I always try and give a bishop the benefit of the doubt. They make mistakes. I make mistakes. But, bishops are successors of the apostles, and I am not, and that status alone makes it incumbent upon the rest of us Catholics to take their words to heart even if, in the end, we find ourselves reaching different conclusions. Always, we should respect these men and the office they hold, not from us but from Christ, and treat their words and their deeds with similar respect. But, the decision of Bishop Robert McManus to forbid Vicki Kennedy from giving the commencement address at Anna Maria College makes it really, really hard.
Leon Wieseltier has an essay posted at the New Republic that serves as an invitation to everyone to think more clearly about the stakes involved with Iran's effort to gain a nuclear weapon. And, he makes some fine points about the limits of rationality along the way.
TNR recently announced that they were removing the firewall that had previously left some of their content, and all of Wieseltier's essays, available only to paid subscribers. I hope readers will avail themselves of this new, free resource. I can't say I always agree with Wieseltier but I can say that he always makes me think more deeply about any issue he addresses. And, his writing is the gold standard for editorial journalism.
This morning's Washington Post has an article on the debate in the UK about gay marriage, specifically the fact that the issue is being pushed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
“I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative," Cameron recently said explaining his position. Those are words one is unlikely to hear from, say, Rick Santorum or other U.S. conservatives anytime soon.
Unless you live in Nigeria, or take a special interest in that nation’s politics, you probably had never heard of Boko Haram until last Christmas Day when the group bombed several churches killing some 41 people. On the day when Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, Boko Haram intruded with sectarian violence of the ugliest kind, premeditated and indiscriminate, the planned killing of women and children when they were harming no one.
At Catholic University next month, a symposium will be held to examine Boko Haram and the challenge the group poses to Nigeria’s national unity. I asked the symposium’s organizer, Fr. Aniedi Okure, O.P., how “Boko Haram” translates into English. “Western Education is Sinful,” he replied. "Actually, the word 'abomination' is closer to the meaning they intend."
If it's springtime in DC, with the weather changing daily, or even hourly, guess who is going to come down with fever and chills! I am getting back into bed but we'll see how the day goes. Hopefully, I will be feeling up to posting later. For now, hot tea, which I hate, lots of juice, which I like, an the homemade chicken stock is defrosting.
A couple of weeks back, George Neumayr at The American Spectator attacked my bishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. I wrote about that attack here.
One would have hoped that Neumayr would have taken the time, and the criticism he received, some of it from the right, to think more charitably about the assertions he made in his initial article. Instead, he has doubled down, unleashing more nastiness at Cardinal Wuerl in another article at The American Spectator.
At his blog Mirror of Justice, Rick Garnett has responded to my post this morning.
I shall only note that his response indicates why Garnett is my favorite conservative Catholic sparring partner. His reply is lucid, concise, thoughtful, engaging. He is not out to score points, but tries to advance the conversation. He is right to say that we agree more than we disagree. That said, I still think that there are plenty of conservative Catholics who do the exact same thing that some liberal Catholics do: tailor their religious convictions to suit their politics, rather than starting with their religion and developing political positions therefrom. But, it is an honor, and an education, to engage with Garnett.
Mark Silk at his RNS blog takes a different view of last week's decision by Judge Stearns regarding the Establishment Clause and the HHS contracts awarded to the USCCB to combat human trafficking. Yesterday, I wrote about that decision here.
Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett has responded to David Gibson, John Allen and myself, regarding comments we made about Pope Benedict XVI’s comments regarding the “certain schizophrenia between private and public morality.” I called attention to the comments here, in which I include a link to John Allen’s article. Here is a link to Gibson’s comments.
It is, perhaps, ironic, that on a different post yesterday, I noted that I sleep better when I find myself in agreement with Professor Garnett. So, I guess I shall be sleeping less soundly tonight.
Over at Mirror of Justice, Rick Garnett - who knows more about law in a minute than I shall ever know in a lifetime - looks at the Massachusetts Court decision about which I wrote this morning. I always sleep better at night when I find myself in agreement with Professor Garnett.