Monthly Archives: March 2011
Judiciary (Chapter XI)
“Some there must be who devote themselves to the work of the commonwealth, who make the laws or administer justice, or whose advice and authority govern the nation in times of peace, and defend it in war. Such men clearly occupy the foremost place in the State, and should be held in highest estimation, for their work concerns most nearly and effectively the general interests of the community” (Rerum Novarum, 34). (more…)
A few weeks ago Catholic Advocate noted the skewered approach to polling Catholics utilized by the Barna Group — “Another Lesson in Misunderstanding Catholic Voters” — an organization of highly respected pollsters in the Evangelical community. (more…)
Defense and Terrorism (Chapter X)
“Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense” (CCC 1909).
Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001 both terrorism and national defense have become leading issues before the American public. In response to that pre-meditated terrorist attack, our nation’s leadership reaffirmed its fundamental duty of defending the lives of all citizens. A nation’s self-defense is at the heart of seeking the common good. To achieve this goal, the military capacity of a nation should be at least equal to that of its enemy. (more…)
Just over a year ago an organization calling itself “The Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty” was announced. Karen Clifton, its executive director, said at the time that CMN was created with the encouragement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
After hearing about the organization’s efforts to host programs through the nation’s dioceses, I asked aloud whether CMN’s message, and particularly Clifton herself, was going to confuse Catholics on the difference between support for the death penalty and support for abortion. (more…)
War (Chapter IX)
“All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed” (CCC 2308). (more…)
Calling itself “a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture,” The Barna Group just released what purports to be “Christian Preferences for the 2012 Republican Nomination.”
Barna’s polling of mainline Protestant, non-mainline Protestant (Evangelical), and Catholics is marked by an additional category called “Born again Christians.” These are defined not as people who describe themselves as “born again,” but as those “who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today, and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.” (more…)
When Newt Gingrich announces his presidential exploratory committee much of the news analysis will focus on his conversion to Catholicism in August 2009. Some reporters will ask whether his motives were political. Others will assume the conversion will turn off Evangelical voters, and a few will, cynically, comment on the contrast between his newly-found faith, well-known previous marriages, and an affair with an unmarried woman, Callista Bisek, before she became his wife. (more…)
The history of the labor union movement in America is closely intertwined with Catholic social teaching. Thus, when Gov. Scott Walker asked the Wisconsin legislature to eliminate collective bargaining from state contracts with labor unions, some Catholic groups immediately accused Gov. Walker of breaching a fundamental Catholic principle. (more…)