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An average American that has some thoughts on politics, culture, and society with a conservative and Catholic twist.

Location: Louisiana, United States
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Friday, October 27, 2006

Catholics and The Voting Booth

Well its time to revist this issue again. The Catholic Church has been under attack by the right(immigration) and the left(abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell) on it daring to have a voice in the public square. Well to say the least it gets tiresome.

However, we as Catholics, as well as all Christians, have to make choices next month about the people who will represent us and our values. It to say the least is not a perfect World we live in and the choices are not clear cut. However the Church does give us guidance.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoneix has produced a wonderful pamphlet called Catholics in the Public Square. I am trying to find a copy on the web at this time. But several links give us the meat of what he is saying. In fact I used this in deciding whom I will support in the 08 Republican Primary bid. I shall announce that choice after the upcoming election.

Here is a good link giving a overview.

From that link I think Our Current Pope hits the bullseye when says:

In his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (28), Pope Benedict XVI states: “ It is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest.
The Holy Father goes on to write (ibid): “ The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to awaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper

LA Catholic blog also asks us to heed this part of the Bishops thoughts :
Are all political and social issues equal when it comes to choosing a political candidate?
Absolutely not! The Catholic Church is actively engaged in a wide variety of important public policy issues including immigration, education, affordable housing, health and welfare, to name just a few. On each of these issues we should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.
As Pope John Paul II has written, " Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination ." (Christifideles Laici, 38)

That right there pretty much sums it up. As I tell my liberal democrat liberal friends, I also share many of their concerns regarding immigration reform, the poor, the environment, etc. However if the dignity of human life is not respected those issues too are at risk. That is the reason why issues such as Abortion and certain forms of stem cell research are more important to me than lets say person x position on public housing. If the Democrats would allow their prolifers to flourish they would be suprised at the results. In fact are we not seeing that happening in certain races around the country.

The good bishop did a homily on this issue of Cathlolics and voting entitled The Rosary, Faith and the Public Square. The pdf of that homily can be located here.

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