Friday, September 21, 2007

Catholic Democrats?

The "Catholic Democrats" national organization is starting a California state affiliate purportedly to represent Catholic policy perspectives within the State Democratic Party, and publicize how "the Democratic Party is working to advance humanistic goals so well-articulated in Catholic Social Teaching." (California Catholic Daily)

Unfortunately, the "Catholic Democrats" statement, while promoting many Catholic social policies, have omitted this part of a quote from the "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life" (approved by Pope John Paul II and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.):

"Laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death. In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo … Those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a 'grave and clear obligation to oppose' any law that attacks human life. For them and for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.''

Serious question: Are “Catholic Democrats” Catholic?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a strongly pro-life Catholic and have always been a liberal Democrat. I also oppose same sex marriage and the trend to accept homosexuality as normal, even when homosexuals behave in outrageous ways in public.

To me, being a liberal means supporting government efforts, as well as those of Church and charities, to help those in need.

The GOP has worked hard for years to tarnish the meaning of the word "liberal." One meaning of "liberal" is "generous." Generosity is a very Catholic quality.

"Broadminded" is another meaning of "liberal." This quality can be taken to extremes so that immorality is sanctioned, which would be wrong, but it can also simply mean a willingness to objectively look at all sides of an issue instead of being narrowminded and making snap judgements. Catholics are supposed to use our informed consciences so we must inform ourselves of all sides of an argument.

Liberals can be just as opposed to immorality as conservatives are, sometimes more so. Numerous scandals in recent years have involved elected representatives of the supposedly more moral GOP.

Last year, Republican Representative Mark Foley, a Catholic, resigned from the House after it was discovered he had shown a sexual interest in teenaged Congressional pages and sent them sexually explicit e-mails. He subsequently announced that he is "a gay American," and blamed a priest for seducing him when he was a teenager.

This year, one Republican member of the U.S. Senate, Larry Craig, was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover policeman in an airport men's room. Another Republican senator, David Vitter, was discovered to have committed adultery and to have frequented prostitutes. If that weren't bad enough, this man, who is Catholic, also enjoys wearing diapers and having prostitutes spank him after he is "naughty" and soils his diapers. Is that moral Catholic behavior?

This is nothing new, either. During the impeachment of President Clinton for his sexual indiscretions, Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich had to resign as his own adultery was about to become known. Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) was expected to replace him until his own adultery was exposed. GOP Rep. J.C. Watts was supportive of Livingston's honesty in confessing that he had several affairs before the news appeared in print. Watts had previously acknowledged that he had an illegitimate child.

Rep. Henry Hyde was a leader in the impeachment effort, and a Catholic, and it was discovered during all these events that he had an illegitimate child from a long-ago adulterous affair. Rep. Bob Barr, another leader in the impeachment effort, was also committing adultery while prosecuting the president for adultery, and, like Speaker Gingrich, about to divorce wife #2 to make his mistress his 3rd wife.

Rudy Guiliani, a Catholic running for the GOP nomination, is another man who has abandoned two wives and is currently married to a third woman who was formerly his mistress. There are rumors he has another mistress now. There are also rumors that GOP candidate Fred Thompson has had numerous affairs with men as well as women.

GOP candidate John McCain came home from his years as a POW in Hanoi, learned his wife had been badly injured in an auto accident, and left her. She had not written him about her injuries because she didn't want him to worry. It seems that he didn't want a wife who was no longer perfect. It's ludicrous for the GOP to talk about "family values" when so few of them have any.

The GOP is not truly pro-life, either, it just claims to be, and makes an occasional symbolic gesture to placate pro-life voters. No Republican president has ever attended the huge pro-life march held in D.C. every January. Reagan and both Bushes have conveniently been out of town every year. Next year will be the twentieth year that a Republican president has avoided being photographed with pro-life demonstrators. If they were really pro-life, shouldn't they be leading the march?

Catholics used to be a major Democratic voting bloc. Many Catholics have let themselves be lured into voting for Republicans rather than taking action to reform the Democratic Party. The GOP has always been the party of business and the rich and now it has lured many evangelical Christians into voting Republican. Many of these people are anti-Catholic so allying ourselves with them is unwise.

The Democrats need to return to working for the average American and back away from their support for abortion and same sex marriages. Catholics could influence the Democratic Party to return to its basic values if we made a concerted effort to do so.