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Kathy Green wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a new convert to the Church and I love the sisters but I cannot understand how they can address the Democratic convention. I thought the Democratic party's support for:

  • abortion
  • gay marriage, and
  • the HHS mandate

would be directly against the teachings of the Church.

  • What gives?

Thank you,

Kathy

  { How can Catholic Religious sisters address the Democratic Convention while supporting this? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Kathy —

Many years ago the Democratic party platform was compatible with Catholicism and represented a good deal of what we believe. Catholics were mostly working-class and were drawn to the Democratic party for that reason. It became ingrained in our country that [Catholic = Democrat] and the forces of culture took over so that when the Democrats stopped supporting Catholic principles, Catholics who grew up Democrats, especially those who do not take their faith seriously, still thought that [Catholic = Democrat] out of pure cultural inertia.

The fact is, Catholicism doesn't align very well on the American political spectrum. Both parties uphold principles that are objectionable to Catholic social teaching and morality. At the present time the Republicans have an edge with their pro-life plank, which trumps everything else, but a lot of Catholics don't see it this way.

That said, in this election, it is easy to lack enthusiasm even on this point, as Romney basically said he supports abortion in cases of rape, incest, health of the mother, and life of the mother, which is usually interpreted to mean through all nine months of pregnancy, since all a woman has to claim is that she'll be anxious or depressed, and these are considered threats to her health.

Finally, one has to consider the effects of radical feminism on women's religious orders. Some of them are hardly even Christian anymore, much less Catholic. Many women's religious orders have gone seriously astray in the last 50 years and some really do believe in abortion.

Why the Holy See has failed to act on this until now is anyone's guess.

Eric

Mike replied:

Hi Kathy,

You said:
I am a new convert to the Church and I love the sisters but I cannot understand how they can address the Democratic convention.

There are many people who we will meet in life, who are not necessarily Catholic religious, who are very kind, warm and welcoming. They are good people, very good people by nature, but even very good people, due to a lack of catechesis in the home and local parish, can grow up with a distorted view of Catholic teachings and what it means to be truly Catholic.

Sadly, this is the situation with some Catholic religious in our Church. At the same time, there are many, many Catholic religious who are faithful to the Church and stellar models of holiness for us. The Catholic in the pew should be able to discern the truly faithful by:

  • listening to the voice of the Holy Father as he guides and protects the Christian faith
    • through his various teachings, and
    • letters, and
  • what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says.

I agree with most of what my colleague Eric has said, when he says:
Both parties uphold principles that are objectionable to Catholic social teaching and morality. At the present time the Republicans have an edge with their pro-life plank, which trumps everything else, but a lot of Catholics don't see it this way.

While I agree both parties uphold objectionable principles, if one looks at the voting record of the Republican party over the past 10 to 30 years and compares it with the Democratic party, they will find the Republican party is far more in tune with Catholic principles than the Democratic party.

Though there are exceptions in each party, the Republican platform is:

The Democratic platform holds to none of these values or principles.

If you look at the two presidential tickets this year, one ticket practices their faith, while the other does so very infrequently. That said, who America votes for, is what America will get as far as morality goes.

Finally, I totally agree with Eric's concern about women's religious orders that have seriously astray in the last 50 years.

It is very frustrating to any practicing Catholic who, rather than scandalize the faith, would be willing to lay their life down for it, like the Early Church Fathers did.

If you're interested in learning more about what the very first Christians thought and taught, check out my new web site at:

BibleBeltCatholics.com

Mike

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