Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"Seamless Garment" Strikes Again 

Posted by Earl at 2:53 PM

In the early 1980s, the concept of the "seamless garment," which received considerable impetus from a series of addresses by Joseph Cardinal Bernandin, wreaked havoc in the largely Catholic pro-life movement of the time and provided a convenient cover for anti-life Catholic politicians, the predecessors of Senator John Kerry (D-MA), to pose as "pro-life" candidates.

Thus ratings soon appeared that demonstrated, for example, that the infamously pro-abortion Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) was as pro-life, if not more so, than the stalwart defender of the unborn Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). There are those, such as this writer, who believe that the camouflage thus afforded pro-abort Catholic liberals like Teddy Kennedy was the hidden intent behind the creation of the seamless garment, while other more charitable souls maintain that the original concept was hijacked, much in the style of the so-called "spirit of Vatican II."

What is indisputable, however, was the seamless garment's disastrously detrimental effect on the pro-life cause--an adverse impact that continues to this day, as can be seen in an article in today's issue of The Hill, in which Michael Rochmes and Albert Eisele report:
House Democrats are preparing a "Catholic Voting Scorecard" in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts.
Nearly 27% of the House members are Catholic, as are Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Nicholas Lampson (D-TX), who are spearheading the scorecard sham. A former Executive Director of the anti-life PAC Emily's List, DeLauro earned a 100% rating from the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League, better known by its old acronym NARAL, in 2003. From 1995 through 2001, Lampson voted the position favored by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America 80% of the time.

With this pair of Catholics In Name Only (CINOs) heading the effort, should we be surprised that pro-abortion votes are more than offset by votes on such other "pro-life" issues as child tax credit refunds, global AIDS relief, HIV/AIDS funding, increased welfare assistance, and raising the minimum wage?

After all, as a document accompanying the scorecard complains:
Under the misconception that single issues such as choice or gay rights best represent their interests, Catholics are voting for Republican candidates with increasing frequency.
This despite the fact, the document concludes, that:
Democratic House members vote with the Catholic interest much more often than their Republican counterparts.
"Just how much more often?" you ask. Consider this:
A preliminary copy of the scorecard obtained by The Hill...shows that the 67 Catholic House Democrats received an average score of 76 percent, while the 49 Catholic Republican members averaged 64 percent....
Seven Democrats received 100 percent ratings on the preliminary scorecard: Reps. Jerry Costello (IL), Mike Doyle (PA), Dale Kildee (MI), James Langevin (ME), Michael McNulty (NY), Michael Michaud (ME) and Tim Ryan (OH). Six others had scores of 90 percent or better, while Rep. Ellen Tauscher (CA) scored the lowest, at 60 percent, only slightly lower than Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), who had 63.6 percent.
It is high time to bury the seamless garment for once and for all lest it continue to serve as a burial shrowd for millions of defenseless unborn babies unseemly murdered in the abortion holocaust it treats as just another issue.

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
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain

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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. 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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