The very talented Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's choice for Supreme Court justice is, as you've probably heard, a Roman Catholic and the product of Catholic schooling. As a result, the unfortunate question "How Catholic?" was bound to come up. (Frankly, the only person who can ask that, as far as I'm concerned, is your priest, your spiritual director, or God, and not in that order.) David Gibson looks at how that question is being tackled by some Catholic commentators, over at Pontifications. Gibson also provides a Catholic roundup here. Peggy Steinfels at Dotcommonweal puckishly notes that the nomination, which, if confirmed, would lead to six Catholics on the high court leads to the following conclusions: "A) Just proves Catholics are all over the place, or (B) The end of civilization as we know it, or (C) Your choice." Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe also rounds things up at Articles of Faith. Paulson quotes another blog on the Chicago Tribune, which in turns quotes M. Cathleen Kaveny, professor of theology and law at Notre Dame and a blogger at that (ahem) other blog, Dotcommonweal.
Here's Paulson quoting the Trib's blog, which I'm not going to quote since it's a good one: "Cathleen Kaveny, law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said a sixth Catholic in the High Court would illustrate how entrenched the church has become in the U.S. A sixth Catholic with views like Sotomayor's also would put the American church’s diversity on display. 'My guess is she’s very much operating in accordance with the commitments of the Catholic social justice tradition which is emphasizing … inclusion, solidarity, justice to those least among us,' Kaveny said. 'It’s strand of American Catholic teaching that is somewhat distinct from other Catholic teaching but not incompatible. People emphasize different aspects."
James Martin, SJ