Kenneth R. Himes of Boston College talks about his article, "Divided on Torture," from the April 18 issue, which examines U.S. attitudes toward torture and explains why a public commission is still necessary to account for the moral panic unleashed by the war on terror. The tolerance of torture may stem from a humanitarian impulse—the belief that it could save lives in the long run—but that assumption must be questioned. Catholics, Himes points out, have a special mandate to repudiate torture, as such cruel and inhuman treatment is clearly prohibited in Catholic moral teaching. See the U.S. bishops document, "Torture is a Moral Issue."
Archive for April 8th 2011
The papacy of Pope Benedict XVI has been marred by a series of communications mishaps, from an affair involving a Holocaust-denying bishop to public statements from Vatican officials which aggravated the sexual abuse crisis. John L. Allen Jr. spoke with America about the Vatican's PR problems at the L.A. Religious Education Congress. Allen is a Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN.