Wednesday, November 7, 2012

OBAMA RE-ELECTED; WINS CATHOLIC VOTE AGAIN



Our first and most fundamental freedom is the right to self-governance.  For all its shortcomings, democracy protects liberty better than any alternative, something the Catholic bishops did not accept in Spain, 1936. 

For all of the negative ads, comments, postings, and rants as well as the oft offered claim that we are choosing the lesser of two evils, in fact we had two very honorable and decent men running for President.  Governor Romney's concession speech was gracious and in keeping with the best traditions of our Republic.  And the President was very kind (as well as accurate) in noting that not only has Governor Romney contributed to the betterment of our nation, but also his parents, George and Lenore. 

God bless America.  God bless the President.  Best wishes to Governor Romney.  And please remember in your prayers the departed souls, especially George and Lenore Romney. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden: Catholics for Obama

Thursday, November 1, 2012

MY DAY IN CLEVELAND




OHIO CATHOLICS NOT SHOWING INTEREST IN OBAMA BASHING

Being a holyday, I took a break from campaign work for the President's re-election to go to Mass here in Cleveland.  Nothing inappropriately political at the Mass, thanks be to God.  The dioceses of Ohio have generally been good in not politicizing the liturgy, earning them the wrath of the Right-Wing, some of whom have been sending nasty letters to the bishop.

Coming into the church, however, was a guy passing out a "Pro-Life Ballot" published by Ohio Right to Life.  You might be interested to know that opposing congressional redistricting reform is a pro-life issue.  It is "anti-life" to take away from politicians the task of drawing their own political boundaries.  Who knew?

I can say that few of the Mass attendees had any interest in the propaganda, some made clear their displeasure.  Some took the materials and quickly discarded it. I "volunteered" to clean up the church and picked up the trash left in the back so no one would mistakenly think this was authorized material.

It is an important lesson that those Catholics committed enough to attend a workday Holyday Mass have little interest in the anti-Obama, partisan propaganda put out by the Right-Wing.

Ohio is looking good.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

POPE CALLS HEALTH CARE A HUMAN RIGHT

Pope Calls Health Care An ‘Inalienable Right,’ Urges World Governments To Provide Universal Coverage

By Alex Seitz-Wald

At an international papal conference on health care yesterday at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholic church leaders said it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.” Saying access to adequate medical care is one of the “inalienable rights” of man, the pope said, “Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions”.

The pope lamented the great inequalities in health care around the globe. While people in many parts of the world aren’t able to receive essential medications or even the most basic care, in industrialized countries there is a risk of “pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism” that leads to “a cult of the body,” the pope said.

“The care of man, his transcendent dignity and his inalienable rights” are issues that should concern Christians, the pope said.

Because an individual’s health is a “precious asset” to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by “dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access.”

In a separate statement, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said, “Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care,” adding that minimal levels of medical care are “a fundamental human right.” “Governments are obligated, therefore, to adopt the proper legislative, administrative and financial measures to provide such care,” the cardinal explained, saying that, “The governments of richer nations with good health care available should practice more solidarity with their own disadvantaged citizens.”

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/11/19/131348/pope-universal-healthcare/?mobile=nc

Sunday, October 28, 2012

MANY CATHOLICS FIND OBAMA TO BE THE PRO-LIFE CANDIDATE



Catholic Republicans often demand that Catholic voters set aside concerns such as worker rights, racial fairness, world peace, social justice and care for the poor to vote solely on the abortion issue.  While many Catholics reject the idea that every other issue needs to be forgotten about, increasingly even when just considering the abortion issue, some Catholics are concluding President Obama is the better candidate.  Mitt Romney has more positions on abortion than fingers on a hand, but most recently said he had no abortion issues on his agenda should be become President.

Professor Charles J. Reid, who teaches law at the Catholic St. Thomas University makes the case that Obama is the pro-life candidate here: 
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-j-reid-jr/catholic-pro-life-and-voting-for-barack-obama_b_2024427.html

And in another article, it is reported many Catholics say President Obama is actually a pro-life hero.


More here:  http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/sexandgender/6501/barack_obama,_pro-life_hero

Polls actually show that a substantial number of pro-lifers are voting for the President.  Romney has also caused concerned among authentic pro-life Americans by his opposition to controlling Mercury and other poisons that cause abortions for pregnant women. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CATHOLIC GROUP ENDORSES OBAMA




Catholics for Common Sense, a grassroots organization of everyday Catholics announced that it is endorsing Barack Obama for president of the United States.

“President Obama’s work digging out of the myriad messes he inherited is impressive. His stimulus package prevented the country from falling into another Great Depression and has helped fuel 31-straight months of job growth. His Affordable Care Act means greater health for all Americans as well as increased financial security for all Americans as the threat of going bankrupt due to sickness is now diminished. His record lowering taxes on small businesses and the middle class is unprecedented. Moreover, all this was accomplished while he was ending the war in Iraq and bringing the most-feared terrorist in the world to justice,” said Catholics for Common Sense board chairman Michael McGonigle.

“Mitt Romney has not presented a coherent vision to the nation. He seems to alternate between extreme-right platitudes and audience pandering that has put him on both sides of many issues – several times each. Above all, though, Mr. Romney’s insistence on returning to the disastrous trickle-down policies of George W. Bush is nothing less than frightening – particularly as it relates to his mathematically impossible tax plan that will balloon the nation’s deficit" McGonigle said.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BISHOPS PRAISE OBAMA FOR HONORING CESAR CHAVEZ



California bishops laud Obama's dedication of national monument to Cesar Chavez

California's Catholic bishops said they were grateful that a President Obama declared a national monument to be dedicated to farmworker labor leader Cesar Chavez, who "was profoundly influenced by Catholic social justice teaching."

Chavez, who co-founded the United Farm Workers union in 1962, "strived to be a good disciple of the Lord Jesus by bringing the kingdom of God to the vineyards, fields and groves of America," they said in a statement released Oct. 3. President Obama led the dedication on Oct. 8.

"Seeing the hard plight of migrant laborers, he became a community organizer in 1952, and eventually the founder of the United Farm Workers in 1962," added the bishops. "Through his influence and dedication, countless farm laborers today have basic protections -- from clean drinking water and safe working conditions to minimum wages and access to health care."

President Obama toured the Chavez Memorial Garden and placed a red rose at the gravesite where Cesar Chavez was laid to rest in 1993.  Obama issued a presidential proclamation establishing what is now known as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, to be maintained by the National Park Service. The property is known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, Spanish for Our Lady Queen of Peace. In the UFW, it was known simply as La Paz.
"At La Paz, the UFW grew and expanded from its early roots as a union for farmworkers to become a national voice for the poor and disenfranchised," Obama said in the proclamation. "For Cesar Chavez, La Paz also provided the respite he needed to continue serving the farmworker movement. His attachment to La Paz as both a refuge and a place where he engaged in his life's work grew stronger over the years."

La Paz now "joins a long list of national monuments stretching from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon," the president said. "It's a story of people, of determined, fearless, hopeful people," like Chavez, he added, "who have always been willing to devote their lives to making this country a little more just, a little more free."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Catholic Right Gives Up on Telling Catholics to Vote Pro-life. Now Just Says “Vote Republican.”



ROMNEY'S REVERSAL ON ABORTION OKAY.  ELECTING GOP IS WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES

After years of telling Catholics that abortion policy is a “non-negotiable” principle, but that policies for the poor, working families and world peace can be ignored and dispensed with, Right-wing groups claiming a Catholic identity have not expressed any problem with Romney abandoning any anti-abortion agenda. The Right is still telling Catholics to vote Republican even when it does nothing to protect the unborn.

On Wednesday, Romney’s campaign released a new ad aimed at pro-choice women. “You know, those ads saying Mitt Romney would ban all abortions and contraception seemed a bit extreme, so I looked into it,” says a young woman identified as Sarah Minto. “Turns out Romney doesn’t oppose contraception at all. In fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.” And last week, he told the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

Romney declared that “Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.” He also said employers should not be able to bar women from receiving such insurance, an apparent reversal of his previous position on that hot-button topic.

And Romney’s new found (or re-found from his days as Governor) pro-choice position has not met with any objection from social conservatives.

“If it’s hurting him to bring up the abortion issue, then I’m OK if he doesn’t,” said Bradley Mattis, head of the Life Issues Institute in Cincinnati. Rev. Frank Pavone, head of “Priests for Life” also justified support for Romney despite the GOP nominee’s position that the right to an abortion is a “settled” matter of law.

The ultraright “Catholic Vote” has even moved beyond not caring about Romney’s position on abortion to becoming a total Republican front group even when it means condoning the killing of unborn life. While their arguments for Romney vary from a claim he told funnier jokes than Obama at the Al Smith dinner to advocacy for Austrian School economics, the kicker is in their most recent attack on Obama for being “anti-coal.” In fact what the President supports is controls on Mercury pollution which, among other health hazards, causes the death of too many unborn lives. They are even ready to defend abortion/miscarriages when it is part of the GOP agenda of opposition to regulation.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

LATINO CATHOLICS OVERWHELMINGLY FOR OBAMA




LATINO CATHOLICS SOLID
IN SUPPORT FOR THE PRESIDENT

A new study by the Pew Research Center revealed that three-quarters of Latino Catholics are President Barack Obama supporters while only 19% say they will vote for Romney. Strong support for the President exists among most elements of Latino Catholics including the most frequent church-goers. Catholics Latinos are more likely to support Obama than Latinos in general. The nonprofit research organization also found that 71 percent of Hispanics who are Catholic are Democrats, while 21 percent are Republicans.

The research also revealed that Latino evangelical Protestants support Obama 50 percent, while they support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney 39 percent. Thus is far more favorable the white evangelical Protestants who support Romney often have hostile views towards issues important to Latinos such as the DREAM Act.

While the strong support from these Catholics is very welcome, it also presents a strategic advantage.  Churches and non-profit groups are free to engage in non-partisan voter turnout efforts, including calls from the pulpit, church bulletin or by other means.  Maximizing turnout at Latino Catholics parishes means at least 75% of the votes will go to the President.  Let's do all we can at our Latino parishes to turn out the vote!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

CATHOLIC REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST ARRESTED IN VOTER FRAUD



GOP VOTER FRAUD ARRESTEE FORMERLY WITH "C-FAM"


While there has been a concerted effort by Republican leaders to erect new barriers to voting, often impacting the poor, minorities and working families the toughest, there have been almost no actual examples of in person voter fraud.

Nevertheless, the first and only arrest this year we are aware of voter fraud has been by a Catholic Republican activist, we are sad to report. Colin Small got his political education with the Right-Wing Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, headed by anti-gay rights activist Austin Ruse. Small then was hired by a Republican voter registration effort as a supervisor, where he destroyed voter registration applications. The sheriff’s office in Harrisonburg, VA, said Small had been charged with 13 counts of destruction of voter registration applications, disclosure of voter registration information, and obstruction of justice.

Virginia has a long history of obstructing the rights of racial minorities and workers from participating in the political process. It is unfortunate this tradition is being carried out, now by illegal means, by a activist in the Catholic Right.

Friday, October 19, 2012

AL SMITH DINNER



PRESIDENT AND ROMNEY JOIN CATHOLIC PRELATES AT AL SMITH DINNER

In a time of a sorry lack of civility in political discourse, it is a blessing that the Al Smith Dinner for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York brings together both candidates, the leaders of the Catholic Church including USCCB President/Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan and many people of good will. 

Governor Romney showed great dignity in his remarks that ""Don't tell anyone I said so, but our 44th president has many gifts and a beautiful family that would make any man proud. ... In our country, you can oppose someone in politics and make a confident case against their policies without any ill will. And that's how it is for me."

President Obama received a standing ovation when he rose to speak at the Catholic Charities gala.  At the usually lighthearted event, both men made jokes at their own expense, but President Obama ended on a serious note, proclaming in the words of Saint Paul:  “It’s written in Scripture that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:4)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DON'T LOOK FOR PAUL RYAN AT ST. VINNIE'S


Paul Ryan Absent At Soup Kitchens, Shelters In His District, Says Catholic Charities

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan's awkward visit last week to a Youngstown, Ohio, soup kitchen made national headlines and has been the butt of late-night jokes. The head of the charity that runs the soup kitchen complained to The Washington Post that Ryan and Co. "ramrodded their way" in for an unauthorized photo-op.

Ryan's surprise visit was an even bigger shock to people who run organizations dedicated to serving the needy back in his Wisconsin congressional district...

Ryan, despite more than 13 years in Congress, appears to be very much a stranger to those charities. None of the food pantry or shelter workers interviewed by The Huffington Post could recall Ryan having visited...
Carol Hulburt, a coordinator at a food pantry in Milton, Wis., said Ryan has not once visited in the roughly 15 years she has worked there...

A worker who answered the phones at the House of Mercy family shelter said she has not seen the congressman come through its doors in the 10 years she has worked at the facility...

Eric Levitt, Janesville's city manager, has volunteered with House of Mercy for nearly two years. He said he has not seen Ryan there...

Even when invited, Ryan hasn't shown up. Robert Borremans told The Washington Post in August that in the nine years he has run Janesville's Rock County Job Center, multiple invitations have failed to secure a visit from Ryan. "I've reached the point I don't ask anymore," Borremans said.


Read more here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/paul-ryan-soup-kitchen-wisconsin_n_1976623.html

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

IRISH PREFER OBAMA OVER ROMNEY-RYAN





By Conor Humphries, GRAIGUENAMANAGH, Ireland, Oct 16 (Reuters) -

In the land of his ancestors, Paul Ryan's Irish charm is failing him

Despite his name, Roman Catholic faith and immigrant-made-good family history, the Irish half of the Republican ticket is failing to win the allegiance of the old country from Barack Obama, a skilled hand at playing the Irish card.

Obama struck public relations gold last year by sharing a Guinness with a distant cousin in the village of Moneygall after an amateur genealogist traced his ancestors there. Pictures of cheering Irish crowds were beamed across the United States.

But 100 kilometers (60 miles) down the road, Ryan's ancestral hometown is feeling the cold shoulder and like Ireland as a whole, most of the locals are rooting for his Democratic presidential rivals.

"He doesn't have the charisma, he hasn't connected with the people," said Pat Nolan as he strolled passed the 13th century stone church in the village of Graiguenamanagh where Ryan's great-great grandparents were married.

......


Despite the Ryan connection, few locals are hoping for a Republican victory across the ocean.

"It would give a boost to a nice small town like this, but I would forgo it. I wouldn't want to inflict him on the American people," said Margaret, a 64-year-old cashier, upset by Ryan's plans to cut welfare and Medicare health cover for the elderly. She withheld her family name to avoid angering her employer.

A straw poll of 20 people on a recent afternoon found 12 Obama supporters and none for Ryan and running mate Mitt Romney.

Ninety-six percent of people in Ireland who have decided would back Obama and Irish Catholic running mate Joe Biden if they had a vote, according to a September poll of 1,000 people by Gallup International.

"He's too far right-wing for this part of the world," said Martin Brett, the former mayor of the county's capital Kilkenny, who hosted Ryan's uncle when he came to trace his roots in the region a few years ago.

.....


The Wisconsin congressman has not endeared himself to his kin by holding their country up as a cautionary tale of bad practice.

Ryan's web site refers to Ireland 11 times, eight as an example of the economic doom facing the United States if it doesn't address its budget deficit and three as a rival to the Cayman Islands as a tax haven threatening American jobs.

When Ryan told a crowd in his home state how his great grandfather had fled the Irish potato famine with just the shirt on his back, the crowd lapped it up.

But an Irish historian of the famine, John Kelly, rebuked him days later for espousing a laissez faire economic philosophy he said was strikingly similar to that of British policymakers whom many in Ireland blame for the deaths of millions.


Read more here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/paul-ryan-ireland_n_1969520.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Nuff Said...

SHAMEFUL AND PATHETIC




PAUL RYAN:  GIVING PHARISEES A BAD NAME

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group’s Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall.  He called the use of this Catholic charity to be a ‘publicity stunt’ for the GOP ticket.

Juanita Sherba, St. Vincent’s Saturday coordinator for the dinning hall, had equally harsh words about Ryan’s visit.  The event “was a photo op,” she told the Youngstown Vindicator.  “It was the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with. In hindsight, I would have never let him in the door.”

Antal added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

The campaign had not contacted the St. Vincent de Paul Society in advance of the stunt, but just barged into the soup kitchen without permission, bullying their way past a volunteer.  The good Catholics had finished serving the hungry and washing up afterwards. Ryan grabbed an apron and began washing an already clean pot, posing for campaign photographers. Since all of the guests of the soup kitchen had been served and left, Ryan did not have to come into direct contact with any of the poor and hungry.

Monday, October 15, 2012

REPUBLICANS STILL UNABLE TO EXPLAIN ROMNEY FLIP FLOP ON ABORTION


REPUBLICAN CATHOLIC OFFERS NO DEFENSE OF ROMNEY NOT HAVING ABORTION ON HIS AGENDA

Former Republican National Chairman and current Romney Catholic outreach advocate Ed Gillespie went on FOX News Sunday unable to explain Romney's statement that pro-life legislation would not be on his agenda if he were President. 

After a career of flip-flops on the abortion issue, Romney's most recent statement is that he has no abortion legislation on his agenda.  Campaign officials have been unable to explain this comment, made to the Des Moines Register and Romney has not retracted it.  Right-wing groups like "Catholic Vote" and the "Catholic Association" have gone into a deep silence on this matter. 

On Sunday, Gillespie was reduced to mostly blather.  He said, “Life is a very important issue in this election—as is the economy and as it national security, all these issues always play a very important role."  He also assured viewers that Romney is personally pro-life.

Okay, Ed.  But explain Romney's statement. 

Gillespie then tried to pivot, saying the election is more about the economy than about social issues.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

CONSERVATIVES STILL IN FIT OVER OBAMA INVITE TO AL SMITH DINNER



CONSERVATIVE LEADERS WON'T SERVE POOR IF IT MEANS BEING IN THE SAME ROOM AS OBAMA


Right Wing Catholics are still in a fit that Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York has invited Barack Obama to the annual Al Smith Dinner, a fundraiser for the Catholic Church in New York.  A first they were in an outrages at the mere invitation.  Now they are demanding that Cardinal Dolan slam the President in his remarks.  “[We Republicans are] going in hopes that the cardinal’s going to slam him,” said state Sen. Marty Golden, a Brooklyn Republican attending the annual Al Smith Dinner. “It’s insulting that [Obama is] coming... it’s reprehensible.”

According to the New York Post, conservative Catholics are worried that Obama’s appearance will be misinterpreted as a church endorsement.

Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League,almost had smoke coming out of his nostrils as he bellowed “Our whole objection is inviting Obama to this dinner about 18 days before the election.”

Some conservatives are boycotting the dinner and not contributing to Catholic Charities such as Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and Mike Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State, who usually attends the dinner with Kassar.  Instead, they are re-directing their giving to a right wing political group.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

CATHOLIC RIGHT STILL SILENT ON ROMNEY FLIP-FLOP




CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?

As pro-Romney Catholics have gone silent following Romeny's most recent flip-flop on abortion, Catholic efforts for the Obama-Biden effort far exceed the Republicans.

Catholics for Obama - Biden organized debate watch parties throughout the country Thursday night. 

And it’s not the only way the Obama campaign and liberal groups are using Thursday’s debate to organize Catholic voters, one of the country’s big swing voting constituencies.

Beyond encouraging Catholic watch parties, the Obama campaign has been visiting Catholic colleges in swing states and dispatching Catholic campaign surrogates to address Catholic groups in the leadup to the debate.  Romney has made no apperences at Catholic colleges.

President Obama has regular briefings on the campaign's Catholic outreach with Roderick Johnson, the campaign's Catholic outreach director. 

Independent Catholic groups that aren’t officially connected to the Obama campaign have been even more vocal in attacking Ryan from a Catholic perspective.  “Some of his positions are fundamentally at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” said a Ryan critique issued this week by dozens of Catholic theologians and other Catholic scholars.

With Paul Ryan, progressive Catholic groups have taken particular aim his proposed budget, which passed the House but not the Senate.

A letter to Ryan from faculty at Georgetown, a Catholic university, summed up the Catholic opposition to the proposal: “We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”

And then there is the “nuns on the bus tour” to decry the Ryan budget’s slashing of programs for the poor.  This week, the nuns reprised the tour, criss-crossing Ohio just in time for the vice presidential debate. “He clearly has not been where I’ve been," Sister Simone Campbell, an organizer of the tour, told MSNBC of Ryan. “He just is out of touch.”

The Romney campaign rolled out a Catholic outreach effort much later than the Obama-Biden campaign and has been hurt by the stridency and harsh rhetoric of their right-wing Catholic supporters.  The Romney campaign continues to approach nervously those who tell undecided Catholics they will go the Hell or be denied Communion if they vote for the President.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ROMNEY SAYS HE WILL NOT NOT PROTECT THE UNBORN



PRO-LIFE ISSUES OFF THE AGENDA IN A ROMNEY ADMINISTRATION SAYS MITT

The GOP presidential nominee told the Des Moines Register yesterday that he doesn't intend to pursue legislation to restrict abortion if he is elected president. "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney told the Register's editorial board.

Romney's position on abortion has changed over the years, and has been at the heart of charges that he flip-flops on issues. When he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, Romney said he would "preserve and protect" a woman's right to choose an abortion.

Romney's new statement confirms the assurance his sister gave to women delegates at the Republican National Convention that Romney would never take away a woman's right to an abortion.

On other issues related to the lives the unborn, Romney is considered a danger to many social programs that help mothers choose life for their unborn child.  He also said he would repeal a recent EPA rule on Mercury that saves as many unborn lives as the number of surgical abortions in this country.  When the question of termininating unborn life has been not by a woman in a problem pregancy but by Big Business, Romney has a strong pro-abortion record as seen by his profiteering from an "abortion waste" company as well as by the Mercury abortion issue.

This blog also finds the President's views on abortion disappointing, but finds little difference between the two candidates in what they would do. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

FROM: "CATHOLIC DEMOCRATS"


Biden Ryan House party header


The Catholic Vice Presidential Debate:

An Historic Moment - Two World Views of the Catholic Social Justice Tradition and Public Policy


Thursday, October 11, 2012


An Historic Day-50th Anniversary of the
Convening of Vatican II


Host or Attend a Catholic Debate Watch Party


Pre-Debate Conference Call: 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. EDT

Vice Presidential Debate: 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT


More information here: http://www.tfaforms.com/259490


(UPDATE: Sr. Simone Campbell will be on the conference call)

Dear Friends,

Thursday, October 11th will be an historic day. For the first time in American history, two Catholic candidates on the presidential ticket will debate each other. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) will have the opportunity to speak to the American public about their vision for the future of the country.

In addition to this first-time political event, October 11th is the 50th anniversary of the convening of Vatican II under Pope John XXIII as well as the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II. The debate and the day, taken together, will provide a special context for the stark contrast between Vice President Biden and Rep. Ryan as it relates to their different world views on public policy and the rich Catholic Social Justice Tradition.

We know what inspires Vice President Biden as a Catholic political leader. In his book Promises to Keep, Vice President Biden wrote, "the nuns were my first teachers.... they taught reading and writing and math and geography and history, but embedded in the curriculum also were the concepts of decency, fair play, and virtue." We also know who Representative Ryan looks to regarding political morality. In 2009, he filmed a video in which he said, "Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most."

Many of you have told us the sense of alienation you feel within the Church today, and for many, even in your own parishes. So we're offering you a reason and a means to join in solidarity with other supporters of Catholic Democrats on this historic day. Please let us know if you would like to either host or attend a house party for the Vice Presidential Debate by completing The Catholic VP Debate & Conference Call Request Form (it only takes a minute). We will connect you to one another by early next week in consultation with those who volunteer to host an event. If you are so inclined to host an event, please know that it is easy and just requires offering a little hospitality to some kindred spirits.

Additionally, we will also sponsor a conference call prior to the debate to help provide you with some additional context in light of the two world views - represented by Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan - on the Catholic Social Justice Tradition. The conference call will feature a special guest that we will announce in a few days. Participation on the call will be on a first come, first serve basis, as space is limited.

October 11th will be an important day for Catholics, our nation, and the life of the Church. We are looking forward to sharing it with you and to help you share it with one another. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@catholicdemocrats.org.

Warm Regards,

Catholic Democrats



PS Please consider making a donation at this time to help us serve you and to make sure that the Romney-Ryan budget and tax plan will never hurt millions of the most vulnerable in our society and to promote a network of vibrant Catholic Democrats communities that advance the common good across the country.

Monday, October 8, 2012

THE POPE SPEAKS


POPE DEMANDS GOVERNMENTS HELP THE POOR AND WORKERS; NOT BUILD WEAPONS OF WAR


 “A new scourge threatens…. It strikes most heavily at those who are the most tender and are Our most dearly beloved; upon the children, the proletariat, the artisans and the ‘have-nots.’ We are speaking of the grave financial crisis which weighs down the peoples and is accelerating in every land the frightful increase of Unemployment...”

"There is every reason to fear that the plague of Unemployment, which We have already mentioned, will worsen, to such an extent that poverty may push—though God forbid it!—many a misery-stricken household to exasperation…. As an effect of rivalry between peoples there is an insensate competition in armaments which, in its turn, becomes the cause of enormous expenditure, diverting large sums of money from the public welfare; and this makes the present crisis more acute…. We exhort you all, Venerable Brethren, to busy yourselves with the work of enlightening public opinion in this matter, by all the means at your disposal, including both pulpit and press, so that the hearts of men may be turned towards the dictates of right reason, and, still more, to the laws of Christ."


--- His Holiness Pius XI, October 2, 1931, Speaking from the Throne of Saint Peter


Sunday, October 7, 2012

LEADING CATHOLIC MAKES THE CASE FOR THE PRESIDENT




A Catholic Case for the Reelection of President Obama



Donald P. Kommers, University of Notre Dame

Unlike the election of 2008, economic and fiscal rather than cultural issues are dominating the federal election campaign of 2012, and there is no evidence to suggest that Catholics will divide differently on these matters than other segments of the American electorate. But Catholics who take the social teachings of their church seriously will almost surely reject the presidential candidate who would denigrate programs that assist the poor, adulterate social security, lessen the coverage of medicare or medicaid, oppose a redistributive tax code, and disdain the creative role of government in the face of unrelenting poverty and massive unemployment.

More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donald-p-kommers/catholic-case-for-the-reelection-of-president-obama_b_1939899.html

Saturday, October 6, 2012

RIGHT WING CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION FRONTS FOR BOSSES



RIGHT WING GROUPS TO FUND ATTACK ON OBAMA


Facing opinion polls that show President Obama respectably ahead among Catholic voters, conservative Catholics, financed by wealthy Republican operatives, are unleashing an effort to lessen the Catholic support for the President. Republican millionaires and businesses are funding over one million pro-Romney “Catholic Voter Guides” to be distributed by the Right-Wing Catholic Association. Based on focus group results rather than Catholics principles, the Guides do not mention abortion. Instead they push the right of bosses to decide if women can have contraceptive coverage in their health care plans.

The Obama administration has exempted the Catholic Church from the contraceptive mandate. Going beyond the definition of religious employer in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Administration has also offered an accommodation to church related organizations. The “Catholic Association” seeks to make every woman worker in private industry have to ask her boss and get his permission to including contraceptive coverage in her health care plan.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PROTESTANT PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY SILLINESS



PROTESTANT PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY SILLINESS




This Sunday, some Right-Wing groups have announced “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” They say they are challenging IRS rules that prohibit 501(c)3 organizations from endorsing candidates. In fact, they tried this stunt before and despite a lot of fanfare in advance, all of their participating churches chickened out and did not explicitly endorse a candidate (so much for civility and truthfulness).

No Catholic parishes are participating in this conservative stunt. In fact the Catholic Church forbids the Mass to be used as a means of endorsing a political candidate and forbids Church funds from being used to promote the election of a candidate. This is not something imposed by the IRS on the Catholic Church but a position of principle she freely embraces and would practice even absent any IRS regulations.

But let us review exactly what the Protestant Pulpit Freedom folks are talking about.

First of all, this is not about taxing churches. Churches can apply for a variety of tax exempt statuses. A non-profit organization can engage in politics and support or oppose candidate. That is what the Republican National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Romney for President Committee, the SuperPACs and most political organizations do. All of them have 501(c)4 or related tax exempt status. Any church organization could choose this status and be tax exempt.

However, what most religious organizations do is choose a different tax status of 501(c)3 or related. This not only exempts the organization from taxation, but also allows it’s contributors who itemize on their tax returns (most people do not itemize) to claim a tax deduction as well.

The Catholic Church agrees with this blog that it is a matter of justice that the Church not be taxed. However, it is a matter of prudential judgment to give the further benefit of allowing a minority of private persons a tax deduction for their donations. To be granted this extra benefit (not for the Church herself, but for some of her donors) an organization must apply for the status and agree to the conditions including that the organization not endorse or oppose candidates for office.

This does not mean the Church cannot speak out on important (or unimportant) issues of the day. But it must be about issues and not elections. It also does not mean that clergy in their private capacity can do what they want as private individuals including being involved in political campaigns. But it can be fairly said that for a church to apply for a special tax status that not only exempts itself from taxation but also lets her contributors take itemized deductions and then disregard the conditions it had sworn to, is dishonest and sinful.

We will hear a lot of crazy talk from Right-Wing Protestant organizations on Pulpit Freedom Sunday. I hope this sober explanation is helpful in cutting through the silliness they expound.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Faith in the 21st Century: "Intrinsic" fallacy

Faith in the 21st Century: "Intrinsic" fallacy: I'm quoting very generously from Fr. Richard McBrien's 2009 article, "Intrinsic Evil vs. Run-of-the-mill Evil" ( National Catholic Repor...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

LETTER OF CARDINAL DOLAN

Cardinal Dolan Photo Sept 2012
Feast of St. Vincent DePaul


My brother bishop, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, joins me in issuing this statement.

Today is the feast day of St. Vincent DePaul, considered by many to be the “star” saint of Christian charity and concern for the poor. Many people, including those who don’t know that much about this great saint from the 17th century, know of the work of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which is active in so many parishes and dioceses around the world bringing direct help to people in need.

Recent statistics sadly remind that today the poor do need a champion. Michael Powell, writing earlier this week in the New York Times “Gotham” blog, notes that while economic conditions have started to improve for some, there are still a shocking number of other people for whom poverty persists, if not worsens, and a recovery is nowhere in sight. The statistics are overwhelming. For instance, Powell notes that both The Bronx and Brooklyn have unemployment rates above 13 percent, and, he adds, “Fully 21 percent [of New Yorkers] live below the poverty line; median income declined in nearly every group; 1.8 million New Yorkers now rely on food stamps.”

You can find great contrasts within a few miles of each others. In some communities families are finding decent jobs and earning sufficient income to provide for themselves and their families. Thanks be to God. However, close by, many other families do not have enough to eat, face the threat of eviction because of the disparity between their income and the rent payment. One poignant statistic – in one zip code on the East Side of Manhattan the average household income is about $101,000. In the South Bronx another zip code’s average income is about $19800.

This is not something confined to New York City, of course. The basics human needs of good jobs, food, and housing continue to challenge tens of millions throughout this country.

At the same time we are fortunate that as a society we do try to provide for those struggling. Government programs provide enormous support to poor Americans. In addition generous Americans contribute billions to charities each year. And so there is much to be grateful for.

However, two things must be said.

1) It is not enough. Even with the generosity of the American people, and the work of groups like the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and so many others, much more needs to be done, and not just by private charity. The government must continue to play its part as well.

2) There are very dark clouds. Too much rhetoric in the country portrays poor people in a very negative way. At the same time, this persistent sluggish economic and slow pace of recovery does two things that hurt the poor: it does not provide sufficient jobs for poor people to earn decent living to support themselves, and it provides less resources for government to do its part for Americans in need.

This is creating a situation that is devastating to struggling families throughout the country.

As the Church celebrates the feast of St. Vincent DePaul, we affirm that the poor must receive our special attention to ensure that they have basic necessities of life. While St. Vincent de Paul may be the “star” saint, the commitment of the Church to the poor comes directly from Jesus and was first formally recognized by the appointment of deacons to cares for the Greek speaking widows. Throughout the history of the Church there has always been a preferential option for the poor. Archbishop Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, said it simply and straightforwardly: “Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell.”

This commitment and dedication continues and grows today throughout Catholic hospitals, charities and educational institutions. All of these in their own way make service to the poor the hallmark of their work in building the common good. Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn serve literally hundreds of thousands of people each year – the neglected child, the homeless family, the hungry senior, the new immigrant to our shores – through our soup kitchens, homeless shelters, family and youth services, and so much more.

There is too much finger pointing and not enough joining hands. Solidarity is critical to ensure the dignity of all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OHIO CATHOLICS FAVOR OBAMA





Buckeye Catholics for Obama


by Mark Silk, Religion News Service
Oct 1, 2012

Like their co-religionists across the border in Pennsylvania, Catholics in Ohio have flipped from opposing Barack Obama four years ago to supporting him today. According to the latest poll by the Columbus Dispatch, they now back him over Mitt Romney by four percentage points, 49-45. In 2008, they ended up favoring John McCain by five points.

That's a telling switch, because Ohio Catholics have a distinctly conservative streak. They are less likely to be unionized than Catholics in Michigan (who preferred Obama over McCain 52-46), and a disproportionately large number trace their ethnic origins to Germany. On social issues, German Catholics skew to the right.

So once again we need to conjure with the ineffectuality of the Catholic bishops' campaign to paint the Obama administration as an enemy of religion in general and Catholicism in particular...

read more here: http://www.religionnews.com/blogs/mark-silk/buckeye-catholics-for-obama

Sunday, September 30, 2012

CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR LEADS EFFORT FOR OBAMA




CATHOLIC EDUCATOR EDUCATES VOTERS TOO
Professor Stephen Schneck, of the Catholic University of America, our national Pontifical university, is the subject of a news article in CUA's student paper. 

The article reads:

Stephen Schneck, professor of political science and director of the University’s Institute for Public Policy and Catholic Studies (IPC) and the acting dean of social work does not limit his public influence to his professional career: he is also a co-chairman for Catholics for Obama.

Schneck actively campaigns with the Catholics for Obama campaign team, which includes Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and 18 others, and will travel all over the country in the upcoming weeks giving speeches on why Catholics should reelect President Barack Obama in November.
...

Victor Nakas, associate vice president for public affairs, said that Schneck’s actions are not a conflict of interest and are in line with the University and the Catholic Church’s stance that individuals are called to participate in the public sphere.

...
Schneck has not been quiet about his political beliefs and how he reconciles his faith with his party affiliation, especially on the subject of abortion and religious freedom.

He gave interviews to both EWTN and PBS describing his belief that it was actually more in line with Catholic teaching on abortion to vote for Obama

read the full story here: http://www.cuatower.com/news/2012/09/27/university-professor-leads-catholics-for-obama/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

BARACK OBAMA ON FAITH



Barack Obama’s life and leadership is grounded in his own Christian faith, as well as his experiences working and serving with people of faith who are pursuing the common good. His mother was a deeply spiritual individual who instilled in him the values of service and empathy that drew him to public service.

As a young man, the President chose a different path than many of his peers. He decided to use his experiences and talents to serve as a community organizer, and with the help of grants from the CatholiCampaign for Human Development, he worked with local churches to help families who were struggling in the shadow of closed-down steel mills. From the very start of his career, President Obama witnessed the robust role that faith plays in American life:

And something else happened during the time I spent in these neighborhoods—perhaps because the church folks I worked with were so welcoming and understanding; perhaps because they invited me to their services and sang with me from their hymnals; perhaps because I was really broke and they fed me. Perhaps because I witnessed all of the good works their faith inspired them to perform, I found myself drawn not just to the work with the church; I was drawn to be in the church. It was through this service that I was brought to Christ.

—Barack Obama

Another person also became central in his life—Michelle, his wife and his “rock.” Together, they started a family and are raising two beautiful daughters. The President has said that his role as a father is the most important job that he has.

The President’s faith has sustained him in his journey from Chicago to the White House, and he has sought to live out his faith while improving the lives of the American people:

Treating others as you want to be treated. Requiring much from those who have been given so much. Living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper. Caring for the poor and those in need. These values are old. They can be found in many denominations and many faiths, among many believers and among many non-believers. And they are values that have always made this country great—when we live up to them; when we don’t just give lip service to them; when we don’t just talk about them one day a year. And they’re the ones that have defined my own faith journey.

And today, with as many challenges as we face, these are the values I believe we’re going to have to return to in the hopes that God will buttress our efforts.

—Barack Obama

Friday, September 28, 2012

PARISH VOTER REGISTRATION EFFORTS


CATHOLIC VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES
AN IMPORTANT PRIORITY

Many Catholic parishes are holding voter registration drives to help enroll parishioners as registered voters.  This is perfectly legal.  No law prohibits Catholic parishes, organizations, schools or other facilities from holding non-partisan voter registration drives.  Because deadlines are approaching, these drives need to be planned and implemented soon.

Catholics for Obama across the country are volunteering to help parishes in these drives.  Of course, it is most important that Catholics in congregations that are mostly minority, low income, working class or part of the 47% conduct these drives.  It is a Catholic good work to help those who have not been fully included and empowered in society to participate in the political process.

These drives must be strictly non-partisan and not try to instruct people how to vote or pick and choose who they will register.  To do so is a violation of the law and will endanger your parish's tax status and good standing with the Catholic Church.

However, we know that most Catholics are planning to vote for Obama.  That alone makes these drives important and useful in re-electing the President.  When they are in minority or "47%" parishes, it will be even more helping in bringing in more votes for Obama.

Even in affluent, conservative, only whites parishes, research has shown that while these parishes might mostly vote Republicans, the subset of those who are not registered to vote still lean towards Obama.  So no matter what kind of parish you are in, the voter registration drive is helpful to the President's election.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

OBAMA SURGES AHEAD AMONG CATHOLICS


Pope Benedict XVI US President Barack Obama (L) meets with Pope Benedict XVI in his library at the Vatican on July 10, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican. Obama was meeting with The Pope for the first time as President following the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy.


CATHOLICS FOR OBAMA EFFORTS SEE SUCCESS

According to a new poll by Pew Research, the Catholic flock is flocking to President Obama in huge numbers.  Among all registered voters, Obama leads Romney 51-42 percent, according to Pew.  For Romney, this is a five point decline from summer even though since then he selected a Catholic as his running mate (as is Vice President Joe Biden).

Right-wing Catholic groups have generally followed the same failed strategy they used in 2008 when they miserably lost the Catholic vote to Barack Obama.  Efforts have almost exclusive focused on getting conservative Catholics angry and riled up against the President and making harsh judgments on the faith and spirituality of Catholics who are undecided or who consider their vote a personal discernment.

These tactics have only alienated undecided Catholics and caused conservative Catholics to put an ugly face on their political activism. Catholic Democrats in turn have been respectful of the moral ability of good Catholics to vote either way, while making polite case for our candidates.

More information here:

http://www.religionnews.com/politics/election/poll-obama-surges-ahead-among-catholic-voters

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



A LETTER FROM THE NATIONAL CATHOLICS FOR OBAMA COMMITTEE


In 2008, Catholics from all walks of life and backgrounds came together to help elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. Today, we join together as Catholics who are committed to our faith and our country to endorse President Obama for re-election.

We endorse the President because of his tireless focus on economic security for middle-class families. President Obama is committed to the basic promise of our country: If you work hard and play by the rules, you can build a good life for yourself and your family. The President cut taxes for the average middle-class family by $3,600 in his first term. He has saved over a million American jobs in the auto industry, shielding countless families from heartache and bankruptcy. Despite inheriting the worst economic crisis in a generation, the President extended unemployment insurance to those hit hardest, providing a lifeline for millions of our nation's families. And, after a decades-long struggle, President Obama signed into law health reform that enhances the security and welfare of every American family.

As Catholics, we believe that every human being is made in the image of God. From this we discern that, individually and as a nation, we share a moral obligation to care for one another. As the President has so passionately affirmed throughout his career: “I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.” The President has upheld and advanced this principle in many ways, including his support for pregnant women and the Adoption Tax Credit, and his pursuit of immigration reform. We are proud of the President for his opposition to the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, embraced by Republicans in Congress, and heartily endorsed by Mitt Romney. The Republican plan would shred our nation’s compassionate safety net, gutting Medicare, food assistance programs, Head Start, and many other programs—all while cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Finally, we endorse the President because he has led with our values abroad, proving that America can lead in the world with both power and principle. The President opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning, and as president, he kept his promise to bring the war to a responsible end and is now working to bring our troops home from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He signed the New START treaty—a priority for Catholic bishops around the world—moving us closer to a world with no nuclear weapons.

President Obama understands Catholics and our values, because he understands the importance of an active faith in pursuit of the common good. This has guided him from his work with Catholic churches on the South Side of Chicago through his career as a public servant.

The President is right: This is a make-or-break moment for the middle-class, and it is a make-or-break moment for America. President Obama’s record, his character, and his values make the choice in this election clear. We are proud to stand with the President, and we look forward to joining millions of Catholics in this country in casting our vote for Barack Obama.



Sincerely,

Catholics for Obama National Co-Chairs

http://www.barackobama.com/catholics/meet-us

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NOTRE DAME INVITES PRESIDENT OBAMA; MITT ROMNEY INVITED TO SPEAK ON CAMPUS




PRESIDENT INVITED TO RETURN TO THE FIGHTING IRISH


The University of Notre Dame announced Monday that University president Fr. John Jenkins CSC, and student body president Brett Rocheleau have extended invitations to President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate W. Mitt Romney to speak on campus during the fall election campaign.

If President Obama is able to schedule a visit, it will be a return for him to the campus of one of the nation's leading Catholic universities from when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Notre Dame.  At that time, President Obama spoke to the graduating class that welcomed him with warm enthusiasm.

President Obama continues to enjoy strong support among Catholic university students and employees.  The President has also received an honorary degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and has spoken at Georgetown University. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

PROTECT OUR PARISHES




THE TABERNACLE OF THE LORD,
NOT THE PARTY CLUBHOUSE


Earlier this month, a priest in the Archdiocese of New York included an endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Sunday bulletin.

Including an endorsement of a presidential candidate in the Sunday bulletin isn’t just illegal, it violates the sacred space of our sanctuaries. 40,000 Catholics and people of faith signed a petition asking Cardinal Dolan to clarify church policy that partisan politics has no place in the Catholic Mass.

The Mass is a time for us to reflect, pray, and worship God, not hear partisan political messages. As we get closer to election day, we could be seeing this in other parishes.  Either outright endorsements or partisan biased "Voter Guides." 

Our friends at Catholics United will be conducting a campaign to protect our parishes.  Anyone who becomes aware of inappropriate actions, fliers or bulletin announcements in their parish is urged to contact Jason Miller, Catholics United's parish protection coordinator at jmiller@catholic-united.org

Quick and speedy exposure of these actions are critically important.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

IS IT ALL OVER FOR THEM?

TOUGH TIMES FOR
POLITICALLY RIGHT WING CATHOLICS




It is tough times for the Catholic Right in their efforts to influence American elections. The granddaddy of this movement, Deal Hudson, admitted that “same-sex marriage doesn’t raise the temperature of the bulk of Catholic Mass-going voters.” He advises conservatives to use other issues to get Catholics to vote Republican. Notice he didn’t even say gay rights in general. Just a few years ago conservative Catholics were fighting for laws to put homosexuals in jail and to allow any boss to fire gay people at will. They now consider it highly rude to bring up this history, having settled for the more controversial issue of same sex marriage. And now even that doesn’t sell. Also embarrassed by data showing a lack of Catholic support for their agenda, four years ago they started talking only of frequent Mass going Catholics to move the numbers in their direction. Even with that attribute, Hudson still finds the issue a loser.

Acting not on principle, but out of political hackery, Catholic conservatives tried to attack the President on the issue of Jerusalem. While Obama supports long standing American policy that Jerusalem is the de facto capital of Israel but that the future of Jerusalem should be the subject of a negotiated settlement, this is more pro-Israel than Pope Benedict’s stance that Jerusalem is not and should not be the capital of Israel. They backed themselves into bad-mouthing the Pope.

Even on the abortion issue, the Catholic Right is losing creditability by carefully limiting their pro-life advocacy to where it does not offend Big Business or TEA Party principles. You hear much about taxpayer funding of abortion – and taxpayer funding of social service groups that have seven or eight degrees of separation from groups maybe involved in abortion (always non-profits; private corporations get a pass). It dovetails with the TEA Party agenda of cutting public funding for all social service programs. But Mercury abortions caused by industry? Not a word, as that would put them in alliance with environmentalists.

None of this is surprising as these social conservative groups are kept afloat by wealthy Republicans including pro-abortion Republicans who know that the real impact of their money is to further the conservative economic agenda.

Thomas Peters over at the Right-Wing “Catholic Vote” has now admitted that Obama is running ahead with Catholic voters. Democratic senate candidates such as those in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Virginia and Minnesota are also leading with Catholics.

The problem is that they are unable to come up with a core principle to justify their politics. We may well see them out of the picture politically come 2016.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

THE POPE SPEAKS





Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers... The repeated calls issued within the Church's social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion of workers' associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past...



Benedict XV, Caritas in Veritate

Friday, September 21, 2012

T. ROMNEY AND MANDATED ABORTION

This is very troubling.  During the Republican National Convention, W. Mitt Romney's sister assured ori-choice delegates that Romney would never go against the right to an abortion.  Now this in regarding Romney's son.  A contract to mandate abortion:

http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/20/mitt-romney-son-tagg-abortion-clause-surrogate-birth-agreement-contract-bill-handel/


Signed 'Abortion' Clause in Contract


Mitt Romney's son Tagg -- who had twins this year through a surrogate -- signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations ... and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement ...

Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed a Gestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011. Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows:

"In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents' decision."

And there's another relevant provision in Paragraph 13:

"Any decision to abort because of potential harm to the child, or to reduce the number of fetuses, is to be made by the intended parents."

Translation: Tagg and his wife, Jen, had the right to abort the fetuses if they felt they would not be healthy.


Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/20/mitt-romney-son-tagg-abortion-clause-surrogate-birth-agreement-contract-bill-handel/#ixzz278sSAsBw


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS TO CATHOLICS


CATHOLICS FOR OBAMA RELEASES VIDEO OF THE PRESIDENT SPEAKING TO CATHOLIC VOTERS




"While I'm proud of what we've achieved together, I'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, 'I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go."

--  President Barack Obama


We thank God that we have a president with the faith and humility to say, without reservation, that he knows exactly where to turn when faced with trials and adversity.  Many, many Catholics have been sharing the above video with their friends, family and parishioners.  Please do the same.  Don't only send this video to people in your parish who are undecided, but also to those supporting the President, so they can send it out to Catholics they know.  God bless you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!



L'SHANA TOVA!

To our Jewish friends, with whom we are spiritual children of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, we send you wishes of joy as you welcome the Jewish New Year, 5773.  As you gather with your friends and family, in homes and synagogues, we Catholics for Obama unite ourselves with you in prayer for the peace and security of Israel and the world, and to recommit ourselves to the Jewish vision of social justice, Tikkun Olam, "repairing the world."  Enjoy the ancient sound of the shofar, and the apples and honey!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/obama-extends-lead-with-jewish-voters

President Barack Obama is close to extending his lead with Jewish voters, leading among registered voters 70-25 percent according to unreleased Gallup daily tracking poll data.  This represents another faith community that Romney is failing to make any inroads since the 2008 election.





Sunday, September 16, 2012

ROMNEY STARTS TO GIVE UP ON CATHOLIC VOTE





ROMNEY CEDES CATHOLIC STATES TO OBAMA

The Romney-Ryan campaign is giving up on millions of Catholic voters in key swing states.  The above map shows the twelve battleground states early this year.  Since then, the Romney campaign has given up efforts in the three most Catholic of those battleground states -- New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  These heavily Catholic states are now expected to support President Obama in the November election.  The Romney-Ryan campaign has ceased major efforts in all three.

At this point, the only battleground state where the Romney-Ryan ticket is leading is North Carolina, the least Catholic state in the nation. 

The fact that the first states the Romney campaign retreats from are the most Catholic battleground states shows the profound trouble he is having with Catholic voters.  It is also a sign of the excellent work that is being done by the Obama-Biden campaign in our state, diocesan and parish Catholics for Obama committees.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bishop Rallies Black Catholics to Vote in Upcoming Election




BISHOP BRAXTON DOESN'T TELL CATHOLICS HOW TO VOTE, BUT URGES EVERY BLACK CATHOLIC TO VOTE

In his homily delivered at the Opening Mass of the Eleventh National Black Catholic Congress, Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, urged the nearly 3,000 participants to exercise their responsibility and vote in the presidential election.


He told them the Black Catholic community must not to abandon their "essential participation in democracy and become a part of the sad statistic of nearly 45% of Americans who are eligible to vote in a presidential election and abdicate this important civic and Christian duty. No matter how flawed you may think the candidates are, you have an obligation to participate."


The Bishop encouraged Black Catholic voter turnout without giving any instruction on how Catholics should vote.  "Both candidates are imperfect human beings. The American political system does not produce saviors for the nation or knights in shining armor who fulfill all of our hopes and expectations" said Braxton.

Monday, September 10, 2012

CATHOLICS FOR OBAMA NATIONAL CO-CHAIRS





The President's re-election campaign has named the national co-chairs for Catholics for Obama.  These leaders will help us with our state, diocesan and parish Catholics for Obama committees.  The co-chairs are:

Former State Rep. Polly Baca, Colorado

Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Washington, D.C.

Rep. Xavier Becerra, California

Prof. Nicholas Cafardi, Pennsylvania (Duquesne Law School)

Former Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Pennsylvania

Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut

Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois

Miguel Foster, Michigan

Prof. Thomas Groome, Massachusetts (Boston College)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Ohio

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Massachusetts

Victoria Kovari, Michigan

Sr. Jamie Phelps, Louisiana (Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University)

Gov. Martin O'Malley, Maryland

Former Rep. James Oberstar, Minnesota

Lawrence Parks, Washington, D.C.

Fred Rotondaro, Washington, D.C.

Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio

Prof. Stephen Schneck, Washington, D.C. (Catholic University of America)

Former AFL-CIO President and Papal Advisor John Sweeney, Maryland

Mark Tuohey, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

BL. TERESA OF CALCUTA



Bl. Teresa of Calculta, Pray for Us!  Pray for the Poor! 

OVERHEARD AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION




THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AT PRAYER

As our Party gathered in North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention, each session was opened and closed with a prayer, including the closing benediction by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Each day there were also special prayer meetings for the delegates as well as various workshops and meetings for faith groups.

Here are some of the comments made during the Convention:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.


SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL (Executive Director of NETWORK): Together, we understand that an immoral budget that hurts already struggling families does not reflect our nation’s values. We are better than that.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: While I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”


PROFESSOR STEPHEN SCHNECK (Catholic University of America): When I look at the policies outside of the abortion arena, when I look at things like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and community health centers and public housing programs, these are all programs that are proven to have a good impact in lowering the abortion rates in the United States


CHRISTINA FORRESTER (Christian Democrats of America): A lot of our values as Christians are about taking care of the least of these, it’s concerning the poor, immigration, caring for people with mercy so we’re looking at things like, in the context of mercy, compassion and that’s what the Bible really talks about and that’s what Jesus tells us to do.  


HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS (Greek Orthodox Bishop of Detroit): Let freedom reign in our hearts so that we would…never fear to give shelter to the homeless and displaced, never fear to treat our neighbor as ourselves, and never fear to give dignity and opportunity — as in Detroit and elsewhere in America — to the struggling unemployed and less fortunate.

  SEN. HARRY REID (US Senate Majority Leader): I’m a Democrat because I am a Mormon.


TAYLOR HARTLEY (LDS Democrats): As I think about how we are to put upon charity above all other virtues, I then think to myself, Ok, which political party most closely follows the virtues of charity and compassion and clearly, it’s the Democratic Party.

Friday, September 7, 2012

OBAMA GOT HIS START ON CATHOLIC PAYROLL




BARACK OBAMA: CATHOLIC SOCIAL ACTIVIST


I think most readers here remember that Barack Obama got his start in 1986 as a community organizer in Chicago, working on a projected funded by the Catholic Church. He worked out of a Catholic rectory.

We here have always been immensely proud of this fact. We are getting a little help in reminding people of this fact from the right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly who it seems has her panties in a bundle over not only Obama's wonderful work as a Catholic financed community organizer, but their recent discovery that his travel expense checks were written off the Archdiocese of Chicago bank account.

Again, we could not be more proud of our President. As for the annoyance it brings Schlafly, oh well!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sr. Simone Speaks to the Democratic Convention


Photo: Huge standing ovation for Sister Simone at the Democratic Convention! People here love the Nuns on the Bus, because we agree that we ARE our brother's and sister's keeper!

NUNS ON BUS COMES TO CHARLOTTE!

Our friend, Sr. Simone Campbell addressed the Democratic National Convention last night.  For those who did not see or hear her amazing speech, below is a link to it.  Isn't it fantastic that the Democratic Party has invited a Catholic religious to actually speak to the Convention on issues rather than just limit religious figures to giving a prayer? 

Sister spoke beautifully about our responsbibility to all and gave strong support to the Catholic bishops' condemnation of the Paul Ryan Budget.  Sh eintroduced herself by saying "I'm one of the nuns on the bus,"  referring to the multistate bus trip a groups of Catholic religious sisters took to support the Catholic Church in its oppostion to the Paul Ryan budget plan.

In April, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an unusually strong letter opposing many of his proposals. They “stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test,” said Sister Simone, saying that the cuts would harm families living in poverty.

“We agree with our bishops,” Sister Simone said, emphasizing her words slowly, adding, “And that’s why we went on the road.”


http://www.c-span.org/DNC/Events/DNC-Event/C3872415/

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MORMANS FOR OBAMA!





ANOTHER FAITH GROUP ORGANIZING TO SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA


To our fellow children of God who are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, this blog commends you for the new organizing effort "Mormans for Obama." 

Yes, not all Mormans are supporting Romney.  At the Democratic National Convention yesterday the LDS Democrats gathered to show their support for President Obama.  The room at the Holiday Inn was packed to overflow. 

Among them was 53-year-old nurse practitioner Jennifer Meldau of South Carolina. She considers health care, education, and the environment to be her top causes. “Romney does not reflect my political beliefs,” she said.

Mormons for Obama have also mobilized on Facebook, where their page has roughly 300 “likes.”  Here is the Facebook link:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mormons-for-Obama/113491828735304

Their website is here:  http://mormonsforobama.org/

And don't forget, tonight at the Democratic National Convention, Sr. Simone Campbell will be speaking sometime after 8:00 pm EDT.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS AGREE





Protestant Ministers Join Catholic Bishops To Say Romney-Ryan Agenda is ‘Dangerous for America’

African American Ministers in Action, a national coalition of African American pastors, spoke out on Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

“Mitt Romney already had a dangerous agenda for America – especially Black America – and now he’s doubled down,” said Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine, Vice-Chair of African American Ministers In Action. “Paul Ryan’s appalling budget proposal, if enacted, would strike an enormous blow to our social contract. It would absolve the very wealthiest of their obligations to give back to the country that supports them, while increasing the burdens on working people who are struggling to get by. It would rob from health care and food assistance and education to pay for tax cuts for billionaires. It would deny the least fortunate among us the opportunity to change their circumstances, while showering the most fortunate with tax cuts. These skewed priorities do not align with the teachings of Christ or with our highest American ideals.

“Like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we believe that Paul Ryan’s vision for American ‘fails to meet… moral criteria.’ Now, Mitt Romney, in an effort to pander to the farthest of the far right, has adopted Ryan’s flawed vision as his own. We can’t afford to have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the White House.”