Distinctly Catholic

Rev. Gaddy Embarrasses Himself


The President of the Interfaith Alliance, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, issued a statement yesterday expressing his “disappointment” at the USCCB’s document on religious liberty. I do not know the Rev. Dr. Gaddy, and now I am glad that I don’t. Here is the text of his statement and my comments will follow:

It is with great disappointment that I read the proclamation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on religious freedom. While I believe there are real threats to religious freedom in our nation today, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Catholic Church’s definition of religious freedom is one that is only concerned with its own beliefs and practices and makes no room for those whose views differ. In the democratic society in which we live, we are fortunate our government makes accommodations when necessary to protect our beliefs and practices, but the Constitution still trumps scripture in every case. In fact, it is because of this understanding that religion – all religion – has been able to flourish in the United States.

Narratives That Blind


UPDATE/CORRECTION: Below I related the story of Cardinal Wuerl's discussions with the government of the District of Columbia regarding same sex marriage. I was mistaken in suggesting that Cardinal Wuerl had proposed a variation on the "Levada solution" because the Levada solution dealt with domestic partnerships, not same sex marriage, and so that solution was not available to Cardinal Wuerl. I regret the error.

USCCB's New Doc on Religious Freedom


The USCCB this morning released the text of a new document from its ad hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. The document, entitled, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” takes the recent debate over the HHS mandates and brings the discussion to the 35,000 foot level, surveying the landscape more broadly and making the case that the issue of religious liberty is urgent and warrants the attention of both the Church and the nation.

Cong. Ryan's Faulty Understanding of Subsidiarity


Heresy has been defined as “a truth run amok.” That definition came to mind when I heard Cong. Paul Ryan argue during a Christian Broadcasting Network interview that his budget proposals are consonant with Catholic social teaching. Ryan has happened upon the traditional Catholic notion of subsidiarity to justify his position and, for good measure, he also invokes the Church’s preferential option for the poor, but gives that teaching a peculiarly laissez-faire slant. Here is the full quote:

A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private. So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017