Reservations on ‘Faithful Citizenship’
Tuesday evening’s panel on “Faithful Citizenship” at the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture will bring some much-needed light to the heated topic of Catholics and bishops and elections. Over at Vox Nova, Morning’s Minion offered what I thought was also an interesting addition to the discussion, explaining why he has “soured” a bit on FC even as he appreciates the document overall.
The first problem, in MM’s view, is that FC is framed around “intriniscally evil acts”:
The current framing is not wrong – and it is very neat – but it opens itself up to some egregious misinterpretation.
Second, MM writes, is that “the economic crisis changed everything.”
In such circumstances, simply re-issuing a document from 2008 seems almost bizarre. It has the feel of a different era. It reinforces a general feeling that the bishops are out of touch on basic economic issues, that they are not capable of applying the strong messages of Economic Justice for All, written a quarter of a century ago, to the problems of today.
MM cites by way of contrast the approach of the Irish bishops:
In their voting guide, they thundered in a way that evoked Pius XI in the 1930s, lambasting a “radical individualism” that manifested in a ”bonus culture” that is “regrettably still a feature of banks and financial institutions”, which in turn gave rise to “inequality and damage to social cohesion”. They talk about the need to check the “excesses of advanced capitalism” with “a robust regulatory environment and a concern for the welfare state.”
Good post, I thought. Read and discuss.