Before addressing O’Malley’s claims, though, I pause to wonder why he bothered to respond to this lawyer’s arguments about law in the first place? After all, O’Malley believes that laws are chiefly necessary “for people unable—or unwilling—to think.” The vacuity of that claim I address below; the condescension that O’Malley shows toward those who consider legal questions important, I will ignore.
O’Malley opines that “the first sign of a dying society is a new edition of the rules.” Good grief, how fatuous can a claim about jurisprudence be and yet be found worthy of printing in America magazine?
The specific rule that O’Malley dismisses is Canon 915, part of the Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law. Now, if O’Malley’s Maxim is right and “the first sign of a dying society is a new edition of the rules”, then, must we not conclude that the promulgation of the new edition of the Code in 1983 signaled the onset of the Catholic Church’s death throes some 28 years ago? Apparently, that dotty old Church is taking her sweet time a-dying.
But wait, if O’Malley’s Maxim is right, should not the promulgation of the Pio-Benedictine Code have been the first sign that the Catholic Church was dying in 1917, nearly one hundred years ago? Which first sign is first?
Why stop there?
Read it all on the "In the Light of the Law" blog. Yep, Dr. Ed Peters is on a roll. His posts on the Cuomo case and related matter have been, I must say, both instructive and entertaining. Just like his canon law classes.
• "The Cuomo-Communion Controversy" by Edward N. Peters (Catholic World Report, May 2011)