What?

An editorial in the Jesuit’s America magazine recently
predicted that Sen. Barack Obama will profit by the upcoming visit of
Pope Benedict XVI to the United States.

The moment the Holy Father denounces the war in Iraq, it will
provide a “big opening for Sen. Obama,” according to Michael Sean
Winters.

There’s a lot of Press handicapping going on in the leadup to the
papal visit to America next week. That snip represents some of it.

But this is how the more informed and engaged analysts connect the dots when headlines put ‘the Catholic vote’ behind Obama:

The question is whether Catholic voters can be persuaded
to overlook his extreme stances on the life issues, all of which are
opposed to Catholic teaching, in order to register their protest
against an unpopular war and those who supported it — namely, John
McCain.

And about that speculation on the pope’s remarks…

The Holy Father is well aware of the political divide
between Democrats and Republicans on the life and family issues. It’s
no accident that just ten days before his arrival in the United States,
Benedict spoke out on the “grave sins” of abortion, euthanasia,
divorce, and “the culture of death.” …

This pope understands our culture wars. Benedict, after all, is the
man who, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
prepared the 2002 “Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the
participation of Catholics in political life,” which helped to solidify
Catholic opposition to the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry. The Doctrinal
Note became the primary Vatican document cited to remind Catholic
voters that not all political issues are equal in Church teaching.

And that pre-eminent among all human rights is the right to life. Understanding that would help Obama.

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....