Crown and Crozier

What Would Aquinas Say About COVID Restrictions? - Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers

May 01, 2021 Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers Season 1 Episode 4
Crown and Crozier
What Would Aquinas Say About COVID Restrictions? - Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers
Show Notes

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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Documents/Websites referenced 


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.



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