Skip to comments.Will The Real Catholics Please Stand Up!
Posted on 08/08/2003 3:54:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Cardinal Ratzinger, acting with the expressed approval of Pope John Paul II, is to be commended for clarifying a troubling aspect in American politics that may turn out to be decisive in next year's presidential campaign.
Last week, he issued a document stating unequivocally that "The Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition [to homosexual marriage] clearly and publicly and to vote against it." The statement made clear that "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plans for marriage and family."
As defined by the good cardinal earlier this year in a similar statement, moral principles that cannot permit exceptions include abortion, euthanasia and slavery. Furthermore, the cardinal's recent document stated in regard to the issue of having the government recognize homosexual unions: "To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
Clearly, there should be no ambiguity in reporting about a self-proclaimed Catholic politician's stand. That is, if the news media were truly honest and unbiased in their reporting, they would be compelled to provide truth-in-labeling in their news stories. They would make clear which politicians have taken stands in accordance with their faith and are therefore "observant," true Catholics and which ones are non-observant, only claiming to be Catholic.
But the leading politicians, who must be considered "fallen away" they still claim affinity to the Church, if not its most important teachings will protest. No one's words were heard more on a national level last week than those of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a leading contender for his party's presidential nomination.
Like many Catholic politicians, Kerry has been having it both ways for too long a time and reaping the benefits at the polls, even in his heavily Catholic home state.
"I believe in the Church and I care about it enormously," he said last week, before making clear he cares nothing about the Church or the positions that it holds. "But I think that it's important to not have the Church instructing politicians. That is an inappropriate crossing of the line in America."
There are many things to say about John Kerry, but this one is clearly true: He is willing to put his popularity ahead of the faith in which he professes to believe. If John Kerry were really an honest Catholic politician, he would say that voters should understand that he believes the defense of innocent life is so important that he must follow his conscience and his faith when it comes to abortion.
Instead, he talks to the National Abortion Rights Action League's 30th Anniversary Dinner and equates preserving the right to legalized abortion with civil rights. Certainly, the unborn child's civil right to life does not appear to even enter into Sen. Kerry's thinking.
Kerry also said in April that he could only nominate committed abortion rights supporters to the Supreme Court, while denying that he would be applying a litmus test to receive such an appointment in his administration.
His party's colleagues who sit on the Judiciary Committee have in effect been applying a litmus test against President Bush's qualified nominees for federal judgeships based on their own religious beliefs by holding up their nominations.
For too long, Kerry and other Catholic politicians have been hypocrites, trying to take advantage of their Catholic faith when it suits their purposes on the campaign trail, but shirking the obligations that really come with that faith.
The fact is that in America no one is compelling Kerry and his colleagues to be Catholics. After all, we are a country that believes in freedom of religion, which means allowing one's own conscience, rather than the government, to dictate one's faith.
Unfortunately, the perception of faith has been turned around in recent decades by the secular left's pressure groups. It used to be that voters, in choosing their candidates, would trust those with open religious convictions because it indicated a framework consistent with the Judeo-Christian principles. A politician who was a supporter of the pro-life position, which in earlier decades was widely held by both conservatives and liberals, was deemed trustworthy because he would be considered one who would not gamble with innocent human life needlessly. He believed in marriage and the traditional family as an important institution essential to the functioning of society.
But under the new operating principles in American politics, the secular left holds that people of religious principles are simply not to be trusted.
The decision of Sen. Kerry and other politicians such as Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to apparently place popularity ahead of the tenets of their professed faith in determining their stands on issues such as abortion and homosexual unions while claiming that they are good Catholics shows that they are nothing but hypocrites.
Furthermore, it is time that members of the news media learn to distinguish between observant Catholic politicians and non-observant Catholic politicians, as noted in Cardinal Ratzinger's guidelines. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has made clear, by his voting record and recent statements in regard to homosexual marriage, that he is very much an observant Catholic politician. Kerry has time and time again proved that he is a non-observant Catholic politician.
Bishops SHOULD (they can, but are not commanded to) stand up, even denying dissenting politicians such as Kerry the right to receive Communion or to speak at Church events. If they do that, they will send a needed message that marriage and the defense of innocent life are important moral principles, not just to the Church but for the good of American society. They are not simply "choices" to be made.
Can this be a pivotal issue in next year's election, particularly in regard to John Kerry's hopes?
Given the current makeup of the Democrat Party, I must report with sadness that he knows exactly what he is doing. His stand will play well, even with many self-professed Catholic Democrats.
But in a general election, particularly if the economy is doing well, his stand in favor of granting legal rights to homosexual couples (essentially giving them civil unions) and legalized abortion will not play well with many committed Catholics. Many of these Catholics are more likely to turn out. They have children and homes, and they attend church regularly.
Many might be tempted to vote for a Democrat on economic issues, but particularly in a good economy, they will vote their conscience in dictates with their Church. In states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, committed Catholics vote and their votes can be pivotal.
If that's the case, then the day after the election its very possible that defeated presidential candidate John Kerry might go to confession with a great deal to say.
Also if you are a so-called Catholic and don't agree with the Church on its doctrine of faith and morals you should get out -you hypocrite. -tom
That's because they didn't carry out the threat. An empty threat is not a real threat. A good vigorous round of excommunications that would pare off about 20% or more of the Catholic Church would be an excellent exercise.
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