Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Responding to Ekeh's defense of his "political orientation" 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 12:02 PM

Ono Ekeh was a former program coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This past March he was asked to resign when, at the urging of Deal Hudson and others, the USCCB conducted a review of his postings to his blog and the Catholics For Kerry internet forum. In this week's edition of The National Catholic Reporter, Ekeh defends his "political orientation" and participation in Catholics For Kerry, criticizing the notion that being Catholic and Democrat are mutually exclusive,

Ekeh cites the USCCB's call for "more, not less engagement in political life" in their document "Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility" and asks:

What precisely does "more engagement" mean? What is meant by "working within political parties"? Does it not allow for Catholics to seek similar goals of creating a culture of life and human dignity, even if our political orientation impels us to seek it in different ways?
The response, of course, lies in the Bishops' call -- within the same document -- to:
. . . encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate [more fully] in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power.
Every voice matters. Every vote counts. Precisely why some Catholic clergy and laity have a hard time believing that putting Kerry in the White House will contribute towards this end, what with his consistent voting record on ending the lives of the unborn. Catholics may have legitimate disagreements and grievances with the Bush administration, but how does one support a presidential candidate endorsed by NARAL and for whom pro-choicers are marching on Sunday? -- how does Ekeh square his support of Kerry's candidacy with the bishop's admonishment:
In protecting human life, "We must begin with a commitment never to intentionally kill, or collude in the killing, of any innocent human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled or desperate that life may seem. . . . We urge Catholics and others to promote laws and social policies that protect human life and promote human dignity to the maximum degree possible. Laws that legitimize abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia are profoundly unjust and immoral.
I agree with Ekeh that Catholics should seek to "change a culture, not just a law" -- and the battle to end abortion requires not just the prohibition of the procedure but to work to alleviate the economic and social conditions that compel women to make this choice. I agree with Ekeh that "issues such as health care, child care, family leave, wage inequity, domestic violence" should be effectively addressed. There is no question that all of this should be part of the struggle to build a "culture of life."

But working for the latter simply does not excuse or justify supporting a politican whose distinctly anti-Catholic voting record on abortion (not to mention verbal promises to his supporters) indicates that his administration will be a direct impediment to ending this profoundly unjust and immoral horror visited upon so many innocent lives.

Update Amy Welborn was likewise mystified by Ekeh's defense -- good discussion here.


Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch


Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.

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Contributing Editors:

Oswald Sobrino of
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Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
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Jamie
Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain


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Kerry's Critics

Bloggers

Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Disputations
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
Fidelis
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
Laudem Gloriae
Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
[The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian]
The Mighty Barrister
Open Book
Pilgrimage
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission

Organizations

Catholics Against Kerry
CatholicVoter.Net
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

CatholicFactor
CNN.com
Google News
LifeNews.com
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

LifeIssues.Net

Periodicals

National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
Weekly Standard

Related Documents & Articles

Worthiness To Recieve Communion: General Principles
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Evangelium Vitae
Pope John Paul II

Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion, from Archbishop Donoghue (Atlanta, GA), Bishop Baker (Charleston, SC) and Bishop Jugis (Charlotte, NC).
August 4, 2004

Catholics in Political Life U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. June 7, 2004.

Catholic Politicians and Bishops. By Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. America June 21-28, 2004.

A Time For Honesty, Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark. May 5, 2004.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators. Interview with Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Why Don't Catholic Politicians Practice What the Catholic Church Preaches?, by Judie Brown. Washington Dispatch April 19, 2004.

How to tell a Duck from a Fox: Thinking with the Church as we look toward November, by Archbishop Chaput. Denver Catholic Register April 14, 2004.

On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, a Pastoral Letter by La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke.

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians, by Mark Stricherz. Crisis May 2003.

The Failure of Catholic Political Leadership, by Robert P. George & William E. Saunders. Crisis 18, No. 4 (April 2000).

Denying Holy Communion: A Case History, by Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida. [PDF Format].

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, by Barbara Kralis.

Recommmended Reading

John Kerry, Abortion and the Catholic Church

Irreconcilable Differences", by Matthew Mehan. NRO Sept. 16, 2004.

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion Investigative report by Christopher Blosser. August 30, 2004.

"Please answer the question, Senator Kerry", The Mighty Barrister. August 2, 2004.

You wouldn't even ask. Fr. Pavone (Priests for Life). July 2004.

Kerry isn't making abortion stand clear, by Raymond J. Keating. Newsday July 27, 2004.

Senator Kerry May Be Human . . . But is He a Person?, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 23, 2004.

Kerry's Catholic Problem, by Brent Bozell. July 7, 2004.

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ: Candidates, Communion and the Catholic Church. Debate btw/ Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and George Weigel. June 23, 2004.

The Kerry challenge, by George Weigel. May 5, 2004.

Rites and Wrongs: Why John Kerry should not take communion, by Philip F. Lawler. Wall Street Journal April 30, 2004.

John Kerry's Catholic Problem", by Cal Thomas. April 26, 2004.

Kerry Distorting Catholic Doctrine. Newsmax.com interviews George Weigel. April 16, 2004.

"Personally Opposed, But…" Five Pro-Abortion Dodges, by Todd M. Aglialoro. Crisis April 1, 2004.

On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up, Catholic Kerry Watch, August 14, 2004.

Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology"  Catholic Kerry Watch. August 9, 2004.

Ron Reagan & Functionalism, Revisited, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 29, 2004.

Out of Touch, by Michael Fumento. Refuting Kerry's claims on the use of embryonic stem cells. Citizen Magazine August 2004.

Stem Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004.

Stem Cell Research: Fact Sheets, Letters to Congress and Articles from the USCCB.

On Voting, "Proportionality" and Cardinal Ratzinger's Memorandum

What Ratzinger Said, by James Akin. Sept. 9, 2004.

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology (of Andrew Greeley) Barbara Kralis. August 22, 2004.

Thoughts on Proportionality, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 12, 2004.




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