Rick Santorum’s Greatness

EDITOR’S NOTE: Emily Stimpson is a contributing editor to Our Sunday Visitor.  Please welcome her to the CV Blog.

What’s so great about Rick Santorum? That’s a question lots of people have been asking as of late. And not without reason.

After all, on the surface certain obvious qualities we’d love to have in a president are missing from Santorum: Executive leadership experience, a proven track record of electability, strong rhetorical skills, etc.

When people voice those concerns, I don’t disagree. Unlike some folks at CatholicVote, I haven’t decided to hop unequivocally on the Rick Santorum train just yet.

Nevertheless, I’m grateful for his candidacy. I’m grateful because he’s such a consistent witness to the sanctity of life, and I’m grateful because he’s doing what so many other Catholic leaders—in both the Church and culture—aren’t doing: He’s living the fullness of the Church’s teachings on marriage.

A few days ago, while working on a story for Our Sunday Visitor about the New Evangelization, I spoke with Curtis Martin, Focus President and one of the two Americans named as consultors to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. At one point in the conversation, I asked Martin to name some of the obstacles preventing the New Evangelization from bearing the fruit it’s meant to bear.

His first answer? The number of Catholic leaders—diocesan administrators, teachers, catechists, etc.—who choose to contracept. (And if you don’t think that number is legion, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for you.)

His answer wasn’t what I was expecting. But he’s right.

Those contracepting Catholic leaders aren’t just dissenting from core Church teachings on sexuality, marriage, and the dignity of the human person. They’re dissenting from the Church’s teachings about herself—about who she is and by whose authority she teaches. They’re dissenting, in deed and belief, from the fullness of the Faith.

Which means they aren’t going to pass on the fullness of the Faith to anyone. How can they when they’ve broken from it in such a deep and personal way? How can they help others love and trust the Church, when they don’t trust her themselves? Their witness has been compromised by their own weakness, whether of will or understanding, and for as long as their witness remains compromised, so does the work of the New Evangelization.

But not Rick Santorum. Yes, he’s a politician, not a catechist. And no, he doesn’t subscribe to every non-magisterial, non-doctrinal white paper penned by mid-level staffers at the USCCB (or, to be fair, some penned by those much higher up), nor does he always defend the Church’s teachings on sexuality in the most politic of ways.

But he believes those teachings. He loves them. And he lives them…or at least seems to try his darnedest. People see that. They see what’s possible when a life is lived in full accord with Truth, and they see just how beautiful, how life-giving, those truths can be.

That will bear fruit. And the more Catholic leaders we have like him, in both the corridors of Washington and the corridors of chancery offices, the more fruit we’ll see.

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54 thoughts on “Rick Santorum’s Greatness

  1. P. S. Spence says:

    Hurricane Irene predicted on May 21st to begin on my father’s death Aug 26th and how it was to effect the hundreds banning me because they love their interpretation more than they love the truth. Hundreds of exact predictions stephentree.com/new.htm
    Sunday, March 04, 2012
    End Time Scenario
    When YOU(SPIRIT) and I collided I saw that all interpretation that did not START with the SPIRIT always led to an end and everyone that interpreted without the SPIRIT were going to have to end in one way or another.

    For YOU SPIRIT were always in the beginning, in the freshness of creation. The SPIRIT knew when speaking through the prophet EXACTLY what those that interpret would do with the words, therefore they were caught in a net that ends their life of “rightness” or ends their life. Period!

    Therefore the greatest good through interpretation without the SPIRIT is as filthy rags and rather than having dominance that was truly given by the SPIRIT they are but ravaging beasts fit only to be caught in a net and destroyed. Period!

    The end time as I have spoken from the beginning of my passion was the end of all who interpret without the SPIRIT. For they will say to ME (the SPIRIT through the prophet) “did I not speak YOUR words in YOUR name, did I not cast out devils in YOUR name, and the SPIRIT will say to them that believe they are right because of an interpretation about Jesus and about the Father that they did not get from the SPIRIT,,, “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU” for you NEVER KNEW ME.

    Through the SPIRIT alone Jesus and I are become one, for YOU ARE MY LIFE! All who believe this is done through reading and interpretation NEVER KNEW THE SPIRIT.

  2. Michelle says:

    He is most definitely not the perfect candidate (actually, there are no perfect Catholic candidates), but he is the one that this country needs right at this present moment. Ron Paul is too divisive, Romney and Newt are not bold enough, and Obama just needs to go. Santorum has great leadership skills and has a proven record of accomplishments in states where he has served. He does what he says he was going to do, and can cross party lines. He has a sound argument for his plan and is willing to explain his views clearly. He is not just hot air. And he has the energy and the back bone to tackle the issues that need to be resolved. There seems to not be much dirt the press can pull out on him, other than a sexist email from his staff! I have a feeling that the press is not giving him much air time b/c they know he has the potential to win. And I also have a feeling that the groundtroops of conservatives, christians, homeschoolers, and families that are under the radar now, will go out in hords to vote for him.

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