Over at Whispers in the Loggia Rocco has compiled the list of Bishops who have spoken up regarding the election, declaring that abortion is the most pressing issues of them all. Mine is on the list and issued a pastoral letter a few weeks back regarding the election and issues facing Catholics in my archdiocese this year. In every homily he's ever preached where I've been in the pews, he's preached a very pro-life, strongly anti-abortion message. I respect him for that. He speaks on the issue close to home, to his flock where the message needs to be heard, and not in National Catholic Media circles like others, but I suspect he probably feels just as strongly as the bishops we hear quoted every day.
I think the Church can speak about politics, but it must do so carefully. I think in some places, the line has been crossed and it reflects badly upon all people of faith especially Catholics. An evangelical church just a half-hour north of here, openly endorsed Republican candidates because of pro-life issues. Of course, people were outraged and offended. While the pastor thought it was important to strike up a dialog, he went about it in the wrong way and now risks losing his church's tax exempt status. Here, the Catholic church treads carefully over politics, but yet, we know how the archbishop feels about these issues all the same.
While we, as Catholics, are all different, we do have very strong and similar core values. We need to talk about those things. The bishops should be the ones to lead by example. They should not tell us directly how to vote, but should guide us faithfully and rationally.
That being said, they are human, they are fallible and they make mistakes too.
Also we need to consider all life issues when we go to the voting booth. Sadly, we haven't had a major party candidate, probably ever, who speaks to all life issues, so we are faced with making difficult decisions when we vote. I've been seeing in other blogs about Catholics feeling homeless when it comes to political parties and I think that is a true reflection of the world we live in right now. I'd like to think in my lifetime we will see such a candidate running for a major office and actually getting elected. I'd like to think this country and the world would be a better place because of it.
In other news, my neighbor passed out the link to the Catholic Vote video to her email list-- probably her prayer list or something-- because I was on her list. I wrote back and told her that I'd seen it and corrected her that it wasn't made by the Church but by a group of Catholics. She got a very scathing email back from someone who found it totally offensive and elitist. I so love hearing that word these days. It makes me want to quote Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "
Nonetheless, I thought it was an interesting reaction because I thought for the most part the video was pretty good. I don't agree that same-sex marriage is going to be the downfall to modern society, but that's just me. I do lean to the left on most issues you know. The other issues it featured are crucial and important to think about every day, not just around election day. My friend is stumped and not quite sure what to make of the reaction. I guess I am too.
Then again, maybe I watched a wholly different video than this woman. Maybe I saw something totally different in the very same video, but if I didn't find it offensive, then maybe there is something wrong with me.