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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is the Venice Diocese Spokesman Trying To Hold Contradictory Positions At The Same Time?

The Ave Herald has a post about the Venice Diocese expressing concern about the proposed Jackson Labs facility at Ave Maria Town. The statement, put out by diocesan spokesman Bob Reddy, was published as a Naples News editorial (and apparently not published in the diocesan newspaper or handed out after Mass as originally reported, but soon retracted, by AveWatch).

The Ave Herald article has an interesting passage:
The diocese is commenting solely on the research plans for the laboratory, Mr. Reddy said, and not the decision by Tom Monaghan to sell his half-interest in 50 acres of land to his partner, the Barron Collier Cos., so that the developer could donate the land for use by the Jackson Lab. On that matter, Mr. Reddy said, "the diocese defers" to the National Catholic Bioethics Center, which reviewed the transaction and determined that there was "no moral obstacle" to Mr. Monaghan selling his interest in the land.
My logical fallacy warning system just went off. It seems to me that Mr. Reddy trying to hold contradictory positions at the same time. Remember, the NCBC's position rests on the premise that JAX is not involved in any evil, and therefore, a person can morally cooperate with JAX including selling them land for a new facility. But the diocesan statement says that it has concerns with JAX's "purported association with" human embryo stem cell research. How can the diocese have concerns about JAX's activities when the NCBC's implicit position is that there is no reason to have concerns about JAX's activities?

UPDATE: Let me restate my point more simply: The NCBC says that cooperation with JAX is morally permissible because there are no concerns with JAX's association with human embryo stem cell research. The diocese says there are concerns with JAX's association with human embryo stem cell research. I think it's incoherent to hold both positions at the same time.