Intrinsic Evil and Political Responsibility

Intrinsic Evil and Political Responsibility

Is the concept of intrinsic evil helpful to the Catholic voter?

M. Cathleen Kaveny | OCTOBER 27, 2008

As the November national elections approach, we need not delve too deeply into Catholic political discussions to realize the importance of the term “intrinsic evil.” The term is used not only in such documents as Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the 2008 Voting Guide for Catholics issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but also in political skirmishes among American Catholics. But what, exactly, is an “intrinsic evil”? Why should voters give special attention to intrinsic evils in considering the candidates? Almost no Catholic opinion-maker who invokes the term goes on to ask these questions, let alone to answer them.

Perhaps this is because the answers seem obvious. After all, the term “intrinsic evil” seems to connote great and contaminating evil—evil that we take inside ourselves simply by associating with it. The term itself suggests that “intrinsic evil” involves wrongdoing of an entirely different magnitude than ordinary, run-of-the-mill wrongdoing. Consequently, intrinsic evils must pose great moral dangers to both individuals and society at large, and these dangers ought to dwarf all other considerations in casting one’s vote. Read more

Part-time faculty vote approves union at Duquesne – State:

Part-time faculty vote approves union at Duquesne – State:.

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 2:28 pm | Updated: 3:01 pm, Fri Sep 21, 2012.

Ballots counted at the National Labor Relations Board office in Pittsburgh show part-time faculty have approved forming a bargaining unit at Duquesne University.

The vote by adjunct professors was held by mail and ended in July. But the ballots were impounded while the private, Catholic school appealed, claiming it should be given a religious exemption from an earlier agreement with the United Steelworkers union to allow the election.

The NLRB rejected that appeal last week the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( reports that a preliminary ballot count was 50-9 in favor of the union. Eighty-eight part-time professors were eligible to vote.


Duquesne officials have said they’d appeal if the adjuncts vote to unionize.

Fr. John Flynn: People’s Priest of the Bronx

America The National Catholic Weekly

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Fr. John Flynn: People’s Priest of the Bronx

Posted at: Monday, October 01, 2012 12:24:06 PM
Author: Tim Reidy

We are pleased to feature this guest blog from David Gonzalez. David is a reporter at The New York Times and a member of America’s board. He graduated from Saint Martin of Tours School in 1971:

To be with the Rev. John Flynn was to walk with faith.

Seriously—he would cross the streets around Saint Martin of Tours parish in the Bronx barely looking to see if any cars were barreling down the way. How he never got hit is a minor miracle. Yet whenever I accompanied him on his regular walks around his neighborhood, I just had to take it as an article of faith that we wouldn’t be mowed down by a crazed livery cab.

Granted, this lanky, tousle-haired priest with busted shoes and threadbare black slacks was out there often enough to be known to one and all in Crotona, a hardscrabble patch tucked between the Bronx Zoo and Little Italy. Everybody looked out for him.

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