Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

The Vatican Weddings Revisited

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk - published on 10/03/14


Evangelii Gaudium is perfectly clear about this. And yet in spite of this clarity, we sometimes find our first reaction is that he’s being too easy on the prodigal son. Which makes us, I’m pretty sure, exactly like the older son. This isn’t just a nice thought for personal reflection—this is a bold assertion about the entire condition of the Church. Pope Francis seems to believe that the entire Church has been acting like the older son.

5.  The Pope thinks the key to social change is grace.  Now this isn’t a new idea, and it isn’t even a shocking idea.  But some of us, especially those of us who love books and ideas and the use of Reason, need to be reminded about this.  Take legal abortion.  We’ve been fighting the monster in this country for more than four decades. We thought we could fight it by the use of sound, secular arguments—arguments we hoped would be unifying because they didn’t depend upon Church or creed.  But it hasn’t worked very well.

Consider instead how John Paul II fought communism.  In 1979 in Victory Square in Warsaw he cried: “I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II—I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost: Let your Spirit descend.
 Let your Spirit descend. 
And renew the face of the earth, 
the face of this land.”  Just ten years later the Soviet regime crumbled.  Yet we still cannot undo the evil of Roe vs. Wade.

Here, I think, is a way to understand what Pope Francis is up to with his pastoral agenda. He wants to sweep away bureaucratic ways of getting grace to people—as if these were methods of combat unsuited for a guerilla war—and focus instead on getting grace to people.  Find the bare minimum.  Feed the people.  Because we can’t transform society if nobody is Christian.  And we can’t get more Christians if we can’t get grace to them.  It’s a strange idea, I admit—provoke a sacramental revival so as to take down the Goliath power structures of the culture of death.  But then, strange as it sounds, this is exactly how it worked for the earliest Christians.  And it just might work today.

Catherine Ruth Pakalukis an Assistant Professor of Economics at Ave Maria University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the Stein Center for Social Research, and a Senior Fellow in Economics at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. Her research is focused in the areas of demography, gender, family studies, and the economics of education and religion.She also works on the interpretation and history of Catholic social thought. Dr. Pakaluk earned her doctorate in economics at Harvard University (2010).  She lives in Ave Maria, Florida with her husband Michael and seven children.

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
3
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
4
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
7
Tefillin
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.