John Allen Interviews Bishop DiMarzio Regarding Catholic Voting Guides
Morning's Minion writes at Vox Nova:
In an interview with John Allen, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn (chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Policy) discussed the draft USCCB voting guide, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. On the document itself:My Comments:“I think it’s pretty even. I think you’d have a hard time trying to misuse this document. Hopefully, it will be helpful for people making decisions. We’re into a situation, the way it looks right now a year away, in which you’re not going to have any candidate who is outstanding on all of our issues. Such a person just isn’t there. We’re going to have to look very carefully and use some moral principles to come to difficult decisions about these options. It comes down to this: Are you not going to vote? Or are you going to vote for somebody who doesn’t completely hold our positions? That’s the difficulty we face. It’s a very difficult situation for a voter today.”Allen asked whether he would discourage rival Catholic voter’s guides. DiMarzio:“We can’t discourage that, but what we can discourage is their distribution through the church. Something handed out by parishes should be approved by the diocese or the state Catholic conference. Anybody can produce whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to give it out within church premises and so on. It gives the appearance that it has an official status. We’ve produced a two-page bulletin announcement summarizing Faithful Citizenship. It’s difficult to summarize all that tight reasoning in two pages, but I think we did a fairly decent job with it. That would be the official thing that we would ask bishops to authorize and distribute.”You hear that, Catholic Answers?
I'm not sure why MM keeps singling out Catholic Answers. Well yes, actually, I do know why he singles out Catholic Answers. And even some of those who agree with the results that Catholic Answers reaches seem uncomfortable with the "seriously flawed" way in which they reached those conclusions. But Catholic Answers is hardly the only, or even worst, offender when it comes to Catholic voting guides.
Last year, for example, it was Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which is little more than the Catholic Outreach arm of the Democrat National Committee. You may remember that they put out their voting guide - downplaying the so-called "narrow spectrum of issues regarding family and sexuality" in favor of issues like poverty and health care - on the eve of the November 2006 general elections, and did the full-court press in dioceses throughout the country in order to muddy the waters before election day.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Archbishop Chaput Not Satisfied With Proposed New USCCB Document on Voting
Catholic Bishops’ Taxing Task: Election-Year Statement
Bishops' Document to Offer New Guidance on Catholics' Political Role
Vox Nova on Voter's Guides
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?"
"Not An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"
Kentucky Parishes Cautioned on Partisan Political Activity