Saturday, December 27, 2008

Leading Cardinal Praises Obama's Election

Cardinal Laghi Praises Obama's Election

Cardinal Pio Laghi. a leading Vatican cardinal who was once the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States voiced optimism for relations between the Catholic Church and President-elect Barack Obama. "There are many points on which there will be agreement" with the Obama administration, said the Cardinal during a panel discussion in Rome. His Eminence said Obama's positions on health care and immigration were among the parts of his agenda "in consonance with the social doctrine of the church."

Praising Obama for running a campaign in the "spirit of national reconciliation of Lincoln," Laghi said Obama’s election as the first black president "can be considered as a liberation from that horrendous original sin that for so many years stained the face and nature of the United States, that is, slavery."

Cardinal Laghi said the Vatican is hopeful that under Obama's leadership the United States will return to acting primarily as a force for peace, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also expects Obama to act on his promise to assist the middle class and the poor, particularly with health care, he said.

The Cardinal also noted that "Obama brings with him to the White House the first Catholic vice president, Joe Biden. And I read today that Obama has put him in charge of a task force on the family. This is a good sign."

Beyond specific policy issues, Obama's election was a sign of renewed hope in "a country of hope," Cardinal Laghi said.

Laghi's comments are similiar to those of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican newspaper, each welcomed his victory as an opportunity for a new beginning following the disastrous foreign policy failures of the Bush Administration.

Laghi helped establish full diplomatic relations between Washington and the Holy See in 1984. In early March 2003, Pope John Paul II sent Laghi back to Washington, where he met with President George W. Bush in an unsuccessful attempt to avert the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Pro-Life Pastor Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration

The Brody Report says that Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Brody, a conservative evangelical Protestant writes "It makes a whole lot of sense." [This] "is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that."

The benediction will be led by Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, the noted civil rights leader.

The order of the program will be as follows:

Musical Selections

The United States Marine Band

Musical Selections

The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein


Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

Musical Selection

Aretha Franklin

Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

The Honorable John Paul Stevens

Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger

Itzhak Perlman, Violin

Yo-Yo Ma, Cello

Gabriela Montero, Piano

Anthony McGill, Clarinet

Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama

By the Chief Justice of the United States

The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.

Inaugural Address

The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama


Elizabeth Alexander


The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

The National Anthem

The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

Monday, December 15, 2008

Catholic Health Association Applauds Nomination of Catholic former Senator as Head of HHS

Catholic Health Association Applauds the President-Elect for Naming Tom Daschle and Jeanne Lambrew to Health Leadership Positions in his Administration

Dec. 11, 2008

Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), issued the following statement:

The Catholic Health Association welcomes President-elect Barack Obama's official nomination today of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to be his secretary of Health and Human Services and the person to oversee a new White House Office of Health Reform. Also, we are pleased that Obama named Jeanne Lambrew to serve as deputy director of the new White House Office of Health Reform.

We applaud the President-elect for choosing these two extraordinary and capable leaders who bring an enormous understanding of health care delivery issues and the need for meaningful reform for American families and businesses.

President-elect Obama has shown with today's announcements that he continues to understand that health care reform is a major domestic policy issue. At the same time, he remains true to his pre-election promises to achieve health care reform that provides affordable, accessible health care for all Americans while building on the existing health care system.

We share the vision that our country will only have a renewed and vibrant economy when we enact health reform designed to create and sustain a strong, healthy national community. The reforms should truly promote the nation's well-being and cover everyone with a reasonable, basic benefits package. To achieve this goal, the Catholic health ministry looks forward to working with the President-elect and with future HHS Secretary Daschle and Deputy Director Lambrew.

The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry's pursuit of the strategic directions of mission, ethics, and advocacy. As the nation's largest group of not-for-profit sponsors, systems, and facilities, the ministry is committed to improving the health status of communities and creating quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. For more information, visit the CHA website at

Friday, December 5, 2008



Tuesday, December 2, 2008


President-elect Barack Obama has recorded a radio ad that will hit the airwaves today in support of the Pro-Life Catholic Democratic House candidate in a Louisiana runoff.

Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche is running for Congress against Republican John Fleming this Saturday for the Shreveport-area seat vacated by Rep. Jim McCrery (R).

It was a major embarrassment to the GOP that a run off was even needed in this historically conservative Republican district.

Saturday, November 29, 2008



At 99 years of age, united with her Lord on November 18, 2008.

Founder of the Washington Catholic Interracial Council.

Organized the participation of her parish in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Prefect of the Parish Sodality

Member of the St. Augustine Parish Council

Founder of the St. Augustine Parish Black History Week Celebration.

Beloved wife of the late Walter A. Jones.

Tireless advocate for social justice.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pauline J. Jones Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Augustine Catholic School, 1419 V St. NW, Washington, DC 20009.

Friday, November 28, 2008


President Elect Barack Obama and his family distributed food Wednesday at St. Columbanus Catholic Parish in Chicago. They spent an hour working as volunteers for Catholic Charities, handing out chickens, potatoes, bread and other Thanksgiving food to families who otherwise would be in need.

Many of the poor and homeless -- some of whom come for food every Wednesday -- screamed in disbelief as they entered the parking lot of St. Columbanus Church at 71st and Calumet Drive and realized the reason they had been wanded by the U.S. Secret Service was because Obama, his wife and daughters, were standing there ready to pass out the food usually handed out by volunteers.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Michelle Obama and their daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 , stood beside their father also handing out food in the 43-degree weather beneath the elaborate 99-year-old stained glass windows of St. Columbanus church. Obama wore a leather jacket while Michelle and the girls were bundled in winter coats and hats.

The President Elect said it was important to bring his daughters because, "I want them to know how fortunate they are and that they have to give back."

The pastor of the parish, Father Mark Eyerman expressed his appreciation of the President Elect for helping with the Thanksgiving program. But he was not the only one in the parish thankful for the Obamas.

As he finished handing out the chickens, the President Elect turned and looked up at the windows of St. Columbanus School where the pre-K through 8th graders were furiously waving and screaming from their second- and third-floor windows. The President Elect then shook hands with Catholic grade school students ecstatic to see him.

According to the Sun-Times, the President Elect said "Hey Michelle, look," he pointed as she waved back. "We've got to go in there and say 'hi' to those kids," much to the chagrin of the Secret Service, which frowns on spontaneity.

The Secret Service asked school officials to bring the school's 300 students down to the assembly hall. The enthusiasm of the Catholic school children was off the charts as Obama entered the room and attempted to shake hands with the children as young as five and pre-Kindergarten. Some grabbed onto his leather jacket sleeves and would not let go, trying to climb up in his arms.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Religious Extremists Attack Obama

Religious extremists are making the following attacks on the President Elect this week:

“aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic"

[Obama is] "the direct opposite of honourable black Americans," he is a "House Negro"

“We weep over the violence concealed behind his rhetoric and that of Joseph Biden and what appears to be that of the majority of the incoming Congress.”

[the election was a ] “a cultural earthquake”

"new face of America only masked a heart full of hate"

You can sort out for yourself which hatemongers made which statement. Regardless, none of them have a place in a serious discussion among a free people governing themselves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


As a response to the current economic crisis, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have issued statement of strong support for the Campaign for Human Development annual collection. Read their entire statement here.

The CCHD Collection will be held in most parishes this coming Sunday, November 22 & 23. Please do everything you can to promote the collection. For more information and CCHD resource materials click here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pope Expected to Welcome Obama at Vatican

Breaking news reports indicate that the Holy Father will receive President Barack Obama at the Vatican early this summer. This may even have been discussed in the telephone conversation the Holy Father and the President Elect had recently.

Many American Catholics are very pleased with the warm relationship being developed by the President Elect and His Holiness so soon after the election. Normal protocol usually puts these matters off until after the inauguration, but both men seem to have an interest in each other and a desire to move beyond the standard formalities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lay Catholics Take Lead in Changing the Conversation on Abortion

Catholic voters' shift
Why the flock disregarded some bishops' advice and helped sweep Barack Obama into office
By Patrick Whelan and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
November 16, 2008

Catholics voted decisively in this month's election for Barack Obama, 54 percent to 45 percent, according to exit polls. This was a big reversal from four years ago, when Catholics favored George W. Bush by 5 percentage points. Now the debate is on. The U.S. Bishops, meeting last week in Baltimore, wrestled with the implications of election results that showed Catholics rejecting the dictates of the most conservative and outspoken bishops, who urged parishioners to vote Republican.

The putative argument for these bishops was that only Republicans are sufficiently pure on the abortion question. The facts show otherwise. Analysis of abortion statistics over the past 28 years demonstrates that Democrats do a better job of reducing the number of abortions than Republicans. Significantly more progress was made against abortion during the Clinton administration than during any of the three Republican administrations that preceded or followed it.

Overall, the national abortion rate fell about 50 percent faster under President Bill Clinton than it has under President George W. Bush. We conservatively estimate that an additional 274,800 children might be alive today had abortion rates continued to drop during the first five years of the Bush administration at the same rate that they fell during the same period under Mr. Clinton.

In other words, while the Republicans have been focused on laws such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that have not been proved to have stopped even a single abortion, the Democrats oversaw meaningful reductions.

What was stunning about this election is that a number of leading pro-life Catholics, including some staunch Republicans, switched their allegiance to Barack Obama. Law professors M. Cathleen Kaveny, Douglas W. Kmiec and Nicholas P. Cafardi joined groups like ours in vigorously advancing abortion-reduction strategies. Indeed, Mr. Obama included these strategies - such as expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, expanding prenatal care and facilitating adoption - in the Democratic platform for the first time. We believe such strategies have been shown to be much more effective than the Republican focus on promoting the possibility that some abortions in some smaller states might be made illegal if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned someday.

When the Democrats used Catholic language to advance the reduction strategies, Republican operatives, conservative columnists and some bishops accused the Obama advocates of "misusing" the bishops' words to support the more liberal candidate. A few, such as Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City, went so far as to suggest that a trip to hell was the likely outcome for voters who marked Mr. Obama on their ballots.

All this talk about abortion and the need to vote Republican demonstrates what is really at the heart of some of the bishops' concerns: They wanted the Republican to win. But Catholics care about many issues: torture, war and peace, health care, immigration - as well as how to be a good neighbor, how to care for the least among us and how best to work for the common good.

That is what most of the bishops care about too. In fact, bishops have told us in private that they applaud our efforts to advance a Catholic ethos within the Democratic Party. We hope that in the course of their deliberations, these bishops will speak out and recommit to the "faithful citizenship" ideas that represent the heart of Catholic teaching.

This election has demonstrated that American Catholics want leaders who are serious, deliberative and have a sense of gravitas about the questions confronting us. Pope Benedict XVI has reached out to President-elect Obama, and there is a new spirit alive in the Vatican for focusing on the big questions of our day. We stand ready to join our bishops, in this moment of new hope and opportunity, to work for the common good.

Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric specialist, is president of the Catholic Democrats. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is on the group's board.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Actually, He is a Very Nice Man

"Catholic" dissident to run for Chairman of Republican Party

Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a so-called "Catholic" who falsely believes that a person can call himself pro-life and yet support a pro-choice candidate, had declared his candidacy to lead the National Republican Party. It can be expected that Pro-Life groups and conservative Catholics will quickly point out to him that it is a sin to support a pro-choice candidate and selecting him as National Party Chairman would be an insult to millions of orthodox Catholic Republicans.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Wonderful Woman and Catholic Democrat

Pennsylvania's Beloved Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll Dies after battle with cancer

HARRISBURG - Catherine Baker Knoll, nearing the end of her sixth year as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, died Wednesday after a four-month illness involving both cancer and a lingering infection.

Her death came unexpectedly while undergoing physical therapy at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C.. She had gone there following several weeks of treatment and observation related to cancer that was detected this past summer. She was treated at Hershey Medical Center and more recently, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

"She fought this illness with the same tenacity she brought to a lifetime of public service," said her son Albert Baker Knoll. "Our mother loved working for the people of Pennsylvania and was proud of the friendship she enjoyed throughout the Commonwealth."

Lt. Governor Knoll previously had served for eight years as State Treasurer, and her successful run in 2002 for the lieutenant governor's office solidified her place in Pennsylvania history as the first woman to serve in that capacity.

Funeral arraignments are pending and will be announced later by family members. Lt. Governor Knoll had three sons, Albert Knoll, Dr. Kim Eric Knoll, and Charles Knoll, Esq., and a daughter Mina Baker Knoll, C.P.A.. Her Husband Charles, Sr., died in 1987.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pope and President Elect Have Conversation

Protocol suggests a formal letter from the Holy See when a new Head of State takes office. If the country in question has formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, the Cardinal Secretary of State sometimes sends a message when Heads of Government are elected.

We all thought it was very kind that the Holy Father went beyond the normal protocol and sent a personal letter to the President Elect, congratulating him on his election.

Now, the Vatican has confirmed that an additional, extraordinary step has taken place. The Holy Father and the President Elect spoke by telephone yesterday. The new Administration is getting off to a very good start.

(By the way, our sources in the Obama campaign revealed to us the Pope's telephone number. It is: "Et cum spirtu-tu-oh." hahaha.)

Monday, November 10, 2008


Click here to find out how to get your 2008 Victory T-shirt:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008


Catholic Charities USA sent a congratulatory letter to President-elect Obama yesterday; the contents are included below:

November 5, 2008

Dear President-elect Obama,

As president of Catholic Charities USA, let me congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the United States. You have inspired many people through this historic election.

We at Catholic Charities USA look forward to working with you to alleviate the need of so many of our fellow citizens. For over 280 years we have provided human services on this continent. Last year we served over 8 million people. We have done so in partnership both with the government and private sector. I know that you share our commitment to these "least among us" and I hope that we can continue to work together to empower people to overcome the bondage of poverty.

Be assured of our prayers for the success of your leadership so that God will grant you wisdom and strength for the enormous responsibility that you now assume. As you know, our Biblical roots call us to build a land of justice and peace where the disenfranchised will be valued and find opportunity. We stand ready to work with you in that endeavor.

My sincere congratulations!

Fr. Larry Snyder

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI Congratulates Barack Obama on His Election

Pope sends congratulatory message to Obama

Pope Benedict XVI sent a personal message to President-elect Barack Obama yesterday, congratulating him and offering his prayers for Obama and for all the people of the United States.

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, Vatican spokesman, said the pope congratulated President Elect Obama, his wife and family, and "assured him of his prayers that God would help him with his high responsibilities for his country and for the international community." The pope also prayed that "the blessing of God would sustain him and the American people so that with all people of good will they could build a world of peace, solidarity and justice." Asked if the pope mentioned any specific issues he was concerned about, Father Lombardi responded, "peace, solidarity and justice." The message to Obama was sent through the office of Mary Ann Glendon, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, also sent a message of congratulations. Plans are already underway at the Vatican to send a formal message for the Inauguration in January in addition to the Holy Father's personal message of yesterday. In past years, the Vatican custom has been that the pope congratulates a new U.S. president only when he formally takes office, so there was great appreciation for the Holy Father taking the special step of sending a personal message of good wishes.

Others joined with the Holy Father and Cardinal Betrone in sending positive messages about the election. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, headlined a very positive commentary saluting the President Elect, entitled "A choice that unites." Vatican Radio called the election of Obama a "historic day" for the United States. Asianews, a Rome-based missionary news agency, ran under the headline: "I'm happy for the victory of Barack Obama." Written by Father Piero Gheddo, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, the commentary listed three reasons for satisfaction at the result:-- Obama will give a positive impression of the United States at a time when "America is seen in a bad light and even hated throughout the world."-- The election of the first black U.S. president offers a lesson on racial equality, especially for Europe. It is an extraordinarily encouraging sign for black people around the world, who have often faced humiliation, it said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

"People are coming together around a simple truth - that we are all connected, that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper. And that it's not enough to just believe this - we have to do our part to make it a reality"

- Senator Barack Obama, A Politics of Conscience, June 23, 2007, Hartford CT

The day is here. Americans have the wonderful opportunity to elect the leader of our nation. We believe that Barack Obama and Joe Biden present the better option. We will soon see if the American citizenry and the Catholic faithful agree with us.

But, let us remember that in the end, we have four very honorable and decent people seeking the top offices of our nation. Our disagreements with Senator McCain and Governor Palin are on many of their policy positions. There are even some matters where we believe they have the better position than Senator Obama. Senator McCain is a hero to us. He had led a life that has shown great love of our nation. Governor Palin is a true reformer who took on corruption in her own party.

It is a wonderful thing for a free people to govern themselves. America is blessed to have four very patriotic and able people. We are voting for Obama, but whatever the outcome, God has already shown His favor and love to our great country. God bless America. May God preserve the Republic. And may Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, continue to intercede for our native land.

Grant, O Lord, heavenly rest to the soul of Madelyn "Toot" Dunham and may light perpetual shine upon her.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Sunday

It was an interesting Sunday, right before the election. Our friends at Catholics United have launched a national campaign to protect the faith by preventing the distribution of unauthorized material on church property, particularly church parking lots. An extremist Republican who is also a priest has been caught on tape telling his political operatives to violate the authority of the canonical pastor of a parish if he forbade material in the parking lot. From the reports I have heard, Catholics United has had success.

However, where I am volunteering, our pro-life Democratic congressional candidate planned to distribute materials in church parking lots. I had some unease about it for the same reasons Catholics United has. However, I don't find it unacceptable to have an open forum. Since when I arrived at the church lot the Republican were already there, I felt it was acceptable to distribute our material. Being tardy also allowed me to put our Democratic fliers on top of the GOP ones, giving us the better visibility when Mass goers returned to their car.

I made a point to say hello to the two Republican volunteers from whom I was not far behind. They were friendly, kind and civil. I made a joke to one of them "well, folks will have lots to read after Mass!"


Well, not that dramatic. A police officer pulled up to my Republican friend and told her to stop distributing fliers. He cited an anti-littering ordinance. He later spoke to me and made the same point, nicely and politely. My Republican friend and I both chatted briefly. She was unhappy and felt she had a First Amendment right to be distributing, but we both decided not to question the officer's authority. I would not be surprised if the parish made a request to the police department.

Now, I am a loyal Democrat and no fool. I hung around for a while to make sure my Republican friends didn't come back after the police and I had left. Sure enough, another guy showed up and started passing around brochures. I took the ones he left on my car. It was two of the pamphlets the right wing nut case Randall Terry and his Operation Rescue produced. The theme was that it was a sin for a Catholic to vote for Barack Obama.

My Democratic colleagues and I pondered what we should do. Resume distribution? Take them off the cars? Call the police?

In examining the brochure, we consulted with a long standing member of the parish and our superiors at Headquarters. All of us agreed that we should do nothing to impede their distribution. The Randall Terry pamphlets were so wonderfully inflammatory we were all convinced they would backfire. We even considered helping to distribute them!!!! (but did not).

The lack of civility by some of our opponents is frustrating and can be hurtful. It is comforting to remember, however, that all evidence is that the public rejects this type of rhetoric. Those who engage in it only hurt their cause and help ours.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Obama Continues Lead With Catholic Vote

Obama Winning the Catholic Vote

Republican Outreach to Catholics Falls Flat

Surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press show that Catholics are saying the support Barack Obama over John McCain by a margin of 54% to 34% - a twenty point lead. The survey was taken October 23-26. This is a remarkable advance from the September 9=14 survey which had the Catholic vote as 45% Obama, 44% McCain. All of you who have volunteered with your parish or diocese Catholics for Obama organization have done great work, producing these stunning results.

Even among white, non-Hispanic Catholics, the support for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has grown, taking him from a 13-percentage-point deficit in late September to an 8-point lead in late October.

The Pew data shows the largest part of the shift was among white Catholic independents, with only modest changes among white Catholics who identify as Republicans or Democrats. Independents are the voters one would expect to shift the most in the midst of a presidential campaign.

This suggests that the Catholic outreach efforts for McCain has been effective at keeping Republican Catholics on board, but a disaster when it comes to reaching out to politically independent Catholics. Fortunately for the Democrats, these hard conservatives Catholics are not known for self-criticism so we can count on them making the same mistakes in the future, alienating rather than winning votes.

John Green, Senior Fellow in Religion and American Politics, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life was asked how has Obama, a black Protestant, succeeded with white Catholics in 2008 in a way that Sen. John Kerry, a white Catholic, did not when he was the Democratic nominee in 2004? Green responded:

I think there are some special things about the Obama campaign that may be contributing to this white Catholic shift and may, in fact, lead to white Catholics giving Obama a majority on Election Day. Obama talks much more comfortably about his faith than Kerry did during the 2004 campaign. And Obama talks about it in a way that connects in a fairly straightforward fashion to Catholic social teachings on economic issues. And if one adds other issues that Obama has championed, such as opposition to the war in Iraq, there are a number of key points that white Catholics may find very cogent on religious grounds.

A final difference between 2004 and 2008 may be the more intensive campaigning within the Catholic community on behalf of Obama. New organizations, such as the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, have been very active alongside older groups, such as Pax Christi and Catholics for Choice. The revival of a “religious left” in national politics has been an important feature of the 2008 campaign.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Letter from the Murphy's

October 20,2008

Dear Friends,

In the interests of helping expedite a new demand by the McCain campaign, per Rich Davis who today on MSNB's "Morning Joe" show alleged that "enough questions have been raised by the media that "all of Obama's small donors should be disclosed online", my husband and I have decided to step forward and add ourselves to the GOP Hit list the McCain campaign is apparently compiling for use after the election.

My husband and I are Disability Advocates and Adoptive Parents of Special Needs Children, Catholic and Evangelical Christian, Pro-life with the scars to prove it ---particularly on behalf of youth and adults with disabilities, and we are definitely "small" donors but we have strong feelings about this election, enough that we have committed ourselves and our resources to Sen. Obama, Sen. Biden, and the entire Democratic campaign straight on toward morning !!!

We have so, so many friends in the adoption, disability, and Christian communities who will be shocked and horrified at that statement ---and we expect backlash from those who choose to judge rather than listen to our reasons---but in the words of Edmund Burke:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Once upon a time ---actually only 7 weeks or so ago, we had a great deal of respect for Sen. McCain and were pleasantly surprised by his choice of running mate, Sarah Palin, because of our deep respect for Nat Hentoff, one of the strongest voices for life among liberal and social justice journalists, and a friend who had helped us "make the injustice visible" on disability rights concerns in the "lives-worth-living"/euthanasia debate, who believed her choice to birth, keep and raise her child with Down Syndrome was one of principle rather than convenient and cynical politics.

For one shining moment, we actually believed America would be in safe hands no matter which party prevailed in the election! THEN she and Sen. McCain began their Hate-Speech tirades ----and outright Lies repeated over and over without regard to the facts---followed by Race-baiting, Incitement of Crowds to Violent Rhetoric, Vicious Robo-Calls and GOP Hate Literature calling for "Waterboarding" Obama if not outright assassination appeals, and now intentional Voter Intimidation (what else can you call McCain protesters verbally assaulting peaceful lines of Black US citizens waiting for their chance to vote Sunday afternoon so they don't have to take off work during the week---Just Yesterday! In North Carolina!).

As an Attorney with 25 years experience, even though presently a Full-Time Mom, I am horrified reading the history of the Palin involvement in an anti-America militia-based Secessionist movement, let alone the Troopergate reports and documents chronicling the family's total disregard for the Law, let alone Ethical Considerations, in their systematic and intentional Abuse of Power to target their personal enemies by misuse of governmental resources and connections.

When a major candidate, Sen. John McCain, and his campaign chooses to bless behavior that consists of FIRING SOMEONE BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO BREAK THE LAW FOR THEM, as Gov. Palin obviously did, we have reached the heights of hypocrisy as well as the depths of potential "just following orders" evil as did the Nazis.

And how dare a War Hero such as McCain choose a running mate who mayor may not even be able to pledge allegiance to our flag, let alone promise to uphold the US Constitution, whose expressed intentions include allowing her husband (whose public 7 year plus membership in an anti-American organization committed to "infiltrating" the major parties makes most national security clearance out of the question) to fully participate in a McCain-Palin administration of expanded Cheney type Vice-Presidential command, and who would be merely a heartbeat/or declaration of incapacity away from the Presidency and full control of our military, including nuclear arsenals.

Furthermore, contrary to Sen. McCain's *SERIOUSLY INSULTING TO THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY* declaration that "she knows more than any other American I know about special needs" (which just reinforces the evidence of how Out of Touch he has become!), Sarah Palin has NO expertise in this field; she even cut Alaska Special Olympics budgets by 50% or more during her very first months as Governor!!! Using her handy special needs newborn as a stageprop "poster child" to attract gullible parents' votes ( instead of making sure Trig receives the care, environmental stability, bonding love for attachment, nurture, early intervention, protection from stress, plenty of rest, and non-exposure to high-decibel noise at rallies, let alone potential exposure to contagious disease, that he needs and deserves) leads many to question her parenting priorities as well as her obvious lack of credibility on the subject of special needs.

Sen. McCain DISHONORS the entire disability rights movement, from the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, to Education of All Handicapped Children's Act of 1978 (now IDEA –Individuals with Disabilities Education Act),to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, when he and Sarah Palin pander for the "special needs community" votes while patronizing and insulting the intelligence of the grassroots network of self-advocates, parents, family members, allies, dedicated professionals and other disability advocates who risked and sacrificed to free their brothers and sisters from lifetimes of institutionalization and isolation from society.

My husband, a Life-Long Disability Advocate with extensive legal advocacy and legislative experience since the 70s, deeply fears the type of retaliation and discrimination he, and anyone else choosing to exercise their First Amendment Rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, will suffer under a McCain-Palin regime. We and our special needs children already have enough obstacles to overcome, thank you, without fearing that even our disability and special needs adoption advocacy and community participation as citizens will not go unpunished.

Oh, you say, that could never happen! Well, you are wrong, it has and it can again! Not only have I spent half my life defending my choice to convert to Catholicism from terrible attacks by Christian evangelicals whose actual statements of faith are nearly identical, if not the same, as my own; but I, as Executive Director of Access International, Inc. since 1990 (a disability advocacy fellowship of youth and adults with and without disabilities working together to help each other and others) have received actual written Death Threats from "Right to Lifers" (ie: National Right to Life Association members and donors) whose agenda is anti-abortion EXCEPT for babies with special needs, and anti-life itself for all those "cripples" whose lives are worthless and "unproductive".

We live in VERY DANGEROUS TIMES!!! By the grace of God, we have a Last Chance to redeem our nation from the brink of further international wars and catastrophic economic collapse by choosing a candidate committed to Leadership instead of authoritarian and partisan domination; offering Hope for peace and prosperity instead of hate, division and abandonment of the poor for the enrichment of the wealthy; Celebrating the incredible Diversity of the American dream instead of merely tolerating, or even more often condemning, anyone who is different in color, race, ethnic background, faith, lifestyle or intellectual or physical ability. As for LIFE ISSUES: how can I as a Catholic or my husband as a Christian Evangelical vote against someone who claims to be Pro-Life? Pretty easy when you see through the claims, to the reality that lies beneath.

The so-called "right to life" advocates oppose comprehensive Health Care as a Right for all, and until our nation can provide for the medical and rehabilitative needs of all its citizens equitably, the blood of every person who has died or suffered by being turned away or denied benefits will be on their hands ---let alone the blood of every child aborted by birthparents because they could not, in their minds, afford to carry a special needs baby to term or afford the costs of additional health care, even for a typical child, if they added to their family.

And what about our escalating infant mortality rates in the US? Pera report in the Washington Post on October 15th, the United States "this most powerful and wealthiest country in the history of the world today ranks 29th among all nations. 29th! In 2000, we ranked 27th.

In 1960, 12th." Even more glaring, according to the CDC, African–American infant mortality in the US is more than twice these national averages!

And then we have another 4,000 plus American lives (not to mention our allies' losses, Iraqi losses and innocent civilians) lost in Iraq alone because of Lies by Bush-Cheney, with no likelihood of significantly different national defense strategies anytime soon under the 90% Bush-voting Sen. McCain; and another 40-50,000+ US veterans returning with serious disabilities, whose medical and rehabilitation needs are often barely being met, if at all, and for whom independent living and community options are few and far between due to 5-10 year long waiting lists for help.

Recent statistics from Disabled Veterans of America (2.9 million veterans are disabled; about 181,000 from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars) indicate that Sen. Obama has supported their concerns 80% of the time, as opposed to 20% of the time by Sen. McCain, who has consistently opposed increased funding for medical care from the Veteran's Administration, at one point being only one of 13 Senators to do so in a 2006 vote.

Caring for others throughout their lives is also often tragically overlooked by a "pro-life" movement that demands protection for the unborn, yet often ignores the needs of our 500,000 foster children, roughly 150,000 adoptable special needs children, warehoused in various degrees of state-supervised limbo instead of being nurtured and loved in permanent families; not to mention the growing numbers of homeless men, women and children in our "great nation" which prides itself on tax-credits for the rich.

As Christians who take Christ at his word when he says to follow Him in ministering to the "poorest of the poor" rather than those whose treasures are earthly, we agree with Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Nigeria as he explained in an October 11 interview with National Catholic Reporter:

"The fact that you oppose abortion doesn't necessarily mean that you are pro-life. You can be anti-abortion and still be killing people by the millions, through war, through poverty, and so on...If my choice is between the person who makes room for abortion but who is really pro-life in terms of justice in the world, peace in the world, I will prefer him to somebody who doesn't support abortion but who is driving millions of people in the world to death."

As Disability Advocates, we must agree with Justin Dart, one of the fathers of the Americans With Disabilities Act, who in 2002 with his dying breath adamantly protested : "the richest culture in the history of the world which still incarcerates millions of humans with and without disabilities in barbaric institutions, backrooms and worse, windowless cells of oppressive perceptions, for the lack of the most elementary empowerment supports."

Please decide today to join us in supporting Sen. Barack Obama for President, Sen. Joe Biden for Vice-President, Sen. Tom Udall for New Mexico's next Senator, and ALL the Democrats who share their Vision for America WITH JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!

And who will endorse the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, "the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century", which has already been ratified by more than 110 nations across the world, but NOT the United States of America.

The time has come for Americans to join in making their decisions of conscience, just as others who have gone before: In 1996, confronted by a Republican Party calling for "a retreat from Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln democracy," Dart campaigned for the re-election of President Clinton. This was a personally difficult "decision of conscience." Dart had been a Republican for most of his life, and had organized the disability constituency campaigns of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush, campaigning against Clinton in 1992. But in a turnabout that was reported in the New York Times and the Washington Post, Dart went all out for Clinton, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The Darts yet again undertook a whirlwind tour of the country, telling people to "get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does." At his speech the day after the election, President Clinton publicly thanked Dart for personally campaigning in all fifty states, and cited his efforts as "one reason we won some of those states."We want to personally echo Justin's words as we endorse the Obama-Biden candidacy for the Presidency of the United States:

"Our lives, our children's lives, the quality of the lives of billions in future generations hangs in the balance."And"get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does."

Thank you for listening! Please will all the rest of the "small donors" for Obama step forward here to state their cases as well!

Perhaps that way the GOP Hit list will end up so long they won't be able to target everyone.

Very TRULY yours,

Lawrence & Patti Murphy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Catholics for Obama Website

Catholic Democrats has launched a new Web site Catholics for Obama. It provides a petition for Catholics to sign and a booklet, The Catholic Case for Obama, by the eminent Catholic layman Patrick Whelan, MD PhD, with a preface by Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

I would highly recommend this Web site, which provides a comprehensive resource for Catholics to better understand how Senator Obama and the policies he supports best reflect Catholic Social Teaching.

At the Web site, you will have the opportunity to sign a petition endorsing Senator Obama's candidacy for President. Signing the petition will add your name to thousands of other Catholics who are putting themselves forward as witnesses to our enthusiasm as Catholics for the election of Barack Obama.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Message from Martin Sheen

Reflection on Faith and Politics by Catholic Actor Supporting Obama
Martin Sheen, star of The West Wing and a devout Catholic, sat down with the Matthew 25 Network to discuss his Catholic upbringing in Dayton, Ohio, the influence of faith in politics and his support for Senator Obama.

You can listen to Martin Sheen's video message here:

We hope you will take the time to view the extended interviews on faith and politics with Martin Sheen and Doug Kmiec, former Reagan legal counsel and author of Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama. All the interviews are posted on the Matthew 25 Network website.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Polls Show Obama Lead Due to Catholic Vote

New opinion polls show not only a respectable lead for Barack Obama, but that much of the lead is due to the strong preference of Catholic voters for Obama. A Zogby poll released Friday (a firm usually thought to favor Republicans) shows a 10 point national lead for Obama. Among Catholic voters, the lead zooms to a 22 point advantage. Non-evangelical white Protestants give Obama a 4 point lead. White Evangelical or "born-again" voters back McCain by 60 per cent to 34 per cent for Mr Obama.

The poll follows one by the Pew Foundation that shows the same results. Currently, every significant national poll shows Obama in the lead among the general public and with Catholic voters. A run down includes: Diageo/Hotline (+7), ABC News (+11), Kos (+8), Gallup (+6), Tarrance (+3), IBP (+1), CBS News (+13) and Greenberg (+8). Of course, the only poll that counts is the one on election day. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN!

Friday, October 24, 2008

EWTN: "McCain is Not Pro-Life"

EWTN clearly has a conservative tilt. So it is quite remarkable that they firmly assert that John McCain is not pro-life. See it for yourselves.

EWTN "on abortion John McCain's position is not consistent with Catholic teaching"

Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor in Chief, CNS News Service, interviewed on EWTN:
"On abortion John McCain's view is not consistent with Catholic teaching."
A lot of McCain for President Catholics are in some sort of denial.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bill Donohue Prepares for the Padded Room

Right Wing Catholic Bill Donohue Appears to Go Totally Nuts
Has near breakdown as Catholic vote speeds towards Obama

Bill Donohue, hard right political activist and head of the "Catholic League" (unrelated to any official arm of the Catholic Church) has practically descended into a fit of nonsensical rage as millions of lay Catholics prepare to vote to make Barack Obama our next president.

Donohue, who regularly spews rage to the degree he makes Rush Limbaugh look like a policy analyst for the Brooking Institution, has reached the bonkers level.

On October 20, Donohue practiced his favorite sport of putting out press releases intemperately defending the right wing cause. On this occasion he had a fit over two Catholic organizations (Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good) receiving contributions from the Open Society Fund.

Donohue snarled: "Why would any Catholic organization take money from a man like George Soros? Because legitimate sources of revenue aren't available? And why would Soros have any interest in funding Catholic groups? He doesn't give the Catholic League any money."

As it turns out many Catholic organizations receive support from the Open Society Fund, including Catholic Charities, several dioceses and other episcopally approved and officially church connected organizations. True, it might not meet Donohue's definition of giving to a Catholic group -- namely his own nutzoid organization.

Faced with looking like an absolute fool, Donohue came back with a lame response that “Unlike the three Catholic organizations cited by Korzen, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance are apologists for abortion."

Neither of these groups supports abortion, as they repeatedly have stated. Pressed for some thin thread of evidence that these groups are pro-abortion, Donohue whined he could not find a statement from them supporting legislation to ban partial birth abortion. Actually, both of these groups were founded after the law banning partial birth abortion was signed into law.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

'Catholic Right' in Near Meltdown

Tough Times for the Catholic Right

by Chris Korzen

Right wing Catholic groups celebrated earlier this month when Scranton bishop Joseph Martino ordered his priests to read a letter at Mass tacitly proclaiming that it was immoral for Catholics to vote for Obama. Things have been going south for them ever since.

These organizations - groups like Bill Donohue's Catholic League, Deal Hudson's, Fidelis, and Catholic Answers - had hoped this year for a reprise of 2004, when independent Catholic voters propelled Bush to victory in Ohio. Once again, they dumped millions into advertising and media campaigns in an attempt to convince Catholics that abortion is the overriding issue at the ballot box.

But this time around, the faithful aren't buying it. According to the polls, Catholics have consistently named the economy as the number one concern affecting their votes this year. As E.J. Dionne wrote in his Washington Post column yesterday, "Catholics, who are quintessential swing voters and gave narrow but crucial support to President Bush in 2004, are drifting toward Barack Obama. And this time, some church leaders are suggesting that single-issue voting is by no means a Catholic commandment." Indeed, this week both Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gambino Zavala and Memphis Bishop J. Terry Steib cautioned against approaches to Catholic voting that overlook key social justice concerns.

Like so many things, saying that a candidate's position on abortion makes him or her unfit for the Catholic vote works better in theory than practice. The Catholic right's message loses its effectiveness when voters realize it uses the same logic that impelled Catholic voters to re-elect Bush in 2004 - whose presidency turned out to be a disaster for Catholic values and the nation as a whole. Republican apologists like Deal Hudson conveniently avoid this recent history. But as Melinda Henneberger points out on, Catholic voters in Pennsylvania remember all-too-well the past eight years.

A subtle but key shift in the Democrats' abortion messaging has played a key role in changing the Catholic political landscape. While continuing to affirm its traditional pro-choice legal stance, under Obama's leadership the party has embraced abortion reduction measures that provide health care, child care, education, and other essential supports for vulnerable pregnant women. Despite criticism from the right, it's a message that resonates remarkably well with the swing electorate - Catholic or otherwise. Obama's independent voter dials hit the roof when he answered the abortion question in the third debate; McCain's flatlined.

The Catholic right is also flummoxed by a resurgence of Catholic organizing around social justice issues like war, health care, and the economy. Groups such as Pax Christi USA, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United have a long way to go before they match the money, members, and infrastructure of the right's machine. Nonetheless, they have managed to keep up with their competition this year, reaching millions of Catholics through TV and radio ads, direct mail pieces, phone banks, and local press coverage. "Progressive Catholics have finally gotten their act together," Brian St. Paul, editor of Crisis Magazine and told Religion News Service's Daniel Burke this month. "They are more organized and effective. Certainly they are a force."

In an outrageous display of just how desperate the right has become, Catholic League president William Donohue seized this week on "shocking" revelations that Catholics in Alliance had received grant money from George Soros' Open Society Institute. Right wing media organizations like InsideCatholic, Catholic News Agency, and fell over themselves to report on this "evidence" that the group promotes a left-wing anti-Catholic agenda, only to find, embarrassingly, that OSI supports an agenda often very much in line with Catholic teaching, and has funded programs of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and many dioceses of the Catholic Church. It was not one of the right's finer moments.

The Catholic right isn't on the ropes quite yet. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported on the movement's redoubled efforts to sway Pennsylvania Catholic voters over the abortion issue, and it will be back to make a splash in the 2010 and 2012 elections - especially if the economy turns around. Regardless of who wins on November 4th, however, it's likely the Catholic right won't be able to claim victory - a remarkable turn of events from four years ago.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Bishops Speak Out Against One Issue Voting

Bishop of Memphis Calls on Catholics Not to be One Issue Voters

The Most Rev. J. Terry Steib, Bishop of Memphis, called upon Catholics to avoid being one issue voters. He asked them to follow their consciences and weigh all the moral issues they face before casting their ballots.

“We must recognize,” he wrote, “that God through the Church, is calling us to be prophetic in our own day. If our conscience is well formed, then we will make the right choices about candidates who may not support the Church's position in every case.”

Citing words from a statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” a voting guide issued last November by the Bishops of the United States, Steib wrote that "there may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible o nly for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil."

“A person might choose not to vote, but voting is a necessary part of our witness to Jesus Christ and a witness to our Baptism. So, sometimes hard choices will have to be made.”

Steib wrote that within the past few weeks some denominations have taken on the task of challenging the policy of the IRS concerning the Church and politics and that they were deliberately endorsing candidates and urging people in their congregations to vote for those persons in order to force the IRS to determine if the current policy of forbidding such endorsements is proper.

The Bishop called upon Catholics to be prudent when they form their consciences. “Prudence is not easy to define, but according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prudence helps us to ‘discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.’"
He posed the question facing many Catholics, asking what is a voter to do when presented with candidates whose views do not reflect the full teachings of the Church.

Bishop Steib's statement that Catholics should not be one issue voters was also proclaimed this week by the Most Rev. Gabino Zavala, a Roman Catholic bishop in California.

Bishop Zavala "What I believe, and what the church teaches, is that one abortion is too many. That's why I believe abortion is so important. But in light of this, there are many other issues we need to bring up, other issues we should consider, other issues that touch the reality of our lives."

The full text of Bishop Steib's statement is here:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Should Catholics Trust McCain on Abortion?

Kari Lundgren, the Franciscan University of Stuebenville Alumna who wrote the earlier piece on Catholics and Obama has another article that might be interest. In it she quotes the exchange in the recent presidential debate in which McCain says:

SCHIEFFER: Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn't. Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: I would never and have never in all the years I've been there imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court. That's not appropriate to do.

SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?

MCCAIN: I thought it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of decisions that were bad. I think that decisions should rest in the hands of the states. I'm a federalist. And I believe strongly that we should have nominees to the United States Supreme Court based on their qualifications rather than any litmus test...I voted for Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences when presidents are nominated. This is a very important issue we're talking about.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Catholic College Hosts Election Discussion

What’s the role of Catholic social teaching and the common good in the 2008 presidential election?

Come watch a re-broadcast of the final presidential debate and join a lively moderated discussion examining how candidates’ positions would impact the common good raised up by Catholic social tradition.We will also look at Maryknoll’s election reflection guide, “Loving our neighbor in a shrinking world” which presents five areas of U.S. foreign policy crucial to the well being of people around the world.

(Guide available at

Trinity Social Hall (Main Hall)
125 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC
Saturday, October 25,
1-5 p.m.1-2:30 p.m. – Replay of Oct. 15 presidential debate
3-5 p.m. – Discussion moderated by Kathy McNeely, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC), and Lou Maroulis, Maryknoll Affiliate

Co-sponsored by Trinity University (Washington) Campus Ministry

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Presidential candidate Barack Obama has come out in agreement with the U.S. Catholic bishops on the important issue of health care coverage. Senator Obama agrees with the Church leaders that health care "should be a right for every American."

The Catholic bishops have called health care a "fundamental human right" and an "urgent national priority." The Catholic Church in the USA has supported universal health care longer than any other social actor, going back to 1919 -- before even the American Federation of Labor or the Socialist Party endorsed it.

Senator Obama's position is long standing. As an Illinois state senator, Obama introduced the “Bernardin Amendment,” which would have inserted language from a pastoral letter by the late Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin into a universal health care program. The amendment contained Cardinal Bernardin’s teaching: “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for society to ensure that every person is able to realize that right.” The bill, which did not pass, was to be funded with money taken from tobacco companies.

The Senator does not support a government run program like in the UK. His health care plan relies on economies of scale, based on large numbers of people choosing to enroll in the same kind of health insurance plan that covers the U.S. Congress if they are unhappy with their current coverage or don't have any. It leaves an importan trole for Catholic and other faith based health care providers.

McCain's plan is to tax employer sponsored health care and would result, in the opinion of many experts, with the end of broad insurance plans but with families paying most of their costs out of pocket. Dr. Patrick Whelan, a respected Catholic layman and leader of Catholic Democrats said "Sen. McCain's plan to tax employee health benefits just like all other income is a radical experiment that could result in an additional 20 million working people losing the health insurance they currently have."

Monday, October 13, 2008


"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign-policy issues. I still need to be educated"

-- John McCain (4/09/08).

"The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have, he won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately"

-- John McCain (10/13/08).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Early Returns from Rome Look Good for Obama!

From Rome: Archbishop and Nun Speak Out for Barack Obama

Sister Cecilia Gaudette, an American citizen living in a convent in Rome, has registered to vote and says she will vote for Democrat Barack Obama. "I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she says. "I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern," she adds. Sister says she is very hopeful for world peace. Sister might also be Senator Obama's oldest supporter. She is 106 years old. May God keep her well!

I thank Fran for alterting us to the statement of Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, that he would “obviously” vote for Barack Obama if he could cast a ballot on Nov. 4. The Archbishop also stated that if Obama was elected "it would have a good impact for the United States on the rest of the world. It would mean that for the first time, we would begin to think that the Americans are really serious in the things they say about freedom and equality and all that."

The Archbishop is currently in Rome for the World Synod of Bishops. He is the primary spokesman for the African bishops.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Democratic faithful tour Ohio citing party values

Obama Faith Tour Reaches Ohio

Effort seeks to spread its message of service to people of every faith

Summit County Councilman Frank Comunale wore a Catholics for Obama button and listened intently as [Pro-life former Congressman Tim ]Roemer described Obama as a man who lives out his faith by what he does.

''I'm a person of faith and in the true sense of Catholic social teaching, Barack Obama and Joe Biden resonate with the things that are most sacred to me — protecting and educating children, instilling them with hope and faith and being zealous about protecting them their whole lives,'' Comunale said. ''When he's elected president, we will have the first community organizer in the White House.''

In addition to Roemer, the tour includes conversations with Catholic Pepperdine University professor Doug Kmiec and evangelical leader Don Miller, who spent time at Kenyon College in Gambier; Denison University in Granville; Ohio State University and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware on Thursday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain Campaign Getting Ugly

Cultivating Prejudice, Racism, Fear and Ugliness.

The McCain campaign is on the ropes, and sadly it's no surprise they're responding with attacks and outright lies. Some pretty unspeakable things have been said in the past few days -- deeply offensive smears that we'll hear over and over again until Election Day. John McCain and Governor Palin are setting a new low in presidential politics with their dishonorable campaign.

Some of the comments by McCain supporters are not things for the faint-hearted. At a campaign rally in Ohio with Sarah Palin, one supporter make the clearly racist remark that "Obama has the bloodlines of a terrorist."

At a Clearwater, Florida rally with Sarah Palin, one supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

At another rally, a McCain supporter called out "kill him" akin to the crowd in Jerusalem asking for Barabbas' release (so much for pro-life).

In Wisconsin, supporters at a rally with McCain used obscene gestures. A man having a temper fit was applauded by the crowd.

One commentator noted that "If [McCain strategist] Steve Schmidt and the other architects of this increasingly disgraceful candidacy didn't anticipate such an outpouring of violent, racist bile, they are imbeciles. If they did, they are worse."

The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen writes: "McCain/Palin have reached a point where they have to decide whether whipping right-wing activists into a frenzy, based solely on lies, is the responsible way to seek national office. The Republican candidates are not literally calling for violence against their political rivals, but they're nevertheless standing by, saying nothing, while their supporters are shouting words like 'kill,' 'terrorist,' and 'treason' at their rallies. And given that this rage-filled hatred is in direct response to the McCain/Palin campaign lying to their supporters, now would be the ideal time for these candidates to take a look in the mirror and consider the consequences of a relentlessly negative, breathtakingly dishonest, anger-driven campaign."

John Cole observed: "The base is reacting. Whipped into a froth by their venomous cheerleading vice-jingoist in chief, a self-styled pitbull in heels, they are now shouting 'treason' and 'traitor' and even getting one fellow inspired enough to yell 'kill him."

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates says: "[McCain and Palin] should be shook by the people they're attracting. We are getting a good look at the elements of the base now. These are not people just posting anonymously in internet forums -- these are people who literally believe Obama is a terrorist and showing up at rallies. [McCain and Palin] need to watch what they say. Somewhere, slumbering in this country, there are men who aren't clued in that this whole 'terrorist' thing is mere strategy. They have guns, and all their lives they've wanted to be famous. Don't give them a reason. This is still America. We are never that far from the past."

Blogger Jack Turner writes: "I was at Obama's rally at Independence Square in Philadelphia back in April. When he mentioned Hillary Clinton's name, the crowd booed, and he told them to stop. Barack Obama intervened when his supporters booed his opponent. He called for civility. Yet, when faced with supporters who label senators terrorists and call for their assassination, John McCain and Sarah Palin said nothing. This is how evil spreads, from domestic violence to genocide. People in a position to stop it choose to do nothing."

and "Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. [...] Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness. America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now."

As Catholics for Obama - Biden, this is a time for us more than ever to turn to the comfort of our faith and prayer. We need to respond to this hatred with love. We need to seek strength from prayer -- the Daily Office, the Rosary and, above all, Holy Mass -- and from meditation on Scripture and the spiritual works of the Church Fathers.

It is likely to get worse in the coming days. But the answer is to return hate with love.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Work Bears Fruit


The efforts of so many faithful Catholics (please see many of the fine organizations linked along the right hand side of this blog) and other people of good will, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have surged to an 11 point lead in the latest poll conducted by 'Faith in Public Life'. 51% of Catholics say they will vote for Obama, with only 40% for McCain. This is 16 points ahead of John Kerry's performance with Catholics four years ago. Among young Catholics (ages 18-34) 55% say they will vote for Obama.

Also interesting in the poll was that while past surveys have consistently found that the Republican Party has been perceived to be more “friendly” to religion, it found that Obama is perceived to be slightly more “friendly” to religion than McCain (49% to 45%).

The increasing Catholic support for Obama has put states such as Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa and Pennsylvania in the category of very likely to vote for Obama. Remaining battleground states with large Catholic populations include New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Nevada.