At a recent dialogue sponsored by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick led off with a remarkable summary of the how Pope Francis treats the poor and poverty in "The Joy of the Gospel." Cardinal McCarrick analyzes the Holy Father’s challenges in four areas: personally, ecclesially, economically and politically. At the dialogue, Cardinal McCarrick offered a summary of the letter and also offered some personal encounters with then Cardinal Jorge Bergolio and other comments related to the text.
The cardinal’s summary provided a framework for a lively and substantive Dialogue on “The Pope and the Poor” involving Washington Post columnists E.J. Dionne and Michael Gerson, Bishop Stephen Blaire, past chairman of the USCCB Domestic Justice Committee, and Kathryn Lopez of the National Review Online. The entire gathering which drew more than 500 on December 2 is available to watch below.
Since Cardinal McCarrick’s summary is useful well beyond the confines of this particular dialogue, I share it here and hope it may be helpful to those seeking to understand the messages and challenges of "Evangelii Gaudium."