“Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic”

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

francis-cardinal-george

As President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,  Francis Cardinal George of Chicago today spoke out on the Notre Dame scandal.  The money quote:  “So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation, …” Note however that the Cardinal also spoke of corresponding with Jenkins several times on the issue.  That of course will get approximately nowhere.  Jenkins and the powers that be at Notre Dame have made very clear that they will not back down.  They should be compelled to do so.  Here is a fisking of the press report by Father Z.


What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Over at New Catholic, Mark Stricherz expresses his doubts about the ‘dialogue model’ of engagement with culture, as mounted by some in defense of Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame:

But the dialogue model can’t, doesn’t, and shouldn’t entirely govern Catholic universities (and again, all universities). In exceptional cases, it breaks down. Surely these cases are absolute moral issues: torture, slavery, genocide, racial segregation, and yes, violence against pre-natal life (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning). Universities have little to learn from politicians who support such intrinsic evil. What exactly would Notre Dame have learned from, say, Stephen A. Douglas in the 19th century about domestic policy or Dick Cheney in 2009 about foreign policy? Would Douglas and Cheney have changed their mind about slavery and torture?

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Marci Hamilton’s Crusade

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Several weeks ago there was a rather unpleasant exchange in First Things, between Marci Hamilton of the Cardozo School of Law, and Martin and Melissa Nussbaum of the Diocese of Colorado. Ms. Hamilton supports lifting the statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims, while the Nussbaums are decidedly against the idea. There are reasonable arguments on both sides, and, in this particular discussion, unreasonable arguments on both sides. But I think removing the statute of limitations, as Ms. Hamilton proposes, is likely to provide little benefit in terms of deterring abuse, and myriad opportunities for malicious or frivolous litigation. Furthermore, Ms. Hamilton’s professed concern for children has been rather morbidly focused on the Catholic Church rather than, for instance, public schools, where abuse problems are far more rampant.

I thought at the time I read the exchange that Ms. Hamilton’s name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. And then I remembered: Ms. Hamilton was the author of a rather incautiously written book entitled God v. the Gavel, in which she made a case against many traditional religious liberties (noticing a theme in her oeuvre?). I say incautiously because the book contained enough errors and sloppy argumentation to elicit a legendarily harsh book review from Douglas Laycock, one of the field’s most distinguished scholars. The whole review is worth reading if the topic is of interest to you (or if, like me, you enjoy reading rigorous criticism), but here is the conclusion:

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Send Him Some Mail

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

obama-red-envelope

Hattip to commenter cminor.  Send a letter to our pro-abort President and let him know what you think of abortion.  The color of the envelope?  Why red of course.  This is a purely symbolic gesture, but as we approach the Passiontide let us remind Obama that it is time to end the shedding of innocent blood in abortion clinics throughout the US.


Hot Air Has A Problem

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

whore-of-babylon

I have often linked to Hot Air, a conservative web-site.  I greatly respect Ed Morrissey who posts there.  He is a solid orthodox Catholic who has a good nose for news.  It disheartens me therefore to have to point out that whenever a story involving the Catholic Church is featured there, vicious anti-Catholic bigots among the commenters always take the opportunity to lambaste the Church in the vilest terms possible.  My friend Sydney Carton has done yeoman work spotlighting this problem at his website Aggressive ConservativeHere is a typical thread at Hot Air where Catholic bashers came out to play.

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Contraception: Why Not?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

One of the richest gifts we have received by the graces of the Holy Spirit as we embark into the third Christian millennium is what Pope John Paul II coined the “theology of the body.” Pope John Paul II in his Theology of the Body and Apostolic Exhortation on the Family articulated how the use of contraception is against the sacrament of marriage and more fundamentally contra-human nature. This reiterates what Pope Paul VI expressed in Humanae Vitae in the 1960s in the wake of the sexual revolution that was followed by shock and dismay that the Catholic Church had no intention of embracing the forward-moving sexual “liberation.”

The issue of contraception is one of the most difficult to argue with non-Catholic Christians and those of other faiths, or even no faith at all. However, it seems that it is an issue that we’re called to debate with other Catholics unsure of the Church’s teaching. In reading Peter Kreeft, I have found a way of talking about this issue – for Catholics – that is both helpful and very insightful. I have seen it change the mind of three people in my life. Therefore, I feel compelled by my conscience to share it, so that it may help any poor sinner that may need it.

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Catholic Moral Theology And Homosexuality

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

A lot of people may think this discourse has something to do with homosexuality…let me be clear, it does!

There is much debate in society about homosexuality (cf. Catholic Teaching, Homosexuality, and American Life; Theology, Sanity, and Homosexuality for previous discussions of the issue). This issue is just as complex as it is emotionally-charged. For our purposes here, I will reserve my subjective emotional experience, and attempt to engage the question objectively from a Catholic moral perspective. To answer the difficult question of homosexuality, one must first address more fundamental questions: What is man? What is the meaning and end of the human condition? What is the eschatological meaning of the body?

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