Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies and associate professor of politics, was quoted in an Atlantic story. See below.

The Catholic Church Explains Sexual Mores-With Economics

From: The Atlantic Date: Oct. 15, 2014 Author: Emma Green

... And it's not just in that one spot. Economic language comes up repeatedly throughout the document. On pre-marital sex, the bishops write that "Simple cohabitation is often a choice ... [made] while waiting for a secure existence (a steady job and income)." In third-world countries, they say, "material poverty encourages people to live in common-law marriages." On divorce, they acknowledged that "it is not rare to encounter cases in which decisions are taken solely on the basis of economic factors." And lower birthrates are explained as a function of income, reducing "the generation of life to a variable of an individual's or a couple's plans."

"I think they're using this economic language as obviously as they are because they suspect this is a language that a broader range of people can understand-this is the language of the modern world," said Stephen Schneck, the director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University.

Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis seems to have taken this idea to heart; while he has been highly critical of free-market economics, he has often used its terminology to make moral points. In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium, he spoke acerbically of capitalism, chastising those with a "crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." The ubiquity of capitalism has moral implications for modern life, he wrote: "The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase."

"He sees a fundamental crisis in the modern world that's being driven by markets that are out of control," said Schneck. This affects all kinds of relationships, "working in a way to encourage isolation, toward a fairly radical individualism that's narcissistic."


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