Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers joins us to discuss government restrictions on worship during COVID, as seen through a Thomistic lens. Dr. Sommers is Professor Emerita for Philosophy and past director of the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
0:00 - Introduction
2:56 - Aquinas’ understanding of the proper responsibilities of religious and civil authorities
6:56 - Aquinas’ theory of law
11:38 - Ensuring compatibility of human law with natural law
13:48 - Who may enact laws?
15:44 - COVID restrictions - do they actually fit within Aquinas’ formula?
20:33 - Aquinas’ view on restriction of freedoms
24:04 - What should faithful citizens do?
28:38 - How do we know when to obey or disobey a law?
30:48 - The role of prudence - the "here and now" virtue
35:18 - Complying with COVID restrictions - what are the Doctor's orders?
37:03 - Wrap up
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Brian Tierney (medieval historian) - Wikipedia page
Martin Luther King Jr. - "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (1963)
Pierre Manent - "The Church has the Form of a City", Public Discourse (July 26, 2020)
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
John Locke - "Letter Concerning Toleration" (1689)
Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica, 1st part of the 2nd part: Q90
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.