Thanks once again to our host Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy, who’s also doing a time-travel edition today.
Blogging Popes. That’s my topic for today. Not the kind you’re thinking of, though.
See, here’s what happened: Saturday night I was bored, tired, and itching for something to read. Something fun and relaxing and novel. Meaning, new-to-me. I usually grab one of my daughter’s library books for this purpose — just enough entertainment to get me through a non-digital Sunday, but not so much that I’ll be out of service, glued to a book, for 10,000 hours waiting for Br. Cadfael to tell me who did it. But I needed novelty.
So I went to Papal Encyclicals Online. I’m sure that’s what you do, too. But before you get too impressed, keep in mind that the three reasons this was a possible source of reading material were:
- I’d never read most of them before. Strike one against my Catholic-nerd credentials.
- They’re usually very short. This is why I’ve read the minor prophets, but *still* never gotten through all of Isaiah.
- There was no chance I’d let the cat starve, or grouse at my children for interrupting me during an especially gripping scene.
And the thing is, they tend to cover that same juicy ground as your average Catholic blogger, only you get bonus credit for not being stuck to the computer all day while you work up your angry frenzy at the injustice in the world. Of course, no Star Trek screen shots for illustrations, but look, I was desperate for entertainment.
And the one I picked was Rerum Novarum. Which is basically a series of blog posts on economics. Perfect.
(Let me just say right now, JPII’s follow-up work is not blog-genre. Waaay more wordy. Waaay more. I haven’t finished it yet. But I’m half thinking, “What more is there to say? Leo.Encyclicalpress.com already covered the whole territory. But you know how it is, people need to explain the obvious. Or maybe people needed the obvious re-explained.)
Here’s a sample snippet of the Leonine goodness:
Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition.
The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men.
Followed by this:
To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.
See? I spent my weekend reading 64 Cath-Econ-blog posts, 19th century edition.
And although I could pretty much shut my eyes and point my finger anywhere in the document to find a good quotable quote, one of my underlined favorites is
Well that’s all for today. Still accepting suggestions for additions to the sidebar, so tell me who to add. But do just one link per comment, because otherwise the robotic spam-dragon will consume the whole lot of them. Thanks!