I encourage everyone who ever happens upon this website (it is safe to assume you have some interest in Catholicism and/or voting) to be sure and read James Taranto’s interview piece with Timothy Cardinal Dolan today in the Wall Street Journal. The cardinal points to a real challenge we lay Catholics have to take very seriously.
From the Taranto piece:
American Catholics have in fact become “more like everybody else.” When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he found it necessary to reassure Protestants that, in the archbishop’s paraphrase, “my Catholic faith will not inspire my decisions in the White House.”
“That’s worrisome,” Archbishop Dolan says. “That’s a severe cleavage between one’s moral convictions and the judgments one is called upon to make. . . . It’s bothersome to us as Catholics, because that’s the kind of apologia that we expect of no other religion.” But times have changed. Today devout Catholic Rick Santorum is running on the promise that his faith will inform his decisions—and his greatest support comes from evangelical Protestants.
The archbishop sees a parallel irony in his dispute with Mr. Obama: “This is a strange turn of the table, that here a Catholic cardinal is defending religious freedom, the great proposition of the American republic, and the president of the United States seems to be saying that this is a less-than-important issue.”
The personally opposed stuff does not cut it. Not if we are who we say we are. We are called to be fully integrated moral beings, in and out of politics. We will fall, but are we even trying to follow the path of discipleship in all of life, even civic life? Not by interpreting our faith to fit our political agenda or ambition or to make relationships more comfortable. But by letting God’s Word truly challenge us in our civic interactions, activism, and duties?