Why Does Moral Absolutism Work (Some of the Time)?

written in stone

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam recently had a very cordial exchange on the merits of legalising prostitution – so cordial, in fact, that they were accused of doing Twitter fights wrong.Salam was making a reluctant case based on harm reduction, which followed a familiar pattern: “people are going to buy sex anyway, and legalising it will make things safer for those selling sex.” Douthat, in defending the Swedish model (where selling sex is not criminalised, but buying is) made two arguments. Th … [Read more...]

Phone Fallout: Prince of the Air vs Jesus’ Teaching 4 UPDATES

Billy Crystal used to do a great bit mimicking Edward G. Robinson in The Ten Commandments:An echo of that appeared in my email the other day from a traditionally-minded Catholic who -- having taken previous exception to my having "made excuses" for Pope Francis' very different style -- was incensed over the news that the "Cold-call Pope" had done it again, to great general confusion.The writer was at pains to be civil, but between the lines, I could almost see Edward G. Robinson … [Read more...]

Is a Hopeful Day Dawning for Some Divorced Catholics?

That's the question I am asking over at the Guardian, today. Recalling the long ago wedding of friends who chose Mark 10:2-9 for the Gospel reading of their Nuptial Mass, I write:Even in Jesus’ day, divorce was a theological challenge.For the bride and groom the reading was a pledge of determination; one of them was still reeling from the recent divorce of parents married for over 20 years, and the subsequent remarriage of the mother.The divorce created anxiety before the wedding: w … [Read more...]

Divorce-Remarriage: Francis May Walk Us Thru Door B16 Cracked Open – UPDATED

Pretty recently I wondered whether ideas to reform our annulment process would be seen by people as "amnesty" or necessary mercy:An attempt to streamline the annulment process is not an idea that will please everyone. Those who. . .have jumped through the hoops and endured the long and difficult bureaucratic processes may justifiably wonder about fairness. They may feel like the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son, and they will need to be reminded–with great love–that “ev … [Read more...]


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