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"Catholics for Romney" come out of the gate with a whimper

The Romney Campaign announced the leadership of its "Catholics for Romney" effort with a statement that had a stentorian tone but little substance. The six Republican former Vatican ambassadors who were the signatories put out a statement that was embarrassing as an expression of Catholic faith in both its narrowness and its dishonesty.

The statement was addressed to "Fellow Catholics," and it opened by saying "we have a duty to act that is greater and more urgent than allegiance to any political party." But then the statement proceeded to rehash vague traditional Republican language about abortion and gay marriage, with an indirect reference to the US Bishops' campaign against contraceptives. No reference was made to the most critical issues: the Faithful Citizenship call for abortion reduction measures; the increase in the number of poor people and the broad economic suffering brought on by the Great Recession that began under the last Republican president; international peace and nuclear disarmament; the threat, mostly to the developing world, of global warming; and the efforts of Governor Romney and his party to undermine the provision of health insurance for all Americans.

There was no acknowledgement of recent Vatican efforts to make the world economy serve better the needs of the poor; or the Vatican's recent insistence again that healthcare is a "human right"; or the Vatican's clarion calls over the past ten years to decrease carbon emissions. There was no acknowledgement of Governor Romney's dangerous calls for war with Iran, or his avoidance of the issue of nuclear disarmament, or his destabilizing comments about politics in the Middle East.

There was no mention at all of healthcare, or the fact the Governor Romney was a prime early architect of the healthcare reform that he is now denouncing. There was no mention of the fact that Governor Romney's views on abortion were indistinguishable from President Obama', when Governor Romney was running for office in Massachusetts.

The statement repeats the same "pro-abortion"insult that demeans the search for common ground in pursuit of solutions to the ongoing problem of unintended pregnancy in America. It repeats Baltimore Bishop William Lori's embarrassing and intellectually weak claims that religious liberty is "under direct assault" in the United States because most employers are now required to let women and their doctors (rather than the employers themselves) decide when patients should be prescribed contraceptive medications.

Worst of all, the statement is a straight partisan attack on the Democratic candidate that proclaims at the outset that it "transcends allegiance to any political party." The Catholic faith is at its heart a pursuit of ultimate truths, and this early representation of Romney's appeal to Catholics is deeply disappointing in its dishonesty, its un-Christian language, and its avoidance of virtually all the moral issues that most concern Catholics in the pews.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

First Inaugural Address, President Barack Obama



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