Archbishop Chaput on Catholic philosophy and elections, along with some recommended reading.

Any committed Christian might be tempted to despair. But the truth is that it’s always been this way. As the author of Hebrews wrote, “here we have no abiding city” (Heb 13:14). Augustine admired certain pagan Roman virtues, but he wrote the City of God to remind us that we’re Christians first, worldly citizens second. We need to learn—sometimes painfully—to let our faith chasten our partisan appetites.

In the United States, our political tensions flow from our cultural problems. Exceptions clearly exist, but today our culture routinely places rights over duties, individual fulfillment over community, and doubt over belief. In effect, the glue that now holds us together is our right to go mall-crawling and buy more junk. It’s hard to live a life of virtue when all around us, in the mass media and even in the lives of colleagues and neighbors, discipline, restraint, and self-sacrifice seem irrelevant.

Brad Gregory, the Notre Dame historian, seeks to show how we got this way in his recent book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. His answers are surprising, and for some readers, controversial. But his book is also important—and in its explanatory power, brilliant.

Link

Where are the rest of the Catholic Bishops?

The following is a statement from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, regarding the silence of many Catholic leaders on the upcoming elections:

“Last week, I wrote an article at tinyurl.com/bpxu7zz noting that, with only two Sundays to go before the November 6 presidential election, many Catholic Church leaders had not yet spoken out on the crucial issues in this election.

Other religious leaders, particularly in the Evangelical Protestant churches, have made powerful statements — often from the pulpit — to tell their congregations what is at stake in this election on the issues of same-sex marriage, abortion, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception and abortion mandate.

However, the overwhelming majority of Catholic Church leaders have continued to remain silent about what is at stake in this election. With only one Sunday left before Election Day, only a few Bishops have issued statements addressing the issues I raised.”

Read more

In Mexico, the Catholic Church publicly speaking the truth is termed a “provocation”.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church drew fire Tuesday for releasing a set of voting “guidelines” for the faithful ahead of the July 1 presidential elections. All religious groups in Mexico are banned from engaging in electoral politics, or supporting or opposing any candidate or party. The guidelines published by the Archdiocese of Mexico on its web site appear to closely skirt the restriction.
Editor’s note: Many North Americans find the severe restrictions on religious freedom in Mexico to be rather disturbing. In light of this, it should come as no surprise that many Mexican citizens wish to come to the U.S. for reasons of religious, as well as economic freedom.

Spanish debt crisis should be a lesson to all

When center-right Catalan nationalists replaced the Socialist government in that region, incoming officials discovered the local budget deficit was twice the amount than had been previously reported.

These so-called hidden debt concerns may be more widespread than is currently known. “[The election winners are] going to arrive and realize there’s no money,” said Ismael Crespo, political scientist at the Ortega-Maranon Foundation in Madrid. “Many of the regions have problems not only to meet the deficit target but to meet basic services, which until now have been hidden because of the elections,” he added. One of those regions is Castilla-La Mancha, a region where the PP and local business leaders claim invoices of $1.43 billion remain unpaid, and where Maria Dolores de Cospedal, the conservative party’s newly elected-regional president, has pledged to “audit” the region, which she characterized as “practically bankrupt.”

Link

Obama surrogates who treat abortion and marriage as two issues among many are misleading Catholic voters and distorting the Church’s teaching.

Abortion and marriage belong to a small group of policy issues that are not weighed by prudential judgment. All instances of abortion are morally wrong, as in the recognition that a marriage can exist between individuals of the same sex. Therefore, to consider allowing policies that do not respect the sanctity of life for any reason at all is unacceptable from a Catholic perspective. Likewise on marriage, the Church holds the firm belief that marriage between a man and a woman should be protected by the state and is a non-negotiable principle of Catholic teaching.

The 2010 mid-term election already demonstrated the consequences for Catholic Members of Congress who supported health care reform, especially in heavily Catholic states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. President Obama and his Catholic supporters like Lt. Governor Kennedy Townsend will likely learn a lot about the faith of these same Catholics when it guides their decisions in the voting booth on November 6, 2012.

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Recent Catholic convert and Republican strategist Mary Matalin (wife of Democratic loud mouth, James Carville) speaks

The Republican strategist, editor and talk show host (and wife of Democratic loud mouth, James Carville) spoke to the Catholic Media Convention last weekend. At one point, she mentioned that she was raised Methodist, but joined the Catholic Church this past Easter, through RCIA.

From Catholics News Service, via the Catholic Spirit:

She shared her observations on the current political climate in the country as it heads toward midterm elections.

A former adviser to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Matalin is editor-in-chief of Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She also is a CNN contributor and co-hosts a radio show.

She filled in for her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, who was scheduled to speak but had a last-minute conflict. The couple and their two daughters live in New Orleans.

Matalin was introduced by Father John Carville, retired vicar general of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and her husband’s cousin.

Read more

How to Conduct Politics as Catholics

How to Conduct Politics as Catholics

The Denver Memorandum

A book by American archbishop Chaput is making a stir ahead of the presidential elections, against those who want to water down the faith or remove it from the public sphere. “L’Osservatore Romano” is the first to review it, and recommends that it be read “in the United States and elsewhere”

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, August 13, 2008 – A few days ago, a book was released in the United States that will be widely discussed, especially in the run-up to the presidential elections. The author is Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Denver.

Chaput, 64, born to a farming family in Kansas, is a member of the Native American tribe of the Prairie Band Potawatomi. He is a Franciscan, of the Capuchin order. Before going to Denver, he was bishop of Rapid City in South Dakota. He is among the candidates for two top-level archdioceses waiting for new archbishops: New York and Detroit.

The title of the book itself gives a hint to its contents: “Render Unto Caesar. Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life.” It is right to give Caesar what belongs to him. But one serves the nation by living out one’s own Catholic faith in political life.

Chaput moves decisively against the prevailing cultural tide in the media, in the universities, among political activists, a tide that wants to thrust the faith from the public stage.

Click here for more

Regarding pro abortion politicians receiving communion

Buy the book here