Monday, January 29, 2007

Catholic Voting Crisis in America (And Canada)

Catholic Citizens of Illinois was founded in 1996 by a group of Catholics who were concerned by trends in voting behavior and public opinion polls which pointed toward a breakdown in group consciousness among Catholic lay people in Illinois and across America.

On their website, they summarize their concerns in this way:
More and more, Catholics in public life are becoming indistinguishable from other Americans, with growing support for abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and other societal ills. Even worse, a veil of ignorance has fallen over Catholic America, obscuring Catholic lay people's understanding of their faith and calling into question their responsibility to serve as witnesses to Christ in the midst of human society.
Last week, Catholic Citizens of Illinois published an article entitled "Pathetic State of American Catholicism on Abortion Crystallized from Buffalo Pulpit" as a result of the recent controversy surrounding Rep. Brian Higgins, a popular upstate New York Democratic Congressman.

The article notes that despite a
...pattern of betrayal and rejection of his faith's positions on abortion and related issues, Higgins continues to publicly proclaim his Catholicism because he knows that Irish Catholics form his main political base. In other words, Higgins wants to have his cake and eat it as well. He wants Catholic votes while betraying Catholic teaching.
Little more than a week ago, on Respect Life Sunday, Deacon McDonnell of St. Thomas Aquinas parish, realizing
...that Higgins was in attendance and, repeating words he had given the day before from the pulpit, called on Catholics to pay closer attention to politicians' voting records on certain issues before voting for those politicians. He suggested that congregants speak to Higgins about his record. At this, Higgins and his family stood up and left.

If anyone wants to see the sad state of the American Catholic Church on the issue of abortion, let him look to the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Buffalo, where a courageous deacon named Thomas McDonnell stood up for his faith only to be betrayed by precisely those who were supposed to lead him into battle. Instead of receiving complete support, as he deserved, McDonnell was criticized by both Church leadership and enough clueless congregants to make one wonder just what passes for Catholicism in this country.
This story points out very clearly the formidable challenge facing pro-lifers in North America. If the consciences of Catholics (and other Christians), who claim to hold to clearly stated doctrine condemning unequivocally the immorality and injustice of abortion, will permit them to vote for and otherwise support politicians who are responsible for sustaining the status quo on abortion in their nation, it is shocking indeed.

What can possibly be done to reverse this apathetic state of affairs?

Canadians must SEE abortion.

Their consciences must be re-formed through first hand encounter with the shocking, sobering images of the aborted.

An army of warriors must rise up in Canada to bring this message to Christians, other faith communities and to all other Canadians of good will. Along with the discovery of the truth and reality of abortion, Canadians must be persuaded to put legs to their new found convictions and be strengthened to make their vote count for a truly just society, where unborns are legally recognized as fully Canadian.

Will you become a warrior for the unborn?

If so, Vote Life, Canada! needs YOU!


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