Deacon Keith Fournier: "No More ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, Time for a New Catholic Action"
Deacon Keith Fournier of my former home diocese of Richmond, VA, writes at Catholic Online:
... Informed faithful and engaged Catholic citizens are beginning to see the connection between the "Social teaching" of their Church and their participation in politics. They are not first Democrats or Republicans, conservatives, “neo” conservatives or liberals.(emphasis added)
They are first, last and all in between Catholics. Catholic is the Noun.
The movement simplistically called the "religious right" tried, mostly without success, to include them in their “coalitions” and “alliances’ at the latter end of the twentieth century.We were never at home there.
As the newly rising movement called by some the “religious left” now tries to include us in their growing “Alliances” we must be very careful and rightly suspect.
Even if a group uses the phrase “Common Good” in its name or in its rhetoric, we need to examine such a group very closely. We need to look, so to speak, “under the hood” and kick the tires. Where does this group stand on the right to life? This issue is to our time what slavery was to another era. In fact, it has at its root the same evil root. It views persons as property to be used rather than gifts to be received and protected.
Those Catholics who once tried to fit in to the culture of the "religious right" learned they had about as much of a home therein as their immigrant ancestors did in some of the original colonies. However, they may be less at home in what is now being called the "Religious Left." That is especially true if those who define "choice" as unimpeded abortion and defend the efforts to destroy marriage and the family and the society founded upon it lead or influence these emerging groups...
[Read the whole thing]
See also Deacon Fournier's "Why This Catholic Dreads the Campaign":
... I regret that Senator Obama has stopped his ears to the cry of those whom Mother Teresa rightly called the “poorest of the poor”, children in the womb. I have written that if he became the nominee I would do all I can to continue to engage him on this very issue.(emphasis added)
I cannot and will not support any candidate who claims to hear the cry of the poor and then stops his or her ear to the child in the womb, the elderly and the disabled.
Senator Obama is absolutely wrong to support legalized abortion.
It is not enough for him to express his moral concerns in a Compassion forum. He needs to break with the current leadership of the Democratic Party and listen to people like the members of “Democrats for Life” who have embraced the truth on this foundational position. It is more than an issue, it is a framework for every issue.
The presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, Senator John McCain, fares better on the issue of protecting the right to life for children in the womb. He opposes the so called “abortion right” and he recognizes the right to life for our neighbors in the womb.
There is a clear difference between the two candidates on this fundamental human rights issue, the right to life.
Catholic Social teaching is “whole life, pro-life” and so am I. In applying this truth I try to follow a hierarchy of values.
Both of these candidates support deadly research and experimentation on human embryonic life. Senator McCain tries to justify this barbarism with reference to the fact that these human embryos will inevitably die in this unethical research, calling them “spare embryos”.
Next, let's examine the candidates stands on the defense of the first society, marriage and the family founded upon it.
There appears to be a difference between the presumptive nominees on their defense of marriage. However, I am really not clear on what it is because neither of them seems to talk much about it.
I am an uncomfortable Republican. I use to be a Democrat before that Party silenced the late, great Governor of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey. They did so at their convention because he heard the cry of the poor.
I am not a “liberal” or a “conservative” or a “neo-conservative”. I am not ready to join any of the current “Third Party” efforts. I have “flirted” with the notion of starting one, based on the great principles of Catholic Social teaching.
I am deeply disappointed with how this campaign has turned out. I dread the coming General election campaign...
[Read the whole thing]
Deacon Fournier pretty much hits all the right notes in both pieces, at least where my policy priorities are concerned.