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What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate (Catholic Teaching)

On the 20th of this month, Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as our nation’s 44th president. He has been billed as the most extreme pro-abortion president ever. He famously said that he would not want his daughter and her husband “punished” by a baby. Yet 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama for president. How could that be?

On November 14, 2007, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a longwinded voter guide with a longwinded title: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States.” This document, popularly known as “Faithful Citizenship,” meanders through myriad topics in its 90 sections running 43 pages long. As we noted in our February 2008 NOR Note “A Perplexing Political Potpourri,” what is so maddening about “Faithful Citizenship” is that it buries the burning political issues of the day under an avalanche of lesser considerations. Abortion shares the stage with such topics as food stamps, agricultural policy, teachers’ salaries, unionization, media monopolies, earned-income tax credits, and “care for the earth” — hardly equivalent concerns.

And so a high-profile “conservative” Catholic like Doug Kmiec, a former dean of Catholic University and former assistant attorney general under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, can make bold to publicly endorse the rabidly anti-life Obama. Kmiec, who instantly became the secular media’s new “go-to” guy for Catholic spin on the election, explained at St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that, “except for the abortion issue, Obama and the bishops are talking the same platform.”

Even when addressing the “abortion issue,” the most crucial issue of our time, in “Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops flub it. In a convoluted sequence of sections (#34-36), they say, “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion.” On the other hand, “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.” And finally, “The voter may decide…to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position.” Wrap your head around that!

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