The relationship between faith and reason is one of the fault lines in Western culture. There have always been different schools of theological thinking within the Church to be sure, but the lines became especially fractured after Martin Luther warned his fellow Protestants to “Beware the whore, Reason, for she will go with any man.” In our own day, the fault lines are most frequently found in the “battle” between science and religion and, it appears that the GOP presidential primaries will include at least some attention to these lines.
At noon Friday, a group of prominent Catholics released a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recommending that she amend the proposed rule on mandated health care coverage to provide for more expansive conscience protections for religious organizations. The letter is signed by some of the same academics who penned a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in advance of his commencement address at Catholic University in May, calling on him to support policies that reflect Catholic social teaching. The main organizer of both letters is Professor Stephen Schneck, Director of CUA’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies.
Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete is to the New Evangelization what Dean Rusk was to NATO - he was "present at the creation." He has a very interesting post up at Sussidiario about World Youth Day and why the mainstream press just can't get their head around the event itself or the Pope's New Evangelization project more generally. The key graphs read (but you should read the whole thing here):
Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, the head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issued a statement for Labor Day that is simply put one of the most forceful statements from the USCCB in a long time. He sets forth a vision for the nation's economic and political life that could scarcely be more at odds with the Ayn Rand-inspired Tea Party social Darwinism that has come to dominate so much of public discourse.
Jon Chait is one of the funniest writers in DC today, but even by his high standards, today's post about the NYTimes' David Brooks is especially hilarious. Brooks wants someone to call out Rick Perry for the kookie ideas he holds and his general unsuitability for the presidency. Chait suggests a mirror, or Ross Douthat.
To be clear, a person who has been sexually abused as a child is allowed to be angry for the rest of their lives. I get that. And, to be clear, groups like SNAP and BishopAccountability.org have undertaken an important task of monitoring the Catholic Church’s compliance with its own public commitments regarding the protection of children and the prosecution of clergy predators. I get that, too. Members of SNAP are to the clergy sex abuse crisis what survivors are to the Holocaust, the people whose memory we must always respect and, more to this point, those whose sense of alarm has a particular moral authority.
Thursday afternoon, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that it has compiled a list of all the archdiocese’s clerics who have been accused of sexually abusing children and is placing it at one, easy to access, location on its website.
A total of 159 clerics are listed at the new website and it includes all clergy who were accused and found guilty by either criminal or ecclesiastical courts, all clergy who were accused and laicized, and all clergy who were accused but subsequently exonerated.
I was almost beginning to feel sorry for Mitt Romney. He did not have much of a platform for his candidacy to begin with. He can't very well run on his signature accomplishment while Governor of Massachusetts, universal health care with an individual mandate! And, his prowess as a businessman suffers from the fact that he made a lot of his money by exporting jobs overseas. Then, there is that obnoxious clip of him defending abortion rights with a highly personal story about the death of his cousin whom he loved because she had a botched illegal abortion in the early 60's. But, hey, he was a grown-up and the frontrunner.
Not anymore. Fresh from the getting the posse ready to rough up Ben Bernanke, Gov. Rick Perry is now atop the latest Gallup poll.
If Romney thought his front-runner status lent his campaign an aura of inevitability, he was barking up the wrong tree. Ask Hillary Clinton how that inevitability thing works. But, now he is not even the front-runner. Why does he think he can win this thing?
I confess - I am a such a computer Luddite, the idea of being concerned, or even interested, in the departure of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple did not occur when I read the paper this morning. But, Rocco has the scoop for those of you who care about such things with some ecclesiastical parallels that further confuse me but may be intellgible to MACheads.