The Constitution as Seen by Clarence Thomas
In the Pledge of Allegiance case in June, Thomas wrote in his opinion that the Constitution protects a state's right to recognize an official church.
“Quite simply, the establishment clause … protects state establishments from federal interference. [It] does not protect an individual right,” he wrote, pointing to the words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Also, in 2002, he denounced separation of church and state doctrine, noting it grew out of “anti-Catholic bigotry” during the 19th century, the Los Angeles Times reported. At that time, Protestants controlled the public schools, and immigrant Catholics set up their own schools to escape the Protestant influence, he said.
“I thought his was the most interesting opinion in the pledge case. Thomas is right as a matter of history,” Richard Garnett, an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, told the newspaper. “But I think most people would see it as water under the bridge.”
Church Asks Court to Void California Sex-Abuse Law
NBC SAN DIEGO.COM, July 1 — Lawyers for the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, have asked a San Diego federal judge to strike down a 2003 law that makes it legal for victims of sexual abuse to sue without regard to any statute of limitations in sex-abuse cases.
The law opened up a “tidal wave” of lawsuits in California, the San Diego NBC news affiliate reported, and the Church faces up to 800 lawsuits. The Church said the law violates its First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and its right to due process.
If the law is declared unconstitutional, the news station noted, it could save the Church hundreds of millions of dollars needed to resolve the cases.
St. Louis Priests Support Stance on Communion
Many noted that the archbishop's comments are simply in line with Church teaching, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“There is no change in policy,” said Father Mark Ullrich of Our Lady of the Holy Cross parish in St. Louis. “Nothing is different, nothing has changed.”
Another priest compared someone who votes for a pro-abortion politician to those who did nothing to stop Hitler and the Holocaust.
“It's kind of like Nazi Germany,” said Msgr. Francis Blood, pastor at St. Cecilia Church in St. Louis, who said Catholics who do not vote for politicians against abortion rights “are at least complicit. Not decrying the Holocaust then is the same today as not decrying the Holocaust of the unborn.”
- July 18-24, 2004