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A philosopher’s deathbed request

At the National Catholic Register, Robert Royal paid tribute to the Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, who died last week. Before he died, Royal reported, Novak told everyone who came to see him: “God loves you and you must love one another, that is all that matters.” He had a particular fondness for the hymn Ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est (“Where there is charity and love, there is God.”)

Novak, who moved from the left to the right of the political spectrum, was attacked as an apologist for capitalism. But he saw himself as in the tradition of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, and “thought that the ‘moral cultural system’ of free societies needed to do a better job in informing politics and economics with humane perspectives.”

While many leftists regarded Novak as a traitor, he always sought dialogue with them, and would invite them to events.

Royal wrote: “He did so much in so many fields, and will be missed by so many. But those of us who knew him will never forget what he essentially meant to us: Ubi Caritas et Amor, Deus Ibi Est.”

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