Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,912 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholics set the terms for American public debates

Catholic World News - October 25, 2010

Joseph Bottum that the voting patterns of Catholics as a group—barely distinguishable from those of their non-Catholic neighbors—raise questions about the existence of a “Catholic vote” that could be a swing factor in American political elections.

Nevertheless, Bottum continues, it is noteworthy that American politicians of all religious backgrounds have adopted the terms made popular by Catholic thinkers:

Sanctity of life, just-war theory, natural law, dignity of the person: It has become the single viable vocabulary these days for expressing moral concepts in a secular space. Call it the John Courtney Murray project, after the Jesuit priest whose essays in the 1950s exercised so much influence on the liberalizing reflections about democracy at the Second Vatican Council.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($118,031 to go):
$150,000.00 $31,968.98
79% 21%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Savonarola - Oct. 26, 2010 9:35 AM ET USA

    It is correct that there is no "Catholic vote." But, as a comment notes, there should be. Impacting the culture, as Catholics are charged to do, is carried out variously, including how we vote and who is encouraged to run for public office. The bishops have failed to teach and are leaderless. Thus, politicians can call themselves Catholic and support abortion with impunity. As Card. McCarrick puts it, "I go with the flow." Abp. Wuerl is afraid to confront Pelosi. That's not leadership.

  • Posted by: impossible - Oct. 25, 2010 7:50 PM ET USA

    I am commenting without having read the article. The "Elephant in the room" is that there definitely should be a Catholic vote. If Catholics had been properly catechized in the last 40-50 years and if Catholic Bishops and Priests, or that estimated 80% of them who vote liberal, had the intellectual honesty to realize and admit that the Democratic Party of old, of their parents, no longer exists, there would have been a vibrant Catholic vote, especially against pro-abortion Catholic politicians

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Oct. 25, 2010 7:39 PM ET USA

    I would like to know how many of those so-called Catholics are weekly Mass attendees, and how those attendees vote. I suspect the numbers might be a bit different, though even among those, many have been so poorly evangelized and catechized in the last two generations, that the numbers still will reflect the general public too closely. Now that the bishops are speaking out more strongly, we can hope to see a truly Catholic voting block arise.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs 23 hours ago
How not to be persuasive 23 hours ago
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28
Does the Kasper Proposal make Pope Francis a heretic? Invalid marriages and mortal sin October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6