What did you miss at the Museum of the City of New York last night? Sewell Chan reports at his Times blog, City Room:
Like the exhibition, the 90-minute discussion moderated by Paul Baumann, editor of Commonweal magazine, a Catholic biweekly opinion journal was heavy on history, but the speakers also raised questions of contemporary significance.Mr. Baumann noted the role that Catholics have played in fundamental debates in American public life in immigration, education, nationalism, the family, sexual morality and freedom of conscience.snipThe Rev. Richard John Neuhaus a leading conservative intellectual, a former Lutheran pastor and the editor of the leading Catholic journal First Things offered a surprising view on the question.To be a Catholic is not to be refused positions of influence in our society, he said. Indeed, one of the most acceptable things is to be a bad Catholic, and in the view of many people, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic.Father Neuhaus dismissed the notion that anti-immigrant sentiment was related to anti-Catholicism, since many Latino immigrants to the United States are Catholic. (But he did note that the church, which has been strongly pro-immigrant, could be seen as having a vested interest in the immigration debate, since immigrants are a major source of members.)He added that anti-Catholicism was as likely to come from the left sometimes from commentators who believe that a threatening theological insurgency is engineered and directed by Catholics, with evangelical Protestants merely as the movements foot soldiers.
Read the rest right here.