The Activist Trap: Pope Benedict and Political Activism
(Hat tip: GOP Soccer Mom)
Colleen Carroll Campbell, writing at National Review, notes that "[a]s Election Day draws near, Benedict’s warning to his flock is timely and relevant":
The coming campaign season is shaping up to be as rough-and-tumble any in recent memory, and religious voters are once again at the center of the action. With Election Day less than three months away, Catholics of all political persuasions are working overtime to turn out the faith-based vote.
So what does the leader of the Catholic Church think about all of this faith-based political activism? Pope Benedict XVI, like Pope John Paul II before him, has publicly criticized the Bush administration’s decision to wage war in Iraq. But both also have condemned abortion, euthanasia, embryonic-stem-cell research, cloning, and same-sex marriage. And both clearly distinguished between acts that are considered intrinsically evil (such as abortion) and those which must be judged according to circumstances (such as individual military conflicts). As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) wrote to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2004: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. …While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Kansas Bishops' Document Distinguishes Moral Evils From Prudential Judgments