Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life in the Republic

The bishops of Dallas and Ft. Worth have issued a statement regarding responsible citizenship in an election year. I'll be commenting shortly. Already, their remarks are troublesome for two reasons:

  1. They seem to make the same methodological error as bishop Zubick of Pittsburg's letter of a few days ago, namely: it treats the USCCB "Faithful Citizenship" document as though it were a teaching document.
  2. It goes too far in directing the moral reasoning of individual Catholic faithful.
With this last, mind you, I do not mean to say the bishops are in error, or that they come down on the wrong side of things. Their claim, to the effect that a given candidate's posititons on questions requiring prudential judgment can never outweigh that same candidate's erroneous position on basic life issues, goes beyond the statement of moral principle, and slides perceptibly into the proposition of one possible application of the principle.

THis is a very serious matter, about which I will have more to say later.

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