Church, State, and the Abuse Crisis: The Role of Assumed Ideas of 'Reasonableness’ in Religious Liberty.

Journal of Christian Legal Thought 10.1 (Summer 2020): 21-28.

8 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2021 Last revised: 2 Jun 2022

See all articles by Francis Joseph Beckwith

Francis Joseph Beckwith

Baylor University - Department of Philosophy; Baylor University - Department of Political Science; Baylor University - Institute for Studies of Religion

Date Written: September 30, 2019

Abstract

In this essay the author looks at the abuse crisis in the American Catholic Church through the lens of the often complex and uneasy relationship between Catholicism and American culture and politics. He also takes us on a brief excursion into Supreme Court jurisprudence and explains why appeals to religious liberty by themselves are ultimately ineffectual in providing a safe harbor for the Church. What he hopes to show is that the long-time — and in some cases, continued — reluctance on the part of segments of the American Church to aggressively root out and prosecute wayward clergy has the potential to provide justification to some of the most deep-rooted and pernicious prejudices about the Church and its place in a liberal democracy.

Keywords: Catholicism, Abuse Crisis, American Catholicism, Religious Liberty, Church-State Separation

Suggested Citation

Beckwith, Francis, Church, State, and the Abuse Crisis: The Role of Assumed Ideas of 'Reasonableness’ in Religious Liberty. (September 30, 2019). Journal of Christian Legal Thought 10.1 (Summer 2020): 21-28., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3859806

Francis Beckwith (Contact Author)

Baylor University - Department of Philosophy ( email )

One Bear Place #97273
Waco, TX 76798-7273
United States
254-710-6464 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://francisbeckwith.com

Baylor University - Department of Political Science

Baylor University - Institute for Studies of Religion

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