PopeWatch: Deliberate Mistranslation?

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VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Joe at Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam , who has been translating Evangelii Gaudium into English from the original Spanish, believes that the official Vatican translation is so bad that it cannot be accidental.  Here is a comment that he made on Father Z’s blog:

 

 

I have been following, and for the benefit of my monolingual friends, translating homilies  and talks by then-Cdl. Bergoglio for at least the last five years and posted these translations on my blog. I also, for professional reasons, wind up translating mountains of reports, analyses, etc. between Latin American and Anglosphere clients.

Charity forbids me from accurately expressing exactly how abysmal the Official Vatican English translation AND ONLY the English translation happens to be. (This, of course, is nothing new.) I, personally, do not find it credible to say such a travesty of a translation is the result of simple carelessness, or ineptitude. To me – and this is only my opinion – in comparing both the English to the (presumably original) Spanish and back again, it seems decidedly deliberate.

In fact, I am so incensed by this, that I have taken the liberty to begin retranslating Evangelii Gaudium on my blog. (It’s up there now at http://jmgarciaiii.blogspot.com for anyone who’d like to read it, with the caveat it’s in very much a work-in-progress.)

When someone who is native-level fluent in both languages (as I am) contrasts the two versions, the differences are staggering. The Holy Father extols entrepreneurship, the increase of goods, demands that groups within the Church actually help the poor instead of talking or lobbying, decries the accumulation of national debt. The list goes on and on.

Insofar as I can tell, there are many on “the right” who are using Evangelii Gaudium to beat up on Francis, just like many on “the left” who are using Evangelii Gaudium to beat up on “the right.” But none of this is supported by an accurate translation.

When I see progressive politicians quoting the (mistranslated) Holy Father, something tells me that this is something which the more cynical among us might say is by design.

Sancte Ignatius, ora pro nobis!Go here to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam to see the progress that Joe has made in his translation.  As a general rule PopeWatch does not attribute to malice what can be explained by gross incompetence.  However, it does seem very convenient for the port side of our politics that the original translation seemed to mimic many Leftist economic shibboleths, even using the cant phrase of trickle down economics.  Assuming that the mistranslation was deliberate might be too cynical, but as some Popes have indicated, when viewing the inner machinations of the Vatican bureaucracy it is hard to be too cynical.

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36 Comments

  1. I praise the hard work done by Joe at Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, but anyone who thinks that the pope extolled the virtues of libertarian economics will be very much disappointed.

    The Good News of Jesus Christ is proclaimed (or not) in every interaction with other people. Merely shrugging one’s shoulders at the plight of the homeless on the theory that a rising stock market will (eventually) mean greater employment opportunities is hard-hearted. The pope decries “the denial of the primacy of the human person,” the “fetishism of money and the dictatorship of an economy lacking a [human] face and a truly human purpose.”

    From Joe’s translation of section 54:
    “Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that egotistical ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without warning, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion for others, [of] weeping at the anguish of others, and [we end up] being disinterested in helping care for them, as though all this were an alien responsibility which does not concern us.”

    There is more (obviously), but that hits at the heart of the pope’s concern with certain economic systems.

  2. “Merely shrugging one’s shoulders at the plight of the homeless on the theory that a rising stock market will (eventually) mean greater employment opportunities is hard-hearted.”

    Perhaps, but expecting the government to do anything productive about it is foolish, almost as foolish as the search for an alternative economic system to capitalism that does not end in mass poverty, bloodshed and a sea of human tears.

    Provision must be made for the relief of the poor, but the days of huge Welfare States are coming to a rapid end. If the Pope must ponder economic issues, perhaps he could ponder that and come up with ideas as to nongovernmental means to meet the needs of the poor. Of course, that is not the responsibility of the Pope, which is rather the point.

  3. Merely shrugging one’s shoulders at the plight of the homeless on the theory that a rising stock market will (eventually) mean greater employment opportunities is hard-hearted.

    Does anyone do this?

    1. The homeless are a tiny minority (perhaps 0.25% of the population, if you credit the Urban Institute). It is a problem sufficiently small that philanthropic efforts are adequate to ameliorate it.

    2. Notable about the homeless is their personal dysfunction, which is not a problem derived from economic systems nor one readily addressed by public policy. Even erecting and maintaining a well functioning adjudicatory procedure to differentiate the disabled from the rest of us has proved difficult. (I recently saw a figure that contended a double-digit share of the ‘disabled’ were awarded benefits for ‘mood disorders’, something not done 25 years ago).

  4. Art,
    You are spot on as usual.
    I suppose some folks do the shrugging shoulders thing, but fairly few. The number of Ayn Rand devotees out there who dismiss the morality of charity is larger than zero, but so few that one can live a full life intersecting with numerous social circles and never encounter a single one. Instead, while conservatives out-contribute liberals in time, talent and treasure by every measure, the left focuses instead on cheap moral preening and making cartoons of those who disagree with them. They’d rather masturbate their turgid egos than think carefully or actually make a true sacrifice.

  5. he left focuses instead on cheap moral preening and making cartoons of those who disagree with them

    Indeed, though this is not limited to the left, as many good Catholic is guilty of this as well. For example, the other Dave Ramsey wrote a list of 20 things the rich do every day that the poor don’t. Naturally the response to this was to treat Ramsey as some Scrooge-like character who hates the poor. Now you can take a look at this list and the worst thing that Ramsey can be accused of is perhaps being insensitive to the causes behind the disparity. But Ramsey’s main point is that poor folks do not engage in the sort of behavior that tends to lead them out of poverty, and many of these are behaviors that can be adapted by them.

    But that doesn’t matter, because Ramsey committed the unpardonable sin of implying that poor people are at least somewhat responsible for their poverty, and if you’re a good Catholic you evidently have to think all poor people came by their poverty through no fault of their own, and the only thing we can really do for them is to a) spout a lot of compassionate words about them, and b) make the government give them money.

    One Catholic blogger responded with a list of his own, citing 20 statistics that demonstrate how difficult it is to be poor. The list was largely true on its own merits, but I couldn’t help but think that only one of these lists might actually help a poor person abandon poverty, and it wasn’t the list from the really concerned Catholic blogger. There’s a lot of this moral preening, and much of it is based on a genuine concern for the poor. But I can’t help but think the moral preening is a less than effective way of actually helping the poor.

  6. Sometimes it may be enough to point out evils of an existing system even if one does not have the complete solution for a better one. In other words, point out the failings of the status quo and state the principles that Christians must uphold.

    In Evangelii Gaudium (202), for example, the pope calls for “attacking the structural causes of inequality.” I cannot help but notice that the pope’s words here echo what the USCCB has said for years (don’t roll your eyes at me just yet) and what Catholic bishops all around the world are saying. Here is Pope Benedict from earlier this year in ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ saying things remarkably similar to Francis (no surprise):

    “In order to emerge from the present financial and economic crisis – which has engendered ever greater inequalities – we need people, groups and institutions which will promote life by fostering human creativity, in order to draw from the crisis itself an opportunity for discernment and for a new economic model. The predominant model of recent decades called for seeking maximum profit and consumption, on the basis of an individualistic and selfish mindset, aimed at considering individuals solely in terms of their ability to meet the demands of competitiveness.”

    As far as offering alternatives and solutions, B16 said, “Concretely, in economic activity, peacemakers are those who establish bonds of fairness and reciprocity with their colleagues, workers, clients and consumers. They engage in economic activity for the sake of the common good* and they experience this commitment as something transcending their self-interest, for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus they work not only for themselves, but also to ensure for others a future and a dignified employment.”

    *(Joe at Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam struggled over the translation from the Spanish of ‘common good’ in Evangelii Gaudium. I notice that B16’s use of the term here.)

    Just this week, the bishops of Zimbabwe, who minister to people suffering severe poverty exceeding 0.25% of the population, quote B16 and plead for fairness in the nation’s somewhat improving economy:
    http://nehandaradio.com/2013/12/06/bishops-of-zimbabwe-pastoral-letter/

    Zimbabwe seems rich in natural resources ready for extraction, and the bishops want the proceeds to go to the many, not the few. (I picked Zimbabwe only because it is fresh in my mind. I suspect I could find many additional examples if challenged.)

    What I am saying, I suppose, is that Catholic bishops of all backgrounds and upbringings and political stripes are all seem speaking very consistently with one another. So, I recommend giving up fighting them and attempt to accommodate.

  7. “Just this week, the bishops of Zimbabwe, who minister to people suffering severe poverty exceeding 0.25% of the population, quote B16 and plead for fairness in the nation’s somewhat improving economy:
    http://nehandaradio.com/2013/12/06/bishops-of-zimbabwe-pastoral-letter/

    Zimbabwe seems rich in natural resources ready for extraction, and the bishops want the proceeds to go to the many, not the few. (I picked Zimbabwe only because it is fresh in my mind. I suspect I could find many additional examples if challenged.)”

    Of course the problem with Zimbabwe is that it is governed by a mad tyrant, Robert Mugabe. The type of “spread the wealth” proposal of the Bishops would do nothing to address that central problem and would only retard the development of those resources. Really, when Bishops speak economic rubbish they need to be called on it. They are not children and if they are going to make economic proposals they need to be treated like anyone else making such a proposal and not treated with kid gloves because of their offices.

  8. I’ve just been to the http://jmgarciaiii.blogspot.com/ website, and I find Joe’s alterations to be very moving and interesting, especially those where the difference is subtle. I have no ability with Spanish (and am sometimes challenged by English), and so I appreciate a translation that is truer to the Spanish. I think it is better to stretch the English reader with a translation that does not overuse English idioms.

    Also, it should be pointed out that Spanish is Pope Francis’ native language, and so it is very important when understanding his writings to be sure that the translations are as close as possible.

    Just look at these two quotes:

    Was: Confession of faith and commitment to society [178-179]
    Now: Confession of faith and social compact [178-179]

    This difference, while equivalent, is historically important because Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s idea of the ‘social compact’ has made a greater impact in Latin than Anglo society.

    Was: The kingdom and its challenge [180-181]
    Now: The kingdom which makes demands of us [180-181]
    Arguably should be: The kingdom has claims on us [180-181]

    Note the passivity of the Vatican English translation: the “us” in the two Spanish versions is only implied in the English. I can see what Joe is complaining about, even putting aside the left-wing / right-wing stuff.

    My only criticism of Joe is that he should be brave and be as literal as possible. Don’t pull punches. It can only increase the English-speaker’s understanding of Spanish.

  9. Joe’s “translation” is pure BS. He is the one who is doing mistranslation, showing he does not know the idioms and how they are used in Argentina. For example, he tries to remove “trickle down economics” when it is exactly what the Pope is talking about. Here, from 2005, you can see:

    http://www.proz.com/kudoz/spanish_to_english/economics/1057090-derrame.html

    That’s right, derrame is used for “trickle down economics” in Argentina. When Joe doesn’t know this, or if he knows and tries to hide it, this is indication that HE is the one mistranslating the Pope.

    So many people who have no business doing “translations.” Joe proved himself to be one.

  10. Your input would be so much more compelling “BS” if you were not hiding behind the troll shield of anonymity. If you wish to be taken seriously in this discussion, reveal your name and your credentials in regard to translations.

  11. Really, when Bishops speak economic rubbish they need to be called on it. They are not children and if they are going to make economic proposals they need to be treated like anyone else making such a proposal and not treated with kid gloves because of their offices.
    |
    Donald, I am not adverse to criticizing the bishops for bad recommendations. Somewhere along the way, though, we all need to explicitly agree or disagree with them about the evils they point out. In the case of Evangelii Gaudium, Francis points out that a gain the stock market is an insufficient solution to homelessness. Not too controversial of statement, but the response among conservatives has been quite defensive. Francis says that economic decisions by investors, employers and consumers have consequences (again, not too controversial). On the personal level, there is a moral dimension he warns us about: “If we turn a deaf ear to this plea, when we are God’s instruments for hearing the poor we stand outside the Father’s will and his undertaking.” (187; Joe’s translation)
    |
    “Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God.” (57)
    |
    Francis says indifference to the poor is evil. (Not too controversial.) Use of a nation’s limited resources to benefit the powerful immediately accompanied by an expectation that the powerless will benefit eventually is insufficient. Francis says we must make sure that the powerless benefit eventually. And if the poor do not benefit before they are forced to live in squalor, then we are not doing enough. The point of these sections of Evangelii Gaudium is to shake people from misplaced confidence; he wants assurances.
    |
    As I’ve pointed out above, B16’s ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ is quite, quite similar: “A new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. … An upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols.”
    |
    Yes, point out the rubbish of bishops, but that only gets us so far.

  12. Please. Sam Rocha used to blog over at Vox Nova and is a leftist on economic matters, hardly a reliable source. From your response I can only assume that you are hunting around the internet and have no skill in translation yourself. Hint: if you wish to be taken seriously in a factual debate do not begin by calling yourself “BS”, not reveal your own credentials, and engage in derogation in your initial comment.

  13. “In the case of Evangelii Gaudium, Francis points out that a gain the stock market is an insufficient solution to homelessness.”
    He says much more than that in EG which is rather the problem. It is a Pope’s job, partly, to point out the problems of the poor; it is not the role of the Pope to sound in portions of EG as if he is just back from participating in an Occupy Wall Street rally.

    “Francis says that economic decisions by investors, employers and consumers have consequences”

    Yep, just like every statement uttered and written by a Pope has consequences, something Pope Francis, thus far, seems blithely indifferent to.

    “Francis says indifference to the poor is evil.”
    Yep, it sure is, almost as much as the statist policies that trap the poor in stagnant economies that I suspect the Pope, in his seeming economic ignorance, innocently would endorse.

    “Use of a nation’s limited resources to benefit the powerful immediately accompanied by an expectation that the powerless will benefit eventually is insufficient.”

    Which is precisely what happens like clockwork when government regulation of the economy increases. Insiders always benefit from government expansion and control, as we see time and again with the Obama administration.

    “And if the poor do not benefit before they are forced to live in squalor, then we are not doing enough.”

    Please. The natural state of man is dire poverty. It is only with the rise of largely unregulated markets, and the technological innovations that they help foster, that a few societies have managed to have most of their people lifted out of this natural state of poverty.

    “A new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. … An upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols.”

    You are correct that fuzzy thinking on the economy at the Vatican did not originate with Pope Francis, something I pointed out during the reign of Pope Benedict:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/10/27/a-fisk-of-towards-reforming-the-international-financial-and-monetary-systems-in-the-context-of-global-public-authority/

  14. The Holy Father is correct that free markets are not a complete solution to the problems of poverty. The problem is that no one but a small handful of Ayn Rand devotees believes that they are. To the extent that the Holy Father is suggesting that free markets are a cause of poverty, he is simply mistaken and very badly so.

  15. Which is precisely what happens like clockwork when government regulation of the economy increases.
    |
    “Like clockwork”? Really, Donald? ‘Like clockwork’ well-intentioned efforts by regulators to preserve and share a nation’s resources will backfire and will help only insiders?
    |
    I see from The Motley Monk fine post that we are moving on in a separate thread to the subject of health care. So, I will attempt to wrap up here.
    |
    Pope Francis and Pope Benedict (and bishops from America to Zimbabwe) want us to live the gospel and proclaim the gospel in our daily lives. The fact that bishops are not competent economists is not an invitation to exempt economic decisions from this exhortation. As consumers, investors and employers we interact with others through the money we spend and the decisions we make (including, one supposes, a decision to withhold money). We are free to oppose strong regulation of the economy for our own good, but the ‘common good’ (i.e., the good of all who are affected directly and indirectly) must be in our thoughts. Francis says we must not be ‘indifferent’ to this.

    Mike Petrik — I don’t think Francis is saying that, especially in section 203 of Joe’s translation:
    |
    “Comfortable indifference in the face of such matters empties our lives and our words of all meaning. The vocation of entrepreneur is a noble charge, provided it allows a broader understanding [literally, “sense”] of life; this will enable [the entrepreneur] to truly to serve the good of all by multiplying of, and increasing the access to, all the goods of this world.”

  16. Sometimes it may be enough to point out evils of an existing system even if one does not have the complete solution for a better one. In other words, point out the failings of the status quo and state the principles that Christians must uphold.

    Every time I see something like this all I can hear is:

    “Catholics discover that man is fallen and sinful. Demand government does something about it!”

    But that doesn’t matter, because Ramsey committed the unpardonable sin of implying that poor people are at least somewhat responsible for their poverty, and if you’re a good Catholic you evidently have to think all poor people came by their poverty through no fault of their own

    Well said, Paul. I’ve been wondering when Sloth was removed from the deadly sins list. This isn’t to say that there’s no poor people who are in the rough spot they are through no fault of their own, it just requires prudence on our part to find out those who are and those who, well… http://ace.mu.nu/archives/345439.php

  17. Reading Francis through Benedict:
    |
    “There is a need to renounce that false peace promised by the idols [a term used by Francis to include ‘fetishism of money’] of this world along with the dangers which accompany it, that false peace which dulls consciences, which leads to self-absorption, to a withered existence lived in indifference [a recurring theme of Evangelii Gaudium] . The pedagogy of peace, on the other hand, implies activity, compassion, solidarity, courage and perseverance.” ~Pope Benedict’s ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20121208_xlvi-world-day-peace_en.html
    |
    Returning to Mike Petrik’s comment, I suspect that Francis is not suggesting that free markets are a cause of poverty. Rather, he says that some have misplaced confidence in the capability of free markets to adequately address poverty and some are indifferent to the capability of free markets to adequately address poverty.
    |
    (I am not at all dismissive of your complaint that only ‘handful of Ayn Rand devotees’ are implicated here. On numerous, numerous, frustratingly numerous occasions throughout Evangelii Gaudium and his public interviews and sermons I find myself wondering who Francis thinks is need of correction. Who in the Catholic Church is obsessing over the abhorrent practice of abortion? Which priests make the confessional like a torture chamber? Which ‘parish priest speaks about temperance ten times but only mentions charity or justice two or three times’? More and more I think these are strawmen that I wish he would knock down rather than affirm.)
    |
    You see from Pope Benedict’s words and from section 190 of Francis’ exhortation that well-ordered compassionate activity is the proper Christian response to indifference and misplaced confidence.

  18. ““Like clockwork”? Really, Donald? ‘Like clockwork’ well-intentioned efforts by regulators to preserve and share a nation’s resources will backfire and will help only insiders?”

    Your assumption of “well-intentioned efforts” is largely unwarranted by the historical facts spambot. Most legislation in the economic sphere involves winners and losers. For example, efforts to raise the minimum wage are usually spear-headed by unions whose members do not make the minimum wage. Why do they do this? Out of the goodness of their hearts? Not at all. Many unions peg their rates to the minimum wage. It is common also in Union contracts to require reopening of wage negotiations following an increase in the minimum wage. Finally, every increase in the minimum wage narrows the competitive advantage that non-unionized businesses enjoy over unionized businesses. This of course comes at the expense of people with marginal skills who are priced out of the work force by an increase in the minimum wage since money does not magically appear for businesses to pay for the government mandated raise in pay, however such individuals are not dues paying union members and their misfortune does not concern the people who run the unions. This is a fairly typical example of people pushing “feel good” economic legislation with ulterior motives. As people act in the market place to maximize their profit, so do people and groups do the same regarding legislation that seeks to regulate the market place. This is not rocket science, and example after example around the globe could be cited, but this basic fact of economic regulation apparently escapes the notice of Bishops and other well-intentioned but economically clueless individuals. This is not an argument against all regulation of markets, but rather a call for strict scrutiny of such regulations as “cui bono” is the important question that always must be asked and answered.

  19. If the pope is suggesting the government can help the poor, well he is mistaken. Consider the concept of subsidiarity. Consider the failure of communal government, or communism.
    If on the other hand, we consider Ayn Rand or libertarian approaches to the problem, these are also incomplete. They offer an improved outcome but still suffer. We know the answer, it is free markets governed with an authority that is informed by the Catholic Church.
    Is the media twisting the words of our holy father. Of course! Better translations are needed and welcome. Thanks Joe!
    A.M.D.G.

  20. Ah, now you can’t deal with the problem of the translation (and ignore the evidence), you just make an attack on the person instead of the argument.

    Your “argument” was an assertion– that is, it depended entirely on your authority and judgement that the “sounds like” on a translation wiki was a better authority than the multiple other translations linked above, and others in process.

    The accusation is especially funny since you opened up by accusing those you disagree with of having no business doing a translation, even when they have obviously looked at the other translations enough to know the English one is…different.

  21. We know the answer, it is free markets governed with an authority that is informed by the Catholic Church.
    |
    That works for me. Pope Benedict’s Caritas in Veritate at 32 (emphasis in original) said much the same thing:
    |
    “The significant new elements in the picture of the development of peoples today in many cases demand new solutions. …
    “The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone. All things considered, this is also required by “economic logic”. Through the systemic increase of social inequality, both within a single country and between the populations of different countries (i.e. the massive increase in relative poverty), not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy.”
    |
    He picked up the goal of access to steady employment for everyone again in ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ section 4:
    |
    “If this ambitious goal is to be realized, one prior condition is a fresh outlook on work, based on ethical principles and spiritual values that reinforce the notion of work as a fundamental good for the individual, for the family and for society. ”
    |
    Pope Francis echoes this call in Evangelii Gaudium sections 192 and 204.
    |
    Free markets governed with an authority that is informed by the Catholic Church is a multipart exercise, as we have discussed above, include:
    – identify shortcomings of the existing system
    – establish the goals of a well-ordered economic system
    – state the principles by which Christians should participate in the economic system
    – proclaim the Good News in our interactions with others.

  22. Read it again, Donald: free markets governed with an authority that is informed by the Catholic Church. Not ‘governed by’ the Church.

  23. You can’t rip off your customers by claiming ‘free market! free market!’ You can’t invest in Planned Parenthood stock (if they offered such a thing) by claiming that it gives a better rate of return than other investments. Those are principles informed by the Church. The Church did not ‘govern’ your investments, they ‘informed’ your investment decisions.

  24. Now you are hedging Spambot. The Church saying thou shalt not steal is a moral teaching. Its truth is absolute no matter what a government does or does not do, for example say in regard to nationalizing a business, theft on a grand scale. However that teaching does not grant the authority to the Church to bind and to loose in regard to economic matters.

    The mischief of the economic portions of Evangelii Gaudium is that the Pope seems to be giving the blessing of the Church to state intervention in economies and thus will give aid and comfort to every two bit politician who wishes to expand his power by implanting such interventions, always with the best interests of the people at heart, of course. ObamaCare is a prime example of such a disaster, with our own Bishops in this country having shilled for many years in favor of such intervention. That it could turn around and bite them never seemed to occur to them, a prime example of the danger of ecclesiastics meddling in areas where they manifestly have no knowledge or expertise.

  25. Peace.
    |
    What I mean by ‘govern’ is taking away or restricting one’s freedom. (Synonyms: rule, preside over, reign over, control, be in charge of, command.) What I mean by ‘informed by’ is allowing one to choose freely between good moral decisions and bad moral decisions. The recommendations by the popes that I have quoted are information not governance. The hope is that good information (based on Christian principles) leads to good governance (one that is just and promotes peace, hence ‘blessed are the peacemakers’).

  26. Something Donald wrote is on the mark: “Please. The natural state of man is dire poverty. It is only with the rise of largely unregulated markets, and the technological innovations that they help foster, that a few societies have managed to have most of their people lifted out of this natural state of poverty.”

    As Robert Heinlein wrote in the “Notebooks of Lazarus Long,” a part of his novel “Time Enough for Love:”

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.'”

    I would make only one change to this statement: “Advances … are the work of an extremely small minority…and almost always opposed by all left-thinking people.”

    There are many left-thinking people in the Roman Catholic Church, extending all the way to the Pontificate itself.

  27. At Fatima Our Lady explained that the fundamental problem with the world is sin and the fundamental solution is the conversion of sinners (not just the conversion of Russia, as some have thought).

    If Catholics were more successful converting sinners (Our Lady said through prayer and sacrifices of reparation) then people in general would be more concerned about the poor and more personally involved in helping the poor.

    The American form of government and the original American Christian culture (as pointed out by DeTocqueville) was responsible for making America so successful. But it can’t work in an atheist culture, as we are becoming. An atheist government doesn’t care about the poor except as political tools. Complaining won’t help. Only transformation — e.g., the new evangelization — will work.

    Jesus came to convert the world, not set up a compassionate government for the world. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be given to you.”

  28. fatherz’s comments are helpful:
    |
    ‘People in business have to act morally and responsibly, with an eye on their neighbor, and not just sit back and say that “A free market will eventually help all those poor people all by itself“, thus exonerat[ing] them of any personal obligation to do their part.’
    |
    ‘So, if I understand the Holy Father correctly, I entirely agree with that first part of EG 54, so long as it is properly translated.’
    |
    and much more:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/12/an-observation-for-mr-novak-on-pope-francis-and-trickle-down-in-eg-54/

  29. You can’t invest in Planned Parenthood stock (if they offered such a thing) by claiming that it gives a better rate of return than other investments.
    Spambot3049

    You don’t get to claim the problem you’re concerned about, Spambot, is so widespread that the Church must devote considerable attention to it if the only example you can point to is your own invention, one so absurd that you yourself admit such a thing isn’t actually offered.

    When you realize you’re in one, stop digging.
    –First Rule of Holes

  30. You can’t invest in Planned Parenthood stock (if they offered such a thing) by claiming that it gives a better rate of return than other investments.
    Spambot3049

    You don’t get to claim the problem you’re concerned about, Spambot, is so widespread that the Church must devote considerable attention to it if the only example you can point to is your own invention, one so absurd that you yourself admit such a thing isn’t actually offered.

    When you realize you’re in one, stop digging.
    –First Rule of Holes

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