Politicians are always after ‘the Catholic vote’, and usually the
ones who make the headlines (meaning ones the media pay their
particular brand of attention to) are after the vote of liberal
Catholics who adhere to the view they term ‘pro-choice.’

The two presidential tickets represent two opposite worldviews on
social and moral issues and at core, the issue of life. The New York
Times had another piece on it this week, “Abortion issue again dividing Catholic vote.”

What do they mean “again“?

A struggle within the church over how Catholic voters
should think about abortion is once again flaring up just as political
partisans prepare an all-out battle for the votes of Mass-going
Catholics in swing-state towns like Scranton.

Oh, flaring up again.

The theological dispute is playing out in diocesan
newspapers and weekly homilies, while the campaigns scramble to set up
phone banks of nuns and private meetings with influential bishops.

Indeed, it was inflamed recently with those back-to-back appearances
on Meet the Press by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Joe Biden. Which
wasn’t politically expedient for the cause, some Catholic Democrats now
lament.

Progressive Catholics complain that by wading into the
history of church opposition to abortion — Mr. Biden brought up St.
Thomas Aquinas, Ms. Pelosi discussed St. Augustine — Democratic
officials are starting a distracting debate with the church hierarchy.

It’s “distracting” to refer to Church history and teaching?

“Getting into Augustine and Aquinas — it is just not
helpful,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, a
progressive Catholic group running television commercials that
emphasize the church’s social justice teachings. “It would be wise for
them to focus on how policies they are going to implement as leaders
are going to move forward the church teachings they say they believe
in.”

Just to clarify the constant and unchanged teachings the Church
believes in, as opposed to picking and choosing some while leaving the
fundamental one aside….the bishops have engaged. Like seldom before.

So are lay Catholics with access to the media.

Even in San Francisco. 

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....