The Essentials, II

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 19, 2004

Bishop Hubbard recently listed (below) the primary works of the Church: educating children, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless. Compare his thoughts with this recent statement by Chicago's Cardinal George:

One religious response to this kind of culture is to institutionalize schools and hospitals and works of mercy, charity, and justice in such a way that we contribute to the culture, but on the culture's own terms. It assumes that it is a good thing to be socialized according to the patterns of this culture.

This response has exhausted many of the resources of the Catholic Church in this country. Our universities are American universities and our hospitals are American hospitals, for good or ill. Have our institutions, which have been our best response for taking the children of immigrants and keeping them Catholic while making them Americans, demanded too high a price? Have we formed very fine professionals, but not formed disciples?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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