An Unwavering Voice for the Poor

But a revised Catholic bishops' letter shows shifts in approach

Almost a year has passed since a committee of five Roman Catholic bishops released the first draft of a pastoral letter that denounced the "massive and ugly" failures of the American economy and called for a bold new effort to aid the poor both in the U.S. and abroad. Impassioned and provocative, the document aroused a torrent of reaction that ran to 10,000 pages of comments from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. While many liberals praised the letter as a blueprint for economic justice, conservatives complained that it was an unjustified assault on the foundations of capitalism.

Encouraged by the interest stirred...

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