Hey Seattle/Tacoma area! Let’s talk about religious liberty September 18!

Tomorrow night at 7:00 PM I will be speaking at the St. Charles Borromeo parish center for their freebie Wit, Wine, and Wisdom event. It’s sponsored by the Respect Life Committee and Gabriel Project. I’ll be speaking on mobilizing Catholics in the coming struggle for religious

Be there, Aloha!

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  • Nick S

    You’re talking about religious freedom at a building named after a ‘saint’ who burned witches, declared that heretics should be prosecuted by the law for their beliefs or for keeping heretical books, who even stopped non-Catholics from eating meat in public on Fridays. Sure, let’s talk religious liberty…


    • Mark Shea

      Documentation on the witch burning please? As to the rest, yes he was a 16th century Italian Catholic. It’s so hard for post-moderns to cope with the fact that not everybody has always been a plump smug American suburbanite like themselves. Hope you grow up and learn to cope with historical development someday.

  • Nick S


    I can cope very well with the fact that the Catholic church used to teach that heretics should be burnt. But then I’m not the one talking about the eternal truths of the magisterium or calling Borromeo a saint. I think that torturing people to death for their beliefs is now, was then and always will be murder.

    Do you think that Borromeo was committing sin when he did the stuff in the references I quoted above?

    • Mark Shea

      Prudential judgment about what to do about teachers of error are not “eternal truths of the Magisterium”. Sin requires more than grave matter. It also requires sufficient knowledge, and freedom. Late medieval theology understood that “error has no rights” (still true, by the way). It did not yet grasp clearly that “Persons in error *do* have rights”. Borromeo operated by the best lights he had. He was, however, objectively wrong in approving the death of heretics. But do continue your festival of smugness.

  • Nick S

    And you continue with the insults, please 😉

    So Borromeo erred and was ‘objectively wrong’, but because people didn’t ‘grasp clearly’ at the time that burning people was wrong he still goes to Paradise and gets venerated as a saint? Moral relativism, anyone?

    What about the mullahs in Iran who execute people who leave Islam for other religions? Or pro-abortion politicians? Aren’t they also ‘operating according the best lights’ they have?

    • Mark Shea

      I’m sorry that as a shallow suburbanite with no grasp of the reality of historical development and no ability to understand that not everybody everywhere shares your shallow suburban morality, you have no ability to figure out that Catholic moral teaching has developed over time and no patience with the failures of your ancestors. I hope that someday your children are not as merciless with you as you are with your fathers.

      It’s not my job to sit in judgment of the interior lives of people on the other side of the planet about whom I know nothing. Same for pro-abort pols. For all I know they may be acting in accordance with their best lights. That doesn’t mean they are right. You can grasp the idea that somebody can be sincerely wrong, right?

      As an open, tolerant person, you certainly are thirsty to condemn. You should have that looked at.