Recommended for understanding justice, Pope Francis, and Catholic social teaching.

Vox Nova

A couple of months back, Francis Rooney – former US ambassador to the Vatican – gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. It was a pretty humdrum affair, until the end, when somebody asked him if Pope Francis and his predecessors would be Republicans or Democrats in the American context. This was clearly a ludicrous question, and – especially for a diplomat like Rooney – easy to brush off.

But he didn’t brush it off. Instead, he gave this amazing response:  “Because of their [the popes’] true belief in the dignity of humans, and their true belief in the inalienable rights of man, and their belief in private property, that they would have to be Republicans”.

This answer suggests many things, including insularity and tone deafness. More fundamentally, it suggests a complete misunderstanding of the tenor of Catholic social teaching, especially as enunciated by the Church over the…

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