Edward Peters, the canon lawyer who has suggested that Governor Cuomo be denied communion, responded to my post in which I restated my long-standing position that using Canon 915 to deny politicians communion is horrible theology. Furthermore, I argued that the canons of the Church exist to further the Church’s objective of saving souls, that the Church has many instruments and methods to accomplish that goal, and that many of us think that heavy-handed reliance on canonical penalties is actually a great cause of scandal and harms the Church as well as the potential for helping the person who is denied communion. To be clear: Edwards’ post is very thoughtful and intelligent and he makes the best case that can be made for his interpretation of how Canon 915 should be applied. But, he avoids addressing the point I made.
Canon lawyer Edward Peters has responded to my post earlier today about the brouhaha he has begun regarding the fitness of the Governor of New York to present himself for communion.
Alas, at the moment I discovered his reply, I thought it my obligation to post it, not just leave it in a comment, which I have now done. At that same moment, a stiff breeze came through the window, reminding me that I am on holiday, that just outside the window are at least eight shades of turqoise water crashing against the unbelievably soft sand of Luqillo beach, and that as I am just finishing a very delicious but very large margarita, I had best respond tomorrow.
I will say this for the moment. Mr. Peters has rendered a thoughtful reply and those who are interested in this subject should read it - before margarita time. I promise to do so this weekend and reply with a thoughtful reply, if not tomorrow, soon.
John Gehring, of Faith in Public Life, looks at an essay by Professor Gerald Breyer of St. Joseph's University, on the union busting tactics in Wisconsin.
Edward Peters has started a brouhaha by suggesting that Gov. Cuomo should not be given communion because he lives with a woman to whom he is not married. The diocese of Albany has replied, pointing out why it does not interpret the canons as Mr. Peters does and he has replied to the diocese.
Our friends at Vox Nova look at the union-busting in Wisconsin through the lens of Laborem Exercens. Towards the end of his life, Pope John Paul II was asked which of his three social encyclicals was his favorite and he cited Laborem, his first, as his favorite. It is mine too. One wishes that there was a single Catholic Republican in the Wisconsin legislature who would read it and think twice before continuing with the assault on workers rights.
My friend Mark Silk posts about how his students at Trintiy College reacted to former Senator Rick Santorum's recent remarks about the Crusades.
There is, of course, room for disagreement about many things in public life and, indeed, about interpreting history. But, putting a smiley face on the Crusades is not a serious intellectual project. It is an embarrassment.
Don't miss Adam Kirsch's review of Timothy Beal's "The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book." The different uses to which the Bible is put - prehaps better to say subjected - is a subject that defines so much of American culture. This goes on the Must-Read column.
Congressman Keith Ellison is so far to the left of me, it hurts my neck to turn in his direction. But, according to Politico, the liberal congressman from Minnesota has called on President Obama to come to Wisconsin and stand with the workers.
I agree entirely and for two, somewhat contradictory, reasons. First, you know and I know and Richard Trumka knows that some of those protesters voted Republican last autumn. How did that work out for you guys? Second, as I never tire of saying until I am blue in the face, only when the Democrats reclaim their status as the unabashed defender of the working class will they return to majority status. Too busy pussy-footing with their friends at Goldman-Sachs, the national Dems have sold the working class down the river with bad trade deals, bad tax policies, and attacks on their cultural values. President Obama has found in the Tea Party and their over-reaching members a perfect foil to shape the debate back towards a Rooseveltian dynamic. Shame on him if he fails to take the opportunity.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has issued a press release praising Bishop Stephen Blaire, chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for his endorsement of labor rights and the stance taken by the Wisconsin bishops in the face if an unprecedented attack on a right the Church has recognized since at least 1891.
Here is the release from CACG:
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Affirming Catholic Moral Insistence for Unions and Collective Bargaining
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good endorses the statements by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee and Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, on the rights of workers to unionize and bargain collectively. For Catholic teachings as expressed in papal encyclicals from Rerum novarum in 1891 through Pope Benedict XVI's recently released encyclical, Caritas in veritate, unionization and collective bargaining are required elements of a moral economic or political order.
Just arrived at the condo we are renting in Puerto Rico and – voila – there is wifi! So, while I was in transit and enjoying a late lunch looking out over the turquoise waters of Luquillo Beach, Bishop Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, was issuing a statement supporting the stance taken by the Wisconsin bishops in favor of the right of workers to unionize and bargain collectively. That right has been under attack by Wisconsin’s new governor. Bishop Blaire’s letter took the form of a letter to the chairman of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, Archbishop Jerome Listecki. The text follows: