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Two 'must' reads

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 11, 2013

thinkers have recently produced items that Catholic Culture readers definitely shouldn’t miss. Archbishop Charles Chaput and Father James Schall, SJ, are always worth reading, but in these cases they have outdone themselves.

  • Archbishop Charles Chaput, spoke at the National Shrine last week on the topic of religious liberty; the text of his address is now available on the First Things site. Here’s just one quick sample of a very thought-provoking presentation:

    Just as we transferred our belief in God to a belief in ourselves beginning with the Enlightenment, now we’re shifting a belief in ourselves to a belief in our tools under the cover of a scientific and technological revolution. To put it another way: Losing faith in God inevitably results in losing faith in man, because only God can guarantee man’s unique dignity. Without God, we turn ourselves into the objects and the victims of our own knowledge. And we’re now doing that at a moment when our tools have more destructive power than at any time in history.
  • Father Schall offered the best available commentary on the encyclical Lumen Fidei, for Catholic World Report. Again, just a sample: here Father Schall is remarking on the fact that the new papal encyclical does not address the “hot button” issues that dominate current public debates:

    I suggest that the encyclical’s purposeful indifference to such things is precisely its point. In the long run, these worldly things are not particularly important if they are not also taken up with the great drama of faith that constitutes salvation history.

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