Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Last Installment On The Dreher Piece

Dale Price has an interesting take on the back-and-forth about the Dreher piece. He disagrees with my take that it results, in part, from a clash of cognitive approaches, suggesting instead that it is a clash of those who emphasize cardinal versus theological virtues.

First, a point of clarification about my original piece. I did not mean to suggest with my title that I was describing one camp's position as being of "compassion" and the other's as being based in "reason". Dale understood this, but others may miss my point. My premise was that the different modes of thinking about a problem have resulted in the different perspectives.

As for Dale's argument, I think there is something to it. There clearly are those that are emphasizing the theological virtues and, hence, their disagreement with some of the urgency and lack of patience reflected by the position of the other side. But that doesn't describe things all that well. For example, I don't think it describes my position at all. I would argue that my position is founded in the very same cardinal virtues Dale sees behind his own. Justice: I would argue that those who equate justice for the victims with automatic removal of priests, bishops, etc., aren't really focused on true justice. Read below my comments about the justice/vengeance line. Prudence: that it might not be so easy to find proper replacement bishops and to install them in a manner that solves, versus creates, problems is an argument from prudence. Temperance: to suggest that some are letting their frustration lead them to make harsher criticisms of the Vatican and its action/inaction than are due is an argument from temperance.

This is part of what I think has been overlooked by those who have raced to Dreher's defense.


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