Skip to comments.Democrats devise Catholic scorecard
Posted on 04/13/2004 5:06:16 PM PDT by MegaSilver
House Democrats are preparing a Catholic Voting Scorecard in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts.
Democratic sources say Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nicholas Lampson (D-Texas), both Catholics, are spearheading the project, which will compare the votes of Catholic members of both parties on a number of key issues that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified as its legislative priorities. Nearly 27 percent of House members are Catholic.
The votes, some of which go back several Congresses, include partial-birth abortion, human cloning, child tax credit refunds, the Defense of Marriage Act, global AIDS relief and HIV/AIDS funding, assistance to needy families and raising the minimum wage.
Under the misconception that single issues such as choice or gay rights best represent their interests, Catholics are voting for Republican candidates with increasing frequency, a document accompanying the scorecard stated. The document concluded that Democratic House members vote with the Catholic interest much more often than their Republican counterparts.
A preliminary copy of the scorecard obtained by The Hill, which a Lampson aide emphasized is still unfinished, shows that the 67 Catholic House Democrats received an average score of 76 percent, while the 49 Catholic Republican members averaged 64 percent.
Republican Catholic members were quick to criticize the scorecard.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said both the bishops and the Democrats are confusing means with motives. Many of the issues theyre talking about really have nothing to do with actual Catholic teaching or religion, he said. It is interpretation of economic policy.
He added, For the most part, certainly on social issues and foreign policy issues, the Catholic bishops pretty much speak just for the Catholic bishops. I would say that they are considerably more liberal than the average Catholic voter is. Many of the issues theyre talking about really have nothing to do with actually Catholic teaching or religion. It is interpretation of economic policy.
King said the Democrats are attempting to make liberal Democrats look like mainstream Catholics.
Frank Monahan, director of government liaison for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his organization had nothing to do with the scorecard and doesnt rank lawmakers.
It looks like a fairly accurate list of issues, certainly not a complete list, of issues where we have taken position, Monahan added.
Several prominent Catholic bishops and lay leaders recently have criticized the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and other Catholic politicians, such as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), for their support of abortion rights, stem-cell research, same-sex marriages and other issues that contradict Catholic teaching.
The issue was highlighted on Easter Sunday when Kerry took Holy Communion at a Catholic church in Boston despite the suggestion by Bostons Catholic archbishop, Sean OMalley, that Catholic politicians whose views deviate from Catholic doctrine should abstain from receiving communion.
In February, the archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke, publicly stated that he would not allow Kerry to receive Communion, and last April, Bishop Robert Carlson of Sioux Falls, S.D., refused to confirm or deny a report that he had directed Daschle to refrain from calling himself a Catholic in his official biography because of his support for abortion rights.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, told Fox News Sunday that he is reluctant to deprive a Catholic politician who deviates from Catholic teaching of Communion and would only do so as a last resort.
Monahan said a task force in the conference has been assembled to develop a policy for dealing with Catholic politicians whose positions do not reflect Catholic teaching.
But in a report published in March, the conference stated that Catholics should not become single-issue voters: The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine.
The task force is looking at everything, said Monahan, adding, Its not formed around Senator Kerry or members of Congress. Its dealing with Catholic politicians at all levels. Everything is on the table. They havent got too far down the line in their work yet. Youre dealing with a lot of bishops and a lot of points of view.
Terry Carmack, chief of staff for Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.), noted that the preliminary scorecard obtained by The Hill does not include Republican issues such as school vouchers or faith-based initiatives. I seriously doubt that a cherry-picked scorecard from our opponents will have any impact on Catholic voters in Louisville, Carmack said.
Stating that the authors of the scorecard believe that you have to be a liberal Catholic to be a good Catholic, he added, I can only speak for my boss. As a Catholic, she certainly understands that [Catholicism] is a worldwide religion. And you can be more liberal or more conservative and still be a member of the worldwide religion.
Neither DeLauro nor Lampson would comment on the scorecards.
Were not ready to present this to the press, said Aaron Schmidt, a spokesman for Lampson. This project is still getting off the ground and wont be ready for a couple of months. The members dont want to discuss it with the press. Theyd like to talk with the Catholic bishops first.
Seven Democrats received 100 percent ratings on the preliminary scorecard: Reps. Jerry Costello (Ill.), Mike Doyle (Pa.), Dale Kildee (Mich.), James Langevin (Maine), Michael McNulty (N.Y.), Michael Michaud (Maine) and Tim Ryan (Ohio). Six others had scores of 90 percent or better, while Rep. Ellen Tauscher (Calif.) scored the lowest, at 60 percent, only slightly lower than Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who had 63.6 percent.
Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.), a leading opponent of abortion-rights legislation, had the highest score among Republicans, 72.7 percent, Only two other Republicans, Michael Ferguson (N.J.) and John McHugh (N.Y.) scored 70 percent or better, while Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.) had the lowest score, 28.6 percent.
Well, it's not too hard to win a game when you make up the rules.
AARGH! It WAS NOT a Catholic church! al-Qerry and Mrs Condiment have been attending something called a "Paulist Center"--a non-denominational church with NO TIES to the Vatican. Al-Qerry is making sure pix of him receiving communion are being floated about but the pix rarely mention the denomination of the church.
Regardless...he, Dasshole, Granholm et al should all be excommunicated!
The democrats are the ones over and over committing voter fraud, but the liberal church will ignore that in favor a "illegal alien" rights.
But the democrats in the Clinton's' White House were the ones DEMANDING money from the Indians just to get represented in the Interior Dept.
They were the ones taking foreign money in bribes and "illegal campaign donations."
The Catholic Church talks of workers' rights but the democrats demand union extorted money and use union thugs to stifle protests.....
(At least by how he acts.)
Daschle HAS been excommunicated.
Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and assisted suicide.
That's not true. The Paulist Center was dedicated by a Catholic bishop, is staffed by Paulist Priests, a religious order in union with Rome, and all the priests must have the "faculties" (permission) of Archbishop O'Malley to celebrate Mass. He has given them such permission.
The Paulist Center is a Catholic facility.
It's a strange situation where the Church is increasingly adopting political stances, yet criticizes liberal politicians who disagree on doctrinal matters that are part and parcel of the political spectrum the Church embraces. The way things are going, I wouldn't be terribly surprised for the Vatican to declare abortion a good thing within a few decades.
This concept is such a joke! Utterly and completely laughable. But of course, the democrats will successfully spin it. They always do.
Bishop Robert Carlson denies that he issued a PUBLIC statement, but said that he HAD spoken with Daschle about the issue. Neither Carlson nor Daschle would comment on whether the excommunication had, indeed, taken place.
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