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A Communist Crucifix

On Pope Francis’s recent visit to La Paz, Bolivia, he received an unusual—and many would say, offensive—gift. Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, presented Pope Francis with a wooden crucifix made of a hammer and sickle. A video shows Pope Francis considering the gift . . . . Continue Reading »

Cuban Hopes for the Papal Visit

In early June, the distinguished Catholic editor Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, a leader of the Cuban democratic opposition, gave a lecture at Georgetown and reprised its main points later that day at the National Endowment for Democracy (on whose bipartisan board I serve). Mr. Valdés has thought . . . . Continue Reading »

The Weakness of Laudato Si

Please enjoy this excerpt from “The Public Square” of the forthcoming August/September issue of First Things. To read more, subscribe here.Laudato Si addresses global warming and other environmental issues, as well as global development and economic justice. The conjunction of concerns is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pope's Moment of Grace

When the Pope’s highly anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si finally appeared, Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron summed up its significance by calling it “a moment of grace.”The new encyclical has been widely described as “the pope’s encyclical on climate change.” But one shouldn’t be . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgetting God

Laudato Si, last week’s encyclical from Pope Francis, seeks to address a plethora of problems in the modern world—predominately focusing on environmental issues, distributive justice, and perceived problems with consensus developmental economic theory. Pope Francis offers a harsh critique of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Latin American Pope and the Irish Poet

A great variety of people are looking forward to reading and digesting Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Laudato Si, which the Vatican officially releases today. I am as interested in reading it as the next person, but maybe not immediately. That comment may understandably demand some defense, or at . . . . Continue Reading »

The Return of Catholic Anti-Modernism

Commentators are sure to make the false claim that Pope Francis has aligned the Church with modern science. They’ll say this because he endorses climate change. But that’s a superficial reading of Laudato Si. In this encyclical, Francis expresses strikingly anti-scientific, anti-technological, . . . . Continue Reading »

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