Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Friday, June 04, 2004

The Battle Rages: In the Pews and at the Ballot Box 

Posted by Earl at 10:47 AM

As reported by Dan Balz and Alan Cooperman in today's Washington Post [free registation required] and by other newspapers and media across the nation and the globe:
When President Bush sits down with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican this morning, their meeting will highlight one of the most significant stories of the 2004 presidential campaign: the battle between Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) for the Catholic vote in America.
By all accounts, the battle is as critical as it is intense, as Linda Feldmann writes in the Christian Science Monitor:
Catholics represent nearly 23 percent of American voters; both major presidential campaigns are ramping up their efforts to woo Catholics, along with other faith groups. And with Democratic Sen. John Kerry poised to become the first Catholic major-party nominee since John F. Kennedy, the nexus of politics and Catholicism is under the microscope to a degree unprecedented in more than 40 years.
Knight-Ridders' Steven Thomma observes in the Mercury News [free registration required]:
Three factors combine to make Roman Catholics a potentially pivotal bloc in the 2004 elections: They are the country's largest religious denomination, 65 million strong. Catholics are a major presence in election-battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. They also are split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, the only denomination so closely divided.
The Post reports:
The attention the White House has given to Catholic voters befits what has become one of the most prized swing votes in the country. Because of their geographic concentration, Catholics could determine the outcome of the election in such battleground states as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. Recent polls show Catholics narrowly favoring Kerry over Bush.
Indeed, registered Catholic voters support Sen. Kerry over Pres. Bush 48% to 41%, according to a recent survey by Quinnipiac University. Such figures take on added meaning in key battleground states. In the last presidential race, for example, Vice President Al Gore defeated then Gov. Bush in Pennsylvania, with its s large Catholic vote favoring Gore 53% to 46%. Had Catholics voted for Bush by the same margin, he would have won the state.

As readers of Catholic Kerry Watch know the faultlines are clear. Thomma draws them sharply:
Pulling them to the left are economic concerns that have long bound blue-collar, ethnic, big-city Catholics to the Democratic Party. Pushing them to the right are concerns over issues such as abortion and gay marriage that draw culturally conservative Catholics to the Republicans.
While Feldmann, parenthetically, provides a snapshot of the "red"—as opposed to "blue"—Catholic vote:
For Bush, the task of reaching "his" Catholic voters is easier; Bush Catholics gather regularly in one place, either for Mass or other church functions.
In other words, Catholics who support Bush tend to be practicing Catholics. And Catholics who support Kerry?
Conservative Catholics dismiss Kerry and other [pro-abortion] politicians as "cafeteria Catholics" who choose to obey some Church teachings and ignore others.
Thus the battle in the pews to defend the Holy Eucharist from CINO politicians and activists whose "cafeteria" selections dump the Catholic doctrines of the sanctity of life and marriage into the garbage along with the aborted baby reflects the battle at the ballot box.

One is being waged for the soul of our Holy Catholic Church; the other for the head of our nation. A single question looms over both—in the first instance, for our bishops and in the second, for Catholic voters—which side are you on?

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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Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics

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Kerry's Critics


Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
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
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission


Catholics Against Kerry
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

Google News
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




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. 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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