Tag Archives: Bishops

Episcopal authority and the abuse crisis

The bishop of Kansas City, his excellency Bp. Robert Finn, is a favorite and frequent target of dissenters; his conviction provides a focal point and a face for the abuse crisis, even though he’s something of a patsy, as I’ve noted before. See The Finn Indictment, 1 MPA 51 (2012). Elsewhere, it was suggested that Finn’s […]

Authoritative teaching, liturgy, and authority

Elsewhere, it was suggested to me that authority “seems to be a major element of Catholic belief” for me, as does liturgy. I gave a lengthy explanation of my views on authority in The Catholic proposition, 2 MPA 77 (2012), but some additional remarks will not hurt. I. Authority, in the sense of the sources […]

In re the firearms debate

The contentious public policy dispute of the hour is the question of regulating firearms, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a statement that makes two comments and advances five (very general) calls. I. The bishops’ call. When the bishops intervene in public policy questions, they do well to tread lightly. Bishops have a […]

The Catholic Proposition

Last week, I delivered a presentation to Catholic Adult Fellowship on authority, apostolicity, and the Church, entitled The Catholic Proposition. The written version underlying my remarks is now available here, and a podcast/MP3 version is available here.

“The whole thing is preposterous, and not just for unbelievers who can’t quite get their heads around the notion that this is being debated at all.”

Via Father Dwight Longenecker, I read this interesting piece by Melanie McDonagh. She writes: The Church of England has agonised for 12 years about whether to ordain women as bishops and at last has come to a decision, viz, to put the whole thing off … [because] proponents of women bishops … are hugely exercised […]

Episcopal competence and the public policy nexus, redux

I first addressed the conversion of doctrine into policy in Is it time for a Catholic political party?, 1 MPA 43 (2012), observing that there is not always a simple vector from the former to the latter. I then treated the scope of episcopal competence quoad public policy in some detail in Catholic social teaching and […]

The Rebiba Bottleneck

Jimmy Akin has this podcast dealing with some fascinating questions about the integrity of the apostolic succession. The most interesting and momentous sections pertain to Scipione Cardinal Rebiba (†1577), through whom, because of a quirk of history, more than 90% of today’s episcopate trace their succession. The nub of the “Rebiba bottleneck” is this: Pope […]

Episcopal competence and silence

The National Dissenting Reporter‘s Mike Sweitzer-Beckman asks why the Catholic bishops have been silent on the Wisconsin recall election, even though they were actively engaged with the 2006 ballot on a constiutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Apart from the physical mechanics involved—in both situations, people will go to polling stations and tick one box or another—the two […]

Catholic social teaching and public policy: Presuppositions, institutional settlement, and the competency of bishops

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, appeared on The Colbert Report this week to discuss the budget offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Catholic social teaching: [Jesus said] that we’d be judged by whether we fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, and this budget doesn’t do it. We believe that a […]

A matter of identity

In a recent post re-proposing “fish friday,” I implied that I disagree with the 1966 decisions of Paul VI and the NCCB (USCCB’s forerunner) to make fish friday optional, but set aside that discussion until today. One of the things that worries me is Catholic identity; I would call it waning but that seems a generation […]