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This essay examines what Sartre called the problem of "dirty hands" as it applies to two issues in contemporary Catholic discussions of political morality. Beginning with Michael Walzer's work on dirty hands, the essay next identifies four approaches to this problem characteristic of Christian ethics. These four categories are then applied to analysis of two issues: conflicts of conscience that may confront Catholic politicians as a result of the responsibilities of public office and the church's exclusion of clergy and religious from holding public

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17 J. Religious Ethics 31 (1989).