An Easy Case

From First Thoughts

Often, in my class on law and religion at St. John’s, we address difficult questions about where to draw the line on religious autonomy. How far should the state go in accommodating religious practices that conflict with state rules? Or, put in reverse, how much freedom from state control can . . . . Continue Reading »

Mannaggia!

From First Thoughts

You know that interview Pope Francis gave to Eugenio Scalfari of the Italian newspaper,  La Repubblica ? The one in which the pope made some puzzling comments about conscience and proselytism? The one that so many people,  including me , have been poring over for insights into the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Non-Political Pope? (Part 2)

From First Thoughts

Well, I said you couldn’t tell much from one interview. Last week, I  posted  about Pope Francis’s much discussed interview in an Italian Jesuit journal. I observed that the Pope seemed to be a mystic trying to place the Catholic Church outside politics–either progressive . . . . Continue Reading »

A Non-Political Pope?

From First Thoughts

You can’t tell too much from one interview, of course, but the  interview Pope Francis gave an Italian Jesuit journal last month , and which was released last week, seems like a blockbuster. Everyone understands this. Progressive Catholics are elated. After long years in the wilderness, . . . . Continue Reading »