Possibly because of the three-day weekend due to Independence Day falling on a Friday, there hasn’t been too much news this week. Still, many important advances are being made:
• We have received further confirmation that CESJ’s position on the relationship between faith and reason in coming to knowledge of the natural law is the correct one within the Aristotelian-Thomist framework. That is, the principles of economic and social justice can be understood by the force and light of human reason alone, although faith (as well as hope and charity) helps us understand what reason teaches us, guides us, and fulfills justice. Because CESJ is not a religion, we acknowledge the importance of faith, but can say nothing about faith-based beliefs — nor should we.
• Despite CESJ’s firm stand on non-interference or commentary on matters pertaining to faith alone, we had another commentator inform us that we should approach religious leaders to instruct them in theology, when our expertise is in the principles and application of economic and social justice. We disagree. Any religious leader who heard us talking faith-based matters instead of justice within the framework of the Aristotelian-Thomist understanding of the natural law would be fully within his or her rights to tell us to take a hike.
• The CESJ core group is refining a business plan to use in applying for grants to fund the Justice University project. While the ultimate goal is to build a network of educational institutions in which all can participate equally, this first phase is directed at Catholic academia for the sake of expedience, and in recognition of the fact that CESJ already has valuable relationships in Catholic academia that should be developed more fully before reaching out to secular institutions.
• Deacon Joseph B. Gorini, founder, chairman, and CEO of Evangelization Enterprises, Inc. (EEI), and also Apostolic Action, Inc. (AAI), is also a board member of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (CCC). He is hoping to explore the possibility of a relationship between CESJ and the CCC. This would give CESJ access to some very high-powered theological and philosophical expertise, and provide the CCC with some potentially very useful applications of the principles of Catholic social teaching as well as some refinements of the principles of economic and social justice.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 56 different countries and 54 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week were “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Avoiding Monetary Meltdown, II: Salmon P. Chase and the Greenbacks,” “‘Allowed Expedients’, Part IV: The Solution,” and “Distributism, Neo-Distributism, and the Just Third Way, II: The Slavery of Past Savings.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we’ll see it before it goes up.