Campaigning for Catholics - Ohio Politician Launches Group to Promote Catholic Concerns
From the November 18-24, 2007 issue of the National Catholic Register:
Michael Hernon is the founder and president of The Catholic Association (thecatholicassociation.org), an organization that seeks to organize lay Catholics into an effective political force.
A New York native, Hernon is a city councilman in Steubenville, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Alicia, and their seven children. He earned a master of business administration at Franciscan University.
He said that, working on a national campaign in 2000, he found many good people working in Washington, D.C., but he sensed that there needed to be more of a voice representing lay Catholic interests.
Register correspondent Charlie Spiering spoke with him about his plans.
What is the mission behind The Catholic Association?
TCA’’s mission is to strengthen the Catholic voice not just in politics but also in culture. There is a specific wisdom that the Catholic Church can offer to the cultures and political issues of the day. And I think that there is a responsibility that we have as the largest faith in this country to advance a solid value based agenda for the good of all Americans.
It seems that you are going at it from a different angle rather than focusing on a particular party or candidate.
Exactly. Partisan politics is what divides Catholics and Americans. We want to focus on issues that unite faithful Catholics and get people together. We really want to be truly Catholic so the issues that we selected are both clearly compelling based upon Catholic teaching and they are uniting issues for faithful Catholics. In politics there is strength in numbers.
The nature of politics in a certain aspect is to divide; but we don’’t want to do that. We are not a voting bloc or a political party; we are a network of faithful Catholics trying to make a difference in the world. I think there is a broad consensus on a number of issues. Too often it is partisanship that divides us.
What are the issues that The Catholic Association focuses on?
We have selected four issues: culture of life, marriage and the family, defending Catholic identity and promoting cultural renewal.
We begin with the two bedrock Catholic values of the advancing a culture of life and protecting marriage and the family. TCA will also champion our Catholic identity, and promote cultural renewal. By Catholic identity, we mean championing Catholic individuals and institutions under attack because of their faith and identity. And, sadly, this is happening more and more of late...
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