After Pope Francis issued Evangelii Gaudium, unfortunately reasonable economic discussions got swamped by talk of Marxism and ‘trickle-down theories’ and the Pope’s blithe retort about Marxists being good people.

I say unfortunate because these issues need genuine discussion to be understood from a Catholic point of view. In the western world, particularly in America the discussion focused on the Pope’s word choices rather than the underlying issues he was trying to address. There are many reasons for this, the least of which is not the Pope’s word choices. But in part, I think that the underlying point was lost on American minds because we have a unique and somewhat myopic view of poverty.

Some commentators made the point that poverty in other parts of the world is very different than in the western world, particularly America. This is true, of course, but again it fails to take into account the full picture.

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*subhead*We have obligations.*subhead*