John gehring

Commonweal: The Common Good or Capitalism?

The Republican Party has, for the most part, worshipped contentedly in the church of free-market fundamentalism for the last four decades. Guided by its pro-business, anti-government doctrines, they have crippled unions, undercut workers’ rights, and pushed tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest Americans. But every few years an enterprising conservative politician recognizes that extreme inequality and stagnant wages might be testing voters’ faith in such policies—and proposes a supposedly more creative and compassionate economic alternative. During his last term in office, for example, former House speaker Paul Ryan drew on his Catholic faith to launch a campaign touted by the Atlantic as a “much-ballyhooed push to get his party talking about poverty.” Now another Republican, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, is appealing to Catholic teaching to advocate for what he calls “common-good capitalism.” As with Ryan before him, Rubio’s effort has some laudable goals, but he delivered slogans more than a substantive break with GOP orthodoxy.

RNS: Communion should be personal, not political

Joe Biden is a proud Catholic. He carries a rosary to remember his late son Beau, and as recent headlines show, he attends Mass even during a grueling campaign. But when the former vice president presented himself for Communion at St. Anthony Catholic Church in South Carolina on Sunday (Oct. 27), a priest denied him the sacrament. The pastor then discussed the moment with a reporter. “Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” the pastor, the Rev. Robert E. Morey, explained in an email to the Florence News.

You don’t have to be a Christian, a Democrat — or even agree with Biden’s position that the government shouldn’t criminalize abortion — to recognize that this crass politicization of a holy sacrament is deeply problematic.

America Magazine: You have to leave Washington to know the reality of migrants at the border

The bus in Agua Prieta is crowded on this late September morning. I am sitting between a mix of locals on their daily commutes and a delegation of Catholic sisters and other immigrant advocates. We are bumping through this town in the northeast corner of the Mexican state of Sonora, just across the border from Douglas, Ariz. After a brief trip, we pull up at the Centro de Atención al Migrante Exodus.

RNS: It’s time to reclaim the pro-worker history of Catholic social teaching

This Labor Day, presidential candidates will no doubt be talking about the plight of American workers and fairness in the U.S. economy. Few, if any, are likely to mention the Catholic Church’s significant contributions to the fight for worker justice. But as extreme inequality continues to grow, there’s value in reflecting on how Catholic social teaching has offered a check on the excesses of unfettered capitalism over the past century.

NCR: Ignatian Solidarity Network educates, inspires young immigration activists

The young Jesuit is preaching. On this late July day, church is a room at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where more than two dozen college students from 14 Jesuit campuses are settling in for an intensive training that is part Ignatian spiritual retreat, part boot camp for young activists.

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The Francis Effect explores how a church once known as a towering force for social justice became known for a narrow agenda most closely aligned with one political party, and then looks at the opportunities for change in the “age of Francis.” Pope Francis has become an unlikely global star whose image has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Time and even the nation’s oldest magazine for gays and lesbians.

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