The following comes from an Oct. 21 story in America magazine by San Francisco auxiliary bishop Robert McElroy.
‘How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure!” With these words the new pope explained to international diplomats assembled at the Vatican on March 22 why he chose the name Francis at the moment of his election. And since then Pope Francis has unswervingly pointed to the scandal of poverty in a world of plenty as a piercing moral challenge for the church and the whole human community.
In part, the pope’s message has called us to personal conversion, speaking powerfully to each of us about how we let patterns of materialism captivate our lives and distort our humanity. In a disarming way, Francis seeks to make us all deeply uncomfortable, so that in our discomfort we may recognize and confront the alienation from our own humanity that occurs when we seek happiness in objects rather than in relationship with God and others.
Francis’ message also has been an invitation to cultural conversion, laying bare the three false cultures that materialism has created in our world: the culture of comfort that makes us think only of ourselves; the culture of waste that seizes the gifts of the created order only to savor them for a moment and then discard them; and the culture of indifference that desensitizes us to the suffering of others, no matter how intense, no matter how sustained. Pope Francis’ words about the “globalization of indifference” echo the poignant observation of Pope Benedict in his encyclical “Charity in Truth” (2009): “As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbors but does not make us brothers.”
And finally, the pope’s message has been one of structural reform in the world. In June Francis explained: “A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table.” Francis has made clear that the present economic slowdown cannot be an excuse for inaction. Rather, there must immediately commence “a new stimulus to international activity on behalf of the poor, inspired by something more than mere goodwill, or, worse, promises which all too often have not been kept.”
Pope Francis’ teachings on the rights of the poor have enormous implications for the culture and politics of the United States and for the church in this country. Both the substance and methodology of Pope Francis’ teachings on the rights of the poor have enormous implications for the culture and politics of the United States and for the church in this country. These teachings demand a transformation of the existing Catholic political conversation in our nation, a transformation reflecting three themes: prioritizing the issue of poverty, focusing not only on intrinsic evils but also on structural sin, and acting with prudence when applying Catholic moral principles to specific legal enactments….
Many different types of choices are compatible within a full commitment to Catholic teachings on economic justice.
But choices by citizens or public officials that systematically, and therefore unjustly, decrease governmental financial support for the poor clearly reject core Catholic teachings on poverty and economic justice. Policy decisions that reduce development assistance to the poorest countries reject core Catholic teachings. Tax policies that increase rather than decrease inequalities reject core Catholic teachings. The nature and tone of Pope Francis’ declarations on poverty and evil in the world powerfully convey that while prudence is necessary in the formulation of economically just policies, the categorical nature of Catholic teaching on economic justice is clear and binding….
To read the entire story, click here.
In 2005, it seems then Monsignor McElroy did a tap dance about not refusing Holy Communion to those politicians who are pro-abortion and now he wants to raise poverty and economic justice to a level equal to abortion?
The War on Poverty didn’t work during the ’60’s, so what makes you think Pelosi and her crew can suddenly do any better?
For that matter, what jobs has the Church created? Why aren’t there unions for Catholic employees – most of which are not paid as well as their non-Church counterparts? Economic justice, is it? Then why allow illegal immigrants to suddenly become citizens for the sole reason that they managed to cross into the United States illegally? What of all the trips the bishops take to Rome and around the country trying to convince people that: the Second Amendment is wrong; war is unjustified at all times, illegal is somehow legal immigration, etc?
Meanwhile, your schools are being subjected to Common Core, the Magisterium is ignored or refuted (e.g., LMU), the Religious Education Congress still continues, schools with pro-abortion politicians sit on boards, and teachers and administrators don’t believe in what the Church teaches and on and on and on.
Doesn’t it seem that the bishops should put their own houses in order, instead of pontificating about what they know not? Seems like there is a lot to do.
AMEN!!!!!!!! GREAT RESPONSE……
Bob, You say it as it is ! However, don’t expect them to put their own house in order in the near future.
“….. choices by citizens or public officials that systematically, and therefore unjustly, decrease governmental financial support for the poor clearly reject core Catholic teachings on poverty and economic justice. Policy decisions that reduce development assistance to the poorest countries reject core Catholic teachings. Tax policies that increase rather than decrease inequalities reject core Catholic teachings”.
This statement is no less than a worldwide appeal for universal socialism and redistribution of wealth. If this is indeed the “core” of modern Catholicism we are indeed on a path to a one-world dictatorship. I tremble for my grandchildren and their children. God help us!
Anton ~ Do you assume that in this future world you describe that your grandchildren and their children will have their wealth taken from them instead of desperately needing a little “redistribution” themselves just to survive and live a halfway dignified and happy life?
C&H you can halt the communist propaganda, do you know that in just the past 4 years the Pharoh Obama administration has spent $3.75 Trillion dollars on various federal welfare programs and still people like you and these old Bishops think its still not enough. In the name of God almighty what is enough for you bleeding heart liberals… Here in NY State, you can get section 8 housing, food stamps, welfare payments, and God knows what else. What exactly do you think needs to be done with this generation cycle of people basically living off the taxpayers, with no incentive to improve their lives. What should be done is the massive reduction of the welfare and penalize those who are on it that refuse to get off it. I’m sure the Bishops would see this as heartless, but I know their residence supported by my donations are far bigger than my apartment. I honestly believe that you liberals will not be happy until we are forced to sing the internationale and 100 percent income tax rate…..
Bob, you are right in so many ways. Thanks for your comments. I think, however, that you may be missing the simple point that the new Pope is trying to set new direction for the church around the world. Remember that it took decades for the ultra-conservatives to swing the pendulum to the far right. It will take a Jesuit Pope to swing us back to a more moderate church concerned with a consistent approach to church. It will take a lot of new Bishops. For example, should we be a pro-life church or a pro-birth church. Today, most people think of us as a pro-birth church. If we, and other conservative church and lay groups, were truly pro life, we would be against killing unborn babies and killing older people who can’t defend themselves. We would be against a life of poverty, a life without good education, without a job that pays a living wage, against the death penalty and against unjust wars. All of that for starters. So, yes you are right, they have a lot to do to put their house in order in the near future. Pray that they accomplish what is right, and quickly.
More blithering nonsense from the resident liberal… I dread what this new Pope will do to the Church..Bob One a lot of us do not want moderation, as you liberals put it, we want the Truth preached about sin, yes that’s right. There is NO comparing between the slaughter of the unborn and unemployment absolutely none. I am tired of Church liberals and so disgusted by what you have done to EVERYTHING in the Church from destruction of our Catholic identity to protestanization of the liturgy and gay outreach and all the other liberal pet projects. What we need is either the complete and utter destruction of the liberals in the Church or a new schism you liberals can have your gay positive, social justice garbage and we will keep the Truth…. May either happen soon
Yah, but how do you really feel about this issue? By the way, my friends would get a kick out of me being referred to as a “liberal.” I may be the most conservative person they know. It has been over 50 years since VII. Get over it and become the Catholic you were meant to be.
Bob One its hard to get over a Council that was not necessary and has left a wake of destruction with more to come… And you are NOT conservative…
The fact that your circle of friends would find you being called a “liberal” funny is exactly the point, Bob One. What a joke.
It’s like saying my passed out plastered friends would feel fine with me behind the wheel as they believe – after a six pack and a fifth of Scotch – I’m fine to drive. As to Vatican II: Hey, the Rave happened so just mellow and have a toke.
It’s your point of reference that makes the difference, Bob One. And hanging out with admitted liberals has dulled your ability to make a clear distinction.
Want the truth preached about sin? OK. There is no such thing as a schism that keeps the Truth. Schism is a mortal sin. Flee from anyone who talks about the good schism.
I believe the previous Anonymous poster was referring to a schism of those who hold modern nonsense doctrine – that is those who do not hold the Truth – one day breaking away. And while schism is not good, the frustration of said Anonymous poster is completely understandable.
Loyalty to the Pope, or at least listening to him prayerfully and respectfully is kind of basic of our faith.
So is praying for him, C&H, because the man, like any other can and does sin. Being that he is the Vicar of Christ, he will also be held to a much higher standard for the example/scandal he gives at judgment time. That’s why I find his admitted uncounseled authoritarianism “which used to get him in trouble” troublesome. Because he’s affecting everyone now. All of us!
Loyalty is not blind to the detriment of the health and well being of the other, but rather a constant care and solicitude for their ultimate ‘good.’ And in the case of Pope Francis, the good of the whole Church.
As to listening to what he says, that is precisely what has folks concerned. What Our Pope reportedly says is often not what his supposed intentions are. At least not according to the clean-up crew of Vatican officials that have to scramble after every interview.
What an exhaustive pontificate this will be for Church leadership. Like the Super Bowl with no playbook and all the positions changing at the same time.
All things being equal… I would rather be roasting heretics……
To what ultra-conservatives are you referring, Bob One? The Church has been a modern shindig ever since Vatican II. With modernists pushing for modernism – something condemned by Pope St. Pius X – even before the council.
As for a consistent approach to ‘church’ try a consistent Faith. That is what it’s about, Bob One. Our Lord said we would always have the poor with us. It is also true that this earth is passing. It is not intended to be some communist utopia. That is nothing but deceit.