June 11, 2012
As our regular readers might have noticed, I have been away from blogging a few months now–not, I can reassure you, because of a lack of opinions but because of the heavy demands the Lent and Easter seasons place on those in parish administration. Lots of work is good, however, when it comes from a growing Church, as it has these past several months at St. Francis Mission. Still, as much fun as RCIA and RCIC and baptism classes and Stations of the Cross and radio evangelization and confirmations and Pentecost and everything else has been, lots of work is also, well, lots of work.
Strangely, the world seems to have survived the temporary lack of my online opinions…
…but just to be on the safe side, I thought I’d share an article of mine on the timely topic of conscience. The article appears in the very fine journal of Catholic thought Logos published by the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and it’s available for free online. Even if you aren’t interested in my article, the journal itself would be well worth a perusal.
The topic of conscience has (unfortunately, given the circumstances) become rather more timely than when I originally wrote the article, so it doesn’t address the HHS mandate directly, but I nonetheless recommend it as a bit of scholarly background if you’re looking for bedtime reading during the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom.
3 Comments | Society of Jesus (Jesuits) | Tagged: catholic social thought, Conscience, fortnight for freedom, HHS mandate, Logos journal, religious liberty, thomas more | Permalink
Posted by Anthony Lusvardi, SJ
January 24, 2012
The Obama Administration is the most anti-religious and anti-Catholic presidential administration in the history of the Republic.
Last week the Administration released health care regulations which will force Catholic schools and hospitals to provide, free of charge, sterilizations and contraceptives, including some “contraceptives” which induce abortions. These regulations come on the heels of a Supreme Court decision in which the Administration’s lawyers pushed a line of legal reasoning, which, if followed to its logical conclusions, would have allowed the government to decide whom churches hire and fire, possibly even whom churches ordain. Fortunately the Court recognized that if the Administration’s argument had prevailed, the First Amendment wouldn’t be worth the faded parchment on which it is written, and rejected it—unanimously.
Toward the beginning of his presidency, President Obama and his subordinates had the tendency to describe nearly every policy they implemented as “historic” or “unprecedented.” A bit self-congratulatory perhaps, but certain aspects of this presidency no doubt made it worthy of those adjectives. And now, sadly, President Obama has made history in another way: no president has ever undermined the First Amendment’s promise of religious liberty in the ways President Barack Obama has.
Right now, the Catholic Church, because of its teachings on the morality of contraception and abortion, is bearing the brunt of the Administration’s assault, but undermining the principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience threatens the rights of those whose beliefs put them entirely at odds with Catholicism. If the government can force us to violate our consciences today, what is to protect your conscience when the regime changes?
Read the rest of this entry »
22 Comments | abortion, Benedict XVI, Contraception, Obama, politics, religious freedom, Religious liberty, Tolerance | Tagged: anti-Catholic, anti-religious, Conscience, conscience clause, freedom of conscience, Obama administration | Permalink
Posted by Anthony Lusvardi, SJ
October 11, 2011
Since the second annual observance of the feast of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman was trumped by the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, I feel justified transferring it to the present day (at least for readers of Whosoever Desires). In honor of our displaced beatus, I thought I might offer a comment or two on Newman’s “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” where he explains the relationship between Catholic conscience and papal infallibility. He concludes the chapter on conscience with a famous “toast”:
Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, (which indeed does not seem quite the thing) I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please,—still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.
At least in certain senses, then, Newman exalts private judgment (i.e., conscience) above the authority of the Church (i.e., the Pope); if he had not intended this in some sense, he would not have so written. However, I would argue that these “certain senses” do not include what one would nowadays call theological dissent.
Newman’s statement easily lends itself to misinterpretation because conscience, like being, “is said in many ways.” Read the rest of this entry »
5 Comments | Society of Jesus (Jesuits) | Tagged: Conscience, Faith, Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Lotteries, Newman, Synderesis, Teetotalism, Theological Dissent | Permalink
Posted by Aaron Pidel, SJ