Thursday, October 30, 2008
Personal Aside: If the Catholic Vote Goes Obama, the Responsibility is Clear.
As with all polls in this volatile election year, indices of ethnic support (excluding the monolithic 99% black vote going for Barack Obama) are chancy. Still, The Washington Posts Chris Cillizza writes that white Catholics have been a weathervane for presidential elections. In 2004 they backed George W. Bush over John Kerry, 56% to 43%...in 2000 Bush over Al Gore 52% to 45%...in 1996 Bill Clinton over Bob Dole 48% to 41%...in 1988 George H. W. Bush 56% to Mike Dukakis 43%...in 1984 Ronald Reagan 57% to Walter Mondales 37%...in 1980 Reagan 52% to Jimmy Carters 39%...in 1976 Jimmy Carter 52% to Gerald Fords 46%...in 1972 Richard Nixon 57% to George McGoverns 42%.
Now the number of white Catholics backing John McCain has purportedly shrunk. Back in mid-June McCain had 60% to Obamas 34%. By Oct. 24 McCain led Obama 51% to 46%. The last polling by the Post/ABC has Obama taking the lead with 48% to 47%. At the same time, Ias one Catholichave seen more Catholic bishops taking the lead to point out that the pro-life issue trumps all others (as indeed it does). Whats the problem here?
I would submit three reasons. FIRST, one out of four Catholics attends mandatory weekly Mass: due to the cratering of affluence and accompanying decadence and extraordinarily weak ecclesial leadership that has decimated all serious religious worship as well as the lamentable lack of teaching from the pulpits. If you dont go to church you cant get the message even when, in rare cases, the message of the moral law is imparted clearly and unmistakably which it rarely is in many parishes. SECOND, while we have seen more outspoken bishops speak out on the issue of life across the country than before, the number is still pitifully small. In this citythe command post of the Democratic party nationally, the campaign headquarters of the Obama for President effort, the stamping ground of powerful Democratic Catholic pro-abortion politiciansthis archdiocese regards itself as having discharged its responsibility with one puny letter signed by ecclesial officialdom. To all intents and purposes the signal issue of this campaign has been muffled. As one bishop informed me, after all, Joe Biden is a Catholic. God help us.
Longtime silence and covert cooperation with the Democrats by ecclesial officialdom has seen Chicago and Illinois become the host of the party of pro-abort Catholic Richard M. Daley, pro-abort Catholic U. S. Senator Dick Durbin, pro-abort Catholic Attorney General Lisa Madigan, pro-abort Catholic Comptroller Dan Hynes, pro-abort Catholic Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, pro-abort Catholic Todd Stroger president of the Cook county board, pro-abort Catholic Emil Jones, the president of the Illinois Senate and many, many others, people of great political influence who are absolved from criticism all of whom troop to the altars to receive the sacraments without question. (Among those trooping up to receive the body and blood of Christ has been the former Republican state treasurer, pro-abort Catholic Judy Baar Topinkabut her influence now is minimal). Other prelates have raised questions but not in Chicago. Oh no, that would be unseemly. There are always superb examples of parsing and pop theological sophistry to evade measuring up to responsibility.
In addition two priests in good standing
have used their roles to flagrantly propagandize for the pro-abortion Democratic party: Rev. Michael Pfleger who leads Democratic rallies in his church, who was told to take some time off a few months ago but who has returned to the political wars stronger than ever and enhanced by the gentle slap he received on the wrist and the Rev. Andrew Greeley, a raving partisan whose photograph in roman collar signifies the church and who writes a weekly newspaper column that crusades for the election of all pro-abort Democrats from Barack Obama down to the most minor Democratic official in reward for which he attends sparkling dinners and operas as a media celebrity with high ecclesial officialdom. Charles E. Coughlin and Archbishop Francis Beckman who identified with anti-liberalism in an earlier day were silenced and in the case of Beckman removed from the ecclesial see. That was then. Greeley and Pfleger are invaluable auxiliaries to the Democratic party and as ringleaders of a ruling Cook county party are far more powerful than were Coughlin or Beckman who were gadfly irritants to FDR. Greeley and Pfleger are locked in to the state and national party. They cannot be touched.
The THIRD reason here at least has been failure until now of instruction in theology and philosophy in the universities the absolute license granted misnamed and misdirected so-called Catholic universities which benefit from faux religious identification but who have been allowed to carry that mis-labeling due to vacillation, timidity, weakness, lack of resolution and plain and simple pro-Democratic accommodationism. I refer to liberal Democratic pro-abortion spawning grounds De Paul and Loyola which not only propagate anti-Catholic teaching and immoral behavior but conduct classes for the unformed and highly vulnerable young on how to celebrate homosexuality with all the glory attendant thereto. And without their Catholic identification endangered, threatened or even questioned.
More later on how the Church taught its flock legitimately in the 1930s when so many of its blue-collar members immigrants became Democratsmost for good reason and how many of todays spaghetti-spined shepherds allow their sheep to stray into danger of eternal hellfire through the un-contradicted appeals of Judas goats such as Douglas Kmiec, the National Catholic Reporter and errant priest-theologians and non-theologians but cynical politicians as Pfleger and Greeley. But suffice for now.