The stats for this blog are microscopic.
But anyone who DOES read this blog knows one thing: I am no fan of our current president, his policies, or his party. It's guys like the president that have me resolved never to vote Democratic again.
And, although I do not wear my Catholicism on my sleeve, I strive to be consistent with the Catholic faith and represent it well. I am a theologian by education after all.
Now, the Pope has issued an apostolic exhortation. As far as papal documents go, an apostolic exhortation is not especially binding. According to this website, an apostolic exhortation is "a papal reflection on a particular topic that does not contain dogmatic
definitions or policy directives, addressed to bishops, clergy and all the
faithful of the entire Catholic Church. Apostolic exhortations are not
legislative documents." If so, then the document is exactly what it says it is, an exhortation, a strong, ethusiastic suggestion, following which is left up to the prudential judgment of the people exhorted.
An encyclical or an apostolic letter, by contrast, is "a formal papal teaching document, not used for dogmatic definitions of doctrine,
but to give counsel to the Church on points of doctrine that require deeper
explanation in the light of particular circumstances or situations in various
parts of the world." Its purpose is to explain and apply doctrine, and so there's less room for prudential judgment and more need for acceptance.
Rush Limbaugh and this fellow Sorrentino (an ex-Catholic) at Breitbart are having (as Fr. Z might say) spittle-flecked nutties over some of the economic exhortations the Pope has given in this document.
And the comments at Breitbart are full of such vitriol, bigotry, false readings, and demonizing, that one can see that the liberal accusation of the Tea Party being full of ignorant bigots apparently has some merit. These comments also have me hoping someone has the audacity to come up with a viable third party (the Tea Party is not it, because Breitbart attracts a lot of the Tea Partiers), so I can resolve never to vote Republican again, too.
All I can say to the radial right wingers is this: Catholics are not gonna fall in line behind you like the mindless sheep you think we are just because we can't stand the Democrats. And if that ticks you off, being bigotted against us isn't going to inspire us to follow you.
The opposite of one error isn't truth--it's usually another error. If excess is evil, so is deprivation. Truth is in the middle. If marxism is evil as excessive government control of the economy, that doesn't mean that government-sponsored economic anarchy is good. If heavy government regulation and redistributive programs are damaging to an economy and people's spirits by making them dependent on government and lazy, that doesn't mean we should have greedy profiteering that gives us shoddy and dangerous products, horrible working conditions, and low pay. Religious extremism is coupled not with religious moderation, but with atheism. Too much is paird with too little.
The Catholic faith, insofar as it proposes the truth, often proposes the "just right" in the middle.
I have a strong dislike of communism and modern liberalism. But today, I officially announce a strong dislike of the opposite end of the spectrum, too.