February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The modern environmental movement is grasping for a compatible economic system. That system is Distributism, but environmentalists and New Urbanists will never hear of it while it remains confined within the intellectual framework of Roman Catholicism. The Vatican provided its inspiration, but Distributism is for everyone. If our rhetoric does not reflect this openness, we deprive many of finding in Distributism its relevance to resiliency and sustainability.

Caelum Et Terra

When I first started reading Wendell Berry thirty odd years ago I had just returned to the Catholic faith. I was struck by how easily his ideas harmonized with the Catholic social teaching and distributist thought  I was discovering. In the early 90s I finally wrote Mr Berry and asked him about this; had he ever read the papal encyclicals? Or Chesterton and Belloc? He replied somewhat testily that no, he was not familiar with any of that. I sensed, as one might expect from someone raised as a Baptist in Kentucky, that he was somewhat suspicious of Catholicism and not quite comfortable being told that his ideas resonated with Catholics. (He has since gotten over that and has addressed Catholic conferences).

I relate that story because distributists need to be reminded that distributism is not “Catholic Economics”; it is not revealed truth, and it is not just for Catholics…

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