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Distinctly Catholic

What the Casey Anthony Case Says About Our Culture


I refused to watch a single moment of the Casey Anthony trial. I refused to watch a single news story about the trial. This took some doing and I had to replace the battery in my television clicker sooner than anticipated. The story was ubiquitous.
I refused to engage it for the same reason I would have refused to attend a gladiator fight had I lived two thousand years ago. In America today, the courtroom has replaced the ampitheater, but the lust for gruesomeness is the same. Shame on us.
The only good thing about the trial is that it is over.

The Corapi Case Continues


The Society of our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity issued a press release yesterday regarding the sad case of Father John Corapi.
The entire episode makes me feel sick to my stomach, and this is not only because Father Corapi's view of the world bore little resemblance to my own. One of my most conservative priest friends, to whom I turn to see how the world and the Church are viewed in those precincts, previously sent me an email that perfectly elucidates some of the questions this episode raises:
I'll bet next month's collection that we're going to learn a bit more about Corapi before this is all done. Why was a religious priest living apart from his community? In a house he owns personally? Why was he in sole control of a corporation that has employees and makes a profit? Why was his company in the habit of signing confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with its employees? Was he turning over all income to his community? If not, is the IRS aware that he is a wealthy man?

Review: Angus Sibley's \"The 'Poisoned Spring' of Economic Libertarianism


Angus Sibley’s new book “The ‘Poisoned Spring’ of Economic Libertarianism,” recently published by Pax Romana, deals with some of the theoretical issues that have emerged in current debates about America’s long-term fiscal health. Specifically, Sibley argues that the “Austrian School” of economics has come to dominate conservative arguments about the economy and that this school could not be more antithetical to the traditional social teachings of the Catholic Church.

Is There A \"Dog Whistle\" in Constitutional Conservatism?


According to Ed Kilgore at the New Republic, Michelle Bachmann's frequent and intentional self-labelling as a "constitutional conservative" can mean different things to different people, but that to those who hear the "dog whistle" in the words, the vision is a little scary.
This is why we have elections: To find out just what the candidates mean by their slogans and it will be interesting to watch the media try and pin down Bachmann on this score. To her great credit, Bachmann does not shy away from media interviews with media outfits other than Fox, so there will be plenty of opportunity to find out just how much of the the phrase is principled and how much is scary.
Attentive readers will also note Kilgore's reference to Peter Berkowitz whom I have cited before as one of the leading lights of intelligent, informed conservative thought writing in America today.

MSW Defends Labor on NPR


Yesterday, I was a guest on the "Colin McEnroe Show" on WNPR here in Connecticut. I was on a panel with former gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry and local news reporter Christine Stuart to discuss the budget negotiations going on between the Governor, the legislature and state employee labor unions. Here is a link to the audio.
I was especially proud to be able to point out that state employees are the only people on the planet whose work contracts are subject to review by state legislatures, which is like being the only teeth in someone's mouth subject to the attentions of an 18th century dentist. And, later in the show I was able to make the point, so central to Catholic social teaching, that labor is not a commodity and efforts to see it as such, either by businesses or government, is an ethical lapse.
By the way, anyone who thinks federalism is the answer should spend some time at your state legislature.


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In This Issue

May 6-19, 2016


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