Kenneth R. Himes of Boston College talks about his article, "Divided on Torture,"
from the April 18 issue, which examines U.S. attitudes toward torture and explains why a public commission is still necessary to account for the moral panic unleashed by the war on terror. The tolerance of torture may stem from a humanitarian impulse—the belief that it could save lives in the long run—but that assumption must be questioned. Catholics, Himes points out, have a special mandate to repudiate torture, as such cruel and inhuman treatment is clearly prohibited in Catholic moral teaching. See the U.S. bishops document, "Torture is a Moral Issue."