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What Happened to the Catholic Vote?
ZENIT.org ^ | NOV. 6, 2008 | Karna Swanson

Posted on 11/06/2008 8:43:41 PM PST by Alex Murphy

CHICAGO, Illinois, NOV. 6, 2008 (Zenit.org).- More than half of U.S. Catholics voted Tuesday for a presidential candidate at odds with the Church's stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, despite the urging of more than 50 heads of dioceses to support pro-life candidates.

Brian Burch, co-founder and president of the Catholic-based think-tank Fidelis, spoke with ZENIT about the results of the election, and why he thinks a majority of Catholics voted for Democratic candidate Barack Obama, an admitted supportor of abortion rights.

Burch also comments on the success of CatholicVote.com, a voter education effort launched by Fidelis to encourage Catholics to vote for candidates supporting life, faith and family.

The site included a short video, as well as resources to help voters research candidates, statements issued by individual bishops, and an invitation to prayer.

Q: An estimated 54% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama, despite the strong stand of over 50 heads of dioceses against candidates who support abortion. How did Obama successfully win the majority of the Catholic vote?

Burch: The notion of what constitutes the "Catholic vote" is widely debated. While Obama won the Catholic vote overall 54% - 45%, among Catholics who attend mass every week, McCain won 55% - 43%. Clearly the main reason Obama succeeded overall was the fact that Catholic voters echoed the concerns of the rest of the electorate in citing the economy as their top issue.

They concluded that Obama’s economic policies would benefit them more, and ignored the teaching authority of many bishops who explained that concerns about the economy do not justify a vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

Q: Did the strong stance of the episcopate have any noticeable affect on the election? What could the Church have done more of?

Burch: The results of the election seem to indicate that, for the most part, Catholic voters ignored the guidance of their bishops. The results simply do not show any dramatic shift away from the larger trends seen during the past several election cycles.

One area of concern was the document "Faithful Citizenship," which was used by many organizations to improperly justify support for pro-abortion candidates. The shortcomings of the document forced many bishops to issue their own pastoral letters, leaving many voters confused. Regrettably, I believe the net effect of "Faithful Citizenship" was more confusion than clarity.

We must also remember that the bishops can only do so much. The teaching of the Church is clear, and the laity must be equally dedicated to pastoral efforts in this area. The task of evangelization is most effective, where possible, person-to-person, in a spirit of charity.

You probably have heard the saying that all politics is local. In the same sense, the moral witness of individual Catholics, in their families and in their parishes, will likely do more good than any teaching document from our bishops.

Q: Was the selection of Senator Joe Biden, a Catholic, instrumental for Obama in garnering support from the faithful?

Burch: I don’t believe Senator Biden's Catholicism had any significant impact on Obama's success. His faith was mentioned early on after he was selected as a running mate, but the campaign quickly dropped the references after his misguided statements on Meet the Press in order to avoid a public debate with Catholic bishops and controversies over his support for abortion.

The impact of Biden on the ticket in all likelihood may be felt down the road, as the Catholic bishops must now wrestle with a vice president who publicly disagrees with his Church on several fundamental issues.

Q: The good news is that three state constitutional amendments defining marriage as only between a man and woman passed: in California, Arizona and Florida. Is this an encouraging sign for Catholics?

Burch: This is a very encouraging sign, and represents one issue at least that transcends party lines among voters. For example, some polls suggest that as many as 65% of African American voters support traditional marriage. Thus the large turnout for Obama may have helped these marriage protection efforts. The marriage issue is a uniting issue, and should be celebrated as such.

Q: You launched CatholicVote.com to urge Catholics to vote for candidates who are pro-life, pro-family and pro-faith. You said in a commentary on the site Tuesday that the initiative has been a success. In what ways?

Burch: CatholicVote.com recorded nearly 4 million visitors in just 8 weeks. The 3:30 minute film was the primary reason people flocked to the Web site. In our film, we tried to convey the teachings of the Church in way that not only was educational, but inspirational.

Many Catholic voters continue to ignore the teachings of the Church because of political party or family loyalties, or even distrust of the Church over the past several years. We wanted viewers of our film to not only understand the authentic teachings of the Church, but to rejoice in them! If we want to effectively reach Catholics, we must appeal to their intellects, but also their hearts.

Secondly, we tried to connect the "foundational" issues of life and marriage to the larger social justice issues. Too often Catholic voters who affirm life are accused of being "single-issue voters," when in fact it is the very defense of all human life that allows us to honestly address the issues of poverty, health care, and the economy.

The images of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and other graphics in our film were not phony political ploys, but instead attempts to connect the priority of the issues of life and marriage to the great number of concerns that require our attention in protecting the common good.

Q: What is CatholicVote's mission and role now that the election is over?

Burch: Like all those who were involved heavily in this election, right now we are focusing on getting more sleep and seeing our families again. We do however have some big plans for CatholicVote.com, and will be making them known in the weeks and months ahead.

The new political climate requires that Catholics be engaged like never before to demand that the dignity of all human life be respected. Our educational mission will continue to make sure that Catholics and all people of good will understand what the Church teaches, and why they must be engaged in public life. Stay tuned!

Q: What are the issues on which the Church and President-elect Obama will be able to work together?

Burch: One of the promises made by Senator Obama involved his pledge to assist women in crisis pregnancies. I am hopeful that he will follow through on this pledge without succumbing to the inevitable demand by pro-abortion groups for more taxpayer money.

Catholics also have a keen interest in a workable immigration solution that respects the dignity of the immigrant, and favors the reunification of families while also creating an environment in which the rule of law is upheld.

Finally, I am hopeful that the new administration will recognize the charitable contributions of Catholic organizations and faith based programs, while respecting their religious identity. During the campaign, Senator Obama expressed a willingness to work with religiously affiliated agencies, and many people expect there to be new funding for social service organizations of this type.

Because of the huge contribution by Catholics in the areas of education, health care, and concern for the needy, I expect a number of new programs will be created that could benefit those involved in this important work.

Again, I am hopeful that the religious identity of Catholic organizations, particularly the rights of conscience of those involved in these organizations, is respected and protected in any new programs undertaken.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: 2008; bho2008; catholicvote; mccain
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While Obama won the Catholic vote overall 54% - 45%, among Catholics who attend mass every week, McCain won 55% - 43%.
1 posted on 11/06/2008 8:43:41 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
Many (not all) of my fellow Catholics traded their souls in for infanticide and communism.

That's what happened.

2 posted on 11/06/2008 8:46:23 PM PST by Prole (Please pray for the families of Chris and Channon. May God always watch over them.)
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To: Alex Murphy
What Happened to the Catholic Vote?

They voted as their union shop stweards told them to vote. Politics and paychecks trumps religion every time.

3 posted on 11/06/2008 8:46:51 PM PST by Old Sarge (For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American)
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To: Alex Murphy

“What Happened to the Catholic Vote?”

######

They were at the Cafeteria.


4 posted on 11/06/2008 8:48:00 PM PST by EyeGuy (Obama will deliver America on a Leash to an envious world.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

REAL Catholics did not vote for Obamanation.

Catholics in Name Only — CINOs voted for him.

They just don’t realize yet that they excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church by voting in support of abortion.


6 posted on 11/06/2008 8:52:11 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Old Sarge
The bishops told them that life was the primary issue in considering who to vote for. Maybe you didn't see this list.

Over 100 Bishops Have Spoken Out on Priority of Life Issues
Posted on October 28, 2008, 11:59 AM | Deal W. Hudson
The list of U. S. bishops who have spoken out on the priority of the life issues in this election is now over 100. The list now contains 70 individual bishops and three joint statements.
I would like to continue updating this list until the day of the election. I have tried to incorporate all the comments thus far. If I dd not get them all, I apologize. (For a few of the suggestions, I could not find a suitable link.)
Please continue using the comments section to let us know what bishop is not on this list who should be. This would include any bishop who has individually, or jointly, published a statement about this election pointing out the primacy of the life issues.
Thank you for your help.
1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
2. Bishop James Conley, auxiliary of Denver
3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.
4. Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities
5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine
6. Edward Cardinal Egan of New York
7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo
8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs
10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio
11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, auxiliary of San Antonio
12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre
13. Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa
14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas
15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin
16. Sean Cardinal O'Malley of Boston
17. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando
18. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis
19. Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, President of the USCCB
20. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker
21. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse
22. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland
23. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City
24. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco
25. Bishop Glen Provost of Lake Charles, LA
26. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn
27. Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton
28. Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
30. Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte
31. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh
32. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS
33. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
34. Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WS
35. Bishop Ronald
Gilmore of Dodge City, KS
36. Bishop Paul
Coakley of Salina, KS
37. Bishop Michael
Jackels of Wichita
38. Bishop Gerald M.
Barbarito of Palm Beach
39. Bishop Kevin W.
Vann of Fort Worth
40. Bishop Rene H. Gracida, retired, of Corpus Christi
41. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Houston
42. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington
43. Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond
44. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center
45. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester
46. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Patterson
47. Bishop Robert Herrmann of St. Louis
48. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore
49. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix
50. Bishop Thomas D. Doran of Rockford
51. Bishop Joseph A. Galante of Camden
52. Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham
53. Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett of Seattle
54. Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet
55. Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton
56. Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing
57. Bishop Leonard R. Blair of Toledo
58. Bishop Frances J. Dewane of Venice
59. Bishop W. Frances Malooly of Wilmington
60. Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison
61. Bishop John Yanta , retired, of Amarillo
62. Bishop James V. Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
63. Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland
64. Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City
65. Bishop Lawrence Brandt of Greensburg
66. Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinatti
67. Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu
68. Bishop Paul Swain of Sioux Falls
69. Bishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe
70. Bishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City
71. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Harrisburg
72-94. Joint Statement by the bishops of New York State (22 bishops)
95-111. Joint Statement by the bishops of Pennsylvania (16 bishops)
112-116. Joint Statement by the bishops of Kansas (4 bishops)
117-126. Joint Statement by the bishops of Florida (9 bishops)
Added by me
 
127. Bishop Tobin -- http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=30333 ^
 
128. Archbishop Wilton Gregory  georgiabulletin.org ...
 
 
130. Archbishop Elden Curtiss Omaha http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2123119/posts?page=1
 
131. Bishop Carlson's of Michigan pastoral letter in full, go to:
http://www.saginaw.org/images/election-statement_carlson_102...

 

8 posted on 11/06/2008 8:54:17 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Alex Murphy

Catholic here...

don’t understand the vote....crying....


9 posted on 11/06/2008 8:55:13 PM PST by Thinkin
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To: Alex Murphy

My brother in law is a Catholic priest and voted Obama :(


10 posted on 11/06/2008 8:56:55 PM PST by AirForceMom (God Bless the USA)
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To: Alex Murphy

Answer:

Liberal Catholics.

Liberation Theology Catholics.

Cafeteria Catholics.

Christmas Catholics.

And, so not to unfairly paint this as only being a Catholic problem, these kinds of demographic breakdowns occur in other Christian denominations as well, to a lesser, about the same, and/or greater extent, depending on the church body you’re looking at.


11 posted on 11/06/2008 8:59:41 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Maybe these people should be denied communion.


12 posted on 11/06/2008 8:59:53 PM PST by Tex Pete (Obama for Change: from our pockets, our piggy banks, and our couch cushions!)
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To: Alex Murphy

The CINO’s who voted for Obama based on econonic concerns are in for a surprise - he doesn’t know squat about the economy and if he follows the policies he says he’s going to follow, we’re going to be in double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates, possibly double digit unemployment, and on and on, in four years from now. Obama will be terrible for the economy and cause the recession to be much worse and much longer than it would have been under McCain. I think the markets dropping nearly 1000 points in these two days following the elections underscores it rather well.


13 posted on 11/06/2008 9:02:52 PM PST by phoenix07
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To: Alex Murphy

The Catholics who voted for Obama/marxist hate Evangelicals more than they value their freedom or follow their faith.


14 posted on 11/06/2008 9:05:51 PM PST by Earthdweller (Socialism makes you feel better about oppressing people.....)
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To: Alex Murphy
While Obama won the Catholic vote overall 54% - 45%, among Catholics who attend mass every week, McCain won 55% - 43%.

And what were the percentages among Evangelicals? I cannot find the statistics, but I would guess that it will be higher than 55%.

15 posted on 11/06/2008 9:10:45 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: AirForceMom

Your B-I-L must be a PINO.


16 posted on 11/06/2008 9:13:53 PM PST by lonestar
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

Catholics who vote for pro-abortion politicians will have to answer to a higher power.


18 posted on 11/06/2008 9:19:44 PM PST by curling
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To: Alex Murphy

How many of these are you going to post?


19 posted on 11/06/2008 9:19:53 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (Happiness is a choice!)
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To: stripes1776
And what were the percentages among Evangelicals? I cannot find the statistics, but I would guess that it will be higher than 55%.

So?

20 posted on 11/06/2008 9:21:04 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (Happiness is a choice!)
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To: All; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD; Frumanchu; topcat54; suzyjaruki; Marysecretary; RJR_fan; ...
Here's the updated - and now footnoted and annotated - "by the numbers" breakdown of the religious voter:

75% McCain, 25% Obama - [White7 Born Again5] Evangelicals1,8
65% McCain, xx% Obama - Weekly church-attending Protestants7
65% McCain, 34% Obama - White Protestants7,8
62% McCain, 35% Obama - State of Utah3
55% McCain, 43% Obama - Weekly mass-attending Catholics 6,9
54% McCain, 44% Obama - Weekly church-goers1,4,7
54% McCain, 45% Obama - Protestants6,8
51% McCain, 49% Obama - White Catholics1,7
xx% McCain, 53% Obama - Monthly church-goers4**
45% McCain, 54% Obama - Catholics1,4,6,8,9
xx% McCain, 59% Obama - Semi-annual church-goers4**
38% McCain, 61% Obama - Occasional churchgoers1
37% McCain, 61% Obama - Non-weekly-mass-attending Catholics6
xx% McCain, 67% Obama - Hispanic Catholics8**
xx% McCain, 68% Obama - Don't attend church4 **
21% McCain, 78% Obama - American Jews2,8

** No source provided voting percentages for the other party.

Citations:
1 The Awesome Blue God -- How Obama Forged A New Faith Coalition
2 Exit polls: 78% of Jews voted for Obama
3 Utah's red loses some of its luster
4 Obama's Religious Appeal: Still Missing Evangelicals - which TIME renamed as Obama: Bringing (Some) Evangelicals In
5 The Evangelical Electoral Map
6 What's wrong with Catholic voters? What's wrong with Catholics?
7 Evangelical Voters Favor McCain by Wide Margins
8 Catholic voters heavily favored Obama, analysis shows
9 What Happened to the Catholic Vote?

All numbers cited are the first ones reported in the press. In cases of multiple reports, some percentages cited were not exact. However, the number was within 2% of all the other sources, lending credence to the general number & placement overall.

Other resources:
With the Help of Catholics…Obama’s Victory
Results! Evangelicals

21 posted on 11/06/2008 9:24:31 PM PST by Alex Murphy ( "Every country has the government it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre)
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To: stripes1776
"And what were the percentages among Evangelicals? I cannot find the statistics, but I would guess that it will be higher than 55%."

It was high, but to be fair Palin was on the ticket. I know a lot of Protestants who are PINOs who voted for marxist slavery and the destruction of all religion.

22 posted on 11/06/2008 9:24:58 PM PST by Earthdweller (Socialism makes you feel better about oppressing people.....)
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To: Alex Murphy
It's not just Catholics.

It is those who value someone else’s money over human life.

It appears to be an epidemic.

They are stupid as well as immoral.

They vote in the very ones that make them POOR.

23 posted on 11/06/2008 9:25:59 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Alex Murphy

Catholics simply don’t listen to their pontiffs much and disregard their instructions

where i grew up Catholics were usually more liberal than Southern Baptists, Southern Methodists, Presbyterians and Pentecostals

they seemed to just be going thru the motions more.....communion and some litrugies and out the door

it’s hard to get away that easy in a serious Southern conservative nomination....consternation is an eveready shadow

Catholics were like UCC and Episcopalians

maybe it’s that easy forgiveness for doing bad things you guys have in the confessional we serious Prods lack

we both have shame though, the Christian flip side to Jewish guilt and angst

i’m not surprised but it may be more about the race and ethnicity of catholics....latinos for example...than the religion(?)


24 posted on 11/06/2008 9:30:44 PM PST by wardaddy (I'm looking for a new Danelaw to move my family to...)
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To: phoenix07

To be fair, the crash has been caused by a Republican administration that fell in love with the weak dollar, and a Fed which allowed it to happen. The blame properly belongs to the Chaimen, but most people don’t understand that the Chairman of the Fed has more power over the economy than he does. Still he appointed a virtual Democrat, a trader whose seems to know little about wealth creation.

Now what can happen is that Obama made decide not to follow the strong dollar path taken by the previous administration but to adopt some mix that would allow a liberal Congress to have the goodies it wants. He’s got to adopt a moderate economic policy or disappoint a lot of liberals.


25 posted on 11/06/2008 9:38:58 PM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: RobbyS

It looks like you forgot one “small” thing...the stupid social engenenering...you know, Freddie and Fannie and all the give aways. That kinda..sorta had something to do with Dems, dontcha think?


27 posted on 11/06/2008 9:45:03 PM PST by Earthdweller (Socialism makes you feel better about oppressing people.....)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

What happened to Catholics?


29 posted on 11/06/2008 9:47:49 PM PST by fightinJAG (Obama admits the power to tax is the power to destroy. Any questions?)
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To: sandyeggo

Ot’s an open thread. I don’t understand.


30 posted on 11/06/2008 9:50:29 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo; Religion Moderator

I read your post. It is a valid point. (All the repetive postings amount to what is called “Catholic Bashing” by the moderators. Yes, it [catholicbashing] is a keyword! LOL!)

That’s why I said I didn’t understand why your post was removed since it was posted on an open thread.


34 posted on 11/06/2008 9:57:36 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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If it's Catholic bashing the comment stays. If you criticize the poster he deletes your comment
35 posted on 11/06/2008 9:58:20 PM PST by notaliberal
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Making the thread "about" another Freeper is a form of "making it personal."
37 posted on 11/06/2008 10:00:11 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Salvation

Sadlt, some don’t even realize that they are not being good Catholics, or good Christians (for my former Catholic friends). My girlfriends are all pro-choice. Shocking. They don’t understand the Church’s view, nor do they care, because religion has been presented as just another lifestyle, not the Way and the Truth.


38 posted on 11/06/2008 10:00:29 PM PST by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: notaliberal

Are you the RM?


39 posted on 11/06/2008 10:01:11 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sandyeggo

I think we are all sinners. You are just humble enough to know it and say it. God bless you abundantly, FRiend.


40 posted on 11/06/2008 10:02:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

You’re pulling my leg!!! right?? The RM is Alex Murphy


41 posted on 11/06/2008 10:02:47 PM PST by notaliberal
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To: wardaddy
maybe it’s that easy forgiveness for doing bad things you guys have in the confessional we serious Prods lack

Our forgiveness in the confessional is not "easy" by any means. We are required to repent prior to going to confession. Regardless, so few Catholics go to Confession / Reconciliation anymore, it's almost a non-issue.

42 posted on 11/06/2008 10:03:44 PM PST by Patriotic1 (Dic mihi solum facta, domina - Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: notaliberal

I am a Catholic in good standing and I never, never have voted for a pro abortion candidate.


43 posted on 11/06/2008 10:04:21 PM PST by notaliberal
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

Sick efforts to indict the Catholic Church fail miserably. All they accomplish is to indict the sinners who disobeyed Catholic teaching.


45 posted on 11/06/2008 10:10:17 PM PST by Petronski (Things fall apart, it's scientific.)
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To: AirForceMom
My brother in law is a Catholic priest and voted Obama :(

My brother in law is a priest, and he didn't, and he was totally bummed, when he called us last night. He told me though, of an older Irish nun in his Parish who was just all aglow about Obama, so much so that the Principal of the Catholic High School told her to leave her office, once, because she was disgusted that this woman, who is in Religious life, could support such a man.

46 posted on 11/06/2008 10:10:48 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: notaliberal

Shhhhh!


47 posted on 11/06/2008 10:11:00 PM PST by Petronski (Things fall apart, it's scientific.)
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To: Trailerpark Badass

I’m waiting for him to post one explaining the Protestant vote....it should be any day now.


48 posted on 11/06/2008 10:13:29 PM PST by Radl (rtr)
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To: Radl

CRICKETS...... Thanks for the laugh!


49 posted on 11/06/2008 10:15:05 PM PST by notaliberal
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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