Today’s News Wrap is a grab bag of sorts of various, Catholic reactions on the Internet to the past day’s big stories – torture memos, the Pew religion survey and Mary Ann Glendon, for starters.
To start: Contributors to First Things and The Public Discourse offered different but supporting arguments against torture, from theological and philosophical points of view, respectively. Their timing, of course, is extremely relevant, in light of the recently released CIA memos on harsh interrogation methods approved by the Bush administration.
Headline Bistro has offered a summary of the Church’s teaching on torture here – and Saltzman and Tollefsen’s pieces are also well worth the read in order to gain a broader perspective on the moral issues that must be considered when debating the subject.
As highlighted yesterday, CNS has a good summary of the Pew Forum’s “Faith in Flux” study released yesterday, detailing the reasons why people have left their childhood faith. Surprisingly, the Catholic blogosphere has been relatively quiet in terms of reactions and evaluations of the survey, especially considering the depth with which it treats reasons why Catholics leave the Church.
On Our Sunday Visitor’s news blog, Catholic author Mary DeTurris Poust reflected on the study’s revelation that involvement in Catholic education – parochial schools, religious education, youth groups or all of the above – seems to have negligible impact on whether a young Catholic will remain in the Church as an adult.
“If our Catholic schools are not clearly teaching the meaning of the Eucharist, we have failed,” Poust wrote. “If our teachers or parish leaders are telling Catholic children and adults that there is room to disagree on issues like abortion, we have failed. … The reality is that many of the Catholics who leave the Church never really understood their beliefs in the first place.”
That catechesis, Poust argued, begins at Mass and at home.
Finally, the blogosphere is definitely abuzz over Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal and not speak at the university’s commencement ceremonies.
Fr. Z thanked Glendon for serving as a “witness to our Catholic identity in the public square.” Canon lawyer Ed Peters lauded her decision as an application of canon law for the laity to “imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus give witness to Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.” The American Papist noted that at one point Monday, Glendon’s name spiked to the top ten searches on Google, and that a Facebook group in support of Glendon’s decision has exceeded 2,000 members in the past two days.
In the National Catholic Register, Fr. Raymond de Souza gave a lengthy treatment to “Glendon, Notre Dame and Abortion Politics,” and, finally, for the Catholic Thing, Robert Royal asks what will emerge from Notre Dame’s “Confusion Confounded” and the aftermath of the commencement itself.