Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"NOT An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"


From the website for the Diocese of Youngstown:
Catholic Voter Guides
The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has approved the following voter guides:

  • Faithful Citizenship published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • Faith and Politics published by the Ohio Catholic Conference

  • Note: "Voting for the Common Good" is NOT an approved Catholic voter guide.

    UPDATE # 1

    Unfortunately, the following appears on the website for my own Diocese of Toledo:
    For more information on voting your Catholic values check out the following websites:

    “Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics,” prepared by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Visit http://www.thecatholicalliance.org/.

    “Voting With a Clear Conscience” by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. Visit http://www.priestsforlife.org/.

    “The 2006 Elections: Becoming a Global Good Neighbor,” prepared by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Visit http://www.maryknollogc.org/.

    “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics,” prepared by Catholic Answers Action. Visit http://www.caaction.com/.
    Not sure how that first entry got past Bishop Blair.

    Nor do I understand how (just 4 days before the Election) this article made it onto the front page and above the fold in this month's Catholic Chronicle:
    Vote your values

    Six local Catholic organizations sponsored a presentation and panel discussion moderated by Richard Gaillardetz at Gesu Church Oct. 18 on “Voting Our Catholic Values.”

    Dr. Gaillardetz is in his sixth year as the Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies at The University of Toledo and a member of Corpus Christi University Parish. In a separate interview, the professor discussed some ways that Catholic voters can apply Catholic social teaching at the polls this election.

    Overlooked issues

    The “Religious Right” tends to focus on a narrow spectrum of issues regarding family and sexuality, says Dr. Gaillardetz.

    Though these issues are very important to Catholics, he says our social obligations extend also “to more fundamental and comprehensive commitments about the dignity of the human person.

    “Issues of sexuality and family are concerned with the dignity of the human person,” acknowledges Dr. Gaillardetz. “But to just focus on family and sexuality is to miss absolutely crucial convictions that Catholics have about the alleviation of poverty, the importance of basic human needs being met, the fundamental right of participation in political processes.”

    Dr. Gaillardetz says Catholics do not have the luxury of separating religious issues from political and economic issues.

    “Our obligations as Christians are comprehensive,” says Dr. Gaillardetz. “They’re not focused on one aspect of life. They’re focused on a whole transformed understanding of our world and how we interact with one another … as a Christian, our fundamental Christian values are all wrapped up in political and economic issues.”

    (emphasis added)

    What utter codswallop! Need I remind Dr. Gaillardetz what the Holy Father recently had to say about that so-called "narrow spectrum of issues regarding family and sexuality"? In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI stated:
    As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

    Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

    Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

    • The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.
    (emphasis added)

    In other words, the Church is especially concerned with (and, indeed, deems non-negotiable) those things that Dr. Gailardetz refers to as the so-called "narrow spectrum of issues regarding family and sexuality". Stick that in your "common good", Dr. Gaillardetz.

    UPDATE # 2
    The Catholic Chronicle has pulled the "Vote Your Values" story from its website! If you click on the link to the story above, you get some puff piece about making Thanksgiving special.

    Gee, I wonder what happened?

    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

    Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

    Weigel: "An Electoral Battle of the Booklets?"


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