Sunday, October 15, 2006

Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

So claims the Toledo Blade's puff piece on the "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good" voting guide:
Religion and politics are two topics that inevitably collide every election year, despite some pleas that it’s best to keep them apart. But leaders of a new national Catholic alliance believe that information and education on faith and voting are essential to creating a fair and just society.

To help inform Americans of their civic and moral responsibilities, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has published a voting guide and will help sponsor panel discussions, including one in Toledo on Wednesday night.

“There are 77 million Catholics in the United States, and our hopes are to deliver 1 million voter guides,” said Eric McFadden, Columbus-based field director for Catholics in Alliance.

The free 12-page booklet, titled “Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics,” looks at issues, policies, and voting in the light of Catholic social teaching. It is available online at and at the Toledo panel discussion at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gesu Church.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, headquartered in Washington, was founded in December, 2004, by a group of people who felt that Catholics needed more information on church social teachings. It is one of many faith-based organizations to publish voter guides highlighting moral and religious perspectives on voting.

As the November elections approach, Catholics in Alliance is scheduling discussions such as the one in Toledo, which will be moderated by Richard Gaillardetz, professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo. The panel discussion will feature speakers on the topics of minimum wage, immigration, environment, and peace.

The voting guide, which does not promote any particular candidates or political parties, explains Catholic social teaching as defined by Papal letters and encyclicals, biblical Scriptures, council documents, and writings of Church fathers. It also refers to the “Faithful Citizenship” guide published every four years by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

While hot-button issues such as abortion and homosexuality have polarized many American Catholics, Mr. McFadden and the voting guide both say that the political process is too complicated to apply a simple “litmus test” on a few selected topics.
[ED.: Yeah, don't forget that the Church's all-important view on agricultural subsidies ranks right up there with its teaching on abortion and same-sex "marriage".]

“Some candidates claim to be pro-life, but never do anything pro-life once elected,” Mr. McFadden said.

And while some politicians do not support bans on abortion, they may seek to reduce abortions by providing health insurance and child care for single mothers or low-income families, or by boosting the minimum wage so parents will be better able to support more children.
[ED.: Because, you know, only poor people have abortions.]

“There is no Catholic voting formula and there is rarely, if ever, a perfect candidate for Catholic voters,” the guide states.

“Voting Our Catholic Values: A Panel Discussion,” will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Sullivan Center at Gesu Catholic Church, 2049 Parkside Blvd. The event is co-sponsored by Gesu Parish, the Servant Leadership Center, Tiffin Area Pax Christi, pax Christi of Corpus Christi University Parish, and Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania. More information is available online at or by calling Josie Setzler of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good at 419-332-2318.

(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

My Comments:
Other than the somewhat lacking “Faithful Citizenship”, which came out of the USCCB a few years ago, the Blade doesn't mention any of the numerous other Catholic voting guides out there.

But, of course, since they've already determined that the "Common Good" voting guide "gives the Church's perspective", I suppose mentioning any other voting guides would be superfluous.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

More on Catholic Voter Guides

Columnist: "Christian Right Driving Wedge Into US"

More From Amy Welborn on the "Dueling Catholic Voter Guides"

"Catholics in the Public Square" by Bishop Olmsted

Catholics Find Voting Guides a Test of Allegiance

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At 10/16/2006 12:42 AM, Anonymous Publius said...

I posted a comment I found over at Amy Welborns that exposes Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good as practically an organ of the Democratic party.

At 10/16/2006 8:14 AM, Blogger Terry said...

As the November elections approach, Catholics in Alliance is scheduling discussions such as the one in Toledo, which will be moderated by Richard Gaillardetz, professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo.

He wrote a scathing piece on the "new apologists" a few years back. I also believe he attends, or at least is associated with Corpus Christi, which is the university parish; it's pretty "progressive" there.

At 10/16/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"... Corpus Christi, which is the university parish; it's pretty "progressive" there"

Yeah, 2 of the 3 letters to the editor that were critical of the latest liturgical reforms in last month's Catholic Chronicle were from Corpus Christi.

You can read my response to the letters, which was printed in this month's Catholic Chronicle, here.

Also, I blogged about Corpus Christi parish several months ago here.

They must love the leadership of solidly orthodox Bishop Blair.

At 10/16/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Good response to the whiners, Jay. Nails it--so well, in fact, that I'm planning on stealing it.

If Prof. Gaillardetz (he puts the "faux" in "faux moderate") is the moderator, then the fix is in. No orthodox need apply.

I like to think of it as "the seamless noose" approach to life issues, given how effectively it strangles Catholic pro-life advocacy.

At 10/16/2006 2:35 PM, Blogger Terry said...

Have you ever seen the place?

At 10/16/2006 2:45 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Pretty bad. The gardens look fairly nice, except for the Crucifix with the Corpus posed like a frog about to be dissected.

At 10/30/2006 9:32 AM, Blogger bill petro said...

I live in Dr. Richard Gaillardetz's hood here in Ottawa Hills (Toledo). He is a nice guy with nice fam. But way too right (Unorthodox for you non-Catholics). So right one would question why he lives in the most upscale neighborhood in NW Ohio. Nothing wrong with that personally, but I'm not pushing his type of politics either. Catholic Answers didn't have much nice to say about the good Dr. a few years back. The Q&A section of the guide (as you point out Jay) is telling - the only subject discussed in any detail is the abortion one - and they are on the wrong side of it.


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