Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McCain Fumbles With Catholics and Abortion



McCain Campaign Creates Firestorm by Sending ‘Dissenter’ to Speak to Catholics


The McCain campaign created a firestorm by arranging for a conference call with conservative Catholic reporters that had Frank Donatelli, the Deputy Chairman of the Republican National Committee, announcing the campaign’s Catholic outreach plans. Donatelli, contrary to many of the self-described “orthodox" Catholic reporters, believes that supporting a pro-choice candidate is possible for a faithful Catholic.

Sending in a man who is a “dissenter” in the minds of these reporters as well as by the standards set by the editorial policies of their publications was a major faux pas by the McCain campaign. In Donatelli’s case, this is not just a matter of theory. Donatelli claims to be a Catholic but has supported pro-abortion rights candidates on more than a dozen occasions.

Calls to both the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee have gone unreturned, indicating their shame over this potential disaster in their attempt to reach out to conservative Catholics.

The McCain campaign has stumbled several times in attempts to reach out to Catholics. Unlike Senator Obama, McCain seems uncomfortable speaking about his faith and even had problems indicating what denomination he belonged to. He accepted and then rejected the endorsement of an anti-Catholic minister and has done few events to reach out to Catholic voters. The Obama campaign has a Catholic Advisory Committee that meets weekly, a full time Catholic Outreach Director and several devout Catholics working to win over Catholic votes including former Congressman Tim Roemer of Indiana.

Conservative Catholics have had difficulties winning over mainstream Catholic voters to McCain because of such issues as Iraq, justice for the poor and the rights of workers to join unions. McCain’s support for ESCR and allowing the states to decide about gay marriage has not pleased conservative Catholics.

Conservative political operatives have therefore banked on the issue of telling pro-life Catholics they must vote on the abortion issue only and to do otherwise is a sin (currently half of Catholics and one-third of pro-lifers say they plan to vote for Obama). This strategy was not helped by putting Frank Donatelli forward to announce McCain’s Catholic outreach plans.

With one of the highest political operatives in the McCain campaign a Catholic who believes Catholics can support pro-abortion candidates, it is hard to see how this firestorm can be put out.

10 comments:

Rustler45 said...

"With one of the highest political operatives in the McCain campaign a Catholic who believes Catholics can support pro-abortion candidates, it is hard to see how this firestorm can be put out."

Y'all shouldn't have any problem with that. We have "pro-life" Catholics on both sides who are pro-abortion when it's expedient.

You and they both think that you can be a Catholic in good standing and sometimes be pro-abortion or pro-choice.

No wonder the country is in trouble. No one thinks right or logically.


McCain might get my vote, but Obama NEVER.

McCain is truly the lesser of two evils.

Sean said...

We have always known the "its a sin to support a pro-choice candidate" was nothing but a political ploy. Those who said it were never serious. Its about political hackery, not religion.

Rustler45 said...

Sean, since when is it OK to support a pro-choice candidate?

Sean said...

Ask Donatelli and McCain why they think it is ok.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"We have always known the "its a sin to support a pro-choice candidate" was nothing but a political ploy. Those who said it were never serious. Its about political hackery, not religion."

Moreover, it's a theologically incomplete assertion; objections from EWTN and catholic.com, notwithstanting. It is morally evil to support a pro-abortion candidate 'because he's pro-abortion'. You can support a candidate who is pro-abortion for other proportional reasons, even if you disagree with his stance on abortion.

Now I already know someone is going to come in and start making citations from all those sources which assert differently. So I'll jump in ahead and remind folks that the deposit of faith does not rest in EWTN, catholic.com, "your catholic voice," or "priests for life." The deposit of faith rests in the Roman Catholic Church. Nor are those other groups the guardians and teachers of the deposit of faith. The guardians and teachers are the college of bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome.

Roma locuta est and so have the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, despite the contradictory statements of politically-motivated groups with "Catholic-sounding" names who attempt to set up parallel sources of Catholic doctrine.

I think the dominant theme in this blog post is that the constant harping on abortion is nothing more than a red herring that focuses on the emotional and the presumptive sense of the "holier-than-thou" to distract from the many substantial issues that are actually in play this election year. Both McCain and Obama have policy problems in the area of life.

I am going to go out on a limb and assume that all those folks, who keep hyper-ventilating over abortion as if it were in play to the exclusion of all the substantial issues in play, have modest incomes, sufficient healthcare and stable housing. Because I can think of no other reason you would be capable of ignoring the many serious domestic crises this country is facing right now.

sean said...

AMEN!

i respect those who have chosen to vote for mccain because of abortion policy. what i don't respect is those people telling everyone else they must do the same.

John mccain and frank donatelli beleive it is ok to support pro-choice candidates. catholic republican should set their own house in order if they think this is so wrong.

In other words, if saying you are pro-life but voting for someone who is not proves you are insincere in your support for life, then john mccain is not sincerely prolife.

The Lone Ranger said...

"Ask Donatelli and McCain why they think it is ok."

I'm not asking them. I am asking YOU.

sean said...

No, Lone Ranger, it was Rustler45 who asked me....wait....okay, now I understand. Rustler45, Long Ranger, Bob the Bigot, hmmm....

alice said...

Catholicsfordemocracy said regarding the issue of abortion: "Because I can think of no other reason you would be capable of ignoring the many serious domestic crises this country is facing right now."
Surely you can't be serious! If you have no knowledge of the devastation to the lives of women and 4,000 innocent lives that are murdered daily in this country, you need to educate yourself. I encourage you to visit Rachelsvineyard.org., open your heart and read! I am involved with a ministry for those affected by the horrors of abortion. You should not take it so lightly; believing that other social issues hold a candle to this one. One has to be alive first to benefit from solutions to any of the so-called "substantial" issues before us.
You want a good cause? You want to support the poor? Stop racism?(black women are the biggest victims of abortion) End abuse to women and their babies? Support education? How about protecting poor women, black women, and girls who are victimized minors who are targeted by PPP and politicians like Obama who support abortion at all costs and seek to make it more available?
It is shameful that anyone who calls himself a man in this culture of death supports this industry and fails to defend the most innocent among us. But Obama is steeped in black liberation theology (as Catholics, you really need to understand what that means) and one can understand that he thinks this is morally acceptable (as in he doesn’t know any better). I can’t find one reason for a Catholic to think so or worse support someone whose goal is to support the abortion industry at the cost of women, their babies.
And by the way; EWTN and those other sources you find so offensive can simply be bypassed. Go directly to Our Holy Father. In a 2006 address, Pope Benedict XVI said:
"As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today: the protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family — as a union between one man and one woman based on marriage…; and the protection of the rights of parents to educate their children."
And this: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
And there is always the CCC: 2270-2274
I think I’ll follow the Holy Father and the Majesterium on this one. Somehow a group supporting Obama is not the go-to place to find the truth of Catholic theology. I do not plan to loose my soul for someone who has already sold his to political ambition.

Betty said...

If you have no knowledge of the devastation to the lives of women and 4,000 innocent lives that are murdered daily in this country...

4,000 abortions a day is a tragedy. And this after eight years of Geroge W. Bush. Two terms from Bush, six years of which with his party in control of both houses of Congress, and with 7 out of 9 Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans. And still we have 4,000 abortions a day.

Bill Clinton's Administration saw abortions decline from 5,600/day under George H.W. Bush to 4,000. Under George W. Bush, the drop off under Clinton has stopped.

Alice, it can no longer be said with any honestly or credability that voting Republican stops abortions.