Last week’s commemoration of D-Day intermixed memory and history. The two are distinct. Memory is personal, and so it often places significance upon one aspect of an event even if the facts subsequently demonstrate that the event was not so significant. Memory can be fuzzy, but memory can also be deep and it carries emotions about which the historian must remain aloof. History cleans up memory, the way bleach cleans the stainless steel in the kitchen, wiping away what has been added by memory, laying bare the facts.
Over at Politico, Chrystia Freeland writes about many plutocrats and power brokers who have joined Pope Francis in publicly worrying about wealth disparities and inequality. Freeland rightly calls attention to a speech last week by Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, as well as other evidences that the laissez-faire worldview is not even popular among those who have benefited the most from it and who are charged with overseeing the world economy.
Archbishop Alexander Sample is to be commended for the tone, and the substance, of his response to Oregon's joining the ranks of states where same-sex marriage is now legal. There is no gay-bashing, no dark threats about a non-existent "gay agenda," no warnings about a civilizational threat. +Sample states the Church's teaching about the nature of marriage, but he first states the Church's teachings about the dignity of the human person, qua human person.
Today, I conclude my comment upon the conference, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism,” held last week and sponsored by Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow. Friday, I looked at some of the main themes of the conference. Today, I would like to respond to the criticism that we did not invite any Catholic libertarians to speak at the conference and float some ideas about what can and should come next.
NCR has posted some critiques of Cardinal Timothy Dolan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. I should like to call attention to what I consider the finest retort so far, at Commonweal, from Professor David Clouthier.
The other day, a friend reminded me of the puff piece David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times back in 2009 about Professor Robert George. If you think that things never change in the Church, just consider this lede that ran in the Times:
This past Tuesday, the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow, hosted a conference entitled, “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.” My colleague Josh McElwee has already penned a report on the conference here at
Amidst all the encomiums to Maya Angelou, this remembrance she wrote about being an unwed teenage mother who decided to keep her child should not be lost.
Over at First Things, Catholic University's Michael Gorman asks if Catholics will comply with the HHS mandate if we lose in the courts. He rightly points to the danger of using strong language in making our case but, then, astonishingly, suggests that we should shutter our Catholic institutions rather than comply. This is a strange stance coming from a philosophy professor whom, one would hope, had a sense of proportion and balance.
Over at Daily Beast, Christopher Dickey has a great article on Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Pope Francis, and specifically the plight of immigrants. It is fascinating to see the Church generating such positive press. Who would have thunk it?