Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and specifically, New York, seemed like an appropriate time to revisit an interview with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. Two recent Fordham University graduates, Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 conducted the interview in June 2014, which focuses on many of the social justice issues currently highlighted by Pope Francis’ trip:
In response to a question on the unique responsibilities of young people today, particularly in relation to social justice, His Eminence explained that “if we properly understand who we are in God’s eyes…and in relation to other creatures and all of creation, we will sense that there are certain duties and obligations that simply flow from who we are.”
“This is not only an ethical, moral, religious, Catholic insight: it’s also a very American insight,” he continued. “It is at the heart of what our founders meant when they speak about the common good. As a civic society, especially at the very core of an enlightened democracy, who we are as privileged citizens of this republic have certain duties which arise from within, upon which a democracy is to depend if it is to flourish. I would congratulate Pope Francis for reminding us of this.”
On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society blog student editors Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. The 90-minute interview spanned a range of topics including political party participation, research on human and animal subjects, and how Catholic educational institutions should treat students who become pregnant, among others. He also provided background on many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and moral positions.
Ochs: Thank you once again for having us. We would like to get started with our first question. You have had a great deal of interaction and dialogue with young people, and college students, particularly Fordham students. You’ve been to our university many times since you’ve been installed as Archbishop of New York. What values—ethical values, religious values, societal values perhaps—do you believe are most important for those in our generation to hold and put into practice?
On November 24th, Erick Munoz discovered his 33-year-old wife, Marlise Munoz, unconscious on the floor of their Texas home. A tragic consequence of a pulmonary embolism, Marlise was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital and declared brain dead in the emergency room. She was moved to the intensive care unit where she remained on life support for six weeks against the wish of her husband, who maintained she would not wish to live in this incapacitated condition if she were given the choice. Significantly complicating the situation and simultaneously launching the case to the forefront of national debate, however, was the fact that Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her clinically diagnosed brain death.
All of us have seen the colorful television commercials promoting a brand-name prescription medication. As a butterfly alleviating a woman’s insomnia flies into her bedroom window, or a grandfather suffering from COPD runs through a field with his dog, in symbolic, memorable, stylish ways, one is told to “talk to your doctor” about whether or not the medication is “right for you.” A sharp observer might recognize that the drugs in these commercials eventually—within a few years—leave the television marketing airways without a trace. Where have they gone? Why are they no longer being advertised? And what does this all have to do with Catholic social teaching?
About 10 years ago, Charles Camosy decided to give up eating meat. Camosy, an assistant professor of Christian Ethics at Fordham University, believed that this change in diet was necessary in order to be authentically and consistently Christian and pro-life.
In his new book, For the Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action, Camosy makes the argument that Christian ethics and doctrine require the moral treatment of animals, and are therefore incompatible with the consumption of meat. Using history and scripture, Camosy discusses the roots of this Christian belief, before examining how these ideas translate into everyday life. He asks questions regarding whether Christians should eat meat, and what sort of medical research on animals can be justified, in addition to considering the ethics of pet ownership and hunting.