Do Catholics want to 'impose their morals on America?'

No. Catholics as much as anyone understand that this is a democracy. So when it comes to "imposing," it won't happen. Yes, Catholics, as citizens, have as much of a right to seek a moral society as they see it as do "progressives," athetists and others do--through the democratic process. How else do you think that Catholics would "impose" their views--by the pope sending over his Swiss Guards?

The accusation that Catholics would "impose" their views on Americans has again reached a crescendo with Cardinal Francis George's visit with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to discuss his public posture on issues that run counter to his professed Catholic belief. With great subtlety, it is suggested  that George and other Catholic bishops were seeking, though Quinn, to force their pro-life views on Illinois citizens.  And that by attending a fund-raiser and endorsing the work of Personal PAC, a pro-choice lobby that made almost $500,000 in campaign contributions to Quinn, the bishops were attacking a rape victim that was being honored for her pro-choice campaign ad.

This is intellectually dishonest.

The Catholic bishops, as citizens, were using the same tools available to other special interests, except the Catholic Church, as a religion cannot make campaign contributions like Personal PAC. (I'll note here that ministers campaigning for political candidates is widely accepted when it comes to "progressives" like Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama.) The Catholic bishops met the governor to discuss his use of his professed Catholic allegiance to promote a cause strictly at odds with Catholic teachings. If Quinn doesn't like to be criticized by church leaders for his hypocrisy, he can always withdraw from the church.

I'm not sure how George's critics would have the law forbid religious counseling of secular leaders. Democratic and Republican presidents long sought and received advice from religious leaders. Some even made a public display of it. Shall we have a law that bans religious from the governor's mansion or the West Wing?  Or a law prohibiting politicians, while they are in office, from attending church?

For more reflections on this issue, go to With Both Hands, here and here.

 

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  • Progressives and Catholics are not mutually exclusive.

  • I didn't say they were. In fact, the Catholic Church has been progressive on issues of social justices for many, many years, but is rarely recognized for it by many of today's "progressives." When the Democratic party was taken over by today's self-styled progressives, I left because I couldn't abide their absolute relativism and radical individualism. The Catholic Church's essential teachings are fundamentally communitarian, a concept rejected by radical extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. Among those extremists, I count many libertarians and the pro-choice absolutists who refuse to recognize any humanity prior to birth.

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  • Do Catholics want to “impose their morals on America?”According to no less an authority than New York Archbishop John Hughes, the Roman Catholic Church wants to convert all Pagan nations and all Protestant nations, including America. His words were reported in his own New York paper, Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register. Hughes stated, “Everybody should know that we have for our mission to convert the world,--including the inhabitants of the United States,--the people of the cities, and the people of the country, the officers of the navy and the marines, commanders of the army, the Legislatures, the Senate, the Cabinet, the President, and all”, ( Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register, November 23, 1850, p. 2). If the Church’s wishes are realized, then Catholic morals will be imposed on America, will they not? How about the official journal of the bishop of St. Louis and what stated in the November 22nd, 1851 edition? This edition of The Shepherd of the Valley, declared, “If Catholics ever gain, - which they surely will do, though at a distant day, - an immense numerical superiority, religious freedom in this country is at an end. So say our enemies. So we believe”, (“Religious Tolerance”, The Shepherd of the Valley, November 22, 1851).
    Now I will imagine that you, as a Catholic and particularly a Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist will say, “this is information that is certainly not going see the light of day on my blog or elsewhere if possible”. Certainly the Tribune appears to be so politically correct or so interested in seeing the Catholic Church remain unembarrassed, that it will censor its own history. Perhaps one advantage of working for the Tribune and other such media entities though is that when there are openings in organizations such as the North Korean state media, reporters can go to work there with a seamless transition.
    Then there is the “newspaper” the Chicago Daily Observer, where I saw your article title. The Daily Observer seems to be a Catholic apologist type entity. I was quoted in one article, without credit, and yet it is impossible to comment about it or any other articles in this supposed journalistic effort, that is shrouded in mystery. So open and American!
    It is hilarious, though sad, that Catholics, perhaps like yourself, will carefully and relentlessly act to suppress information like the intelligence that I have brought out, and yet declare how wonderful and important American freedoms are. I am still looking forward to meeting the Chicago Catholic who can see the hypocrisy of it.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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