• The Veritas Center for
    Ethics in Public Life

  • Krason: More on Presidential Power as Rescuer: A Rejoinder

    Relying on very strong executive power, for a time, in our current critical situation may be the most likely way to address it and effectuate the changes needed. Critics often provide no other solution and have almost a fatalistic assessment of our prospects, or else—like Hargrave— offer a solution that is not likely to be workable (or, similarly, successful) and presents the specter of greater dangers.

    Hendershott: Catholic Schools Pressed to Give Up Morality

    This is actually the problem as authentic Church teachings on same sex behavior and marriage  are now beginning to be defined as “hate-speech”—even when spoken by a nun or a priest or even a bishop.  Orthodox teaching will be suppressed in some institutions due to fear of protests, while lawsuits against school administrators and diocesan officials who uphold Church teaching will disrupt the administration of Catholic schools.  Faithful Catholics will be intimidated into silence.

    Kuebler: John Paul Brought Us Face to Face With Christ

    This was no ordinary family member, to be sure. This was a Pope who both believed in us and made a concerted effort to reach us, the youth of America. The Holy Father first came to the United States in 1979 on a six-city tour. But like the hound of heaven pursuing his lost sheep, he returned again and again … often making it a point to meet with young people directly.

    Krason: When the Government Takes Your Children

    The state’s rationale in taking custody of Justina is that her parents were guilty of medical neglect, which comes down to meaning nothing more than they didn’t agree with the hospital’s diagnosis. Such arbitrariness is not surprising, since the child abuse laws are utterly vague and overbroad. There is even disagreement within the CPS as to what constitutes child maltreatment. This was deliberate: the architects of the Mondale Act wanted utmost flexibility to combat abuse. As Professor Philip Jenkins writes, they were driven by “therapeutic values” and could not understand why legal standards or parental rights should hamstring “objective” professionals trying to protect children.

    Zoric: Open Immigration and the Freedom of Movement

    Open immigration is imbedded in Catholic Social Thought. John Paul II in Laborem Exercens states that “Man has the right to leave his native land…to seek better conditions of life in another country.” Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum says that “None would exchange his country for a foreign land if his own afforded him the means of living a decent and happy life.” John XXIII in Mater et Magistra states that “….people all over the world must cooperate actively with one another…so as to facilitate the movement of goods, capital and men from one country to another.” John XXIII in Pacem in Terris says “Every human being has the right to freedom of movement…and must be permitted to emigrate to other countries…”

    Wiker: Mozillagate

    Now here's the problem; here's the reason we are experiencing a serious breakdown of civil discourse; here's why shouts and tweets have replaced actual discussion. Our society has gone beyond being a pluralistic society that shares a common understanding of what male and female are, what sexuality is, what marriage is. You can't discuss anything when you so radically disagree on the very foundations of what you are discussing.

    Hendershott: The Bishop of Bridgeport: Voice of the Faithful’s Latest Target

    The leaders of VOTF have made it clear that their goal is to dramatically change the structure of the Church.  And, although they protest that it is just structural change that they seek, they continue to demand that the teaching and administrative authority of the bishops and priests be transferred to the laity.

    Meldrum: Lenten Meditation: Mantegna’s Lamentation over the Dead Christ

    In Christ’s death, Mantegna proposes an enduring mystery to contemplate. Mantegna gives us this image of the body of Jesus as a reminder—He is mortified in suspense, but not in permanence.  While we wait for Him to gather up his flesh again, we know His inanimate flesh contains a mystery: death, yet not defeat—a powerful paradox. Mantegna shapes this into the image.

    Krason: Presidential Power: A Rescuer, Not a Nemesis

    ...when exercised by a virtuous, capable man with a strong sense of self-limitation and an understanding that it is only temporary, it can be used to stop the slide to despotism. Building up a healthy culture and political order take much time, but if we don’t check—more, start to reverse—the advanced state of decay of our traditional liberties and constitutional principles we may not get the chance.

    Hendershott: Buffalo’s New Bishop Confronts Politician’s Duplicity on Abortion

    In his defense, [senator] Kennedy claims that he “remains a practicing Catholic at St. Martin’s Church in South Buffalo and that he is nurturing his children in the faith.”  But, Bishop Malone countered such a claim by issuing yet another statement pointing out that “practicing Catholics who claim they are nurturing their children in the faith must teach their children that abortion is intrinsically evil, that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

    Martin: When Life Imitates Art—a Cautionary Tale

    ...the only real question is which one, inasmuch as in all his parts he plays the same character, including even the heroin junkie in a 2007 film called “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead.”   Thus did poor Philip Seymour Hoffman portray in art the lost soul he’d become in life.

    Martin: Remembering BIll Buckley

    Buckley made conservatism seem somehow stylish.  One could be right without appearing to be a rube.  Whatever skill or confidence I gained in taking on the liberal beast, I owed to the example of Bill Buckley, who not only did it for a living but with a superb sense of theater.  Who could resist so seductive a presence, especially on TV, which is where most of us encountered “the polysyllabic exuberance” of Buckley?  Apparently not even his victims, who invariably were charmed even as they were being consumed.

    Krason: When Policy Choices Become Moral Mandates

    One of the problems of Catholic activists and even spokesmen for the Church in the U.S. who promote something like minimum wage laws is that they seem to grab for it just because “that’s what’s out there.” They also have bought into the standard American mentality—especially pronounced on the left, of course—that there’s always a legislative solution to a problem. The issue is compounded here because they haven’t even defined sufficiently the problem they are trying to solve...

    Martin: Recalling Luigi Giussani’s Passion for Christ

    The year was 1954, and the young priest, a wonderfully exuberant Italian by the name of Luigi Giussani, never got over the experience.  “I found them so unaware of the most elementary things,” he was to write years later, “and so indifferent to them, that I felt an uncontrollable desire to share my experience with them.  I wanted them to have, as I had had, the experience of the ‘beautiful day.’”

    Hendershott: What's Behind the UN Attacks on the Church?

    It is likely that last week’s UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report was payback.   Despite its non-voting status at the United Nations, the Holy See has stood as the major barrier to the UN goal of universal access to abortion and contraception for young girls and women throughout the world.  While the Church was unable to convince all countries—including the United States—of the evils of abortion, the Vatican, as a sovereign state, continues to play an important role at the negotiating table in areas in which the Church has a stake in helping to ensure the right to life and the dignity of the person.

    Hendershott: UN Attacks Catholic Teaching Under the Pretext of Protecting Children

    Ignoring the fact that the Catholic Church has already handed over the files—and the culprits—the UN Committee took the opportunity to criticize the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. This was the real reason for the Committee’s diatribe against the now decades-old clerical abuse scandal—a scandal with wildly exaggerated claimsand unsubstantiated allegations.

    Martin: On the Fundamental Goodness of Being

    To be, or not to be
    may be a famous line in Shakespeare, but unless you’re an actor reciting Hamlet’s soliloquy on stage, it really isn’t a speech that should end in a question.  To be is an answer.  A blinding affirmation, no less, that is a judgment of the mind and will concerning the fundamental and indestructible goodness of being, of finding oneself alive in the body of this most beautiful world.

    Lee: The Illogic of Pro-Abortion Rhetoric

    The fact is that both men and women have moral responsibilities to the children they help procreate, and fulfilling those responsibilities, by either men or women, does not detract from their fulfillment. On the contrary, the fulfillment of one’s responsibilities is one of the chief ways in which a person realizes his own true worth. The equalization argument for abortion is no tribute to the dignity of women. Just the opposite: it is an insult to their personal dignity.

    Krason: The Supreme Court: Activism and Abdication

    Serious Catholics and political conservatives since the 1950s have strongly criticized the Supreme Court for making public policy and acting as a kind of “super-legislature” to further a leftist socio-political agenda, instead of interpreting the law and judging. We have seen such judicial lawmaking on pornography, abortion, legislative reapportionment, sodomy laws, and the list could go on. While this has certainly been a valid and much-deserved ongoing criticism of the Court, cases in each of its last three terms indicate a new, contrary problem: over-deference to the political branches on both the federal and state levels.

    Healy: The Sanctity of Life and World Religions

    …this valuing of life is really more universal to all religions and is not to be relegated to Catholicism or Christianity alone. In this ethical stance, the Church is not trying to impose its beliefs on others, but, rather, is calling all major religious traditions back to their deepest teachings, roots and values. Every great religious tradition includes profound teachings on the reverence due to reality, to living things — and especially to human persons.

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