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Weigel's Fatal Flaw

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I admit that I did not notice at first the truly fatal flaw in George Weigel's - what else can we call it? - attack on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and its new document on the world financial crisis. I was so aghast at the dismissive tone of his piece, referring to the Council as a "rather small office in the Vatican Curia" as if Cardinal Peter Turkson was some kind of errant child, an outlier run amok, that I missed it.

Until I read E.J. Dionne's column this morning. E.J. quoted that key line in Weigel's diatribe: "This brief document from the lower echelons of the Roman Curia no more aligns ‘the Vatican,’ the pope, or the Catholic Church with Occupy Wall Street than does the Nicene Creed."

Weigel's Fatal Flaw

 | 

I admit that I did not notice the truly fatal flaw in George Weigel's - what else can we call it? - attack on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and its new document on the world financial crisis. I was so aghast at the dismissive tone of his piece, referring to the Council as a "rather small office in the Vatican Curia" as if Cardinal Peter Turkson was some kind of errant child, an outlier run amok, that I missed it.

Until I read E.J. Dionne's column this morning. E.J. quoted that key line in Weigel's diatribe: "This brief document from the lower echelons of the Roman Curia no more aligns ‘the Vatican,’ the pope, or the Catholic Church with Occupy Wall Street than does the Nicene Creed."

The Problem with Romneycare

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Former Massachusetts Governor, and GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney has found himself on the defensive regarding his health care reform law in the Bay State. Most of the criticism has focused on the fact that the Massachusetts reform, like President Obama’s reform, included an individual mandate, requiring that all citizens purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

But, for Catholics and other pro-life voters, Romneycare holds a different problem. It explicitly provided government funding of abortion. The Massachusetts health care reform established a government funded program, Commonwealth Care, that includes coverage of abortion. Commonwealth Care was made available for free to everyone in the Bay State who was below the poverty line and subsidized participation was made available to those above the poverty line.

Conservatives in a Lather

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It didn't take long for certain conservative critics to denounce the document released yesterday by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace regarding the world financial crisis. This is the same crowd which, on other issues, points to similar Vatican documents and invests them with enormous authority. But not now.

Here is George Weigel in the National Review: "The document doesn’t speak for the Pope, it doesn’t speak for 'the Vatican,' and it doesn’t speak for the Catholic Church."

The inimitable Father Zuhlsdorf has the decency to admit that the document has him ranting "like a loon."

And, at CatholicVote.org, Thomas Peters, aka the American Papist, does all he can to diminish the significance of this document, emphasizing that the Church admits it has no special expertise in economics, as indeed the authors of the document say.

The Changing Face of the Middle East

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The politics of the Middle East is in flux, which may be the only thing all Americans can agree about. The most important long-term U.S. foreign policy objective in the region, stability, sought by presidents of both political parties for decades, does not sit well with flux. We are thrilled to see despots deposed, but we worry about what may follow. Americans, of all people, must stand for democracy, but we worry about the influence of radical Islamicists in these newborn democracies. What to do?

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In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

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