Showing posts with label Michael Novak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Novak. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Is he Aware of the Damage He Causes?" -- Michael Novak and the Interview of Pope Francis

(Washington / Rome) The American Catholic philosopher Michael Novak commented on the Civiltà-Cattolica interview with Pope Francis': "A friend asked me if the Pope is aware of the damage, which he causes with these comments. The word obsession [Ossessione] applied to those working for the defense of life, especially for the unborn child, is something that hurt."

"In the more than 20 years, we have known him, it's never happened before that Michael Novak, perhaps the most famous Catholic philosopher in the U.S., who was closely connected to John Paul II and Benedict XVI., has uttered critical words about a Pope," said Vatican insider , which published the following interview with Michael Novak.

What do you think about the interview, which Pope Francis granted to Civiltà Cattolica granted?

I have seen two types of reactions: those of my friend, which I have described, and those of George Weigel, according to which we must get used to the behavior of an evangelical pope, who turns to us not as an academic, but as a preacher. Weigel is right, but to use words like "obsession" injured believers who have even risked their own lives to protect life."

Francis wants to change the tone or the doctrine of the Church?

The sound. There is still a risk that the result is detrimental.


He added that many Christians are on the defensive, although they are under attack. He also encouraged the criticism against the Church by the declared opponents of the Church who've been waiting for it.

What are you referring to?

His words put him in a position to be exploited by those who want to harm the Church. It is enough to look at how the New York Times has used them.

There is the risk that a part of the American believers leave the church?

I do not think so. Perhaps the most unstable extremists, but it will be a limited phenomenon. The Left, however, is encouraged to push for changes in doctrine.

Is not there also the reverse possibility, that that an "Evangelical Pope" will reconnect the faithful?

Christ also had contradictory elements, perhaps it is not possible without it. Maybe it is good that this Pope, by leading the Church to the roots of her mission, urges us to think.

Text: Vatican insider / Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Vatican Insider
Trans: Tancred


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Who is a Neo-Conservative" an Interview with Michael Novak


Prominent writer, thinker, and Crisis Magazine co-founder Michael Novak sat down with Italian scholar Alia K. Nardini to discuss neoconservatism, Catholicism, and the future of the West.

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Alia K. Nardini: Professor Novak, generally people in Italy and the rest of Europe want to know how much American neoconservatives share with the Republican Party. However, I find that the most interesting question really concerns the relationship between neoconservatives and the Democratic Party, especially in terms of conceptual differences that developed during the 1960s and 1970s. What is your view on this?

Michael Novak: In the first generation, virtually all neo-conservatives -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Richard John Neuhaus, George Weigel, and Paul Johnson in England -- were not only Democrats; we were on the left wing of the Democratic Party. We were Kennedy Democrats. But from about 1972, the Democratic Party, drawing the wrong lessons from the war in Vietnam, chose as its campaign slogan, "Come home, America!" and began retreating from the world and its international burdens. Then, after 1973, the Democratic Party increasingly became the party of abortion. It is still the party of abortion. From our point of view, we did not leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.

AKN: Is it true that the American public did not vote in favor of abortion, but that the Supreme Court, in effect, decreed it?

MN: Actually, prior to 1973, any time abortion had been put to a vote in the United States, it was overwhelmingly defeated. The American people prefer pro-life [legislation] by a good majority. But the Supreme Court stepped in, and in 1973 made a ruling that permitted abortion for almost any reason (in practice) and during all nine months of pregnancy. This was an illegitimate exercise of judicial power. It is not the business of the Court to make legislation. Legislation should be made only with the consent of the governed, through the Congress. The American people have never consented to this ruling, [which] has caused turmoil in our politics and culture for 34 years now, as nothing else has. Together with other factors, it brought a long series of defeats to the Democratic Party.

AKN: What other major issues made you move away from what was becoming the official position of the Democratic Party in the 1970s?

MN: Economics. Many of us once thought that socialism was basically a good idea, but socialists had not found a practical way to implement it successfully. Then we actually started to examine the many different national experiments in socialism -- almost 70. None of them worked. So socialism cannot be a good idea. Now, if you are on the Left and you cease being a socialist, what are you? If you do not take the state as the main engine of progress, where do you turn?

In these circumstances, and independently, several writers started re-examining the American founding. Irving Kristol in particular wrote a beautiful book about that, and discovered a new way of thinking about the future.

Like socialists, neoconservatives try to imagine, and to work toward, a better future. Unlike socialists, neoconservatives saw in a dynamic free economy a better way of breaking the chains of poverty than socialism ever discovered.

Again, at the time of the American founding, the term "republican" was much preferred to "democratic." The latter meant rule by the majority, but that has often proven dangerous and tyrannical. A "republic" places checks and balances on the majority through representative government and stresses the rule of law and the protection of the rights of the free.

Then there was this second discovery: not just that the American founding held a superior economic idea (which is why socialism never took root in the United States), but also that the American people, when given a free choice, would usually come down on the conservative side of most issues. Polls reveal that even in Europe the vast majority of people believe in capital punishment. It is the political class -- the elites -- that does not. The Left thinks it speaks for the people, but rarely does so.

Link to article...