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Faith, Politics, and the Model You Want

From the blog post Dorothy Day: The model you want by David Mills

Peter [Wolfgang] equally politely explained that “It is the heterodoxy and bad catechesis that I was calling out, not politics that differ from my own on matters on which there can be a legitimate plurality of opinion.” Then he said the striking thing: “Give me a Catholic who is as radical as Dorothy Day but has her fidelity to the Church and I’m totally cool with it, even if I might disagree.”

You have to spend a lot of your day reading Christian culture-warring to know how unusual that is. For Peter, the shared faith is everything. Politics — yeah, okay, whatever.

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This reminds him of something Bishop Robert Barron said, which he quotes. In seminary people would ask, “Are you a liturgy guy or a social-justice guy?” Barron answers by invoking Dorothy Day.

“She was radically devoted to social change, care for the poor and an end to violence,” he says. “Yet she was converted to a very pious Catholicism rooted in the Eucharist, the Mass, the Rosary, Benediction, retreats and an intense interiority. She brought these two [strands] together in her life, and one fed the other; one returned to the other. That is the model you want.”

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