Deal Hudson: "The Power of a Bold Bishop"
This is interesting:
The Scranton Times rightly observes that Bishop Martino has not become a national figure merely because of his prominence during the election. But the article fails to note a very important and pertinent fact: Catholics in Pennsylvania did not vote for Barack Obama as they did nationally: Self-identified Catholics in Pennsylvania voted 52 percent to 48 percent for McCain.My Comments:
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this fact but made no attempt to discover the reasons for the anomaly. Pro-life activist Brian Gail from Philadelphia has no doubts as to the cause; he credits Scranton's bishop for this result: "One man did this, and did it all but singlehandedly. His name is Bishop Joe Martino."
Other Catholics involved in the campaign agree with Gail and view the numbers in Pennsylvania as something to build upon. Bud Hansen Jr. from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, was co-chair of Catholics for McCain. "I am happy to say that our efforts were not in vain. The results tell us that we can re-build the Catholic vote in our state, starting from the grass roots. There is no question that there are very major problems that we are facing at this time, including the economy, immigration, healthcare, and especially national security, but all these issues can be dealt with at the same time that we are protecting life."
That the majority of Pennsylvania Catholics bucked the national trend and voted against Obama is a fact that requires further investigation. Such study will very likely reveal a lesson in leadership -- one that will be of particular interest to all the bishops as we approach consideration of the Freedom of Choice Act.
As I blogged here, exit polls show that the same thing happened here in Ohio and by almost the exact same percentages: despite the state going for Obama, and despite the national trend of a majority of the Catholic vote going for Obama, the majority of Catholics in Ohio did not vote for Obama, but rather voted for McCain by a 52-47 margin.
However, I'm reluctant to attribute the result here in Ohio to the actions of any one Bishop.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Bishop Martino: "I cannot have [the] Vice President-elect coming to Scranton, saying he learned his values there"
The Catholic Vote in Ohio
Deacon Fournier: "Bishop Martino is Right, ‘This is Madness People’"
Bishop Martino of Scranton: "Respect Life"