Bill Crawford: Constructive conservatism needed to thwart rise of socialism

What would Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, think of capitalism in America today?

You see, it was Smith’s notion that despite natural greed, individuals in a free, capitalistic society would be led by “reason, principle, conscience” to act morally and compassionately. Capitalism would be the economic mechanism by which wage earners and the middle class would accumulate wealth. While certainly true historically in the United States, and much of the free world, that no longer seems to be the case here, especially since the Great Recession.

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1984’s Lay Letter on the Economy May Be More Relevant Now

Invoking the moral authority derivative of their vocation, prominent Roman Catholic clerics and their emboldened allies are getting a lot of attention for criticizing the capitalist economic system, sometimes quite pointedly. In particular, they are harshly critiquing capitalism in seemingly failing to deliver for the most materially needy among us, as well for the negative effects spiritually for both the needy and those who materially benefit from it. Those lay faithful and their allies who disagree—and would normally be inclined to introduce the many positive aspects of free-market economics into public discourse—feel as if they are on quite the defensive.

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Michael Novak’s ‘Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics’ in the Trump Era

On March 17, 2016, National Review published an open letter titled “An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics,”urging Catholics to take a stand against the immensely popular Republican candidate whose upcoming nomination, the letter affirmed, risked destroying the conservative, prolife, and civil center of the Republican Party. Princeton law professor Robert P. George and Catholic journalist George Weigel affixed their name to the bottom of the piece; in addition, Professor George and Weigel’s John Hancock were joined by a veritable “Who’s Who” of Catholics who had traditionally identified as “neo” or moderate social conservatives. One name that was conspicuously absent from the list of signatories was Michael Novak, a man who was, in many ways, the grandfather of Catholic neoconservatism and who had stood shoulder to shoulder with the other four principal Catholic neocons or “theocons,” which included Weigel and Professor George as well as the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

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Why was Bishop Holley removed? Another failed transparency test.

The Holy Father Francis has removed from the pastoral care of the diocese of Memphis, United States of America, H.E. Msgr. Martin D. Holley, and has appointed as apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of the same diocese H.E. Msgr. Joseph E. Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville.

That’s all we’ve been told. Apparently Bishop Holley did not resign. (According to unconfirmed reports he flatly refused to do so.) He was ousted, in a rare display of papal power.

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Brummett Online Kasich and compassion

A problem for Democrats is that the most compelling anti-Trump currently on the scene is a Republican.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains for now a Republican—if, that is, Republicans still believe in tax cuts, spending cuts, balanced budgets, conservative economics, pro-life policies and character.

Kasich is the only currently prominent American politician who passionately and credibly challenges the man-child president where he needs to be challenged, on decency and morality and compassion.

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Eagles can teach us how to engage at Mass, says La Salle professor

Can the Philadelphia Eagles teach us how to participate more fully in Sunday Mass?

Yes, according to Franciscan Father Frank Berna, director of La Salle’s graduate religion program in theology and ministry.

During an Oct. 14 lecture at Archbishop Ryan High School, Father Berna outlined the parallels between sports and spirituality, adding that the 2018 Super Bowl champions exemplify how to lift up communal gatherings “on eagles’ wings.”

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New Special Report from IFWE & ‘The Washington Times’ Illustrates Widespread Enthusiasm for Faith, Work & Economics

Whether you are reading about faith, work, and economics for the first time or happen to be an expert on it, you may not be aware of the widespread enthusiasm for these ideas from diverse parts of society.

That is why the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics is excited to announce that we have released, together with The Washington Times, a special report entitled, “Faith at Work: Economic Flourishing, Freedom to Create and Innovate.” 

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On Being Catholic Modern

One of the distinctly modern blessings for the young Catholic intellectual is having one’s moral imagination formed by what Russell Hittinger once called the papal “paper war.”  From the 1864 Syllabus of Errors onward, our popes have assumed an ever more assertive and “counter-cultural” role in their teaching office, especially as regards social doctrine.  This gives to the young Catholic intellectual that unusual thrill of uniting revolution with authority; as he reads through recent papal encyclicals, he may have the sense of simultaneously rebelling against the conventions of the hour while standing on the side of tradition and permanent truth.

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Is the Pope Latino?

Is the Pope Catholic?” is a longstanding response to those who show a stranglehold on the obvious. Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich recently gave it a new twist when he said that Pope Francis’ critics “don’t like him because he’s a Latino.” Cupich didn’t quote anybody, and he avoided the more obvious reasons Pope Francis’ critics don’t like him, such as the sexual abuse scandal.

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Full-Immersion Catholicism

As this Catholic annus horribilis continues to unfold, perhaps some good news is in order; first, a little background.            

In late 1991, Italy’s Rocco Buttiglione and America’s Michael Novak had an idea: create a summer seminar in which young Catholic adults with leadership potential could immerse themselves in the social doctrine of the Church, and especially the social magisterium of Pope John Paul II. Rocco and Michael recruited Father Richard John Neuhaus, the Polish Dominican Maciej Zieba, and me to the faculty team, and in July 1992 we went to Liechtenstein (where Rocco then taught) for several intensive weeks of intellectual work with some 40 graduate students from Europe and North America.

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