Who Should Catholics Vote for On November 6th?

In the coming weeks there will be posts of interest  to those who want to make an honest appraisal of the candidates and the party platforms.

It is no secret that both campaigns have identified Catholics as the key to their success.  But the candidates view Catholics very differently.  The Democratic campaign is certain that Catholic women are not disturbed by the Democratic platform’s  commitment to abortion, free contraceptives  and sterilizations(paid for by the taxpayers under Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act). The Republican  campaign views Catholics as a block that is–or should be–very alarmed by the HHS mandate’s assault on Religious Liberty, a pillar of the Constitution.    Please visit often to read how each side seeks to secure the crucial Catholic vote.

In the meanwhile, to this post will be added  new snips and clips from news features and  Church issues to address the issue of  the “Catholic vote.” Please scroll down to read each day’s entry.

October 16th

Women  want more than “pelvic politics”.  Newest Gallup poll indicates women in swing  states are taking a new look at the Romney/ Ryan positions.   It is important that Catholics make their voices heard–too many women, even Catholics, have the impression that a Romney victory means the end of access to birth control.  Not so. The Republican platform says nothing about contraceptive access. Rather it defends religious freedom–the right of people of conscience to not be coerced into paying for an immoral act. Contraception will be just as available as it is now– it simply protects Catholics from coercion.

 

October 8th

“In the words of “Faithful Citizenship,” how we should respond is clear. The document says, “Our focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even competence and capacity to perform duties, as important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens human life and dignity.” As you consider these concerns, I will be praying for you in Rome that the humble, joyful Poverello of Assisi intercede for us, and that Mary Immaculate, patroness of the United States and Star of the New Evangelization, will inspire in us wisdom, prudence, and courage.”

————–Timothy, Cardinal Dolan, president of the USCCB

October 1st

September 30th

Want Peace? Vote for Religious Liberty

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2011 World Day of Peace message called religious freedom the “path to peace.” Since “religious freedom is at the origin of moral freedom,” the Pope taught it should be understood “not merely as immunity from coercion, but even more fundamentally as an ability to order one’s own choices in accordance with truth… When religious freedom is acknowledged, the dignity of the human person is respected at its root, and the ethos and institutions of peoples are strengthened. On the other hand, whenever religious freedom is denied, and attempts are made to hinder people from professing their religion or faith and living accordingly, human dignity is offended, with a resulting threat to justice and peace….” ( More here)

It’s a fundamental break with reality to think that peace on earth can begin with nations that abort their own children. Such nations demonstrate their domination over the most vulnerable. A domination ethos never leads to peace.  A government that then attempts to force people of faith to live at the margins of society by means of coercive power simply provokes  rebellion.

Want peace?  Vote to protect religious liberty.

—–MJA

 

September 29th, Feast of the Archangels

Novena for Religious Liberty Begins Today!

Please join millions today for the Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation.

During the Novena, leading bishops from across the nation will be celebrating the televised Mass from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, Alabama at 8 a.m. ET each day. Each bishop will deliver a homily highlighting the importance of prayer in the fight for religious liberty and will lead the novena prayers for that day. Celebrants will include Most Rev. James D. Conley, Bishop-designate of Lincoln (Neb.), who will open the novena; Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann; Mobile (Ala.) Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi; Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput; and Birmingham (Ala.) Bishop Robert J. Baker, who will close the novena.

“Catholics have always turned instinctively for help to the Mother of God in times of need,” says Fr. Miller, “And so, in 2012, we turn to Our Lady for help. Many of the values that have shaped our country from the beginning seem to be at risk. Pope Benedict XVI and the American Bishops have noted the erosion of religious freedom, the first value guaranteed by the Constitution. This novena challenges all of us to a deeper conversion to Christ and a more generous life of charity. The proximity of this novena to the 2012 Presidential Election also offers an opportunity to pray for all of our government officials and to seek Divine assistance in the election.”

Novena may be downloaded here.

—-MJA

September 28th

The Poor and Me. And you.

 

“In voting, consideration must be given to the poor and measures to help them. Though direct government assistance is sometimes necessary, it is not the only solution in assisting the poor and needy. Society should never fail in its fundamental task of creating an environment in which the poor and needy can prosper and reach a sense of security and freedom for themselves and for their families. This necessitates that all join in helping the poor and needy and the government must respect the freedom of institutions involved in this work.”

—- Frank J.Dewane,  Bishop of Venice Florida

One of the more sobering consequences of  increased government assistance to the poor is that it makes too many of us–Christians– complacent about the plight of the poor.  “I’m sure there is a government program for that,”   is a refrain we frequently hear. It’s a polite way to say, ” I need not trouble myself over this man’s circumstance.”

But Jesus said, “Feed them yourselves.” (Matthew 14:13-17) Simply stated, we’ve have sub-contracted out  to the government a direct command that Christ gave us to fulfill.    We are flaccid. We lack virtue when we fail to engage the “least of our brothers” ourselves. The context of the Feeding of the Multitude is interesting–Jesus is with His disciples in a large crowd.  “The people” are engaged directly with Jesus and his followers.  There is no government-run hamburger stand. The crowd is listening and watching: “Who is this Teacher who speaks as no other has spoken?”   Is it such a stretch for third millennium Christians to see that our own direct hands-on service is a far more compelling voice for what we profess than a grinding government bureaucracy?

In the clip above Bp. Dewane points out that direct government assistance is not the only solution to care of the poor. I would suggest it is the least effective method ; too much overhead, too much fraud, too much waste. Ah, but, it affords complacent American Christians  a measure of comfort –I care for the poor!–without the human element, that is, without ever having to interact with the poor.  We may tickle our “compassion” button with that claim, but it is false. True compassion comes alongside the one who suffers. Compassion is personal.

The Catholic Church provides more social services for the poor  than any other entity in the nation–except the US government.  If the HHS mandate is not overturned, those services to the poor will be shuttered. Who then will the poor have?  A  faceless leviathan with a monopoly on “the poor.”  We may ignore Christ’s  command to “feed them yourselves” but there will be consequences for the poor –and for those of us impoverished of virtue.

—-MJA

September 27th

Here is a snip from a U.S. News and World Report article:

“With most of the national polls showing the race to be one or two points either way, the fight over the Catholic vote is heating up. In Cleveland, Ohio, the local chapter of Right to Life has issued a formal letter to Bishop Richard Lennon asking him to suspend the Diocese’s “Faithful Citizenship” meetings because of their disregard for pro-life issues.

“As a pro-life woman and a Catholic, I am appalled,” Cleveland Right to Life President Molly Smith said in a release. “Our Church is under attack by the most liberal, pro-abortion leadership in history. The Cleveland Catholic Diocese is missing a great teaching and unifying opportunity by responding in this manner.”

According to Smith’s group, “Faithful Citizenship meetings were organized by the Diocese of Cleveland with the goal of aiding Catholics in preparing themselves to vote this November. The forums, led in part by open Obama-supporter Karen Leith, downplay abortion and religious freedom, issues of irreducible importance to Catholic voters.”  Read more here

More on the CATHOLIC VOTE here.

Keep the faith!

MJA

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They voted for him before they voted against him

By now most faithful Catholics (as in “faithful to the teachings of the Catholic  Church”) know someone who admits that they voted for Obama, but wish they could push cosmic reset button and unvote their temporary insanity. Alas.

No poll will appear that asks  voters who pulled the lever for Obama if they would do so today. No matter. We know from anecdotal confessions on blogs, webpages and even national talking head voyeurs that significant numbers of voters would rescind their votes were it possible to do so.  The fracas at Notre Dame affords us a view from the wrong end of the telescope. It is worse than any hesitant lever-puller imagined. The shock some feel is near laughable–could they truly–truly?– not have known.

obama-punishmentAmong  us, wherever go, there are well meaning Catholics who had supposed  that matters such as a “living wage,” universal health care, hatred of the war in Iraq and “hope”  were cause enough to overlook the one other matter–abortion–that burdened their deliberations in 2008.  Some can be forgiven their myopic angle of view since so many US Catholics lack any schooling in basic theology.

Greater anguish resides in those who knew. And knew that they knew.  Recently an acquaintance  remarked that he could not douse his smoldering anger at Obama for a “breech of trust.”   This man is an attorney who attends mass  faithfully with his family in tow. He is a self described “happy papist.”  Not so happy at the moment.  His  idea was that Obama implied that he would proceed in an open, civil manner that permitted Catholics who disagreed with his principles to trust his good will.

I am not certain that the opposite might better serve us–that is, to vote for principle and never mind the good will. Here I take good will to be less about goodness than good form. Obama seduced many with his polished good form. However empty of any substance that can objectively be described as “good”, candidate Obama excelled at good form, good style, good packaging.  But now that the package has been opened the truth is impossible to escape.  And the truth is not about Obama who hid nothing from us.

No, the truth is about flaccid Catholics who heard what they wanted to hear and shut out all else in a flimsy hope (that word again!) that  somehow it would work out.

Catholics made the election of a hardened abortion proponent possible. Without a majority of the Catholic Vote this national nightmare could not have happened.

The one hope, perhaps, is that we have here a teachable moment. Every Catholic who now regrets his November insanity is open to our voice of faith –faith not in one  man’s promises however smoothly delivered–faith in the enduring ever new ever eternal voice of the Church who calls us back from the precipice.

Obama’s Chilling Cleverness

That is a the title of Hadley Arkes’ new commentary on the presence of Evangelical super-star, Rick Warren, at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

rick-warrenWarren is the author of The Purpose Driven Life, a phenomenon in the world of Protestant study programs. The book has been used by thousands of Protestant churches for their Sunday schools.   Warren has held adamant pro-life , pro-family views.

His fame was catapulted into the mainstream world of politics when he hosted the 2008 presidential candidates and put the question to Barack Obama, “When does life begin?”

It was simply a matter of time before Obama would find the means to gig Warren publicly  in return.

And, gig him good is precisely what Obama has done by having the hapless pastor apply a fig leaf of Christan rectitude  to Obama’s murderous abortion policies at the inauguration when he gave the invocation.

Professor Arkes writes, “Nothing has brought home more surely the consummate cleverness of Obama in offering that invitation to Warren, making it impossible for him to refuse, and gaining nothing but dividends for himself from every angle.”

Read more here

Abortion and Bishops

NOTE: SUMMER READING at Inside Catholic

BISHOPS Probed by US Gov.

In January 2008 the Richmond Virginia chapter of Catholic Charities
arranged for and transported a 15 year-old to an abortion facility.
(See Washington Times story below).

Some of you know have already written to me about Catholic Charities.
In the past I've written about Catholic Charities and the(deservedly!)
much criticized Campaign for Human Development. This one abortion is
likely to be one of many--it's simply that THIS is the one
that was discovered.

Catholics are called to be "good stewards."
 Increasingly, donations made to Catholic Charities and CHD
as well as other national charitable organizations are questionable
at best. Many of you are alumni of Catholic colleges whose
Catholicity is a memory only. Perhaps it is time that we
Catholics reconsider donations made
to such institutions.
Please consider sending a portion of your tithe monies and
donations to those groups (charitable, educational)that heroically
maintain a true CATHOLIC identity.

Some good choices are Women for Faith and Family (WFF),
Catholic Answers and Women's New Life Center.   WFF is laudable
for its fidelity.WFF publishes  Voices
And, I know you'll find that their website is a fantastic source of
information and inspiration. 

Catholic Answers is known to most Catholics. It is the
premier apologetics apostolate. Their straightforward and
tightly presented defense of the most difficult of doctrinal
teachings has helped many a convert and re-verts.  

Women's New Life Center struggles to offer services to women
in hurricane stricken New Orleans.  I've  had the pleasure of sharing
the podium with Susan Mire, the foundress of the Center.
She is a delightful young woman with a mission and that
gentle Southern manner.

AND, for Karen's groupies, the Women's New Life Center will host the
FIRST ANNUAL FAIS DO-DO this fall (That's a Cajun hoedown, folks!)
honoring the Jesuit Pro-Life Club.(For fun, check out my review
on A Cajun Christmas )

We want to keep in mind, too, that our local parishs or diocese may
have its  own worthy apostolate that needs your help.  

At every conference I am asked,
"What can I do? I'm just one person?" 

All of us make an enormous contribution to reconverting
the culture when we support truly Catholic endeavors. 

Keep the faith! 

Virginia law eyed in girl's abortionBishops alerted to U.S. probe

Washington Times
www.washtimes.com/news/2008/jun/18/virginia-law-eyed-in-girls-abortion

Reaping what was not sown

A nation that does not plant wheat does not have bread.

Such a nation must import either the wheat or the bread. Easy enough concept to grasp. The same applies in human resources.

NO babies, no workers. (Leaving aside the biblical imperative) Yet nations insist that prosperity comes from limiting human resources.

Spain (and the rest of Europe) faces a severe labor shortage.

“The percentage of foreign workers, who generate nearly half of the Spanish GDP growth, will grow from the current 20-25% to 35% of the Spanish workforce in 2010.” New reports put the number of foreign workers needed at 150,000 per year for Spain alone. Without the imported labor, the Spanish economy is threatened. Most of the imported labor is not Christian. Most are Islamic. Thus, the economy of Iberia may be saved for a the next generation, but not for Spaniards or their culture.

How did Spain find itself in such dire need of workers? Simple: Abortion and Contraception.

I’m amused when people tell me that God does not punish people for specific sins in specific ways. Every speech I deliver brings out a few well meaning souls who are too sophisticated to believe that certain behaviors are “punished” by God in some direct manner.

Okay. I see the exact meaning of their objection–but I maintain that the sin that is chosen carries within it the consequence (the “punishment”) that soon afflicts the sinner/ nation.

When the post modern Western world decided that personal material prosperity meant smaller families, or when individuals sought unlimited libidinal license minus children, they had no concept ( literally !) that their behaviors sowed seeds of national and cultural and familial death for the coming generation.

After all, it is called a generation for a reason–it must be generated.

The Death of the West can still be averted, but soon enough the mathematical point of no return will be upon us.

Population control as a personal or political policy is a death wish.

MORE:

See a related post “Keen Assessment” at Feminine Genius

See Jennifer Roback Morse on Love and Economics

A Lifesite report on this topic here

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