n 1859, the radical abolitionist John Brown was executed for treason and murder after leading raids and uprisings. Raised in a Calvinist, anti-slavery home, he was so moved by an 1837 abolition meeting that he swore to dedicate his life to ending slavery. Many lives were lost – including three of his sons – as he launched his guerilla warfare.
I was bemoaning the state of a country divided almost down the middle. The election that so many people thought was for the soul of the country or for its future instead revealed that we are divided almost 50-50. The priest I was talking with agreed. And then he said, “I think it’s a great opportunity.”
In the wake of the publication of Pope Francis’ most recent encyclical letter “Fratelli Tutti,” there was a great deal of negative commentary regarding the pope’s attitude toward capitalism and private property. Many readers interpreted Francis to mean that the capitalist system is, in itself, exploitative and that the holding of private property is morally problematic.
Every four years, Catholics face an intense dilemma in regard to the vote. There are ardently Catholic Democrats who wonder how their co-religionists could possibly choose a Republican candidate, and there are ardently Catholic Republicans who express precisely the opposite opinion. And both sides, typically, look with eagerness to their bishops and priests to resolve …