Saturday, December 06, 2008

The first Bishop of Worcester on the common good...


In an address given to the Catholic Conference on Industrial Relations in Portland, Oregon on October 5, 1954, the first Bishop of the Worcester Diocese, John J. Wright, explained to those present that, "..the common good is all the heritage from the past and all the hope for the future which good men share under God. Common to many, it is therefore public; perfective of the individual, it remains somehow personal. It calls the individual out of himself to share things with the general community, but it puts the resources of the general community at the service of the things closest to the personality of the individual. That is what Cicero meant when he defined the common good, the res publica, in terms of a nation's altars and hearths, of the spiritual and domestic values which center about these and which serve personality: 'in aris et focis est res publica.' It was out of this concept of the common good that our forefathers derived their notion of the great object of the State's existence. Hence their fine phrase the common weal, a phrase perpetuated in the name by which they designated this civil community, not by the cold collective name so dear to the totalitarian, The State, nor with any name of special interest or partisan emphasis as The Duchy or The Realm, but The Commonwealth, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is the concept behind warm words like mutual in the preambles of our national and state Constitutions, as that of my own state which provides 'that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good.'...The common good: it is the mutual bond of all who love the good, the true, and the beautiful; who seek good things, not evil; who seek the private good of persons and the collective good of the State, but the good of both in and under and through the Supreme Good, which is God. It is the good which God gives us all in order to keep us together, as opposed to the good that He gives us each to keep to ourselves. It is the good before which, on due occasion, both individual and State are obliged to bow: the common good...

Such an appreciation of the common good which unites, as against - or, rather, as above all particular or factional or partisan goods which divide - would make possible the Vital Center for which certain political philosophers are pleading; a Vital Center which can exist only when honorable moderates of Right and Left prefer working with each other in behalf of the common good to working with extremists of their own respective camps, extremists who seek only the particular good after which their side aspires..."

In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did violence to this idea of the common good. The Court forgot that the common good is the good of both the individual and the State "in and under and through the Supreme Good which is God." The Court opted to side with extremists who "seek only the particular good after which their side aspires."

And the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are the ones who will pay the price for this judicial arrogance.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since the SJC has taken sides in the culture wars and has embraced judicial activism - jettisoning any notion of the common weal or common good - perhaps the time has arrived for a name change.

Rather than "Commonwealth of Massachusetts", I propose "The Sodomite Realm" or "The Gay State."

Michelle said...

The CFP reports (in the November 28-December 4 edition) that Bishop Richard J. Malone has said that "To claim that marriage is a civil right open to all forms of relationships is a misnomer" and that "Marriage is an institution that predates civilization, ordained by God, and exclusive to one man and one woman who are given the responsibility to procreate the human race and to nurture, educate and pass on shared values and mores to their offspring." The very same things you have been insisting on at this Blog Paul.

Keep up the great work defending human life, marriage and the family.

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