Category Archives: Featured Articles
Our Public Witness (Chapter III)
Should a political candidate talk publicly about his faith? Should an elected official allow his or her faith to inform political decisions? These are questions that have been discussed for decades, but the debate has grown more heated in recent years. (more…)
In Chapter I of “How to Vote Catholic” we discussed the obligation of Catholics to participate in politics by voting to ensure that our legislators protect the common good, human dignity, and the rights of all. As such, it is incumbent upon Catholic voters to know and understand Church teaching, especially as regards life and family issues.
Chapter II defines and explains the principle of applying “prudential judgment” to concrete situations with guidance from the Holy Father, our bishops, and priests. (more…)
“How to Vote Catholic” was first published in 2004 by the Morley Publishing Group, Inc. Matt Smith and Deal Hudson decided it was a good idea to update and revise it for the 2012 election under a new title “Issues for Catholic Voters.” (more…)
By Deal W. Hudson
Congressman Steve Driehaus (D, OH-01) wants to send Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List president, to jail.
From Jack Smith at the Catholic Key Blog comes an important report on a story from the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Remember this is Nancy Pelosi’s diocese and one of the most “progressive” in the country.
Smith writes about a former friend and colleague, George Wesolek, who serves as Director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Wesolek, Smith explains, “is no conservative, but rather that type of thoroughgoing pro-life, Catholic social justice advocate that is much talked about but rarely evidenced.”
Wesolek wrote a column in Catholic San Francisco that Smith describes as dropping “a bomb.” Wesolek writes:
So now we have some nuns accusing the bishops of lying about abortion. Are you shocked? Don’t be because this has been going on for a long time.
For years, most of the leadership of the LCWR and the Catholic hospitals (most of which are owned by these very same LCWR leaders) have been advancing a view of Catholic social teaching that reflects a vision that they learned in the 60s and 70s – a tired feminism that distorts the role of women and has at its center the freedom of women to “choose” to kill the infants in their womb if they so desire.
This view rightly offers deep concern for justice for the poor and vulnerable, but like so many in this age-group, minimizes or trivializes the unborn. “Network,” the Washington, D.C. lobbying arm of the LCWR does not include pro-life legislation as part of its work. If it does at all, it distorts the term “pro-life” to be so ambiguous and far-reaching that it includes everything. Thus, the sisters can say with a straight face that the current health care legislation is “life-affirming.”
Read the rest here.
By Brenda Steele
Planned Parenthood is at it again. This time, in Springfield, IL they’re offering “do-it-yourself” abortions through the use of drugs so that women can “complete” the killing of their babies within the comfort of their own homes. Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the bargain basement price of only $435.
An article in The State Journal-Register offers a very unbiased report on this new effort by Planned Parenthood to make abortion accessible to all. Citing that “some residents have had to drive at least 90 minutes to abortion providers” Stephanie Cox, a PP nurse -practitioner, notes that she is “relieved” this will no longer be necessary.
“I have seen so many women just devastated that they have to travel,” she said. “I just know it’s very burdensome for some women, especially women with small children already, or who can’t get off work.”
These “medication abortions” are by appointment only at the Springfield, IL PP health center. Once there, the “patient” is given one drug in pill form, mifepristone (RU-486), to be taken at the clinic. They are sent home with another pill, misoprostol, to consume, which should cause the baby to be aborted within 24 – 48 hours. Just think, you’re in and out in a short period of time, armed with meds to “do the job,” and headed for home.
Enter Shirley Caldwell Smith and Springfield Right to Life, thank goodness! They’ve already held a prayer vigil at the PP clinic and aired a minute long radio ad asking community members to pray for the lives of these unborn babies who will die if abortion comes to Springfield. Let’s hope they keep up the protests, and let’s all pray that their efforts will change the hearts of some of these women considering aborting their babies.
By Brenda Steele
Was President John F. Kennedy instrumental in “privatizing” religion? Russ Shaw, writing for InsideCatholic.com thinks that is the case. In his piece titled “Privatizing Religion” Shaw recalls that JKF’s assurance that his religious views were his “own private affair” has allowed future Catholic politicians to pick up his mantra.
Case in point, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. We all recall her Newsweek interview when she whined that she “mourned” a “difference of opinion” but that her own free will allowed her this. Pelosi is hardly the only Catholic politician to exercise this idea of separating faith from the public square. Others come to mind, such as John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. The list is long, and you know who to add.
So, the question begs to be asked, “How does one proclaim to be a faithful Catholic and yet “separate” the teachings of their faith from day to day decisions, whether these be concerned with family issues, work issues, or political ones? It is not enough to be a “good” Catholic by attending, at a minimum, Sunday Mass and, perhaps, participating in the life of the Church, and then dismiss Church teachings on Monday in favor of a “separatist” attitude.
This insistence of “my faith is personal,” subscribed to by far too many Catholic politicians, makes me wonder if they have split personalities! Can you have a movie without popcorn, an Oreo without a glass of milk? No, of course not, just as you cannot be one person in church and another outside of church. Our beliefs determine “who” we are at all times, whether in the public square, in church, or within our families.
I say to all Catholic politicians, let the beliefs of your True Catholic faith shine through, guide all you do and say, and give glory and honor to our Lord. Don’t be a Jekyll and Hyde.
By Matt Smith
President Obama campaigned on working with both sides of the aisle to achieve “progress” for America. He played into Americans’ growing frustration at Washington grid-lock, making promises he has not kept. Many members of the minority party have consistently been denied access to the one-sided, one-political party work on health care legislation while it has been fumbled by the President’s own party. Then, a year into office, President Obama issued this call during his State of the Union:
“… if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.”
The bold State of the Union dare was followed by publicly inviting members of Congress down to a health care summit being held this week.
One of the first mistakes President Obama made was leaving the crafting of the health care legislation solely to Congress. This signature domestic policy issue of President Obama spent the majority of 2009 mired in a lack of direction, focus, and attempts to make the legislation a vehicle for radical social change. Normally, when the White House has a policy priority it is communicated, both officially and unofficially, with the Congress what they want in the legislation, taking a leadership position in negotiations.
At the beginning of 2010, Catholic Advocate called on President Obama to start over on health care reform. The premise for our call was the White House endorsement of the Christmas Eve Senate language which all will remember included the pro-abortion Senator Ben Nelson Nebraska-compromise. Now, 13 months into office the President has finally chosen to lead by advancing his own 11-page health care proposal. Unfortunately, the “new proposal,” deliberately released prior to the supposed “bi-partisan” health care summit, is just a repackaging of the previously passed Senate version.
Recycling bad policy is not leadership. Maintaining the Senate language is unacceptable to the non-negotiable teachings of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of human life.
President Obama declared eight times during his campaign for the presidency that he would open negotiations on health care reform for all Americans to watch on C-SPAN. C-SPAN’s CEO Brian Lamb even sent a letter to the President asking him to open any negotiations to cameras. Once again, 13 months later, the President is finally implementing a promise…well sort of. But, like a bad reality show, Thursday’s summit will just be staged political theater. Except, in this situation no one will be receiving any roses, and the only thing that should be voted off the island is the persistence of bad policy.
By introducing this proposal in advance of the summit he is hosting to listen to members of Congress, the President has essentially told them he is not open to new ideas, just the same flawed policies from last year.
What specifically should concern American Catholics?
The Senate legislation does not include the Stupak-Pitts language. The approach, endorsed by the White House on February 22, 2010, allows subsidies for abortion coverage and even directly funds abortion through grants to community health centers. National Right to Life pointed out that by increasing funding for community health centers to $11 billion without ensuring funds cannot be used to pay for abortion, the President’s proposal actually expands abortion, with more money than the previous version included. Additional concerns, including conscience protection issues and back door abortion mandates, also remain within the President’s proposal to the same extent as they existed in the Senate bill.
A famous quote of candidate Obama included:
”You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.
“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.
“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”
In this situation, I could not agree with you more, Mr. President. Let us pray members of Congress involved with supporting the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House have the courage to speak up later this week when the cameras are finally rolling.
Dear Catholic Advocate Community,
Catholic Advocate has just discovered a mistake in our Catholic Scorecard. Bart Stupak is listed as having “not” voted with the Catholic vote on item #3 for the 110th Congress, “The Smith-Stupak Amendment to Protect the Mexico City Policy.” Obviously, this is an error, and for this slight to Bart Stupak we are most regretful.
We are currently updating and revising the Catholic Scorecard (you will like it!) as it will be much more user friendly and interactive.
This change in Congressman Stupak’s voting record gives him a 71 percent pro-life score rather than the 57 percent as noted on the scorecard.
Our humble apologies are extended to Congressman Bart Stupak for this error and to our community for giving you incorrect information.
By Brenda Steele
Lila Rose and Live Action have succeeded in getting an Alabama Planned Parenthood abortion clinic put on probation. The clinic in Montgomery, AL has one week to answer charges it has provided abortions to underage girls, as young as 13-15, without parental consent. They must come up with a plan to address these state violations in the future or risk being closed.
A member of Live Action, the pro-life, youth led movement based in California, posed as a 14 year old seeking an abortion without the consent of her parents. She was told by a clinic worker that “someone else besides a parent could give consent.” This advice and counsel were caught on an audio tape the activist participating in the sting was concealing.
Live Action, a non-profit student group, led by 21 year old president, Lila Rose, has visited dozens of abortion clinics across the country. Members pose as underage pregnant girls seeking abortion counseling.
According to Lila Rose it is “routine at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to be told medical lies and to be subjected to manipulative counseling.”
“They will do or say anything in order to sell more abortions to more women, whether it is covering up sexual abuse or lying to women about medical facts,” says Rose. “Our team has visited dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics undercover. Planned Parenthood, while claiming to support patient self-determination, operates with an ‘abortion-first mentality.’”
Lila Rose and her youth-led movement are “dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time.” They employ sting operations at abortion clinics throughout the nation, gathering information and proof that many are providing inaccurate medical counseling and abortion services to underage girls.
Planned Parenthood take notice: Lila Rose and the pro-life youth of Live Action who work alongside her, will find you out if, in fact, you are dealing in unlawful abortion practices.
Kudos to Lila Rose, to Live Action, and to all the other young pro-lifers in America who are becoming a pro-active voice in helping to stop abortion. They have courage, conviction, and commitment, but most of all they have a strong faith, and know what they are doing is God’s work.