Can Obama Use Iraq to Win the Catholic Vote?
Deal Hudson, writing at InsideCatholic asks, "Can Obama Use Iraq to Win the Catholic Vote?":
An editorial in the Jesuit's America magazine recently predicted that Sen. Barack Obama will profit by the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States. The moment the Holy Father denounces the war in Iraq, it will provide a "big opening for Sen. Obama," according to Michael Sean Winters.
Winters argues that Obama can "invoke the foresight of John Paul II, a man still revered among American Catholics," while contrasting himself to Sen. Hillary Clinton, President Bush, and, most importantly, Sen. John McCain.
Winters is undoubtedly right. The question is whether Catholic voters can be persuaded to overlook his extreme stances on the life issues, all of which are opposed to Catholic teaching, in order to register their protest against an unpopular war and those who supported it -- namely, John McCain.
Winters may not be right, however, when he predicts that "Pope Benedict will put the Iraq War, and the thinking that got us into that war, back at the center of political discussion." Such an eventuality, according to Winters's thinking, will advance Obama's cause among Catholic voters.
The trouble with his argument is simple: What Winters knows, Benedict XVI also knows. The Holy Father is well aware of the political divide between Democrats and Republicans on the life and family issues. It's no accident that just ten days before his arrival in the United States, Benedict spoke out on the "grave sins" of abortion, euthanasia, divorce, and "the culture of death."
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Will the Pope "Interfere" in U.S. Elections?
George Weigel: Pope Unlikely to Denounce "Great Satan Bush"
Inside Catholic: "McCain and the Pope"