Tag Archives: Ecclesia in mundum

Catholics and politics

His excellency Bishop Robert McElroy (Aux. D. San Francisco) reportedly addressed “a diverse group of political players … [gathered] at Georgetown University to discuss the moral implications of partisanship”: McElroy noted that the founders were deeply suspicious of partisanship, or what they called “faction.” They thought parties were necessarily divisive and there is no shortage […]

In re the firearms debate, redux

I last wrote about Catholics and guns in 2013. Kathy Schiffer notes a new book, “My Parents Open-Carry,” and asks for thoughts on gun policy. I should note at the outset that I am uncomfortable with propaganda aimed at children, and this book trips the propaganda alarm for me, even though I favor exposing Americans to guns […]

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 response to Colorado

Responding to the Colorado shooting this week, Father James Martin, SJ, argues that gun control is a religious issue. I respectfully dissent. This is the wrong response at the wrong time. In a moment when we should be presenting a united front on a more pressing issue, Fr. Martin is instead pressing to the fore […]

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 […]

Catholicism and environmentalism

God created the biosphere and everything in it, and it was very good in his sight. Then he created mankind and gave the biosphere to us. This gift, however, was not to you and me, nor to any one generation; it was to all mankind (“Ecce dedi vobis,” Gen 1:29). We, the generations who today […]

Is religious freedom under siege in the United States?

The “fortnight for freedom” begins. This is the bishops’ pushback against the Obama administration’s mandate that all employers, including religious employers, must, in effect, supply contraceptives to employees. (Cf. The mismatch, 1 MPA 75 (2012). The underlying issue, it seems to me, is “who gets to decide what is religious activity?” The administration exempts things […]

Send in the drones

Robert George, noting the increase in drone strikes under President Obama, suggests that Catholics from across the political spectrum should be able to oppose “[t]he wholesale and indiscriminate use of drones….” He explains: The use of drones is not, in my opinion, inherently immoral in otherwise justifiable military operations; but the risks of death and […]

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 […]