No doubt, there is a long history of a right wing political extremist element among the Catholic faithful. The accusers of Captain Dreyfus, the collaborators of Marshal Petain, the Falangists of General Franco, not to mention domestically the followers of Father Coughlin, fans of Mel Gibson, and the members of 'Tradition, Family, Property."
But the masses of the faithful never rallied to these right wing elements. Particularly in present day American politics, Catholics reject extremism including the extremist elements within the Catholic community. Catholics have identified with civic leaders and thinkers like Sargent Shriver, George Meany, E.J. Dionne, Mark Sheilds, Mrs. Lindy Boggs, and the Casey family.
Hence we see Rick Santorum losing the Catholic vote even within the Republican Party. Catholic Republicans voting in the Michigan and Ohio primaries showed a strong preference for the moderate candidate (and inventor of 'Obamacare'!!) Mitt Romney. In fact, Romney has bested Santorum among Republican Catholics in every state except Tennessee (who knew there were Catholics in Tennessee?!).
Catholics continue to give President Obama strong support, more so than Protestants. We commend the Catholic faithful for the rejection of the extremism of Rick Santorum and the important support given to the President.