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The Crucial Catholic Vote: Does It Exist?
The Wall Street Journal ^ | August 25, 2008 | Steven Waldman

Posted on 08/26/2008 11:07:46 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

Is there such a thing as a Catholic vote?

All pundits and political consultants know the Catholic vote is crucial. But does anyone know if it actually exists? And if so, how does it behave?

It is true that since 1960, the party that won the Catholic vote, won the overall popular vote — yet Catholic political views seem to be relatively detached from Catholic Church teachings. Most American Catholics support abortions being legal, contrary to clear church teaching. Most use birth control, contrary to teaching. Most supported the Iraq war, despite warnings from then-Pope John Paul II and later Pope Benedict XVI.

For the most part, Catholics simply switch around like the population as a whole, voting whatever the big issue of the day is — the war, terrorism, the economy, the candidate’s character. There doesn’t seem to be anything all that Catholic about the Catholic vote.

And yet Barack Obama just appointed Joe Biden as his running mate in part to get help winning Catholics. Is he kidding himself that appointing a Catholic will matter? What can move the Catholic vote?

The first thing to understand is that while most Catholics don’t oppose abortion, most Catholics who attend Mass weekly do. John Kerry likely lost the Catholic vote in 2004 for numerous reasons, but it is true that he had to spend much of the campaign fending off attacks from Catholic bishops for being a Bad Catholic, since he’s pro-choice. Sen. Kerry had to be constantly aware that he couldn’t spend Sundays at a church where the priest would refuse him communion. Reporters came to refer to this as The Wafer Watch.

Obama’s Advantage Over Kerry

The church certainly won’t like Sen. Obama’s pro-choice views but they won’t need to spend much time deciding whether to offer him communion. Ironically,

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholicvote
I had to cut more than 2/3 of the article to fit it within FR's excerpts guidelines. I highly encourage everyone to read the full article at the WSJ link. I think this sentence captures the essence of the entire article:

In other words, in religious terms there’s probably no such thing as a Catholic vote. But in cultural terms, there is.

1 posted on 08/26/2008 11:07:46 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
It's because they never DO anything about these "Catholics". Why not put Kerry, Biden, Kennedy, et al on the "you ain't goin" list and see what would happen? This has been going on for years and no response from the Catholic church.

I would love to see Kennedy ex communicated for killing babies and Mary Jo, but he probably gives millions to the church. Why not make a big splash right now during the convention about Biden? It won't change because the Church isn't serious.

If Catholics started to insist that you BE Catholic, the church would self destruct.

2 posted on 08/26/2008 11:19:17 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: Alex Murphy
Speaking as a Roman Catholic I feel the Catholic vote is far from united. Unfortunately the Catholic vote is more a reflection of where we are from (liberal urban areas vs conservative rural areas) than what our faith schizophrenically teaches us.
3 posted on 08/26/2008 11:22:43 AM PDT by Artemis Webb ("The church is near, but the road is icy. The bar is far away, but I will walk carefully.")
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To: Artemis Webb
Yeah. I'd say there are at least three "Catholic votes", if you count the "sort of Catholic" as one. There's the pro-life vote and the pro-social welfare vote.

But that's from the POV of ideology. I think there is an ethnic or cultural Catholic vote of Catholics how haven't gotten over being immigrants or Boston Irish or whatever.

4 posted on 08/26/2008 11:29:17 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: chuckles

>>If Catholics started to insist that you BE Catholic, the church would self destruct. <<

So this is the reason why in orthodox and traditional diocese the faith is growing?

Sorry, the time of Kumbaya Catholic is over. People are flocking to traditional churches, including my own that does not allow Altar Girls and includes kneeling for communion with intinction and six FULL masses on Sunday.

We are sitting in the middle of Catholic liberal heaven. My old church lists 1300 families and the church was never full for two masses. Sitting on their education committee I heard them cry over losing families (2/3 did not contribute, 3/4 did not attend past the time kiddies made 1st communion). When I sugggested they look to the parish that was growing (the one I am in now) they said that there is “something in the water” over there and ignored me.

In the meantime, our parish has tripled in size in the last five years and is still growing. We have built a new main and classrooms. When Catholics insist that we BE Catholic, we grow by leaps and bounds.

Times are changing. We will see what happens with Pelosi and her faux pas. The Bishops are sounding out. Maybe this time, we WILL see action.


5 posted on 08/26/2008 11:36:25 AM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: Mad Dawg
My personal experience from converting to Catholicism is that for someone who does not have preconceived political notions (which I of course did), it is a little hard to be told the Church is rigidly pro-life one moment and then to trot out some lesbian nun to lecture me on how evil America is in our lacking of “social justice”.
6 posted on 08/26/2008 11:36:36 AM PDT by Artemis Webb ("The church is near, but the road is icy. The bar is far away, but I will walk carefully.")
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There is a PRACTICING Catholic vote. That is to say, Catholics who attend Mass regularly and follow the magesterium, or moral teaching authority, of the Church. For these Catholics, abortion is a deal-breaker. They cannot vote for a politician who promises to use the power of the federal government to advance the industrial scale for-profit slaughter of innocents. These folks are permanently alienated from the Democratic Party.
But there is another “Catholic” vote. Folks who were born Catholic but no longer practice or really believe. They may marry or be buried in the Church, but that is about all. Nearly all “Catholic” politicians—the Kennedys, Biden, Pelosi, the Daleys—fall in this category. Today, the Catholic population is about evenly divided between the believers and the lapsed. No person who believes in a Living God who takes an interest in the affairs of humans could endorse today's Democratic party.
7 posted on 08/26/2008 12:02:53 PM PDT by Godwin1 (Godwin)
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To: netmilsmom
What you site is not the norm. I'm glad for you, but the church is splitting among the traditionals and the socials. The "Father Phleager(sp?)" types are winning, IMHO. They are Jesuits that believe Jesus was the first communist. It has more to do with tax redistribution than salvation.

As long as nothing is done with the Kerry's and Kennedy's, and the Pelosi's of the church, it will continue to be a status symbol rather than a way of life.

As a larger picture, (this is just my opinion of course,) I see the church in America having the same problems as the other denominations with liberal breaks showing. There will always be adherents that follow, but the break offs are growing. The average Catholic doesn't seem to have a big problem with abortion, homosexual marriage, fornication, women priests, etc. They may say one thing but vote another and practice even another. When you bring up the fact that their daughter shouldn't be in her boyfriends apartment, they have a ho hum, everybody does it, attitude. IMHO, that attitude comes from the church not being credible with the Kennedy's and Pelosi's of the world. If some official did more than issue a statement and start to deny Sacraments, maybe some would start to get nervous that time are changing. I would love to see a confrontation with a big name like Pelosi or Kennedy, but have been waiting for years and nothing has happened yet. Just try to imagine a dust up in Boston over Kennedy and him with brain cancer. They would have to choose the church or Kennedy to follow. It would be interesting to see the choice. I also wonder how much horse power Kennedy would exercise over the church?

As far as I'm concerned, this confrontation has been on for years and the church keeps blinking. They could have done it with Kerry last go round but let him slide. Will there be any more than a letter to Pelosi? We will see.

8 posted on 08/26/2008 12:25:34 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: Godwin1
......"No person who believes in a Living God who takes an interest in the affairs of humans could endorse today's Democratic party.".......

BINGO!

Do you know any numbers though? Is it about 2/3 Democrat in the church? You have people that accept abortion and homosexual marriage just so they can have a tax hike on the "rich", or the union told me to vote this way. They believe it's more important to have social programs than murdering babies. The way I read the Bible is Jesus wants His church to help the poor. He never said a word about it being the governments job. Murdering the innocent is a touch stone form me. There is no argument, no compromise that can be made here for ANY reason. Obama says he will be a uniter,....I will never unite with a murderer. It's just that simple.

9 posted on 08/26/2008 12:35:24 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: chuckles

>>What you site is not the norm.<<

No, my FRiend, it is becoming the norm. The libs are going kicking and screaming but are whithering just the same. Even down there in Steubenville, where the Charismatic movement started, the conservatives are taking over. My Uncle was the Bishop there. While he himself is not conservative, to fill Franciscan University, they had to concede to some conservatism allowed. That is happening everywhere. Cruise on over to Catholic Answers and watch the libs explode. They are not happy.

Look at the Diocese where the mosts Priests are being ordained. It’s not the liberal diocese. Wonder why so many priests are coming from Lincoln Nebraska? Look at the diocese. And some of our finest Priests are being brought in from the Eastern Block countries (Our’s is Slovak, across the street is Polish) and from African countries where conservatism still reigns.

It is slow, but the other boost we have is breeding the liberals out. We are averaging four children, they are popping out one or two.


10 posted on 08/26/2008 12:39:41 PM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: chuckles
The "Father Phleager(sp?)" types are winning, IMHO. They are Jesuits that believe Jesus was the first communist.

Actually, over the long term, they're losing bigtime. They're aging, and they don't reproduce much or at all (due to their rejection of Catholic sexual morality), and they don't attract converts (why not just be Episcopalian?).

The religious orders and dioceses that are liberal are withering up and blowing away. The orthodox ones are growing so fast they can't build facilities fast enough.

11 posted on 08/26/2008 1:12:38 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Alex Murphy
You should see my list referencing Bush and Catholics if you think there is no such thing as a Catholic vote. There is! (And it's getting more orthodox and stronger and stronger by the day due to this election.
12 posted on 08/26/2008 4:41:36 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Very true. My family and a number of my friends and neighbors have always voted for the Dems but this election they voting McCain and all because of the Abortion issue. Biden as his VP was the straw. It was like a slap in the face to Catholics.


13 posted on 08/26/2008 5:51:51 PM PDT by chase19
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To: netmilsmom

**People are flocking to traditional churches, including my own that does not allow Altar Girls and includes kneeling for communion with intinction and six FULL masses on Sunday.**

Where do you live? I want to move there...:)


14 posted on 08/26/2008 5:56:20 PM PDT by chase19
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To: chase19
And look at this list -- it is a huge issue this year -- send it on to one and all.

WHAT ALL CATHOLICS SHOULD DO CONCERNING NANCY PELOSI
[OPEN] Pelosi a 'religious heretic,' says former GOP Rep.
Cardinal Egan Corrects Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Poll: Majority of Americans Disagree With Barack Obama on When Life Begins
The Democratic Left Promotes Anti-Catholic Hatred
Biden's Bishop Will not Permit Him, Even if Elected VP, to Speak at Catholic Schools
EDITORIAL: Abortion, Forced Eviction from our First Home -- the Womb
Breaking: Pelosi's home archdiocese republishes USCCB statement

Bishops say Pelosi misrepresented abortion teaching in TV interview
The Democrats and the Abortion Wars - Are Obama and Pelosi dodging the life-and-death question?
Bishops Respond to House Speaker Pelosi's Misrepresentation of Church Teaching Against Abortion
The Crucial Catholic Vote: Does It Exist?
Bishops: Democratic VP Nominee Should Refrain from Communion

Cardinal Egan Blasts Pelosi (in brilliantly scathing response) [Open]
Archbishop scolds pro-choice Biden
Denver Archbishop scolds pro-choice Biden
Bishops say Pelosi misrepresented abortion teaching in TV interview
Washington Archbishop rips Pelosi

Washington archbishop rips Pelosi on abortion
Washington archbishop rips Pelosi on abortion
OPEN]On the Separation of Sense and State: (Chaput Teaching on Pelosi)
Archbishop Wuerl on the Church’s Constant Teaching on Abortion
Washington archbishop rips Pelosi on abortion

Bishops Correct Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 'On the Separation of Sense and State'
Pelosi lies about Catholicism and abortion
Catholic Bishop: Pro-Abortion VP Candidate Joe Biden Should Skip Communion
When Does Human Life Begin? Obama's Pro-Abortion Answer Hill Downfall
Bishops Correct Speaker Nancy Pelosi: On the Separation of Sense and State

Denver archbishop slams Pelosi on Church teachings and abortion
Pelosi, Abortion & St. Augustine - UPDATED
Catholic leaders react to Biden pick; Bishops say he should refrain from Communion
Obama Supporter On FNC: Jesus Would Be O.K. With Abortion
How should Catholics vote? [editorial from the LA Times]

"Catholic" Speaker Pelosi Denies that Catholicism Condemns Abortion
Catholics Against Joe Biden (Link to site) [Open]
Choice of Biden Re-Opens Catholic Wound; Own Bishop Outspoken on Obligation to Protect Life
"Prudent And Nuanced View”( LA Times wants Archbishop Burke to shut up about abortion)
“Help me out here, Madam Speaker” ( “I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins” )

Biden's Catholic faith offers risks, rewards
Nancy Pelosi on when life begins (Smarter than Obama?
Obama, Biden, Foreign Policy and the Catholic Vote
The "Abortion Joe" Biden will get his ticket a record low Catholic vote
Obama's Falsehood: The Truth About His Abortion Record

EDITORIAL:Obama Chooses Biden and the Battle for Life is Engaged
Joe Biden Makes It Easier for Catholics to Oppose Pro-Abortion Barack Obama
Obamacide
McCain attacks Obama on pro-abortion stance
Barack Obama's Sole Article in Harvard Law Review Promotes Abortion

Why Obama Really Voted For Infanticide
Obama's Born-Alive Problem
William A. Donohue: Catholic Left Hangs Itself (5/22/08) [Abortion]
"Until they have reformed their lives" ( No Holy Communion for pro-abortion Catholics!)
African American Pro-Life Leader Tells Barack Obama: No We Can't OK Abortion

OBAMA AND INFANTICIDE (Reinhard)
They'd be angry at Obama if he was caught saying the N-word. Supporting Infanticide—Not so much.
In 2002, Barack Obama Supported Infanticide and I've Got the Transcript of His Words
Explosive Audio Found - Obama arguing against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act - Audio
Transcript of Obama's verbal opposition to Born Alive on the IL Senate floor

Explosive Audio Found Obama arguing against BAIPA
Audio Found Obama arguing against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act
Abortion foes using racism to make point at DNC [Randall Terry / Operation Rescue]
Why Obama couldn't answer Warren's baby question
Smoking gun? Papers expose Obama's 'infanticide' vote

EXTRA: Archbishop Burke on Catholics who Support Abortion
Senator Barack Obama Wants You to Pay for Abortions
US Bishops Look at Election
John McCain Will Not Pick Pro-Abortion Running Mate, Rules Out Tom Ridge
Vote for Real Hope and Change [Archbishop Chaput]
Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop Burke (again :-)
CNN Again Omits Part of the Story Concerning Obama’s Abortion Votes

Obama Flunks Rick Warren's Abortion Question
Obama and the Black American Family Don’t Jibe [Abortion]
Obama Caught Red-Handed in Abortion Lie
Archbishop Naumann hopes Obama realizes Sebelius is a bad Catholic advisor
Obama Facing Attacks From All Sides Over Abortion Record

OBAMA'S EXTREMISM - HIS ABORTION RECORD IS NO LIE
Barack Obama - Abortion Extremist
Barack Obama lied about babies ‘Born Alive’ vote then smeared Corsi
Babies' Rights and the Definition of Marriage [re: Forum responses by Obama vs. McCain]
Opinion: Doug Kmiec on McCain v. Obama at Saddleback

Obama Cover-up on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Continues to Unravel...
Life Lies: Barack Obama and Born-Alive
Operation Rescue founder to distribute new flyer: "Is it Immoral to Vote for Obama for President?"
Obama Calls Pro-Lifers Liars
Obama Jun 15: “fathers…at conception” August 16 “answering that question is above my pay grade”

Niece of Martin Luther King Jr. to Lead Prayer Vigil Outside Largest U.S. Abortion Centre
Campaign Admits Obama Lied About Abortion Vote, Media Asleep
Obama “pay grade” comment purposely ignores SCIENTIFIC FACT that LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION
Barack Obama Repeats False Claim Abortions Haven't Declined Under Bush
Obama and Abortion

Obama Says Right to Life Coalition Is Lying About His Record
Barack Obama Says Pro-Life Group Lying About His Pro-Infanticide Votes
Obama's infanticide problem>
Obama and McCain Woo Catholics
Obama's Christian Creds Vs. Abortion and Infanticide

Obama's 10 reasons for supporting infanticide
Mommy Won't Help Dems on Abortion
Abortion Leader Confirms that Democratic Platform is More Pro-Abortion than Ever
Obama More Than An Abortion Radical
Obama’s Abortion Lies (Obama cover-up on born-alive survivors bill)

Life with Obama: Abortion champion
Knighting the Catholic Vote (K of C urging Catholics to vote pro-life)
Linda Chavez: Obama’s Catholic problem
Catholic Voters and 2008
Barack Obama Supports the Murder of Newborn Infants

Obama Lied About Abortion Record
What Barack Obama defended three times: Live Birth Abortion
[OPEN] Supreme K of C Calls for Real "Change" on Abortion and Catholic Revolt against Obama Nation
Obama's Catholic Problem ( Linda Chavez )
Obama’s View on Abortion May Divide Catholics ( "May Divide?" )

Obama loses 26 points among Catholics
Barack Obama's Wife Michelle to Join Hillary Clinton at Pro-Abortion Dinner
OPINION: Senator Obama and the Wall of the Womb
Barack Obama's Pledge to Overturn Every Pro-Life Abortion Law One Year Old
Obama Worse than Clintons on Abortion Says National Right to Life Leader Interview-SCOTUS Critical

Roman Catholics for Obama '08
OBAMA TO CATHOLICS: NO VOUCHERS
How can Catholics for Obama rationalize their support for the pro-choice candidate?
Obama’s director of Catholic Outreach ‘dodges’ opportunity to reach Catholics
Barack Obama Slams John McCain For Opposing Abortion, Activist Judges

Catholics and Obama
COMMENTARY: Quandry for Catholics At Election Time
The Latest Refinement (Obama on Abortion)
CNN Runs Biased News Story Covering Up Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record
Jill Stanek: Obama's biggest lie about supporting infanticide

The Battle for Catholic Voters
New Report Indicates Voters Most Interested in Barack Obama’s Position on Abortion
Deal Hudson: Obama and Infanticide?
Ad asks Obama: ‘If fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?’
Embryonic stem-cell research immoral, unnecessary, bishops say

Catholics should not vote for Obama
Catholic Caucus: It is a sin to vote/support Obama/DNC [abortion]
More Catholics leaning towards Democrats, poll reports (really not Catholics)
The Catholic-Obama Problem (Pope Benedict XVI instructs Catholics about pro-abortion candidates)
Obama's Abortion Bombshell: Unrestricted Abortion....

NARAL Catholics Line Up for Obama
Editorial: Disagreeing with Doug Kmiec One More Time
State-Funded Embryo Research "Makes Taxpayers Complicit in Killing", say Bishops
McCain Meets Privately with Fr. Pavone - Says Constitutional Right to Life Applies to Unborn
Faithful Citizenship: “Catholic Vote” is very sought after

Has Obama dissolved his Catholic advisory council?
Commentary: Faithful Citizenship and the Formed Conscience
Catholic League: Where's Obama's 'Catholic Advisory Council'? [Not to be found!]
Right-wing Christians beginning to lean left (Misleading headline)
Catholics Debate Obama Vote

US Bishops Urge Voters to Give Priority to Life [Ecumenical]
Corralling the Catholic vote: Political necessity or pipe dream?
DOUG KMIEC: Catholic Reasons for Hope in the General Election
EDITORIAL: Why This Catholic Dreads the Campaign
The Catholic-Obama Problem (Pope Benedict XVI instructs Catholics about pro-abortion candidates)
Thoughts On ‘Roman Catholics For Obama’

How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question
Catholic Pro-Life Leader Feuds With Barack Obama's "Catholic" Backers
McCain and the Pope: McCain cannot win in November without the Catholic vote (Reagan re-visited?)
Catholics Cannot Vote for Pols Who Support Abortion, Except for Morally Grave Reasons: KY Bishops

15 posted on 08/26/2008 6:05:24 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: chase19
Our Lady's Warriors.Dissent>Speakers and Authors

Abortion and Euthanasia

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) Catholic politician who votes for abortion in contradiction to Church teachings. One of American Life League's "Deadly Dozen."

16 posted on 08/26/2008 6:05:56 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: chase19

Michigan.

Here is our parish website (we have ordained six priests in the time I have been there and have 200 Altar boys. If you’re coming, pick the first Sunday of the month. My daughter and I lector then)

http://www.saintcyrils.org/

and here is another, just about a half hour’s drive. They even have the priest facing the tabernacle on the back altar.
http://www.assumptiongrotto.com/

We have it really good!


17 posted on 08/26/2008 6:11:38 PM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: netmilsmom

Thanks netmilsmom but unfortunately I live in the NE. You are very fortunate and what beautiful Churches. Thanks for the links. We have a fairly decent and respectful N.O. Mass in my parish but how I long for the Tridentine. We had one a few months ago and it made me thirst for more. I asked one of our priests if we could have it on the continuum - he was in favor and told me to write to the Msr., which I did but it went nowhere. I’ve asked some other parishioners but they appear happy with the current Mass. I’ve recently discovered there’s a Church 10 miles away who have the Tridentine so I’m going there on Sunday.


18 posted on 08/26/2008 6:42:28 PM PDT by chase19
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To: chase19

Oh God Love you!

We are spoiled in that we have our own TLM on Saturdays. We also have a Latin NO on Wednesday mornings.

Personally, I like the historic NO. A good sprinking of Latin and Greek. My girls have been singing Latin since they were four and six.

It warms my heart. (and if you are ever North of Detroit, give me a PM and I’ll take you)


19 posted on 08/26/2008 6:45:44 PM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: netmilsmom

Thanks netmilsmom. I’ll let you know about the Tridentine and how successful it is...it must be doing okay because I believe it’s been going on for quite a while so it must be fruitful.


20 posted on 08/26/2008 7:26:58 PM PDT by chase19
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To: Alex Murphy
In other words, in religious terms there’s probably no such thing as a Catholic vote. But in cultural terms, there is.

VERY interesting article. Thanks for posting it! :)

21 posted on 08/28/2008 6:14:21 AM PDT by Frumanchu (God's justice does not demand second chances)
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