Michael Novak was a thinker whose sweep was without peer in his time, or ours. As a public intellectual, his contributions ranged over a staggering list of fields – theology, philosophy, journalism, economics, politics, poetry and fiction – just for starters. His public service included work as an ambassador for human rights, as a professor, as a public speaker in great demand; and his service was recognized by a staggering list of honors: 24 honorary degrees, the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, awards from the Central European governments and associations for whom his towering work, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, would serve as a providential blueprint during the years in which they clawed up from decades of communist oppression.Read More
Teams of University students competed in developing action plans addressing particular social issues, such as homelessness or income inequality, as part of a “hackathon” on March 19. The hackathon was part of the second annual Novak Symposium, a day-long conference promoting continued discussion of issues and themes that the late Michael Novak focused on.Read More
The Catholic University of America’s Novak Symposium, now in its second year, is a day filled with the sharing of thought provoking ideas.
To honor the memory of Michael Novak, an American Catholic political scholar best known for his demonstrations that democratic capitalism and Catholic social teaching are compatible, Catholic scholars from think tanks and educational institutions come from all over to deliver speeches on current social issues and the solutions they have discovered through their work.Read More
One of history’s less palatable lessons is that dictatorial regimes can stay in power a long time. We can talk endlessly about humanity’s insuppressible yearning for liberty, but if a government retains its security apparatus’s loyalty and the will to use force, dictatorships can be very resilient in the face of popular discontent.
The good news is that such regimes can also collapse at the most unexpected moments.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.”Read More