Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 27
3:00 – Kresta Comments
3:20 – The New Ecumenism
The last several popes have made the quest for Church unity an item of the highest priority on their agendas. This has been true to perhaps a much greater extent than most Catholics, and indeed most Protestants, have generally realized. John Paul II put more personal time and effort into seeking improved relations with our fellow Christians, than into almost anything else. From the time of his election to the chair of Peter in 2005, Benedict XVI has followed the same pattern. These acted in response to a mandate of the Second Vatican Council which inaugurated a whole new era in ecumenism for the Catholic Church. The subject of ecumenism -- the Church's relations with other Christians, and the search for Christian unity – is our topic with Ken Whitehead.
4:00 – Kresta Comments
4:20 – Who Is My Neighbor?: Personalism And The Foundations Of Human Rights
Over the past half century the language of human rights has gained such dominance in moral, civic, and ecclesiastical discourse that ethical and social questions are increasingly framed in terms of rights. Yet the vast literature dealing with human and civil rights focuses almost exclusively on the juridical and practical ramifications of rights, rather than the philosophical, moral, and foundational aspects. As a result, the proliferation of rights claims and catalogs has not been accompanied by a reasoned case for the existence of human rights or rational criteria for distinguishing true moral entitlement from spurious claims. Fr. Thomas Williams makes an original, compelling case for human rights as moral entitlements grounded in the dignity of the human person.
5:00 – Wisconsin compels parishes, dioceses to provide contraceptive coverage
The bishops of Wisconsin have reacted angrily to a new state mandate that compels health insurance providers to include contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans. “This mandate will compel Catholic dioceses, parishes, and other agencies that buy health insurance to pay for a medical service that Catholic teaching holds to be gravely immoral,” the bishops write. “Only dioceses or agencies that are self insured, such as La Crosse and Superior, are not covered by this mandate. As Catholic teachers and pastors, we strongly object to this blatant insensitivity to our moral values and legal rights … This mandate violates not just our religious values, but also our constitutional rights.” We talk to Kim Wadas of the WI Catholic Conference.
5:20 – The Economy: The Government, Thirty Years of Bad Economic Policy, or Both?
Conventional wisdom in America today holds that high levels of taxes and government spending diminish America’s prosperity. The claim strikes a deep intuitive chord, not only among those on the Right, but also among many on today’s Left. Indeed, the antitax credo has become so obvious to so many over the past thirty years, and rolls off the tongues of policymakers from both parties with such fluency, that one would think evidence needn’t even be gathered to support it. Even Clinton proudly announced that “the era of big government is over.” Michael Miller of the Acton Institute is here to look the economic meltdown: blame the government, free market principles, or both?
5:40 – Feast of St. Augustine Tomorrow
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of one of the greatest Saints the Church has ever known. Augustine was born in a Roman province and educated at Carthage. As a young man he became interested in philosophy, with little interest in Christianity until a profound experience in his early thirties. By 396 he had become bishop of Hippo, and his sermons and writings gained fame, notably his Confessions and the treatise City of God. His notions of God's grace, free will and Original Sin have had an unmatched influence on Christian theology. Augustinian philosopher Dr. Barry David joins us.