Skip to comments.North Dakota politician rips bishop, quotes leaked letter
Posted on 10/26/2012 8:35:14 PM PDT by markomalley
A North Dakota politician who was trounced in the 2008 gubernatorial election blasted Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, stating that the prelate engages in partisan politics and damages the bounds of personal conscience, the Church's role in building the common good, and the non-profit status of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
State Senator Tim Mathern, a Democrat and former seminarian who was defeated by a 74%-24% margin in the 2008 gubernatorial election, issued a five-page statement after receiving a leaked copy of a letter that will be read in all North Dakota parishes this weekend. In the letter, Bishop Kagan, as quoted by Mathern, states that:
...there are some actions that are never acceptable and should not be made so by law, they include: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and not recognizing the unique and special role of marriage as the union of one man and one woman In this election year, the positions of the two political parties and the positions of their candidates are well known. What I ask each of you to do before you vote is to consider carefully what our Catholic Church teaches about these issues, then consider how your vote for a particular candidate will contribute to the common good of us all as persons with that human dignity which must be respected and protected always.
I ask you to vote for the candidates who represent you as Catholic citizens, Bishop Kagan reportedly adds. Please do not vote for the candidate who is most likeable.
Mathern said that North Dakotans view Democratic senatorial candidate Heidi Heitkamp as the likeable candidate, and that Bishop Kagans words thus constitute an endorsement of her Republican opponent.
Endorsement of a political candidate, either by inference or direct statement, serves to disenfranchise, discourage, and even, to some, harm, Mathern said. He [Bishop Kagan] then indicates who not to vote for. As a condition of non-profit status, the United States Internal Revenue Service tax codes prohibit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations like churches from endorsing any candidate.
I urge Bishop Kagan to withdraw his letter due to its infringement on the Primacy of Conscience, its effects on parishioners and the common good, and its violation of proper conduct for non-profits, Mathern added.
The letter in question starts off as follows:
My Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
In this Year of Faith each Catholic citizen has the privilege and duty to participate in our Nations governing by the exercise of our constitutional right to vote in national, state and local elections. As your Bishop I urge you to exercise this cherished right.
I will not tell you how to vote. However, I ask you to vote as a Catholic citizen with a properly formed Catholic conscience. A properly formed Catholic conscience will never contradict the Churchs teachings in matters of faith and morals. In this letter I wish to explain what this means in direct relation to the issues on which each persons vote will have a lasting impact.
In this election year, the positions of the two political parties and the positions of their candidates are well known. What I ask each of you to do before you vote is to consider carefully what our Catholic Church teaches about these issues, then consider how your vote for a particular candidate will contribute to the common good of us all as persons with that human dignity which must be respected and protected always.
We know that we have a representative form of government and that those we elect are to represent us. When you vote, I ask you to vote for the candidates who represent you as Catholic citizens. Please do not vote for the candidate who is most likeable. We can find something likeable in each candidate but that person may not represent us as faithful Catholics. Our vote as Catholic citizens has to focus on who and what protects human life and dignity and therefore, the common good.
Bravo for Bishop Kagan!
Go pound salt Cafeteria Catholic. Suck it up butter cup!
If only all Catholic Bishops will do this!
As a condition of the existence of the Internal Revenue Service they must adhere to this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE exercise thereof
Any idea why Tim Mathern is former seminarian? Anything to do with not being able to follow the church’s teachings on celibacy for the priesthood?
It makes it easier for them to do so when they know we have their backs.
if only all bishops would tell their parishioners to get involved in politics ... just a bit ... the pro-life parishioners only.
we had a little club going here for a while ... pro-life catholic club ... then when campaign time came around ... everybody stopped coming cuz they had a schedule full of religious conferences and such ... same thing this SAT .. everyone opted out to go see some speaker at church ....
I think I need to leaflet the churches with “Death to the Church” flyers ... go negative on them or plaster them with thank you notes for supporting gay marriage. if stunts like dat are necessary it is hopeless.
“infringement on primacy of conscience....” Post modern, relativist claptrap. Some actions are evil in themselves, whether our “conscience” believes it or not. The IRS threat is just more totalitarian bullying: shut up or we will use the power of the state to seize your property. What hypocrites: Democrat candidates have been endorsed by Black protestant churches for 50 years.
I know his wife - she seems nice enough.
Perhaps if the Democrat Party didn’t declare war on Christianity this wouldn’t be such a problem.
I do not think that word means what you think it means, Senator.
And we thought he was going to be our next bishop, evidentially God had other plans for him.
Sounds like Mathern is a bitter loser, and is trying to blame others for his gigantic rejection by the voters in ND.
He is following the pattern of his false “Messiah”, Barrack Obama. Blame everyone else, and never admit that you are a loser in everything that matters: moral values, patriotism, honesty, etc..