking Catholic: European leaders blame crisis on “speculative capitalism”

Thinking Catholic: European leaders blame crisis on “speculative capitalism” Europe’s financiers were seduced by the lure of easy subprime mortgage profits, just like everyone else, and they’re suffering now, just like everyone else. But give Europe credit for one thing: Thanks to its Catholic roots, Europe’s leaders understand that the financial crisis wasn’t caused by some vague form of “greed”; it was… READ MORE >


News: Issues

Anglican bishops decry the ‘new creed’ of extreme capitalism

A trillion for the Iraq War, almost as much to rescue Wall Street, but basic health care for all is too expensive? Why aren't Christian leaders in the U.S. saying as much? In England it's a different story: "[T]he Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warned in a magazine article that modern devotion to the free market is a form of idolatry and that Karl Marx was morally right in his analysis of the power of 'unbridled capitalism.' He believes that Marx's economic theories, as implemented by authoritarian state regimes, have proved equally wrong and harmful to unfettered market ideology, but that the protest against a greed-driven system is one that should be taken seriously." READ MORE >


News: Faith

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 >


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