Letter From the Editor

Author: Jonathan Warren

Letter From the Editor

Why am I writing this? Why do I go to school? Why did I eat three taquitos at 7-Eleven last night?

When I examine my thoughts, they are filled with questions like these. Some deep, some challenging, some frivolous. Regardless of the intent, they continue to flow, often (maybe usually) without answers. But I enjoy asking them to myself anyway.

The act of questioning can lead us to a deeper understanding of the things we question, even if it doesn’t provide an answer. This issue’s cover story questions whether capitalism and Catholicism can coexist practically and ideologically. 

Both capitalism and Catholicism are deeply embedded in our daily lives, beliefs and practices. As a Catholic university in a capitalist society, Notre Dame is bound in some ways to both ideologies. 

Pope Francis, however, has asked Catholics to question this relationship. He has directly criticized capitalism and asked the Church to look closely at how the two actually function together. 

So, for the past few weeks, my normal questions (Did I pay rent? When’s dinner? Why does it smell in here?) have turned to deeper questions about the principles of the free market system and the Church.

Despite weeks of questions to professors, to students and to myself, I’m sorry to say I don’t have many definitive answers. Politics and religion, after all, can be very subjective. 

I do hope that this issue’s cover story at least helps examine two of the biggest ideological presences in our lives. It is not meant to condemn either the free market system or Pope Francis, but rather to illuminate them in light of each other. 

The story is meant more to raise the question than to answer it or explore it to its ends. The fact that you picked up the magazine may say something about your own curiosity about the subject. You may be wondering yourself whether capitalism and Catholicism conflict, and if so, in what ways. 

At Scholastic, we welcome that curiosity and hope to help foster it. Our motto for over 100 years has been “disce quasi semper victurus; vive quasi cras moritus” (learn as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow). To me, learning as if I’ll live forever means I have time to question things. Nothing is an absolute given, not capitalism, not Catholicism, and especially not my love of taquitos. 

Questioning allows me to grow in understanding of something, without fully rejecting it. Just because I want to know what 7-Eleven taquitos are made of doesn’t mean I want to stop eating them, for example. 

We hope that this cover story will at least help readers grow in understanding of a unique relationship. Notre Dame provides the freedom and platforms for exactly this kind of learning, this kind of questioning. 

Why not use it?