Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

At the  National Catholic Reporter , Michael Sean Winters misspells my name and misunderstands my column. According to Winters, I—-or at least a certain Mr. “Donio”—-try to “twist Pope Francis into the kind of Catholic neo-con who, well, the kind who reads  First Things  and likes it.” But the effort is “not very successful,” since the column in question “dismisses social justice as a proper concern for the Church, and obfuscates the actual way in which Pope Francis speaks about the issue, e.g., it is about structures as well as attitudes!”

In fact, I praise Francis’ commitment to the poor, calling direct attention to his “first pastoral visit to Lampedusa, where he spoke eloquently for abandoned migrants.” At Lampesuda, the pope  spoke out powerfully  against both “the globalization of indifference” toward the poor  and  the need to transform our hearts, on a personal, Christian basis. This dual approach toward social justice is deeply Catholic, and reminds me of the heroic Catholic witness of Dorothy Day and Archbishop Oscar Romero, whose causes I have  long   endorsed —-but it is not to be confused, as I wrote, with “secular progressivism, which detaches spirituality from social justice.”

I have read enough of Mr. Winters to know that he is not a secularist, and supports the Church’s teachings on social justice, which I commend him for. I hope Mr. Donio—-if we can ever locate him—-would agree.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles