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“Nine Libertarian Heresies”— A Response to Daniel K. Finn

Controversy

Abstract

Daniel K. Finn’s article is a profound piece that makes arguments that are long overdue. Being one libertarian Catholic whom he critiques (I would not call myself a neoconservative), I recognize that not all his criticisms are meant for me. Further, I find myself in complete agreement with some of his points. He is correct in his view that many Catholic thinkers on the right have “unacknowledged libertarian presumptions in their work” that are not always in congruence with Catholic teaching. That being said, however, there are nonlibertarian Catholic thinkers who have unacknowledged socialist principles in their work that are not always in congruence with Catholic social teaching either. Furthermore, I would argue that some of Finn’s own thoughts fall into that category. This reply attempts to develop a coherent Catholic position on these nine heresies, revealing where libertarianism and Catholicism are in accord and in discord.

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