Atheist to Pope Francis
No Pope has attracted atheists as much as Pope Francis. So says, Bill Purcell, Associate Director of Catholic Social Tradition and Practice in Notre Dame. He has written a paper on Saul Alinksy, a non practicing Jew and community organisor who wanted to improve the rights of the marganilised. Bill explains how Alinsky was drawn to join with the Catholic Church as he was impressed by their ability to mobilise the poor to have a greater voice. This path was later taken up by President Obama who himself was funded by the Catholic Church in his first role as a community organisor – indeed funded by the office where Bill Purcell himself used to work.
Bill explains to Miriam Gormally why he believes Catholic teaching was critical in laying the framework for social justice in America. And why Pope Francis’ focus on social justice attracts people fighting for human rights from all faiths and none. Miriam began by asking why Alinsky, a non practicing Jew first felt drawn to the Catholic social justice movement.