Tony Magliano’s latest column, “Blessed Pope John XXIII’s encyclical turns 50” (CR, June 9) passed off a personal, partisan attack (using words such as heartless, unjust, tea party, neoconservatives) as Catholic doctrine. See Matthew 25:1-13 on the five foolish virgins and prudence.
I read all 20,927 words of the encyclical, looked up the economist Joseph Stiglitz, and tried to match the quotes in the article with the Vatican web site. None of the quotes matched the Vatican web page. The closest match in concept to the first quote was in Section 168. However, the words used in the “quote” are unjust under the criteria of Section 83, because government-enforced equality of outcome would rob a man of initiative. I could not find any phrase or sentence close to the second “quote,” which as given in the article, violates the principal of subsidiary which is explained in Section 117.
Quotes three, four and five appear to have been drawn from Sections 127, 158, and 161, respectively.Yet Section 160 expresses great joy at the help from wealthy nations to less fortunate nations. That was not mentioned in the article, but the generosity of our nation was understated because Magliano only counted the government contribution. I believe that his article is based on Stiglitz’s article in Vanity Fair on the wealthiest 1 percent. However, the top 1 percent paid 38 percent of federal taxes (based on 2008 data), which is in accordance with Section 132’s statement on taxes.