Ignatius Press to release Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation

Pope greets crowd as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanThe following comes from a Nov. 25 press release issued by Christian Newswire.

Pope Francis is an evangelist, someone who spreads the good news about God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. Francis’ humble, compassionate style and direct, yet thoughtful, manner of speaking has won him an audience among Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

In his The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium), Pope Francis challenges all Christians to participate in the work of evangelizing — of sharing Christ’s love with others. This book is Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, a teaching document on a particular theme to encourage and challenge people. The Joy of the Gospel addresses the key subjects of the recent Synod of Bishops, which focused on the New Evangelization, an essential topic for the recent popes.

joyofgospelIgnatius Press is slated to release the book as a high-quality, hardcover, deluxe edition in December.

“Pope Francis is an evangelist extraordinaire,” said Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley. “He challenges us to grow in faith and to share our faith with others. That’s what the ‘joy of the Gospel’ is all about. Ignatius Press is honored to make available Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation in this special deluxe edition.”

The highly anticipated The Joy of the Gospel will answer a number of evangelization-related questions, including: How to foster conversion in the Church in order to make her people more faithful and effective in communicating God’s love to others? Why is the place of missions in the modern world? What are the obstacles believers’ own lives sometimes place in the way of others’ coming to faith? What are the questions people have about faith? What attitudes make it hard for people to be receptive to the Christian message? How does Jesus answer the most fundamental questions of human existence? Is there a difference between evangelizing and proselytizing, between proposing faith and imposing it?

To read the original release, click here.





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  1. This document is seriously flawed. It is a train wreck! As Rush Limbough , a non Catholic,stated on Wednesday, it is Marxist. Sure,poor people have to be helped, but they will always be with us, as Christ said. Catholic capitalism is fine; it is only when greed plays a part, and the Calvinistic ideas are put in place, that capitalism becomes evil. To ignore dogma, and believe that everyone is saved, is NOT Catholic teaching. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may inspire Pope Francis to teach the truth, and not liberation theology. Ave Maria Purrissima!

    • In 50 years, no one will remember Rush Limbaugh but Francis will be forever in the history books as a great pope.

      • C&H… lets see if Pope Francis can last 20 years, a great Pope(he could hold a candle to Pius X) I doubt it… he is a liberal who wants to get along with the world, rather than take it on. But I am sure that you think he is great for his “who I am to judge” nonsense, when judgment is exactly what is needed, yeah I said it…BTW Rush will be remembered by those of who are thankful he takes on the liberal establishment everyday of his life something you probably despise. As I drink my crown royal tonight, I will be toasting to the Pope, Rush and hoping San Francisco crumbles into the bay and the filth in it…

        • Canisisus, when I read it in context, I think Pope Francis was merely making a comment about how he treats someone in a confessional who says they have homosexual tendencies but is trying to lead a good chaste life. It seem to me that he was saying that he could not judge their sincerity if they said they were sorry and were trying to improve. On the other hand, if a person does not show any remorse for a serious sin and a serious desire to avoid such behavior, by Church teaching no priest has to and in fact should not absolve them. He just did not mention the latter but the former. Hopefully, sometime he will be more thorough and exact in what he says about such things. He did say that those in LGBT groups that are pushing such things as “same-sex marriage” were a problem and wrong.

        • This is for you Canisius: Limbaugh described the pope’s recent document “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), as “dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong.”This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope,” Limbaugh stated in a program titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It’s a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists).” “Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the common-man touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic. If he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican, okay, cool, fine. But this that I came across last night totally befuddled me. If it weren’t for capitalism, I don’t know where the Catholic Church would be,” Limbaugh said. In “Evangelii Gaudium,” the pontiff called unfettered capitalism “a new tyranny” and urged global leaders to fight poverty. He has warned about the evils of the “idolatry of money,” and the importance of guaranteeing all citizens “dignified work, education, and healthcare.” Limbaugh took issue with many of the points raised by the pope before adding, “I’m not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago.”

      • The welfare queen is elevated to status of saint, the small business owner is in league with Satan…. God purge this world of the Left

    • juergensen says:

      Is that the same Rush Limbaugh who paid bookoo bucks to public sodomite Elton John to play the piano at his (Limbaugh’s) wedding? Just sayin’.

    • Siollan Murphy says:
  2. Jesusita makes two nasty charges against the Pope – and supports one with a quote from Rush Limbaugh, the other she does not support at all.

    Of course it is unfortunate that Jesusita, presumably a Catholic, elevates the judgement of Rush Limbaugh over that of our Pope, but since neither explain what is “Marxist” in this exhortation, I will only note that it was the non-Catholic nations that developed capitalism as the Weber’s famous text “The Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism” made clear over a century ago.

    As for the assertion that Francis claims “everyone is saved”, it is simply not supported by the text. This is a paper about Evangelization! It should be obvious that unless some would otherwise NOT be saved, the entire point of evangelization would be moot.

  3. Anton L Seidl says:

    This document is frontal attack on capitalism. Pope Francis in using language like “unfettered capitalism” is adopting the rhetoric of the far left. Where in the western industrialized world is “unfettered capitalism” still practiced? Is he completely unaware of the confiscatory rates of taxation being imposed on income earners in industrialized counties? The Holy Father needs crash course in economics, a subject he is clearly deficient in. It is precisely capitalism that created employment and prosperity, not socialism and redistribution of wealth, which he advocates as means of melioration. The modern economies work best when excessive tax and regulatory burdens are lifted. I am gravely dismayed by the political and economic tone deafness displayed by the pope. None of his predecessors endorsed Marxism and Socialism. This is truly a first. We have long been aware how modernist ideas have slowly perverted our institutions, our schools, our charities, and our churches. Until now, the Vatican remained immune from this contamination. Alas! This seems to be the end of an era.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      or else maybe he knows more about unfetterred capitalism than you think?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      I have not read the document, but unfettered capitalism, that is capitalism, without moral guidance, is and has been the cause of much unneeded suffering!

      Profit is necessary, but ungodly profit is sin!

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

      • It is shameful that as Thanksgiving arrives and Christmas approaches, millions of poor Americans are told by official Washington that their food assistance must be cut and that their jobless benefits must expire, while politicians attend Gilded Age campaign fundraisers or make their fortunes leaving government service for revolving-door jobs with special interests.

        As the right attacks the interests of the poor and the pope prays for the betterment of the poor, Democrats should fight for the poor with courage, vigor and tenacity.

        Politically, the moral leadership of Francis is good news for progressive Democrats who boldly transform his visions into policy proposals that appeal to Catholic voters, and voters of all faiths, who adhere to what Francis reminds us are the teaching of Jesus, and are in fact the teachings of most great faiths.

        Politically the moral leadership of the pope is bad news for those Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party advocates and libertarians who politically worship at the altar of the unbridled and unregulated excesses of capitalism that Francis deplores.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          which is precisely why ultra right talking head Limaugh is doing everything he can to discredit the Holy Father.

          • YFC, did you actually hear Rush Limbaugh’s comments? Based on your and other’s reactions to what Jesusita posted, I highly doubt it.

            I did hear what Rush said regarding the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation and my takeaway was far different from that of Jesusita’s. Maybe she did not hear his comments in their entirety. Either way she only made one single statement about what Rush said, yet he spoke about it for over 30 minutes! As Limbaugh normally posts his monologues, it may still be up on the free side of his website for everyone to read for him/herself. In no way was I left with the impression that Rush’s reflections were in anyway made to “discredit” the Holy Father as you or others suggest here. In fact, he spoke very highly of this pope, the previous two popes, as well as, the Catholic religion in general! This vitriol,”discrediting” Rush and his character, coming from those posting here, who did not hear what Rush said, is uncharitable at the very least.

      • With all respect Kenneth I find it laughable princes of the Church dictating to us small business people, when they live in palaces supported by the Faithful. I will give up “ungodly profits” when the princes of Church move into one bedroom apartments

    • The Tea Party and Karl Marx share much in common. The Libertarians in the Tea Party hate the state and see it as a coercive force that steals their God given liberty. Marx saw the state as stealing individual liberty from the proletariat through its alignment with the capitalists. Marx’s hatred of the state drove his vision of a communist utopia that emerged from the wreckage of not only capitalism, but its successor, socialism. Far from being anti-capitalism, Marx saw it as a necessary stage in the development of communism. Ironically, the anti-welfare state mentality of the Tea Party, if made reality by gaining power, could very well be the catalyst that awakens the proletariat that has been lulled to sleep by the statists on the left and the right. The very thing the Tea Party fears most may be what it ultimately creates.

      • The Food Stamp program, duplicated under Obama and the Democrats, destroys the Americans spirit.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Quite possibly the most intriguing post on CCD that I’ve ever read. Not sure I agree with it, or whether I disagree, but it is definitely food for thought!

      • The Tea Party movement is about far much more than welfare reform. The Tea Party is made up of those of us who would like to see America move away from “an utopian tyranny” and return to its Constitutional roots. Those who feel “safer” with an all powerful Federal government,(most especially those who currently hold power, or those who currently “benefit” from those who hold power), find the Tea Party movement to be “scary”. They say that we want slavery reimposed, all-the-while they themselves are perfectly comfortable with more and more State control (enslavement) over the American people’s lives. Is there anything we do these days which isn’t regulated (i.e. controlled) by the state? Think about it!
        There is a good book out right now called the “Tea Party Catholic” by Samuel Gregg. Gregg gives an honest assessment of what the tea party movement is about. Another book I would recommend is “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America” by Mark Levin.

    • Would you please quote the document and then tell us why you are interpreting it in this manner so we could discuss it.

  4. If you read Spanish there is an excellent summary of EG here.


    It is worth reading EG in the Pope’s original language, and the complete (250 pages!) exhortation is linked at the end of the article.

  5. I am happy to see Pope Francis speak in such blunt and unmistakable language, but he says nothing in this encyclical concerning economics that has not been said by previous Popes, nothing that endorses marxism or socialism, and nothing that condemns the private accumulation and use of property, properly understood and ordered.

    Anton, the Acton Institute, and other “Tea-Party Catholics” simply refuse to accept the Church’s long teachings on this matter, and in exactly the same way that “Catholics for Choice, and “Call to Action” refuse to accept Her teaching on contraception and womens’ ordination – by ridiculing the competence of the Popes to even comment, and then by a smokescreen of irrelevancies, dominated by the statements of secular “authorities” whose opinions they prefer.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Brian S.,

      Again, you write of that of which you know NOTHING!
      I challenge you to produce any documents or copies of speeches in which TEA Party members support unbridled capitalism.

      Have you ever even attended any TEA Party events? You are just mimicking your favorite leftist shibboleths!

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

      • What bridles are they in favor of?

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Dear Kenneth –

        Fancy you mention TEA party events. I happened to be in DC about a year and a half ago while they were marching their annual march in their utterly ridiculous hats.

        I myself avoided the all white and aged contingent that called themselves TEA partiers, and went to the Archives and viewed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

        The interesting thing is that, of the half dozen times or so that I have venerated these relics of our sacred union, there were fewer Fellow Viewers than I had ever seen. I could get in and out, out and about, between and among the documents without so much as a single soul to impede me.

        Interesting to me that the TEA partiers are so enamored with the Constitution, yet care so little about what is contained therein.

    • Anton L Seidl says:

      Brian: To compare the Acton Institute with phony outfits like “Catholics for Choice” and “Call to Action” is decidedly disingenuous. The folks at Acton express opinions on how best to organize society to maximize free enterprise and minimize the need for welfare programs that are bankrupting the nation. I see nothing contrary to faith and morals in their agenda. The same cannot be said for the other two organizations you mention.

      • I’m not being disingenuous at all. Somehow, despite unbroken Church teaching throughout your lifetime, you simply do not accept that the Church insists that the State use its power to assist the poor and to prevent the exploitation of workers by the rich. How is this different than a member of Call to Action’s insistence on women’s ordination despite the repetitions to the contrary throughout their life?

        As for what you can see, the Pope is here to instruct and guide us. Stop insisting you know better, listen to him, and learn to see more clearly.

        • Anton L Seidl says:

          Brian S. ” The Church insists that the State use its power to assist the poor and to prevent the exploitation of workers by the rich”.
          That, dear Brian, separates us. The Church has no business using its coercive power to steal from Peter and give to Paul. The Church’s role is to use moral suasion, not brute force. Confiscating one citizen’s property for the purpose of redistribution to other citizens is strong arm robbery. The state can and does pass laws to promote worker health and safety standards; it cannot pass laws to set wages. (The “minimum wage” being the exception and it, using objective empirical standards, often results in lost jobs and blocks younger people from entry into the job market).

          • Pope Francis: Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued Tuesday. His calls to service go beyond general good Samaritan deeds, as he asks his followers for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality”. I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor,” Francis wrote.
            A recent IRS report shows that the wealth of the US’s richest 1 percent has grown by 31 percent, while the rest of the population experienced an income rise of only 1 percent.
            The most recent Oxfam data shows that up to 146 million Europeans are at risk of falling into poverty by 2025 and 50 million Americans are currently suffering from severe financial hardship.
            “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

          • Anton, like Catholics for Choice, you simply refuse to accept Church teachings. And then, like a King James-waving Protestant, you claim knowledge of the mind of Jesus. Jesus didn’t write Rerum Novarum? Jesus didn’t say anything about not ordaining women, either.

            It is from the Church that we know women may not be ordained, it is also from the Church that we know that the State has duties to its people, especially its poorest ones.

            If you are Catholic, that should be good enough for you.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Brian S that is disgusting that you would compare Anton to Catholics for Choice. Truly bearing false witness! I mean that. You have stooped so low as to stop another lay faithful from reasoning. You want to insult his reasoning especially when he made good points as well. But to put him in the same boat as those who support abortion, is truly bearing false witness against another lay faithful…pretty scummy words if you ask me.

        • Jesus exhorts each of us to be charitable to the poor (to the best of our ability). He does not exhort the government to do so.

          When we are judged upon death, He will ask us as individuals what we have done, not what our government(s) have done.

          Next unlike some other governments, the USA takes care of its poor.
          Medicaid, Food Stamps, Free breakfast and lunch programs in public schools, Housing assistance, Utility assistance, Aid to Dependent Children, even expensive cell phones that many of the rest of us can not afford,, etc., etc, etc.
          Under an Obama Executive Order (again breaking the law) people no longer need to look for work.

          Remember that unless otherwise specified, when the Pope speaks it is to the entire world.
          In the USA the Pope needs to preach that people should not make themselves dependent on welfare programs – Sloth (lazy) is a Capital Sin.
          St Paul wrote about such laziness that we should have nothing to do with these people. – 2 Thess 3:6-12.

          The government needs to stop passing programs that financially punish job creators.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            MAC, are you so sure about how we will be judged? What supposedly illegal supposed Obama executive order decrees that people no longer need to look for work? You are accusing the President of the United States of serious law breaking. Perhaps you might want to be more specific, lest you violate the commandment on making false accusations.

          • Ann Malley says:

            I cannot help but feel that our Catholic leaders are very similar to the misguided zealots of Christ’s day – that is those who desire an earthly king who will march forward with the agenda that will put them on top again – even if that ‘top’ is the perceived abolition of ‘visible’ poverty.

            Christ Himself said we would always have the poor with us. That is we would always have the challenge and the obligation to respond in the fulness of charity to our fellow man in suffrage. Try as we might, this ‘issue’ will not go away as life and circumstances continue to happen. It will not be solved by human means as if we can check the box on our life’s agenda and say, done. We cannot.

            For if we place the expediency of solving poverty in the visible sense (using all of the seamless garment arguments to allow for that which is deemed prudent, necessary, or tragically ‘unavoidable’ sin) we will only succeed in trading financial poverty for spiritual bankruptcy.

            And where does that lead?

          • Anonymous says:

            83% of food stamp benefits go to households that have children, elderly or disabled members.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Good stat on food stamps, Anonymous. I was thinking more of the stats regarding ‘birth control’ measures and the push for end-of-life issues regarding the elderly.

            Nobody said we shouldn’t ‘feed’ the poor. That said, however, there are many fatherless families out there that are fatherless for a reason. Reasons root caused to people not living up to or trying to live up to the Gospel. That’s why these things should be taught in their entirety to keep matters in context.

          • Annonymous, you should have said that the majority of food stamp benefits goes to children whose fathers don’t support them and to those elderly whose children do not support them!

          • Catherine says:

            Ann Malley,

            Your Dec. 2, 2013 7:57am post is excellent. God bless you!

          • Ann Malley says:

            God bless you, too, Catherine. And keep up the good fight – the toughest aspect, to me, being the circular logic that loves to quote the seemingly active/inactive aspects of the gospel (feeding the poor, being hospitable, and absolutely not judging) while maintaining a steadfast blindness to the reality that God is really God and means what He says.


          • Abeca Christian says:

            The gift of gratitude in edification of all good is truly a precious one to see. An honorable one. One that lifts the spirit, lifts one another in Christ. Such happy moments to see when the good Lord unites His people, in edification of one another that honor our Lord. Praise Be Jesus Christ. : )

    • Brian S, an Apostolic Exhortation is not an Encyclical. While an AE has value, it is not on the same level as an Encyclical . Fr. Sirico has posted a 10 minute video on the Acton Institutes website commenting on the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation. What he says is charitable and clears up a lot of the rhetoric.

      • What Sirico said was nonsense. Essentially, he claims that capitalism is under tight control and that therefore nothing Francis said applies to us.

        He has to weather the storm, and no doubt his rich patrons will help him do so, hoping for the day that this exhortation is buried and less likely to prick the conscience of devoted Catholics of the First World.

        As for encyclicals, read this one. Francis isn’t working new ground. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus_en.html

        • In Mark Levin’s book ‘Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America”, He goes through a list of nearly 100 regulations which are imposed by our government before a single carton of milk makes it into our homes! Sirico is right! Capitalism is under tight control! And the American people are under tight Governmental control as well!

          • And those regulations are the product who, I wonder? Do you suppose that the large industrial interests who bottle milk lack influence with the government, or that farmers are prohibited by law from selling to consumers directly is unrelated to the economic interests of these large, influential companies?

            At any rate, you should read the document more carefully. Francis does not say that fetters don’t exist, he warns against an “ideology of unfettered capitalism”, which certainly does exist, and to which you seem to adhere.

          • Brian S., the regulations that Mark Levin was referring to, which take place before a carton of milk makes it into your refrigerator, has to do with every regulation made along the way. He was pointing out that tires on the trucks are regulated, gasoline in the tank is regulated, lightbulbs in the dairy are regulated, wages are regulated, etc.. etc. Today we have sooooooo many regulations that often times the regulations conflict with one another! So in order to comply with one regulation you have no choice but to violate another one. My point is that we certainly do NOT have an “unfettered” capitalism at work here in America! Not by a long shot! Maybe you could tell us where in the world today we still can find an “unfettered” system.

    • Some “businesses” do need bridles, too. The porn, abortion, euthanasia and all such types of “businesses” need bridles, but corrupt government does not see fit to bridle those in many states or incidences. I think those are some of the unbridled capitalism that Pope Francis would condemn. Actually, it was unbridled consumerism that he was talking about, such as unnecessary shopping on Sundays or trampling sales clerks to death or using a stun gun to get to the items one wants on Black Friday that would horrify the Holy Father, and that has happened in this country. It not only says something about our government but about us as a people.

      • Anonymous, If what Pope Francis was misquoted and what he was really talking about was unbridled consumerism then I am beyond grateful that he has brought this subject up! We have certainly lost a spirit of temperance in our world. People actually contracept and/or abort their children because of this spirit of unbridled consumerism. It is really sick!

  6. good cause says:

    Pope Francis can be forgiven for bashing capitalism, as most Popes in the modern world have attacked it with different levels of focus. The Holy Father is most likely remembering his South American roots, which still has much poverty and more than a few dictators. Looking at the Western World, including North America and Europe, and those Asian countries that have adopted capitalism, the benefits are stark for all to see: the best way to elevate the standard of living and reduce poverty is to have a free market capitalist economic system. Even the communists have figured this one out.

    • Anton L Seidl says:

      Good Cause: I find the pope’s constant bashing of the wealthy very un-Christian. I understand and appreciate his Latin American perspective regarding abject poverty and the obvious callousness of the moneyed oligarchies toward the poor; I believe, however, that he should look about him and see that the industrialized north is far from being the exploitative “unfettered” capitalist system he condemns. Those among us who are older and wiser should no hesitate to criticize the Holy Father when he steps on thin ice on a subject he was never trained to master. Emotional appeals and ultra-left revolutionary rhetoric do not become a man of such high stature.

      • Siollan Murphy says:

        “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

        If the Pope is un-Christian, then so is Jesus.

        If you think the poverty of developing countries is somehow not connected to the wealth of developed ones, you’re really not looking very closely. Take a look at any clothing item or consumer product you own. Where was it manufactured? Invariably, it was produced in a place with the lowest standard of living and worst human rights records possible, as that is most favorable to shareholder value. There you have… unfettered capitalism.

        • So Siollan, are you suggesting we capitalists close our factories?

          • Scub, if your factories are leading you into sin, then by all means you must close them! This inquiry must be considered fully answered by Matthew 5:29.

        • Siollan is another person who raises the welfare cheat to status of sainthood

        • Siollan, Since the American economy is shambles, the Chinese government is complaining that we are not buying their goods like we used to. Sounds like they too cannot bear to exist without America. The Chinese communist have confiscated Chinese citizen’s farm lands to build large factories on them in which they are then forced to work in. Apparently, Communist Chinese leaders think that this is the best solution for their people.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Soilen I wish I had more patience but you surely do not understand that passage well about the camel and the needle….it’s not speaking literally about a real needle…..

          • Siollan M says:

            Please enlighten me.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Soillen I can;t recall who explained better that verse, I think it was Scott Hahn or Tim Staples…..do your research there….or maybe Ill return and try to convey it in a shorter post…..I’m anemic and sometimes I have not enough energy to do so…my apologies…..

          • I looked for that (to no avail). I’d love to see what you’re referencing. If it relies on an abstracted definition of camel and needle wherein passage through the needle’s eye is something that can be achieved with a moderate degree of success… the notion is entertaining.

            Jesus spoke in plain, colorful, eloquent metaphor. If you’re interpreting the most simple statements to have the opposite of their face value, that’s really reaching.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Not sure where I heard it, Siollan, but I recall hearing that the ‘eye of the needle’ was what folks of Our Lord’s time called the narrow passageways cut into the inner walls of cities or perhaps those between buildings. The eye of the needle would therefore be difficult for a camel to pass through.

            Like I said, can’t recall where I heard that, but I hope it helps just the same. Even so the ‘needle’ passage is followed up by reliance upon God’s grace as nothing is impossible with God.

            That said I don’t understand the correlation of this passage with Our Lord and Pope Francis regarding the above article.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Anton, have you actually read the Gospels?

        • Anton L. Seidl says:

          YFC: Is that a trick question? I know what Jesus said about a camel going through the eye of a needle. Jesus spoke in parables. Everybody knows that. But Jesus also said “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”. If you all love socialism so much that you want to impose it on the whole world, remember what socialism did to Russia and China. Socialism is utopianism that inevitably leads to totalitarianism and millions of dead bodies. Socialism is poison. Look what it is doing right now to Venezuela, a country veritably floating on unlimited oil wealth ruled by a regime that can’t keep the lights on in Caracas. Pull your heads out of the sand and see the world as it is! Pope Francis’ Latin America is a test case of how not to organize the economy of nations.

          • Anton, the Church supports the ownership and control of property by individuals as a natural right. Give up your strawman.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Anton, it is neither a trick question, nor am i a socialist. Nor is our Holy Father. Yet you seem to have blithely ignored all that our Lord had to say about the poor, which is what our Pope reminds us of with every action he takes. Continue to ignore the message of the Gospels and our Supreme Pontiff at your own peril.

          • YFC while you ignore all the Churches teaching on sexual morality…..I will ignore the Pontiff when he is wrong and he clearly is, in this matter… The fact that you warn others on the conditions of their souls is quite laughable…..

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Anton gathering from your comments, I can tell that you do understand scripture…God bless you!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ…St. Jerome once quoted that…..Its true….look what happened to the protestants, many of them are ignorant to the point that they state that Jesus has brothers….insinuating that Virgin Mary was no virgin and had more children. Truly a heresy. The word brethren in the bible also meant cousins etc. It did not mean more siblings.

            Sometimes we place men so high up on a pedestal and proclaim him as close to being God, that we neglect that he is not God and that he is human and with flaws. But surely we can appreciate mankind when they are walking in God’s path, when he has a zeal to please God and denies himself, for the glory of God!

        • Ann Malley says:

          “…Continue to ignore the message of the Gospels and our Supreme Pontiff at your own peril.”

          There is more than one message in the Gospel, YFC, and more Popes than just Francis. That said, simply reading the Gospel does not ensure the understanding of it.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Ann Malley apparently you are a perfect demonstration of your own statement, “There is more than one message in the Gospel, YFC, and more Popes than just Francis. That said, simply reading the Gospel does not ensure the understanding of it.”

          • Ann Malley says:

            YFC, of course I am a perfect demonstration of what I said. We all are. That is why I cry out for the teaching of the fullness of Truth. Because I need it. But so too, my friend, do you. Especially if you wish to be an advocate for those downtrodden who would trade Truth for lies.

            It only takes a drop of poison to spoil the whole cake. And I’m not into letting my ‘friends’ play Russian Roulette in order find the poison so I can eat the rest.

  7. It is a mess as much as Father Z. tries to spin it. Very anti-capitalist, he should be concerned about saving Europe from Islam and teaching the Roman Catholic faith.

    • Damn right Janek

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      Now you are talking wisdom!

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
      Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Janek, did you read EG?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Janek is right….in order to take care of the poor, we must first take care of souls…then those with living souls in Christ, would work better to do God’s will. I mean take for instance…..Europe, where I thought we had more Catholics…usually they seem more open minded about secular things….its pretty sad.

  8. No matter how anyone interprets what they believe the Pope said, or what they believe he may have meant – he can’t change any teachings of the Church with an Encyclical.

    The accurate teaching of the Church are contained in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates , lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)

    “… These, then, are the four elements which comprise the storehouse of memory which the Church hands down: the profession of faith, the celebration of the sacraments, the path of the ten commandments, and prayer. The Church’s catechesis has traditionally been structured around these four elements;
    this includes the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
    which is a fundamental aid for that unitary act with which the Church communicates the entire content of her faith: “all that she herself is, and all that she believes”. ” – Pope Francis (Encyclical Letter LUMEN FIDEI, 2013)

    • ANNA, I’ll say it once again, an Apostolic Exhortation is not an Encyclical. While an Apostolic Exhortation has value, it is not on the same level as an Encyclical . So in the light of this, your comments bear even more weight now!

      • Anonymous says:

        An Apostolic Exhortation is a type of Encyclical. An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of communication. Next is an Papal Encyclical, then an apostolic Exhortation. It is exactly what it says it is. An exhortation, a letter urging us to do some things, from the successor of the Apostle Peter. It is not something to ignore or to analyze. It is something to obey.

        • Steve Phoenix says:

          Ahhh, Anonymous, an exhortation is NOT an encyclical and is FAR below the magisterial status of encyclical. An exhortation is homily-type suggestions and is NOT a formally magisterial document. I dont know where you got your hierarchy of papal pronouncements. Also, You clearly havent read EG: the Pope himself says this is a pastoral document—-and a very flawed document at that, showing that, just as we dont turn to Milton Friedman for an explanation of grace and nature, we dont turn to a pope for economic analysis. In this over-200 page document, he ranges over everything from priests giving sermons to how money should be used (with some bizarre jingoistic lines, such a s, “Money should serve, not rule..”) —fine, Holy Father, how about pulling in the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, for starters, which have inflicted so much pain and poverty on nations around the world, especially your own Argentina? No, stop the claim that this is “official de fide magisterial” teaching. It is not.

          • Anonymous says:

            Steve Phoenix, you are correct that I have not finished reading it. You are correct that an apostolic exhortation does not deal with doctrine like a Papal Encyclical does. I should amend my first sentence to say “An Apostolic Exhortation is a type of papal document.” Thank you for your correction. This document was issued following the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which met in October of last year. The theme of the Synod was: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. (14) The exhortation involves the proclaiming of the Gospel which is the true purpose of the Church. The pope desires for us to do this with joy, enthusiasm, and vitality. (17) He asks us to adopt this style of evangelization in every activity which we undertake. (18) He asks us to have a personal encounter with Jesus every day or at least be open to it. He says to do this unfailingly. (3) The issues of economy which have been greatly misunderstood and distorted are preceded by an explanation which Christians should take seriously and which echo statements from the previous popes. He exhorts all to an “ever watchful scrutiny of the signs of the times” and talks about the seriousness of discernment of spirits and choosing the spirit of good and rejecting the spirit of evil. (51) Please read the section in the light of the Holy Spirit from the perspective of a missionary desiring to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. (50)

  9. St Paul said, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. Hmmm…. sounds fairly capitalistic to me… even in his communal living environment.

  10. Father Karl says:

    Besides being tainted with liberation theology elements, concerning capitalism, this document also says the old covenant is still valid. When Christ died, the veil in the temple was torn in two, meaning the old covenant is past, and a new one (The cup of my blood, the new and eternal covenant), spoken to the apostles by Christ, is now in effect. If anyone can get into Heaven without having to believe in Christ, or without the sacrament of Baptism, what is the need for Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. In other words, the Redemption was NOT necessary, and one does not have to belong to the Catholic Church. If this is true, why should anyone want to try to live a saintly and virtuous life, if universal salvation is granted to all people. Original sin is not mentioned, so why the need of redemption and sanctifying grace? This document DOES go against the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. I believe it will confuse the faithful instead of clarifying the doctrine of the faith. No wonder the second largest religion in the United States is ‘former Catholics’, who have become apostate, by joining other religions.

    • Anton L Seidl says:

      Bless you, Father Karl! Your words of wisdom should be appreciated by all. With every statement this new pope makes, the confusion grows. I no longer know exactly where he stands and where I should stand. Pope Francis began as an enigma, but as time progresses, he is revealing himself as a man of the political left.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Anton, perhaps the Holy Father is asking you to lean a little more to the left?

        • Joel Torczon says:

          Likewise, YFC, will the shakedown artists who incessantly seek to redistribute the wealth start leaning a little to the right? After all, the pope is speaking about unfettered consumerism, not unfettered capitalism, something that the late, great Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has to say about: “[P]recisely, the consuming of life by the things consumed. It is living in a manner that is measured by having rather than being. As Pope John Paul II makes clear, consumerism is hardly the sin of the rich. The poor, driven by discontent and envy, may be as consumed by what they do not have as the rich are consumed by what they do have. The question is not, certainly not most importantly, a question about economics. It is first and foremost a cultural and moral problem requiring a cultural and moral remedy.”

        • YFC, as in Matthew 25: 33? “He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left”!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are confusing the covenant with the sacrificial system of ancient Israel. There is nothing in either that addresses “getting into Heaven.”

    • Not Father Carl says:

      Ask, Search, Knock

      7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
      The Golden Rule

      12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
      The Narrow Gate

      13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy[d] that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Father Karl is correct and God bless Anton for acknowledging it!

      YFC if you want to follow the Pope..then you must follow all the teachings of the church including the ones on homosexuality and let me remind you that it also includes what the scripture says….You can’t have the word of God without His church. Or visa versa.

      • Anonymous says:

        Romans 11:[26] And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. [27] And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins. [28] As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. [29] For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. [30] For as you also in times past did not believe God, but now have obtained mercy, through their unbelief;

        [29] Are without repentance: his repenting himself of them; for the promises of God are unchangeable, nor can he repent of conferring his gifts.

        Which is what the Pope said and Father Karl is disputing.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Anonymous, you misunderstand the Popes and Fr. Karl. For while Our Lord does not repent of His gifts, He does not shove them down our throats when WE reject them. Unlike those who would press Christ’s mercy and salvation on those who openly reject Him, those who openly DO NOT WANT IT, Christ respects free will.

      So whereas you may seem to believe that St. Paul in Romans can contradict Christ Himself, the reality is, he cannot. Otherwise there would have been no cause whatsoever for Our Lord to lament:

      “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who killest the prophets, and stonest those who are sent to thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but thou wouldst not!”

      IOW: We as well as the Jews can and do reject Christ – all the time. And there are consequences for doing so. One cannot change Truth by way of rhetoric.

      • Ann Malley, You said what every humble Christian accepts “Christ respects free will”. Or we could say “God respects free will”. This aspect of God’s nature is an absolute anathema to his enemies! “Utopia” will never be achieved when we honor individual’s free will as God does! No one should ever be puzzled that liberals either outright reject God and His Church, or if not, they make claims of believing in God and His Church they reject His teachings!

        Christ gives us a powerful reminder of how we can easily mess things up when He said to St. Peter, (who I’m sure meant well), “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

        • Ann Malley says:

          Interesting, Tracy, how those who will not simply accept God’s gift of free will and all that it entails would prefer to cast one and all as hapless animals incapable of choosing anything while at the same time, apparently, advocating for free choice.

          What a tightly spun little web. Sticky too. All that back and forth logic is sure to catch a multitude. As for St. Peter, absolutely, I’m sure he meant well. Just like many who mistakenly claim that poor ‘fill-in-the-blank’ cannot help themselves and therefore should be allowed to sin with abandon while others attempt to clean up the mess – or rather attempt to explain away, excuse or hide the increasing mess. This is human logic. Not the mind of God to be sure.

          Still, this present day reminds me very much of the Israelites who perceived the Gentiles as little more than animals, incapable of holding to the laws of God(or even being given the chance to try) and therefore beneath the dignity of being treated like a brother.

      • Acceptance of Jesus is not a condition of the covenant that God made with the Hebrew people.
        The covenant did not involve eternal life.
        The history of the Israelites is the story of God’s faithfulness even when Israel is unfaithful.
        God is mindful of the covenants that He makes. He does not take them back.
        There is no contradiction between Jesus’ words and St. Paul’s.
        The Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture. It is infallible.

  11. Joel Torczon says:

    An excellent analysis of the pope’s letter by one of my favorite priests, Fr. John Trigilio, confirmed my hunches that many of the comments here are the result of barking up the wrong trees, whether in blasting the pope for supposedly pushing Marxist nonsense as Rush Limbaugh did or in praising him for supposedly denouncing capitalism. The answer lies somewhere in the middle. Just do a Google search using one of Fr. Trigilio’s remarks: “The pontiff is not forcing any nation or government to abandon capitalism; he’s not advocating socialism let alone communism.”

    • Thank you for posting that Joel. I admire Fr. Trigilio’s thinking, so I will have to check that out.

    • Joel Torczon, For the record, Rush Limbaugh never made a decisive conclusion that Pope Francis is pushing Marxism as Jesusita’s comment suggested. While it is true that Rush found some of the pope’s remarks, as currently reported, to be a bit puzzling, he said that he would have to take a wait-and-see attitude, as the true intent of the pope’s remarks undoubtedly will eventually come out. Rush was simply trying to make sense of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation just as many of us here at CCD are.

      Thank you for alerting us to the piece by Fr. John Trigilio. I look forward to reading it.

      • Joel Torczon says:

        Tracy, thank you for thoughts about Rush’s statements. Hopefully he and the rest of us will eventually make sense of all the confusion over the pope’s thoughts on the matter. I also welcome you and Jay on thanking me for alerting the readers here to Fr. John’s analysis.

  12. Steve Phoenix says:

    Brian S: “You simply do not accept that the Church insists that the State use its power to assist the poor and to prevent the exploitation of workers by the rich…” Ah the Golden Calf of modern socialists [by the way, there is no differentiation between socialism, Marxism and communism as someone posted above: They are all preoccupied with a powerful central Leviathan to crush individual liberty and especially to seize personal property (which they dont believe in)]. I painstakingly have read very this verbose and meandering Evangelii Gaudium, and 1st of all, as usual Brian S is wrong: it is an exhortation, not an encyclical (so of course he hasnt read it, but knows all about it). Therefore EG by definition is persuasive and “pastoral” (Pope’s own words) and not magisterial/ infallible/sacred-deposit-of-faith-matter. It cannot be, because it conflicts with 100 years of social teaching. I did not find specifically socialist-identification in this exhortation, but what is disturbing above all is that Pope Francis announces against a free-market economic system (#53, check it out) and claims “trickle-down” theories “have never worked.” Really, Holy Father? What system do you propose instead? But maybe he is talking about Cuba, N. Korea, China, kleptocratic Russia, and European socialist regimes that disempower their youth and have over 20% unemployment, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Greece. It also isnt a very joyful document (despite its title) and spends a huge amount of space (esp. Ch. 2) being extremely negative and un-hopeful. Pope Francis also takes a quite uncharitable swipe at traditionals, calling them “self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianists” who “feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.” (Gee, that describes a lot of “Spirit-of-Vatican-2” progressives who keep telling us that the Council has never been “tried” —after 5 decades of ramming it down people’s throats…) So, this is quite what I expected from an ivory-tower professor-type Jesuit (without any Ph.D mind you) who really isnt very precise on any of his pro-Martini-type positions. But he has them a-plenty (Martini-like positions that is).

    • Steve from Phoenix -4 Brian S-o

      That was grand slam to dead center over monument park….

    • Your contempt for this Pope should be shameful, it is certainly scandalous.

      Of course, I never said that this was an encyclical. I did link to this one, and though perhaps you feel the same contempt for John Paul, here is a portion of it, from Paragraph 30, of Centesimus Annus:

      “….the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right.

      While (Leo XIII) proclaimed the right to private ownership, he affirmed with equal clarity that the “use” of goods, while marked by freedom, is subordinated to their original common destination as created goods, as well as to the will of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Gospel. Pope Leo wrote: “those whom fortune favours are admonished … that they should tremble at the warnings of Jesus Christ … and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for the use of all they possess”; and quoting Saint Thomas Aquinas, he added: “But if the question be asked, how must one’s possessions be used? the Church replies without hesitation that man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all…”, because “above the laws and judgments of men stands the law, the judgment of Christ”.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Brian S its not contempt for the Pope, its what we are enduring currently in this great country ours….Steve makes good arguments..y0u don’t need to knock him down by insinuating that he has contempt for our Pope, which is not true…he just hates how many use every opportunity that they can to use the Pope to carry out their liberal agendas here.

    • 1. The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.
      Evangelii Guadium

  13. I’m a capitalist, have always worked with capitalistic companies, and run my own business. I believe that it is the best economic system in the history of the world. But, I have been around long enough to see the damage it can do if the companies don’t work in a responsible way. The statistics are appalling. There isn’t a CEO in the world worth the salaries some are making while the majority of people are just getting by if that well. The bottom 75% of the people in the U.S. have gained a pittance while the top 1% has grown by 70% in net worth. Twenty or thirty years ago companies were arguing about how much they should give to “good causes.” Today it isn’t on the radar. Only a few of the billionaires are truly trying to give back. The top 20 richest people in the U.S. come from only a few families. They own everything. Those that lead organizations do it with the support of others. Those who went to the best high schools, went to the best colleges and had high paying jobs with big pensions were the lucky ones. Some were even good at what they did. Some worked to get to the top. But, most were lucky to have been born in the right families who could provide for them and give them the leg-up. Examples of those who started at the bottom and worked their way up to the top are exceptions, so exceptional that they are used as examples that it can be done.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Yes Bob One I stand by capitalism too even though I struggle financially. But its true what you conveyed, it’s important to have morals whether you be poor or wealthy….that is what is important. Greed is never a good thing but we can’t change humanity and it’s choosing to sin.

      I don’t like Obama one bit, I can’t stand the sight of him but I do believe that he truly does want everyone to have medical. I think he feels that he is doing a good thing, I can’t argue with him, I do like the idea that everyone should have medical coverage but I don’t like the medical that includes abortions and other immoral stuff….that is where this president went wrong. Also true care for people should include alternative medicine as well.
      A few years ago, a man and his family of 6….he had to support his family and his wife was pregnant as well, he was so angry at me for spreading the word that Obama Care included abortions and contraception. He said “I have no power over people, they will get their abortions whether its covered or not, they will find away, but I don’t have coverage for my growing family and I gotta vote for what helps my family.” He needed medical. He was self employed,. middle class but struggling just like the rest of us. He lived paycheck to paycheck and was fearful on how he was going to pay for his medical.

      • Abeca, the facts and history speaks for itself. Obama does not does not want everyone to have health care. He said so himself when he first campaigned on the issue. He said that even if an elderly woman is otherwise healthy and active, she cannot expect to receive a pacemaker and should realize that it may be time to accept a pain pill. There are many other proofs, but I’ll leave it at that. Maybe someone else will add something else.

        The average German citizen never fathomed that Hitler would become the monster he was. That being said, there were those who understood who he was and tried to warn the people but they didn’t want to believe it.

        • Let’s all remember Obama promised that if he were elected president that he would “FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM AMERICA”! He later said that he would need two terms as president in order to accomplish this goal!

          • Ann Malley says:

            Any measure of seeming sympathy for the poor coming from the current administration is a mask for gaining power. Nothing more. That is why temptation by its very nature takes on the appearance of something good or desirable – otherwise it would not be a temptation.

            IOW: Every trap must be baited to be effective.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Tracy I agree with you about your sentiments on Obama…..

          Would have been better if this medical care would of been taken on by a God fearing conservative American instead…..

          Just the other day, a young woman was told that she had to sign up for Obama care or else be penalized with some fee or something like that. Its an ugly time for everyone. I also know the reality of how ugly the medicine is here in the USA, they charge way too much for services, no young families can survive especially when they are raising large families, we Catholics should understand this, since many of us don’t contraception and having big families, there are always those office visits that build up. I had 3 good pregnancies and 4 miscarriages, I would had 7 children living had it not been because of those 4 babies I lost. My kids continue to be in sports and other activities……and I always pray that they don’t get injured….I worry about those big hospital bills. I already owe a lot from my current medical dilemma(even with insurance). I have cousins in Mexico City, their doctors visits are not monstrous as ours are, and they seem to get better care. I don’t know why many of their doctors seem to really give medical care with out drugging people up, they even seem to know about natural remedies. No wonder we are in a big mess and don’t expect it to get better with this ugly creation of Obama care.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Last week, one conservative commentator called Pope Francis’s message “pure Marxism.” He said the pope is “dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong,” and suggested that Pope Francis is ignorant of basic economics and has no business even raising the subject. Why? To ensure that the Holy Father’s message, like Saint Francis’s, won’t be taken seriously. Eight hundred years after his namesake, Pope Francis is reduced to a cartoonish socialist to quiet consciences rankled by exhortation.
    The Holy Father is not a politician or an economist. But he is a very good pastor. He recognizes the sinfulness of Christians and the shortcomings of the Church. He recognizes our vices and our temptations. He calls us to be the best of our humanity: He calls us to discipleship in Jesus Christ and solidarity with our brothers and sisters. The invitation of Evangelii Gaudium is challenging and discomforting. We can accept the challenge of his message, or we can neuter it of meaning. But however we respond, the invitation to virtue, solidarity, and sanctity will remain an invitation to a Gospel of pure joy.”

    — The Most Rev. James D. Conley is bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, Neb.

    • Thank you Bishop. Then for joy I suggest you give all your money to those who choose not to work, and you refuse to accept contributions from any of us rotten capitalists who choose to work for a living. Many of us who work also desire to follow Christ’s call to personal charity. I am sick and tired of my church using my money to petition my government to take more money from me to redistribute to those who choose not to work. Welfare is slavery and you are taking ‘joy’ in participating in the ensnarement of people in it. In my mind, I tithe to the church so that the church can offer charity to those who truly deserve it. It is not the church’s place to advocate for a socialistic/communistic state. The laborer is worth his due… why do you take ‘joy’ in participating in stealing from the laborer – Stealing not only the fruits of his/her labor, but from the fruits of his/her willful charitable giving?

  15. Steve Phoenix says:

    In Brian S’ post, Nov 28th, 2013 9:28am – he DID mistakenly call EG an encyclical, saying “I am happy to see Pope Francis speak in such blunt and unmistakable language, but he says nothing in THIS ENCYCLICAL concerning economics…” (Brian S speaking). First, EG is an exhortation, not an encyclical, so it is not magisterial teaching, but a pastoral instruction (the Holy Father’s own words). And, as Brian S accused Jesusita of “making nasty charges” against the Pope and her only “presumably being a Catholic” (Nov 28th, 5:52pm), we see that the new technique now of the pro-Martini/Bologna school adherents is to attack anyone who makes fair criticism of the many mistaken words of the present Holy Father as evidence of them being hateful and “not Catholic”.
    For example, the Bergoglio papal entourage has had to remove the Oct 1st La Repubblica interview from the VA website because of the just-plain-wrong statements he made at that time (for example, “The conscience is autonomous… and everyone must obey his conscience.” ) or that “Proselytism is solemn nonsense” (Then why even evangelize?). It has been so bad that L’Osservatore Romano criticized these words, so that finally Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See’s own spokesman said, (Oct 2nd) “The text [of the interview] is reliable on a general level, but not on the level of each individual point analyzed.” Amazing. I and others from early on detected a serious flaw in this Holy Father’s expressions of personal un-self-critical statements that inevitably ex oficio appear as tho statements of the Catholic Church.

  16. Steve Phoenix says:

    On Brian S’ unique and unfoundational interpretations that somehow Catholic social doctrine states that there is no right to personal property, please note in Centesimus Annus two things: 1, Socialism is condemned and 2. personal property is a right. JP2 quotes the correct interpretation, stating “Rerum novarum criticizes two social and economic systems: socialism and liberalism. The opening section, in which the right to private property is reaffirmed, is devoted to socialism….” Somehow Brian S, who displays a near- idolatrous love of the great Leviathan socialist state, populated by pure and noble human beings who will rule us (the same human beings who are evil and corrupt if in private industry), thinks that Cath social doctrine empowers same crushingly vicious central police state to take from some and re-distribute to others. No: but that is exactly what The Communist Manifesto asserts. Wrong social teaching.

    • Had I ever stated that Catholic social doctrine holds no right to personal property I would warrant criticism. However, the charge is simply untrue, as I have repeatedly insisted exactly the opposite, as a review of the my postings in this thread make clear.

      I emphasize two points for consideration on the defense that the US economy is not built o “unfettered capitalism”:

      1) – Francis does not claim that no fetters exist, what he warns against is “…ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.” In this, Francis exactly describes the ideology that defends itself simply by accusing its opponents of being socialists and communists.

      2) The question for us is not if restrictions exist or do not exist, but if the existing restrictions are effective in the service of justice. Many, if not most, of our restrictions are restrictions upon market entry and are designed to preserve market dominance by those corporations who – not coincidentantly – dominate the regulatory agencies responsible for devising and enforcing them. It does not serve the mission of our Church to ignore the Pope’s call for justice by citing the existence of poorly-chosen regulations as a reason to reject well-chosen ones.

  17. Steve Phoenix says:

    This is the whole paragraph on private property rights from Centesimus Annus, n. 30: “30. In Rerum novarum, Leo XIII strongly affirmed the natural character of the right to private property, using various arguments against the socialism of his time. This right, which is fundamental for the autonomy and development of the person, has always been defended by the Church up to our own day. At the same time, the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right.” Point: Catholic Church affirms personal property as a right.

    • Steve, why not read these paragraphs before you post them?

      “… the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right.”

      Do you just skip the parts you don’t like? Apparently.

      Since you don’t read the Popes, there’s no reason to expect you to read me, but I’ve never claimed that the Church claims no right to private property, I’ve pointed out the opposite and quoting the same paragraph you just posted but read only half-way through.

      Of course, nowhere do I c

  18. Steve, you like to seize on minor points. So yes, I must admit that I did call this exhortation an encyclical, even if in carelessness. It is not misrepresentation, and is not at all relevant to Church teaching on the limits to ownership – limits that you refuse to acknowledge.

    You did NOT choose to copy John Paul’s explaination of these Church-imposed limits in which you should be interested, so I will give another chance.

    “…the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right.”


    “While (Leo XIII) proclaimed the right to private ownership, he affirmed with equal clarity that the “use” of goods, while marked by freedom, is subordinated to their original common destination as created goods.”

    and (quoting St. Thomas) :

    “…if the question be asked, how must one’s possessions be used? the Church replies without hesitation that man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all…”

    These are teachings of the Church that you, and Rush Limbaugh, and Jesuita reject. As for Jesuita, not knowing her, I can only presume her to be Catholic by her presence on this site. Would ‘assume’ sound better to your ear? Then I will assume you are Catholic as well.

  19. Steve Phoenix says:

    Fortunately, CalCatholic readers can see that Brian S. doesnt like specifically wrong points he states (such as calling EG an encyclical when it is not) or when he implicitly suggests that CC social teaching only allows for property in common (Not so: see Catholic Church’s consistent denunciation of socialism and liberalism in Rerum Novarum, and its re-capitulation by JP2( in Cent. Annus, No. 9-10) of personal property rights: “This right [to private/personal property], which is fundamental for the autonomy and development of the person, has always been defended by the Church up to our own day.”( -JP2). JP2 in Cent Annus says private property is not an absolute right (meaning it is not “abolutely” pre-eminent over other proper moral claims for its use —but I dont think Brian S knows or cares to know what “an absolute right” is. As for citing Aquinas out of context, the popes (who BS claims I dont support) from Leo XIII are the teaching of the Church—remember, Aquinas got it wrong on the Immaculate Conception, too, just for one.

    • Brian S. is not a Catholic, or has not read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” and does not know his Faith.

      CCC: ” 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights.
      Commutative justice obliges strictly;
      paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted.
      Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.
      One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion to their contributions and needs. ”

      The Catholic Church has never supported Communism or Marxism.

  20. Steve Phoenix says:

    Since Brian S may have introduced some confusion about Aquinas’ true position on personal property: What Aquinas REALLY says is that “personal property” is NOT part of the Natural Law (=Divine Law of nature) (ST II-II, q. 57, see answers)—but it IS part of the “Positive Law”, or the particular rules humans are justly empowered to enact for the proper operation of civil society (see ST II-II. Q 66). Aquinas says, essentially, “If all things were held in common, there would be disorder – since what is common to all is often cared for by none.” Aquinas actually says keeping personal property, of each their own, counters greed, since each individual will husband their own goods. Once again, poor Brian torques Catholic tradition (I guess) to fit into his preference for a socialist utopian state. I wonder why there is such a bitterly negative view of humans that we will not share what we have with those who are in need, without the need of Trotsky’s bullet-proof trains and storm troopers pulling into town to kill the kulaks and take all their goods—of course for the good of the proletariat. Of course.

  21. Steve Phoenix says:

    Let me go to the issue of Pope Francis’ theological training, and why, as I’ve noted above, that some of his statements are so seriously flawed that even L’Osservatore Romano criticized his Oct 1 comments with Scalfari (the atheist Italian journalist) and that the Va. website took down a number of his flawed statements (such as “the conscience is autonomous”)about Oct 2nd. Having a great deal of experience with ivory-tower professor-type Jesuits at a few Jesuit U’s, I have ample basis to see the Bergoglio papal leadership foundering on his pre-concepts—preconcepts that they (Jesuits) often toss around to each other self-congratulatingly, untested and rarified ideas that are jarringly discordant with the reality of the world. Now, the pro-Martini/Bologna school/Natl Cath Reporter-types will assail any criticism as personally “contemptuous” (not so: contempt (def) = regarding someone as inferior, base—I do not regard Bergoglio/PF this way), but I do assail his continuously flawed and un-self-critical language—which I have learned to expect from someone, who, like Bergoglio, didnt teach in a high-level theological faculty for years, where his ideas were fire-tested by smart and challenging faculty and students—such as JP2 did and BXVI did. I have pointed out again and again that he never finished his Ph.D at Frankfurt—it is well documented in German-language news sources, such as Tauber Zeitung and others. This shows to me a man who, yes he is Pope, but like Montini, he has serious deficiencies in his training that he brings to the office.

    • what is your point? Too many of the leaders of our church in the past have been scholars who never experienced the real world. We now have a Pope, whom the world loves, who is a pastor. There are lots of examples in books about Pope Francis that tell about his pastoral side. Stories about how he didn’t ask if divorced people were “legitimate” before he gave them communion. Stories abound about how he was a pastor first and a legal beagle second. That is the kind of Pope the world has been waiting for, for hundreds of years. He has more practical experience bringing Christ to the unchurched than any other Pope in the last 200 years. Viva Francisco!

      • Ann Malley says:

        You have said it, Bob One, “…we now have a Pope, whom the world loves.”

        This belief, even if it is only a twisted misrepresentation brought on by the secular press, is precisely what concerns those who hold to the teachings of Our Lord in the Gospel. John 15: 18-20:

        “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to you: No servant is greater than his master.”

        • Catherine says:

          Ann Malley, Thank you and God bless you for the excellent but often forgotten and neglected teaching instruction from Sacred Scripture.

          “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to you: No servant is greater than his master.”

          Definition of BULL’S-EYE
          a : the center of a target; also : something central or crucial
          b : a shot that hits the bull’s-eye; broadly : something that precisely attains a desired end

          • Anonymous says:

            So now you are saying the Pope is of the world? This Pope?

          • Ask Bob One, Anonymous. But then it was Our Lord that said the world would love its own. That is what is concerning about this new Father of ours.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          I like that ending too ” No servant is greater than his master.”.

          Well whatever sentiments we have, or fears or concerns…let us unite in prayer still. We still need to pray for our Pope….I can not place judgement like those towards our Pope, I do not know him personally. I only pray for Him and ask our Lord to bless him, guide him and lead him. If our Pope is humble, then he will accept any admonished that is right and just….he will be open to listen to the faithful. We need to pray the word of God over this Pope….because as we all know the spiritual battles are strong. He needs our prayers….we need to be humble, meek of heart to loving pray with perseverance and with fortitude.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Prayers absolutely, Abeca. That said, it is deeply concerning that our Holy Father who represents Christ – the contradiction to the world – is now so lauded. Be it due to willful misinterpretation of the press or not, his person seems to be being made use of by the secular press and especially progressive Catholics intent on using him as a master-change-agent. Which he is not. He cannot be despite his personal style.

            Also, while praying for Pope Francis is absolutely paramount, I do take issue with those who approach the Holy Father with the cult of personality as if this particular Pope is somehow more Christ-like than any who have come before him. This is dangerous as, in my view, it takes the focus off of Christ Jesus and the Papal function of protection/passing down the full deposit of the Faith, playing right into the Protestant mindset of believing the Pope somehow puts himself above Christ as the final authority.

            That said, again, prayers for the Pope absolutely. More so now than ever as he is under attack by the very people who supposedly like him so much.

  22. Steve Phoenix says:

    Another defense of the problematic language such what we see in EG by PF is such as the argument posed by Bob One, that “Pope Francis is being a pastor whom the world loves.” (…And JP2 and Benedict XVI who were scholars, were NOT pastors and NOT loved, I guess he is implying?) Well, which is it, with regard to these contradictory and confusing statements that PF has made—are they magisterial or paaaastoral? EG, an exhortation, therefore like a persuasive homily, PF says is not intended to be magisterial (n. 16), but to suggest how to carry out a paaastoral program of evangelization. Yet he distracts from his own goal by the verbose, unfocused, scattered and rambling disorganization of his own writing. It is an essay filled with unfounded platitudes (“Trickle-down theories of economics have never worked” and silly mottos (“Money should serve, not rule!” n. 58) I am saying this is what happens when you have an individual who did could not complete his PhD, who did not defend his dissertation, who could not refine his teaching skills for years in lively exchanges with students and faculty at premier institutions, as did JP2 and BXVI. This is what happens when you have a misty-eyed devotee of very liberal Cardinal Martini’s “the-Church-must -change-or-die” ideas (something PF has also stated in an October interview). This is what many Jesuits esp. at the university level uncritically hold and maintain—fantastic visionary ideas, visions of the Anointed, “Prophetic visionaries”—who have no clue of practical daily living, conditions, economics. Criticism within the Jesuit elite of progressive ideas is considered very bad manners and grounds for exportation to Minsk. So, people like Bob One will try not to get the point—just as Montini brought grave limitations in his experience and educational background to his papacy, this papacy is showing enormous flaws already. The devotees will offer praise, and the critics will be excoriated.

  23. Steve Phoenix says:

    To repeat, as I noted above: I did not find specifically socialist-identification in this exhortation, but what is disturbing above all is that Pope Francis announces against a free-market economic system (#53, check it out) and claims “trickle-down” theories “have never worked.” (Huh? Abundant evidence exists to the contrary: what are you citing, HF?) He also says (n. 204) “Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requiredes decisions, programs, mechanisms, processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, creation of sources of income, …” Gee, Pope Francis seems to endorse European socialist democracies with 20+% unemployment (even higher among youth), or the same forces that have command-and-control of what little “free-market” is left in Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and his own Argentina, continuing the spiral of unemployment, decline of economic production and the increasingly worthlessness of paper currencies, and resulting in inevitable financial panics and national crisis (look at Venezuela in particular for the dream realized of the socialist state). PF is way off the ranch in these areas: should Milton Friedman be now our adviser on faith and morals? It would be the same equivalence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for quoting the writings and giving the citations.
      Remember that the Pope is speaking globally. I often see produce at my market that comes from countries that have a large population of people who have no food. Rather than using a comparison of a failed socialist economic system, think of the ways that it can be accomplished without government interference.
      If I may continue quoting #204 taking up where you left off after “creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”

    • If the choice of economic systems lay only between those run by the dictators of the Soviet Union or South America, or by the oligarchy of the United States, Steve’s rants might have some point. Fortunately for us, if unfortunately for his rants, that is not the case.

      Steve claims “equivalence” between the Pope’s authority in faith and morals and Milton Friedman in economics. So, in Steve’s fantasy world, God protects Milton Friedman from error in areas of economics. Quite a heresy you’ve got there, Steve.

  24. Bob One writes….”Stories about how he didn’t ask if divorced people were “legitimate” before he gave them communion. Stories abound about how he was a pastor first and a legal beagle second. That is the kind of Pope the world has been waiting for, for hundreds of years. ”

    Bob One thinks he is pulling a fast ONE. How dare Bob One infer that no other previous Pope cared as deeply for souls. As a mother, I believe that Pope Francis would be humble and listen to the cries of many mothers who have raised their children from those nightly 2:00 am feedings to love and strive to obey all of the Teachings of the Catholic Church. I believe that Pope Francis would be humble if he learned and knew that his own words or misperceptions from the media have caused great confusion to many people and many children. We can also always expect that the wolves who seek to undermine the Fulness of Truth will exploit each and every opportunity. A convert recently called me and asked me what she should do. Her children and her children’s friends were all convinced that the Pope was going to change the teachings regarding gay marriage. Perceptions have consequences. Now Bob One is even inferring that no one else has ever pastorally addressed divorced Catholics. Once again, “faithful” pastors have always lovingly and properly addressed the issue of divorced Catholics…….continued

    • Catherine says:

      Here is the point Bob One……CLARITY IS PASTORAL CHARITY!

      In Our Lady of Akita’s great sadness for her lost or confused children, it is called compromise when knowingly an unfaithful pastor shows false charity by giving an un-catechized green light OK for divorced re-married Catholics (without annulments) to receive Holy Communion. The Legion of Mary often comes across these worldwide cases and “faithful” pastors are the most “pastoral” pastors in reaching out to those who have chosen to pick a new spouse before considering the true spiritual and eternal ramifications of their decisions in this passing life. Good shepherds are pastorally faithful because they are holding fast to the same authentic Teachings, Sacred Scripture and the same Tradition that many previous Popes and Saints held fast to. It has been the Legion of Mary’s experience that many of these remarried Catholics do have an innate and keen awareness of knowing they should refrain from receiving Our Lord. They do know what they have chosen but they do not want to add insult to injury by further offending God by receiving Jesus unworthily.

      Many have been instructed to live as brother and sister and many, many do. They see that after time it is the greatest loss of not being able to receive Jesus that they miss the most. This too is a personal choice and many choose to follow their innate desire to be pleasing to God first.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Thank you, Catherine!

        “It has been the Legion of Mary’s experience that many of these remarried Catholics do have an innate and keen awareness of knowing they should refrain from receiving Our Lord. They do know what they have chosen but they do not want to add insult to injury by further offending God by receiving Jesus unworthily.”

        Thank you for expressing the reality that even remarried Catholics have an intellect, free will, and the desire to not add sin upon sin. The latter is a HUGE GRACE. Those misguided souls who would dismiss all sin in the face of being pastoral do not realize that by employing these all-too-human remedies, they would deny grace itself. That is having a sense of sin is God’s blessing.

  25. Pope Francis is not an expert in Economics.
    When he proclaims statements in areas where he is not an expert he does damage to the Church, because people will later ignore him when he is accurately teaching the Faith and trying to Save Souls.

    CCC: ” 2245 The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be confused in any way with the political community.
    She is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. The Church respects and encourages the political freedom and responsibility of the citizen. ”

    Life’s answers my friends are in the Bible and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” taken in entirety.
    They are not in the personal opinion of others, no matter whom they may be.

    • Steve Phoenix says:

      Good effort, David, but if you are trying to get anything across to certain quasi-socialist “catholics” (re. that Pope Francis is not an expert in economics), they will claim not to understand the circumscribed areas of papal infallibility being only in the area of faith and morals, not economic analysis or the understanding of markets. We have certain individuals on these pages trying to confuse others that Leo XIII condemned capitalism (allegedly in Rerum Novarum, not so of course); or that JP2 and other popes urged “the State to use its power to assist the poor”, or even to claim that “Thomas Aquinas condemned personal property ” (not so, but it just shows the fantastic lengths some people will go to deceive themselves). However in EG, Pope Francis has squarely put his teaching authority in danger (just as the US Bishops have done so by supporting and endorsing Obamacare as an economic advancement program) with his uncritical statements about free-markets, “trickle-down economic theories” that never help the poor (n. 54), and his falling in with the cultural left attacking the vague chimera of “consumerism” (#55, #60). If people today worship money (as some no doubt do) as he says in #55, what are we doing to exemplify that this will never bring “the peace that surpasses all understanding” of Phil 4:7. In the 5 seemingly endless chapters of EG (my printout is 84 single-space pp’s), I dont see how some of the very negative comments and attacks PF lays out will make them “spirit-filled evangelizers”, as he states is his goal. He much more sounds like the “sourpusses” (Yes, that is the word he uses in #85—not very papal and inspiring) he so loathes.

    • My understanding is that what Pope Francis really said is that we need to oppose “unfettered consumerism”. Now this makes sense to me since the Church has always opposed socialism and has accepted capitalism. But just as the Church endorses marriage, she also warns her children when “marriage” is being misused.

      To that end, we do see capitalism misused by the activity of “unfettered consumerism”. Let me give some examples:
      How many Christians do you know who don’t think twice about shopping on Sundays or Holy Days? How many Christians are required to work on Sundays or Holy Days in employment which does not involve peoples lives or well fair? How many Christians today do you know will buy useless or insignificant trinkets made in China to give as Christmas gifts? How many Christians do you know who go needlessly in debt in order to live a more luxurious lifestyle?

      The Pope has a responsibility to call us out on these evils, contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

  26. Regarding ‘DIVORCED/REMARRIED Catholics’ – if your Bishop or Priest is not teaching according to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”, he is teaching falsehoods. He has zero authority to violate Church teachings.
    Even the Pope may not violate/change Church teaching by himself.

    See the CCC regarding Divorce: paragraphs 2382 – 2386 and 1646 – 1651.
    CCC: ” 1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions.
    In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was.
    If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law.
    Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities.
    Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.”

    Mk 10:11-12.

    Does your Diocese Bishop encourage everyone in his Diocese to read and study the CCC ?
    If not, why not?

    • I have never heard of a bishop or diocese that hasn’t. All of our bishops, since the CCC was published, have encouraged everyone in the diocese to read it. They have printed it in the diocesan paper. They have had diocesan-wide programs and parish programs to encourage everyone to study it. I don’t think the problem is the bishops. Last year the Pope told everyone to study it. There are a couple of websites that have a program to read it in one year. I am still working on it.. One must make it part of one’s daily devotion and be faithful to it.

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