Catholics are called to love the poor in a fundamentally different way than Americans.


Christian love is not leveling of differences that results in equality. It is precisely a love of people with all their differences, and is thus an unequal love, proper to unequal people.

So we arrive back at the point. The Church loves the poor with a preferential love. The good we should desire for them is a greater good than that which we desire for others. (This is obviously connected to the lack of due goods those oppressed by poverty may have — we must desire greater and more goods for the poor than we desire for those who are already secure in material and spiritual goods.) So the first difference between the Church and the culture is that what the culture claims is a good “addition” to life, or just another way of loving, the Church claims as a priority and a love above other loves.

There’s more

Editor’s note: The big question is … should the Church rely on government money … which has many significant, anti-Catholic “strings” attached … in order to “preferentially” help the poor?


  1. To answer the question in the Editor’s note (particularly in re taxpayer support for the poor):

    “The effect of compulsion is always to strip the virtue out of a transaction.”
    –Dinesh D’Souza

    • Excellent quotation….force The Tax Payer to help the poor, even though we are the most generous and charitable people!

  2. There is always the financially poor . . but it is a weakness to assume this is “poverty” in all its aspects. The Church meaning of the poor is or should be directed to the poor of spirit?
    I think St Francis might well agree that we attest to both?

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