My mentor sent me the following link:
He didn't have time to make remarks about it, but thought I might be able. This a good article for a rookie fisker to entertain. My comments will be in red.
Good Catholics Can Disagree
Most Americans think Catholics are not permitted to think for themselves. Sociologist Andrew Greeley turned up that datum in his research on the persistence of anti-Catholicism in America and reports it in the Sept. 9 issue of Commonweal in a preview of his next book.
Maybe one, the other or both (Chief Justice Roger Taney and Associate Justice William Brennan) are bad Catholics who either do not know their faith or don't care. Some Catholics gravitate to that explanation, but it's not a good one.
These are serious men, for one thing. And the explanation defies a church that says its members shouldn't try to judge other people's souls.
Another explanation is that maybe religion is irrelevant to Supreme Court matters. If so, someone should tell the lobbyists on both sides of Judge Roberts' confirmation.
The Christian explanation is that when serious people make prudential judgments about complex issues, they may, alas, come down in different places.
Just lately, some bishops have proposed abortion as an exception to prudent judgment.
They (the bishops) have denied Communion to some members of Congress for voting wrong as they see it.
But it was justices, not legislators, who said Congress may not constitutionally restrict abortions. The punished legislators are only not doing what the high court says they may not do.
It's only a matter of time until consistency will force rocket-launching bishops to target judges along with legislators unless the more accommodating bishops convince their zealous peers to step back from the constitutional brink.
The Vatican recently issued a hefty compendium of the church's teaching on a range of social issues from marriage to labor unions to the United Nations to war and peace.
American Catholics, including politicians, have a spotty record for even paying attention, much less acting on the social teachings.
The difference for abortion seems to be this: While the church proclaims that it supports organized labor and condemns aggressive war, it really, really double Dutch means what it says about abortion.
"Really, really double Dutch," though, has no philosophical nor theological significance.
A person has to be born before he can have any of the other rights the church upholds, but saying that is a tautology.
The court and Congress are competent to deal with the legalities of abortion, not its morality. Some people see that point as a mere technicality, but it is on such technicalities that American constitutional freedom rests.
Still, since some bishops have made Communion an issue, Judge Roberts should be smoked out on what he will do if threatened with ecclesiastical penalties if he doesn't vote a certain way on a case before the court.
Americans who think Catholics have to think alike should watch closely when the several Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee quiz Judge Roberts. It could prove to be educational.