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On All of Our Shoulders

On All of Our Shoulders

Table of Contents:

  •  A Tipping Point

  • A Threat to the Church’s Teachings

  • Prudence Misused

  • Prudence and Principle, Love and Truth

  • Prudence and Policy

  • 5 Principles of Catholic Social Doctrine Most in Danger of Being Forgotten or Distorted

  • Conclusion

 We write as Catholic theologians, academics and ministers concerned for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. We write to hold up aspects of the Church’s social doctrine that are profoundly relevant to the challenges our nation faces at this moment in history, yet are in danger of being ignored. At a moment when the ideas of Atlas Shrugged influence public debate and policy, we write to proclaim the Catholic truth that the stewardship of common good rests upon all of our shoulders together. This is a responsibility we dare not shrug. We fulfill this obligation in myriad ways, but indispensibly among them, through the policies of our government. We highlight these principles of the Church’s social doctrine in the hope that their substance will better influence our political and policy debates. Read more

Intrinsic Evil and Political Responsibility

Intrinsic Evil and Political Responsibility

Is the concept of intrinsic evil helpful to the Catholic voter? http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=11166

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