Seven Days that Shook the Vatican

Here's John Allen's latest diagnosis of the events in Rome.And here's my question or concern: The dichotomy he seems to pose is between the Church "calling the shots," on the one hand, and being a threatened minority on the other. Isn't there a middle ground? Isn't it possible to be a respected voice in the public square without calling the shots? What would "equal respect" look like?Update: It seems to me, I guess that some careful distinctions are in order. For example, the Supreme Court only grants cert--agrees to hear--a tiny percentage of the appeals it receives. It generally only acts if there's an important question of legal interpretation involved. If this case doesn't involve such a question, than it's not discrimination not to hear it--even if one party is the Vatican. Moreover, the Church--here and abroad--is actually tying to advance a moral and political agenda. A secular politician voting against that agenda because she isn't convinced by the arguments doesn't mean per se that she is prejudiced against the Church. So not winning a debate in the public square can't be equated with discrimination. It may mean no deference, it certainly means not "calling the shots." But it doesn't necessarily mean discrimination.Now, if the Belgian police went after the cardinal in a way they wouldn't have gone after another person with an accusation of the same level of credibility WOULD be discrimination. The key question is how they treat similar cases.

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.

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