I missed, until last night, a post at the New York Times’s “Opinionator” by Linda Greenhouse in which she notes the way cultural and social changes that are “in plain sight” are often missed until a judge is forced to confront them in deciding a case.
In an interview with National Review shortly after the release – perhaps it is better to say the promulgation –of the Manhattan Declaration, Professor Robert P. George, one of the main movers behind the Declaration, said: “I hope that President Obama will understand that the signatories to the Manhattan Declaration are determined to defend the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage, and respect for religious freedom. On these issues, they cannot compromise, and they will not remain silent.”
The President spoke about the proposed mosque and community center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attack yesterday. The headline in the New York Times reads “Obama Strongly Backs Islam Center Near 9/11 Site” and Politico.com runs with the headline “Obama stands up for Ground Zero mosque.” I have just read the actual text of the President’s remarks and these headlines are not quite right. And, this is a distinction with a difference.
We close out our week of asking about Ex corde Ecclesiae with Professor John Cavdinia, Theology Professor at the University of Notre Dame and McGrath-Cavadini Director, Institute for Church Life.
The question: What is the impact of Ex Corde Ecclesiae looking back from our vantage point today?
I have a complex reaction to this question.
The following is a Guest Commentary from Bishop David O'Connell, C.M., who was recently ordained as the Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton, New Jersey, but who previously served for 12 years as the President of the Catholic University of America.
Janet Murguia has an article at Politico, pointing out why the Republican Party is “flirting with disaster” by pursuing such vicious anti-immigrant policies.
The best new website of the year award goes to “The Fascist Catholic” a parody of “The American Catholic.” It is hilarious, not just funny, but hold your sides until they hurt from laughing funny. Highly recommended for Catholics of all ages.
All this week, we have been discussing the 20th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae on this blog. Later today, I will be posting a guest commentary by Bishop David O’Connell, who served as President of the Catholic University of America for the past 12 years and so was charged with implementing Ex Corde at the bishops’ own university. Also, in today’s Q & A we will have comments from Professor John Cavadini, who served for the past thirteen years as the Chair of the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame.
I disagree with those who object to the placing of a house of worship near Ground Zero because that house of worship happens to be a mosque. That said, I do not have a hard time imagining that someone who lost a loved one on 9/11 might feel differently. That such an emotional reaction is understandable on the part of families who lost a member to the terrorist attack does not mean that the emotional reaction should govern the decision of the authorities in New York. Certainly, such an emotional reaction should not be encouraged by politicians who did not lose loved ones on 9/11.
Today, we continue our focus on Ex Corde Ecclesiae in advance of its twentieth anniversary on Sunday. Our interviewee today is Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, the Archbishop Harry Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics and Vice President for Catholic Identity and Mission at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The question: What is the most important thing we have learned from the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae?