The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, October 17, 2004  

Our "States' Rights" Bishops

Those following the ongoing debate about the candidates, Catholics, and the consciences of the latter, might direct their attention to two essays in today's papers:

"Vote and Be Damned," by Maureen Dowd, in the New York Times. Pull quotes:

Once upon a time, with Al Smith and John Kennedy, the church was proud to see Catholics run for president. The church was as unobtrusive in 1960, trying to help J.F.K., as it is obtrusive now, trying to hurt J.F.K. II. [...]

America is awash in selective piety, situational moralists[,] and cherry-picking absolutists.

"Single-Issue Vote is the Real Sin," by Tom Ferrick Jr., in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pull quote:

The Roman Catholic bishops there [St. Louis, Denver, et al.] have declared that Kerry's pro-abortion stand is a "foundational issue" and a manifestation of evil.

These prelates say that if Catholics are aware of where the Democrat stands on these issues and still vote for him, they are -- ergo and ipso facto -- cooperating with evil. That it is a sin and you should go to confession.

What happens if you do it anyway and don't confess? If I recall my catechism correctly, you will burn in hell -- though apparently there may be a residency test:

St. Peter: Did you vote for John Kerry?

Applicant: Yes, sir, I did.

St. Peter: Did you live in St. Louis, Denver or environs?

Applicant: No, sir, I lived in Berwyn.

St. Peter (scanning a list): Berwyn? That's in Pennsylvania, isn't it? O K, go ahead in.

For more on the bishops' bizarre adoption of "states' rights" doctrines and their misguided predilection for Republicans, see "What's a Catholic To Do?"

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