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Topics - JEdwards

The Cass Review damns England's youth-gender services
from The Economist
Your Turn / Eucharistic Sharing at Valpo
February 18, 2024, 09:10:40 PM
I worshipped at the Chapel of the Resurrection this morning for the first time in nearly 3 years. I was struck by a couple statements in the bulletin that seem to mark a change in Eucharistic practice. First, the directions to prospective communicants seemed to reflect a more "open" table. There was an acknowledgment that some might choose to refrain from Communion due to "personal convictions" or the "rules of [their] church body"; such persons were invited to come forward for a blessing. There was no admonition (as there was previously) that not sharing the same faith precludes Eucharistic sharing.

On the flip side, there was also a notice that the pastors of the Chapel had "suspended" their practice of communing each other "at the request of" the President of the Indiana District "in view of his ecclesiastical authority over the ministry of" the LCMS pastor. There was a further notice that the "suspension" would be reviewed at the end of the 23-24 academic year "in light of the ecumenical situation."

Any insight into this change?  Was it in response to anything specific?  New DP with a new perspective?  Or just another sad marker of the ongoing drifting apart of the ELCA and LCMS?


Your Turn / Ecumenical setback in Portland
January 07, 2024, 02:40:32 PM
Sad story of the apparent demise of an innovative ecumenical community. While it sounds like there were plenty of missteps on all sides, I don't think anyone can credibly claim to be surprised that posting criticism of the RC Archbishop on the parish web page would lead to a result like this. It's another demonstration that many in the ELCA place a higher priority on "prophetic" speech on LGBTQ issues than on concrete progress on ecumenical endeavors with the RCC.

#4 is a news and politics site with a decidedly left-leaning point of view, but generally (imho) tries to be fair-minded and thorough.  Most readers are pro-choice, but the site hosts invited pro-life readers to respond to questions from pro-choicers.  One of the volunteers described himself as a LCMS pastor in Texas.  Another respondent was a Catholic layman, and the third correspondent described himself as "religious" and an alumnus of Notre Dame, but didn't specify his church affiliation.  Overall, I thought all 3 pro-life commentators were models of presenting their point of view in an uncompromising but civil way:

Depending on how SCOTUS rules, this may soon be a moot point, but I think that the abortion restrictions currently being challenged in Texas pose a dilemma for the pro-life cause.  I'm not a lawyer, and I'd welcome correction or additional context if I'm missing something, but it seems that in an effort to maximize the deterrent effect of the law, the Texas Legislature has dispensed with some basic principles of justice:

1. Forum for adjudication:  as a general rule, a defendant (in either a criminal or civil suit) can only be tried/sued in a court to whose jurisdiction he has consented in some way, whether by living or doing business within its jurisdiction, or by agreeing to its jurisdiction in a contract (eg, the credit card agreement says you can be sued in Delaware).  The idea is that answering a civil or criminal complaint is a burden on the defendant, and that burden shouldn't be exacerbated by demanding an answer in some far-flung place.  As I understand it, Texas Senate Bill 8 permits a civil suit to be filed against a defendant in any of Texas' 254 counties.  This rule does not apply to any other civil or criminal complaints.

2. Ex post facto liability:  The law expressly provides that a defendant can be liable for conduct that occurred during a period when the enforcement of the law was enjoined by a court, if an appeal results in a higher court permitting enforcement of the law.

3. Res judicata:  Generally, if a jury rules in your favor on a specific allegation, that determination carries great weight (and may be considered conclusive) if the same question comes up in subsequent litigation.  SB8 does not permit a prior jury finding or court ruling to be used as a defense in a subsequent suit.

One of the (valid, in my view) criticisms of Roe and Casey is that they distorted basic principles of jurisprudence to get to a desired result.  Based on my layman's understanding of what happened in Texas, I fear that the same criticism applies to SB8.

In this thread, I'm not interested in rehashing the broad pro-life/pro-choice debate.  I'm more interested in how those who are sympathetic to the pro-life cause (among whom I count myself) view these significant departures from basic legal principles.  Again, I'm open to correction if I have misstated or omitted important information.

Your Turn / Another challenge to religious liberty
February 02, 2022, 10:39:21 PM
I hope that Becket Law and allied organizations will support St. Timothy's:

Your Turn / Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
October 04, 2021, 11:44:57 AM
Dan Lipinski served in Congress as a pro-life Democrat until being successfully primaried from the left.  The day may be too far gone by now, but it would be nice if the Democrats heeded the warnings in this essay:

Your Turn / Valpo in the Padilla era
May 17, 2021, 05:44:11 PM
I was at Valpo this weekend for my son's graduation, and I had the opportunity to hear President Padilla speak both at the baccalaureate and the Bachelor of Science graduation ceremony. In light of previous discussions here about Valpo's identity, I was struck by the new president's comments about how important it is to him personally to be part of a faith-based institution. He frankly described his decision to leave DePaul University for a position at the University of Colorado as a "mistake" that allowed him to recognize his personal need to be a leader at a faith-based institution.  He repeatedly emphasized the fostering of faith as part of Valpo's mission.

As a Roman Catholic, President Padilla seems unlikely to focus on distinctively Lutheran theology, but he seemed unafraid to speak specifically about Christian faith and community as key parts of Valpo's identity.

Longtime preacher to the papal household and recently made a Cardinal, His Eminence has some very Lutheran insights:

Your Turn / La. Governor a new model for Democrats?
November 19, 2019, 03:28:02 PM
From First Things comes this commentary on the recent re-election of John Bel Edwards as Governor of Louisiana.  The author, Prof. Charles Camosy of Fordham, is a Roman Catholic who supports the "seamless garment" approach to life issues.  He makes the point that being pro-life was a critical ingredient in Governor Edwards' re-election, and he challenges the Democrats to re-think the political value of pro-choice extremism.
Your Turn / Michael Root essay: "Ecumenical Winter?"
September 28, 2018, 09:49:48 AM
Michael Root -- now a Roman Catholic, formerly Lutheran -- has an interesting essay in First Things:

I was struck by this description of the goal of ecumenism from a Catholic perspective:

The Church hopes and intends that, through prayer, dialogue, and common witness, the separated communions may finally be reunited in a Church recognizably Catholic, but transformed and renewed.

Dr. Root also discusses the RC Church's reasons for close(d) communion.  Spoiler alert:  it's not because they impugn the faith of other Christians.

Your Turn / An Advent meditation
December 07, 2017, 11:56:08 AM
I don't always agree with George Weigel's politics, but I really appreciate this Advent meditation:

Pope Francis has selected Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm to be a member of the College of Cardinals.  He will be inducted into the College on June 28.  Bishop Arborelius was a nominal member of the Church of Sweden until becoming Catholic as a young man.

Just wondering.

Your Turn / More on SCOTUS and religious liberty
June 28, 2016, 04:44:06 PM
Over the dissent of the Chief Justice and Justices Alito and Thomas, SCOTUS has declined to hear a case from Washington State regarding conscientious objection on the part of pharmacists to providing postcoital contraceptive drugs:

In his dissent, Justice Alito lays out in detail the facts of this case.  I think he makes a convincing case that professed concerns about assuring patients' access to medications are pretextual, and that "Washington would rather have no pharmacy than one that doesn't toe the line on abortifacient emergency contraceptives."

The Supreme Court has acted in the much-watched case regarding coverage of contraceptives and religious exemptions under the Affordable Care Act:

Basically, the Court has sent the dispute back to the respective Courts of Appeals in order to allow consideration of "the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties" in response to the Court's own compromise proposal.  Based on her concurring opinion, Justice Sotomayor (joined by Ginsburg) is not completely satisfied, but willing to go along with what is essentially a punt.  This virtually guarantees that if the Supreme Court ultimately has to issue a definitive ruling, it will not happen until next year at the earliest.

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