So, it appears that I am not the only one concerned about a certain sloppiness in appealing to the sensus fidelium. Pope Benedict XVI addressed the issue in his recent comments to the International Theological Commission. I think the Holy Father makes a key point: The sensus fidelium must cohere, in a sense, with what is known as the Vincentian canon, that is, what has been believed always, everywhere and by everyone.
Politico profiles five key Republicans in the upcoming debate about immigration reform. As the story indicates, a pathway to citizenship still looms as an obstacle, but those who oppose such a pathway must ask themselves if the idea of a two-tier system of citizenship is healthy for a democracy. They must also ask themselves why, in this case, the idea that Congress might change the penalties for a crime, in this case, entering the country without proper documentation, cannot be changed.
Values. I do not like it when our religion is reduced to ethics, as regular readers know. The important thing to know about the Catholic faith is not that it imparts good values to its communicants but that it imparts the Word of God which saves us from final damnation. We hold to what we believe because it is true, not because it is efficacious. And, because it is true, because God’s verdict on this person known as Jesus was different from the verdict rendered by Pilate, then the teachings of Jesus become normative.
The issue of same-sex marriage is headed to the Supremes, and it is far from clear whether the justices will sing "Stop! In the Name of Love" like the other Supremes. Linda Hirschman at the New Republic looks at the potential difficulties of the high court's decision to look at the constitutionality of both the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, analyzing the careful strategy that preceded Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade.
Father Ron Schmit, in an essay here at NCR, has raised questions about ecclesiological significance of the return of the Tridentine rite. I do not share his concerns.
Last week I flew to Chicago. Fifty years ago, the cost of air traffic control was somewhat less than what it is today. Additionally, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we all have to go through those expensive screening machines, guided by people wearing blue gloves, all of which costs money. When I start compiling my tax information, of course I wish I could keep more of it. I need a car. I need to go to the dentist. I have not visited the Eternal City for far too long.
While there are some American evangelical fingerprints over anti-gay measures being contemplated in Uganda, other US religious leaders are urging the Ugandan parliament not to enact these barbaric, bigoted measures. One of those leaders, former US ambassador to the Holy See Thomas Melady, who also served extensively in Africa during his storied career, is especially noteworthy as a signatory. You can read their statement here.
Mark Silk at RNS has a great, and funny, blog up about Senator Marco Rubio's, ehem, evolving views on when the earth was created, and which church he considers home.
A new blog has been launched - "Lawfare" - that examines the difficult legal choices facing the country in a time when warfare has been changed by the advent of non-state terrorists, new technologies, and a renewed interest stateside in the text of the Constitution. I confess my interest in the subject is largely the result of the fact that one of the founders of the new blog, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, is an old and dear friend.
The District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a ruling Wednesday that essentially allows the lawsuits brought by several New York Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Center, against the HHS contraception mandate to proceed. The decision was a bit complicated, and you can read the legal analysis of Marc DeGirolami at "Mirror of Justice" by clicking here.