My work has caused me to become perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with the problem of evil. Why do people commit evil? What conditions allow it to flourish? How is it best prevented and, when necessary, suppressed?
Christians through the ages have sought to take the example and words of Jesus to heart and to live them in social settings very different from ancient Palestine. Catholic social teaching is an offspring of this effort.
Pope Francis has ignited a useful and necessary conversation about our responsibilities to the poorest of the poor — those who some may be tempted to write out of the script of history as hopeless cases.