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Selective Hearing?

Since they will apparently be taking to the streets this summer to defend freedom, one would expect the Bishops and their hordes to be particularly scrupulous when it comes to defending those poor souls who experience equal discrimination. But, as others have suggested,it seems that there may be limits to theirsolidarity that are coterminous with a particular political party line.In the comments on my post about the Notre Dame faculty's response to Bishop Jenky's incediarysermon, which compared Obama toHitler and Stalin, and their request that he resign from the Board of Fellows in the best interest of the University, some suggested that his speech ought tobeprotected as a private citizen. Indeed, it should, and I don't expect anyone would disagree with this.However, as anyone who has relationships and uses language knows, free speech doesn't mean speaking without consequences. If you aren't aware of this phenomenon, just ask Roxanne Martino, who resigned from Notre Dame's Board of Trustees last summer "after a conservative Roman Catholic watchdog group reported that she donated thousands of dollars to an organization that supports 'pro-choice Democratic women.'" In this case, not only did Martino not make any public statements, but the University administration also claimed that she didn't even know that she was giving money to groups engaged in such advocacy.So, a liberal, lay woman quietlycontributes her own privatemoney to an organization that, the University claims, she didn't even realize supported activities contrary to Church teaching, and she is expected and allowed to resign. But a conservative, male cleric publicly compares the President to Hitler, and we don't even get a "but he didn'trealize who Hitler was" defense. Something doesn't add up here, but maybe Robert Barron can explain to me how this one "answers itself."

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More Chicago apologetics -pleasing to the Cardinal no doubt!

George Bernard Shaw quipped that a Catholic university is a contradiction in terms.The so-called University of Notre Dame has demonstrated Shaw's point.

And all this time I thought Catholic morality rested upon this: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Yet Barron says that "Catholic morality rests upon the assumption that certain acts are intrinsically evil, precisely because certain values are so fundamental that they can never be undermined." Is this heretical, especially since "certain acts" can be filled in at will by the speaker?Sheesh. Even Aquinas says that Charity trumps natural law, and he certainly knew something about natural law.But to your point, it seems conservatives have honed the whispering campaign to a fine art. And while I don't think progressives should emulate this behavior, they should figure out how to protect against it.

I'm not Fr Barron, but I can still call a spade a spade. Some human beings have a desired end result. They will use various means at their disposal to achieve that end. A person, when striving for authentic Christianity, when living up to her or his highest ideals, realizes that how one lives is how one is defined as a follower of Christ. Not the end results.

she didnt even realize supported activities contrary to Church teachingDonating money to Emily's List and then claiming you didn't know they were pro-choice is like donating money to the Sierra Club and then claiming you didn't know they were pro-environment, or donating money to the NRA and then claiming you never heard they had anything to do with guns.

I don't see that the two scenarios - the Martino scenario and the Jenky scenario - are that parallel. What they have in common, I guess, is an affiliation with Notre Dame.I had never heard of the Martino affair until I saw this post, and all I know about it is what I've just read in the Barron piece. Based on that info, my opinion would be that all of us make mistakes in our lives, and one of the great blessings of following Jesus is that we have a chance to apologize and make amends for those mistakes. So, if Martino was to express regret for her pro-abortion support, express her resolve to never do it again, state that she accepts Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life, and perhaps find some fitting way of trying to make reparation (e.g. donate some money to a women's shelter) - then in those circumstances, I wouldn't think she should resign, and I'd be pretty mad at the Newman Society for trying to hound her off the board. On the other hand, if she was pretty unrepentant and said, in effect, "Yeah, I'm proud to support Emily's List, and I'll continue to do so," then the Newman Society would actually have done the Notre Dame community a favor by bringing it to light. Just my opinion.One of the things that I like about the Notre Dame faculty letter about Jenky is that it is asking that he repudiate his ill-considered statement, which strikes me as the appropriate measure.

The two scenarios are not parallel in that there are no progressive Roman Catholic "watchdog" groups whose sole purpose is finding specks in other people's eyes.

These posts are becoming tired and ridiculous in their attempts to gin up the "base." They're beginning to remind of the near-constant fundraising emails from political candidates. All they're lacking is the button to contribute to "send a message to the jerks" that this must stop!Maybe part of Martino's problem was her idiotic claim that she didn't know Planned Parenthood provides abortions. Or was is that she didn't know abortion was against Church teaching? Or perhaps it's because Jenky's comments (when you actually read them, i.e. he didn't compare Obama to Hitler) sound sort of like this: http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2012/04/a-students-defe...

Or perhaps its because Jenkys comments (when you actually read them, i.e. he didnt compare Obama to Hitler)Jeff Landry,I suppose you could argue Bishop Jenky didn't compare Obama to Hitler. He said Obama "seems to be intent on following a similar path" as Hitler and Stalin. It is a perfectly preposterous statement. At best (or at worst) Obama has a little over four more years in office and may have less than a year. He has a conservative Supreme Court to contend with, and in all likelihood will have at least one branch of congress controlled by the Republicans. To make comparisons between any American president and fascists, nazis, or communists is just nonsense. Jenky said, In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path [as Hitler and Stalin]." As I have noted before, the current Supreme Court is not going to let pass any "clear violate" of the First Amendment. The individual mandate and the "contraceptive mandate" raise constitutional questions, but to claim "clear violations" is nonsense. We'll see what the Supreme Court decides on the individual mandate (which isn't a First Amendment question), but the "contraceptive mandate" isn't even written yet. That makes it very difficult to claim it is a "clear violation" of the First Amendment. Eric has a point, although I don't know if the case of Roxanne Martino is the best one to use. I think if a lay member of the Notre Dame Board of Fellows were to make such an incendiary speech about how people shouldn't vote for Romney, he or she would be gone in an instant. And probably the same would be true if Obama were the target. What this proves is that if you are a bishop, you can get away with saying outrageous things that those who aren't bishops would suffer for. Maybe one just has to accept that as the way things are in the Church, but it's not necessary to like it or even be silent about it.

compare |kmpe()r|verb [ with obj. ]1 estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between: individual schools compared their facilities with those of others in the area | the survey compares prices in different countries | total attendance figures were 28,000, compared to 40,000 at last year's event.From Jenky's homily:Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.Sure looks like comparison to me.

I wish our religious freedom campaign was broader than just our right to discriminate... our right to discriminate against gay people, our right to discriminate against women. Yes, we have those rights, but what's it say about us when those are the only things that get us riled up in the public square.

"He said Obama seems to be intent on following a similar path as Hitler and Stalin."I don't say that's wrong. He first said, "Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room."He then named four relatively recent historical instances of religious repression in the West: Bismarck, Clemenceau, Hitler and Stalin. And then he said, "Barack Obama ... now seems intent on following a similar path."I don't defend it. I think the best face someone could put on it is that the meant the "similar path" to refer back to the "other governments [that] have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches". It's still pretty maladroit.

Jim Pauwels,Why would you even go through those mental gymnastics to sanitize such a hateful comparison? Hitler and Stalin are in the emphatic position rhetorically and that is what people recall most immediately when they hear a "similiar path." It is more than maladroit it is a deliberate.

Should be "deliberate" not a "deliberate".

Alan, I'm not going through mental gymnastics. I'm putting the most generous interpretation, in view of the facts, of something that someone has written. That is not an exercise in sanitation, but charity. There has been argumentation on dotCom the Sr. Brink should be extended that charity when reading her presentation to the LCWR. Why wouldn't Bishop Jenky be entitled to the same charity? The same question, btw, goes to the author and signatories of that Notre Dame faculty letter.If you read the rest of my comment, and my other comments on this affair, you'll see that I don't defend Jenky's homily in any way.

If the bishops want their speech to be treated as that of private citizens, then they should not expect any better or worse treatment because of that speech than any other private citizen. But they expect to be deferred to within the church because they are "successors of the apostles" and outside of the church because they are Catholic bishops.Sorry, boyz, you can't have it both ways. And you will not!

"A person, when striving for authentic Christianity, when living up to her or his highest ideals, realizes that how one lives is how one is defined as a follower of Christ. Not the end results."Bingo! As those heretical nuns taught me - and the rest of us - years ago: the ends do not justify the means, even if you are ontologically favored.

Tell you what, Stuart: you donate to the Sierra Club (which I do) and I'll donate to Emily's List (which I do).You can feel good once and I'll feel good twice.

Jim Pauwels,Even a generous interpretation has to be based on what was actually written.

Alan, all I've done is quote and recap what is actually written. If you continue to claim that Bishop Jenky compared the President to Hitler and Stalin, I'm going to vehemently agree with you.

Jim, I already know that you agree with me from what you wrote on another thread earlier today:His initial, and probably fatal, wrong turn was to put Hitler and Stalin, and President Obama, in adjacent paragraphs, with the claim that the President with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path. (Jean Raber, if youre reading, you once offered to send me a stack of freshman compositions to grade; Im sorta doing that here).I suppose that, technically, Godwins Law cant be invoked, because Jenky didnt make the analogy in an on-line discussion. But there should be an extension, or a corollary, or something, to Godwins Law that would make it applicable to any public-square conversation.I am just confused about why you posted what you wrote here @2:31pm, saying that "similar pattern" refers back to "other governments" and not "Hitler and Stalin."

I think it's only fair to point out that he didn't specify Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. I worked with someone when I first came to New York (1970) whose elderly grandmother was not quite as mentally with it as she once had been. She used to tell my friend, her granddaughter, that U Thant kept calling her up and inviting her to lunch. My friend said she once lost her patience and said, "Look, U Thant is Secretary General of the United Nations. He's a very busy and important man. He is not calling you every day and inviting you to lunch!" She said her grandmother was silent for a moment and then said, "Well, this must be another U Tant."

My donations to Obama, DNC, Michelle etc I guess puts me out of the RCC [according to some] .....not in their lifetime! I can't wait for the million man/women/cleric marching season to begin. Orange/Red /White/Green/rainbow are colors already taken. May I suggest Royal Blue, the SSPX might send a delegation of 8 if they can get visas.

Hi, Alan, it is possible that he meant what I suggested. After naming the four 19th-20th century Europeans, he said the President "now seems intent on following a similar path. Similar to what or whom? The antecedent reference is unclear. The text of the homily demonstrates that he led up to his statement by naming a series of four leaders (among them, to be sure, Hitler and Stalin), and I'm suggesting that the most generous interpretation of that passage is that Jenky is accusing the President of following whatever path has been marked out by those four together. The Notre Dame faculty letter, and the news stories, I've seen, suggest the meaning of that passage is "similar to Hitler and Stalin" - which would seem to imply that Jenky is accusing the President of being a genocidal maniac and the distillation of pure evil. But Bismarck and Clemenceau are not infamous genocidal maniacs, nor are they reputed to be notably evil (so far as I know), so whatever it is that ties together those four - Bismarck, Clemenceau, Hitler and Stalin - it is not mass killings nor murderous anti-Semitism nor whatever connotations first spring to mind when one hears "Hitler and Stalin"I think his real point - which, as I say, was poorly made - is that there are examples, not that long ago and in the developed world, of religious believers being persecuted, and we need to be aware, and willing to defend our rights if necessary. (I also think he meant to allude to something of which the President and his administration have been accused: of reducing religious liberty to mere freedom of worship.)If that is his real point, he needs to find exemplars other than Stalin and Hitler. What about Mexico earlier in the 20th century?At any rate, he said what he said, and there is absolutely no doubt that, in fact, he did compare the President to Hitler and Stalin. It's way past time for a retraction and apology. Bishop Jenky, if you're out there, please do so, quickly and clearly.(Before hitting the "Submit" button, I popped over to the Diocese of Peoria page to see if, by chance, he had already apologized. What I found is a 'clarification', here: http://www.cdop.org/post/PostArticle.aspx?ID=2443 No expression of remorse, though.)

The Bishop is dumb for alluding to atrocities on the level of Stalinism and Nazism; someone should send a memo to any speaker that those analogies are generally best left unexplored.Jenky's larger point, however, is one that is perfectly acceptable. It's been made by people as diverse as Michael Sandel in Democracy's Discontent to Ross Douthat in this column earlier this year (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/opinion/sunday/douthat-government-and-...). In a nutshell: "Not content with crowding out alternative forms of common effort, it presents its rivals an impossible choice: Play by our rules, even if it means violating the moral ideals that inspired your efforts in the first place, or get out of the community-building business entirely. "It's a common critique of Rawlsian liberalism in whose shadow Pres. Obama solidly stands: that in order to enter the "public square", we should be de-nuded of our particularities in the name of some neutrality. The state is the arbiter of this neutrality.Jenky was an idiot for using the analogy; the critique underlying the idiotic comments remains.

Jeff Landry,I think Douthat only plays to one side of the question. Why is it:"Every tax dollar the government takes is a dollar that cant go to charities and churches." and not Every tax dollar cut for the rich takes a dollar that can't go to helping the neediest in our country? Paying taxes is also something we do together for the common good. It is part of living in a democracy. And on the other point, Obama has compromised on the mandate and is willing to go further when the bishops grow up and decide to pursue the question further. Who are the ones saying "Play by our rules" here?

Jeff,If one of the sisterswho agrees with the Vatican's actionsdeclares that Pope Benedict is following in Hitler's footsteps, using his position of near absolute power to bring a once democratically run organization into conformity with his idea of orthodoxy, and what's more he speaks German and was a member of the Hitler Youth, would you concede that she just made an idiotic analogy, but her larger point is perfectly acceptable? It's all true, isn't it?When the analogy really is the message, I don't think you can say, "Bad analogy, good message." . . . . that in order to enter the public square, we should be de-nuded of our particularities in the name of some neutrality. As I said elsewhere (although I believe it got censored) the cacophony one currently hears in the public square is the screeching and howling of certain religious people ranting about how they are being excluded from the public square.

To make comparisons between any American president and fascists, nazis, or communists is just nonsense.I actually disagree. There is no guarantee that ANY american president will not be a facist, nazis or communist. All three groups exist in the US today and it is entirely possible to associate any president's particular action with one of the groups. In fact, George Soros compared some Bush administration tactics to the Nazis.

Anybody who seriously likens Obama to Hitler and Stalin is out of touch with reality, and, therefore, such a person should not be allowed to influence one's opinions. The comparison is crazy. Pray for Bp. Jenky, but don't give his opinions any credence.

"Donating money to Emilys List and then claiming you didnt know they were pro-choice money to the Sierra Club and then claiming you didnt know they were pro-environment""Martinos problem was her idiotic claim that she didnt know Planned Parenthood provides abortions."Out of curiosity, can somebody tell us which it was: Emily's List or Planned Parenthood? I can in fact imagine not realizing that Emily's list funds pro-choice causes, since it's more generally focused on Women's Issues (so a better analogy would really be to not knowing the Sierra Club's position on, say, the snail darter or the Keystone pipeline -- if you thought about it, you would probably guess the right answer, but you might support it for other reasons without thinking about that specific issue). Doesn't Emily's List present itself as being primarily about electing women candidates?

Sorry! That first quotation (from Studebaker) should have read:"Donating money to Emilys List and then claiming you didnt know they were pro-choice is like donating money to the Sierra Club and then claiming you didnt know they were pro-environment"

Hi, Mark, this is from the Robert Barron link that Eric provided in the original post:"The Newman Society observed that because Ms. Martino had donated $25,000 to Emilys List, an organization whose stated purpose is the electing of pro-choice Democratic women, she would be unfit to serve in such an important position of governance at a Catholic university. A controversy ensued, and Martino, concluded that it was in the best interest of Notre Dame for her to step down."Btw, this might be worth considering: according to recent magisterial guidance, it's wrong to vote for (or, one might reasonably assume, fund the campaign of) a pro-choice candidate *specifically because he is pro-choice*. However, there are instances when it is acceptable to vote for a pro-choice candidate for good reasons other than the pro-choice stance. For example, voters here in Illinois were presented with two pretty strong candidates for the US Senate in 2010, both of whom are pro-choice. Unless we wanted to vote for a fringe candidate or not vote in the Senate race (which was a very close race), we had to choose a pro-choice candidate. I voted in that race, not because I support pro-choice policies, but for other reasons that seemed to me to outweigh my candidate's pro-choice convictions.Given that distinction, I suppose one might reasonably ask, 'Is it acceptable to financially support EMILY's List, not because it supports abortion, but for other good reasons?' In my opinion, the answer is no. I just spent some time poking around their website, and my opinion is that, while most of their messaging is very much about empowering women candidates and women voters, the core of their mission is electing pro-choice women Democrats. My impression is that EMILY's List would not promote or assist the candidacy of a pro-life woman Democrat. I think it would be difficult to argue that financially supporting EMILY's List isn't for the purpose of supporting the pro-choice cause.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, donating $25,000 to Emily's List is sufficient cause to get booted from the Notre Dame Board of Fellows. But let's imagine Martino, instead of a contribution to Emily's List, had made an incendiary speech in which she compared Republicans to Hitler and Stalin. I can only imagine she still would have had to resign. "Little people" are held responsible for incendiary remarks, but bishops are not. But why should anyone expect otherwise?If I am elected pope, I will add levels to the hierarchy so that bishops are accountable to, say, cardinals, who are then accountable to the pope. The pope has too many "direct reports." It used to be remarked how great the organization of the Catholic Church was, but no company would have a CEO with 5000 people directly accountable to him.

Just to clarify, as far as I know, Martino has not commented on whether she knew about the links between Emily's List and Planned Parenthood. According to the Chicago Tribune article, the chairman of the board of trustees and the University president told "concerned alumni" that she didn't know. On a related note, the Political Science Department was recently targeted for having Emily's List on its slate of potential internship opportunities, and they have since removed it: http://www.irishrover.net/archives/1772. I guess we're taking this whole "cooperation with evil" thing pretty seriously.

Interesting, thanks Jim and others. When I responded, I was thinking of my own on again, off again history of giving to Doctors Without Borders, who I became involved with through a mail solicitation some years ago. It occurred to me that, although I know a fair amount about the general sort of work they do, I have no idea what their position is on abortion (a bunch of French doctors, it could probably go either way). It further occurred to me that if, say, one of my daughters came home from school upset to have realized how few women presidents there have been, I might support her consciousness raising by suggesting giving to an organization that supports progressive women candidates, and Emily's List would come to mind, because I always thought that was their mission. Two things I've learned since I wrote, though: first, Emily's List's web page says "Pro-Choice" a bunch of times, and, second, she gave $25,000 (!) -- that might call for a bit of due diligence.

Mark, I'm very sorry to be the bearer of bad news, because I have always thought that Doctors Without Borders is admirable and even heroic, but this report indicates that the organization sees providing safe abortions as a critical maternal-care service. Cf. p. 8.http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/reports/2012/Materna-D... don't know if there is a way to donate to them in such a way as to ensure that the donation does not fund abortions.

I think it is clear that under the US Constitution Religious freedom is not absolute.The catechism of the Catholic Church also does not teach that religious freedom is absolute. It is subject to "due limits""2106 "Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits...."2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order."http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7D.HTM

Mr. Pauwels, it's not clear from perusing the Doctors w/o Borders link that this organization supports *elective* abortion.

I dont know if there is a way to donate to them in such a way as to ensure that the donation does not fund abortions.Jim,I think you are reading into the text of the pamphlet something that isn't there. Speaking of its own services, MSF says:

Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) makes it a priority to provide life-saving, emergency obstetric care in both acute and chronic humanitarian crises. In the organisations emergency activities, teams strive to address the five main causes of maternal death: haemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labour.The provision of emergency obstetric care is at the forefront of MSFs work in sexual and reproductive health. Additional medical care provided to women by MSF includes antenatal and postnatal care, family planning, assistance to sexual violence survivors, fistula treatment, post-abortion care, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Speaking in general about maternal deaths, they say:

Worldwide, nearly half of all induced abortions are performed under unsafe circumstances; 98 percent of these unsafe abortions occur in developing countries. Reducing the number of women dying as a result of an unsafe abortion requires a multi-faceted approach. Appropriate care must be available to all women who present to a health facility experiencing complications (incomplete abortion, sepsis, haemorrhage) following an unsafe abortion. In order to prevent unsafe abortions occurring in the first place, women need access to family planning and emergency contraceptives to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and also to safe abortion care performed by skilled medical workers in safe and hygienic facilities.

They do say that women need access to safe abortions, but they don't say MSF provides them. MSF works in refugee camps, war zones, disaster areas, and so on. I don't think they set up free clinics for elective abortions in such areas. From what I have read, MSF is not anti-abortion, and their doctors will provide abortions under some circumstances where it is legal. But this seems to be largely a matter of providing safe abortions so as to keep women from having unsafe ones.If any organization can be characterized as "pro-life" in a meaningful sense, it is Doctors Without Borders. I would hate to think anyone who would otherwise donate to them with withhold their money because they are not sufficiently anti-abortion. There is such a thing as being too pure.

"They do say that women need access to safe abortions, but they dont say MSF provides them."I think the implication is that MSF provides them."If any organization can be characterized as pro-life in a meaningful sense, it is Doctors Without Borders."Every hospital that provides abortions can make a similar claim: we save hundreds / thousands of lives per year. I would like to see them continue to do that good work and also stop providing abortions.

I wonder how much Bp. Jenky and his ilk know about Hitler and stalin, and who they were (let's add Mao to that trio as well.) Invincible ignorance, we used to call it.After all, the USCCB has said that the Church's teaching in favor of religious freedom is clear. Anyone who says that can't possibly look a history book in the face.

Mark -- my analogy was more accurate than yours. Anyone who knows enough about Emily's List to be that big of a donor (really, anyone who is literate) would know that their ONE AND ONLY concern is electing pro-choice women. Pro-choice is a sine qua non. Not knowing that really would be as stupid as not knowing the NRA is about guns.

John Hayes @ 2:26 said:I think it is clear that under the US Constitution Religious freedom is not absolute.The catechism of the Catholic Church also does not teach that religious freedom is absolute. It is subject to due limits ..As was quoted to me in The Catholic Voice, the house organ of the Diocese of Oaklands house organ in response to letter I wrote to them .Editor's note: "The right to freedom of conscience and, in a special way, to religious freedom taught in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae of the Second Vatican Council is based on the dignity of the human person and not on a non-existent equality among religions or cultural systems of human creation. Paul VI taught that 'in no way does the Council base this right to religious freedom on the fact that all religions and all teachings, including those that are erroneous, would have more or less equal value; it is based rather on the dignity of the human person, which demands that he not be subjected to external limitations which tend to constrain the conscience in its search for the true religion or in adhering to it.'" Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life," CDF (Doctrine of the Faith), 2002: No. 8.http://www.catholicvoiceoakland.org/2012/03-26/forumlet.htmThe due limits are essentially those that agree with whatever the RCC teaches in any way, shape or form.

"After all, the USCCB has said that the Churchs teaching in favor of religious freedom is clear. Anyone who says that cant possibly look a history book in the face."Money quote indeed. All you blind defenders of the magisterium, no doubt, are allowed to disagree with the pastor on the Parish Council and be appointed annually.

Jimmy Mac, I don't see any logical connection between the Editor's Note and your letter. It hardly seems likely that he could be trying to say that because your examples were non-Catholic groups, the same principle didn't apply to the Catholic Church. Here's the full text of that part of he Catechism, including h parts I dropped outin my excerpt:"2106 "Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits."34 This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it "continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it."352107 "If because of the circumstances of a particular people special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional organization of a state, the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom must be recognized and respected as well."362108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,37 but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.382109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.39 The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order."40"

The Obama administration need not follow the example of Hitler or Stalin when crucifixion is a perfectly adequate method of enforcement for their purposes:It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer villages in the Mediterranean theyd go into a little Turkish town somewhere and theyd find the first five guys they saw and theyd crucify them, Mr. Armendariz says on the tape. Then that little town was really easy to manage for the next few years.And so, you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law. You find people who are not complying with the law and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them. Theres a deterrent effect there. And companies that are smart see that. They dont want to play that game, and they decide at that point that its time to clean up. And that wont happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people."Our current EPA guardians

Sounds like how the USCCB and CDF approach the exercise of intellectual freedom by their theologians.

Jeanne ==The CDF doesn't burn people at the stake any more, and John Allen, in his newest column, seems to be saying that Benedict prefer to either condemn theologians' *ideas*, not the theologians themselves, or leave the dirty work to the local bishops. I'm not sure this is true. Five more Irish priests have been restricted in one way or another from publishing either in whole or in part. That's pretty extreme to me. http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/has-real-ratzinger-come-out-playSurely it is a function of the papacy to criticize/condemn false teachings. But how best to do this? Should there even *be* any censorship at all? Or should the official Church limit itself to vigorously criticising certain opinions? Is it really possible to condemn only certain teachings of a theologian? Should dissenting theologians be banned from Catholic schools or from writing in the periodicals? Should local bishops be given the job of censorship? I think this needs its own thread. Or two or three. Or 20.