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Catholic Culture Resources

Whither thou loyalty?

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Sep 12, 2003

Vision Book Cover Prints

Your Catholic Voice is a new grassroots political organization designed to "motivate, educate, and activate Catholic citizens for political and social participation." The group's president is Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and former Clinton ambassador to the Vatican.

In an article on the group's web site, Flynn posits that a good Catholic should neither claim loyalty to either the Democrat or Republican party.

A question I have often been asked is, "Can you be a good Catholic and a Democrat in light of the Democratic Party's positions on life and family?" But another question might also be, "Can you be a good Catholic and a Republican in light of the Church's moral positions on social and economic justice and the death penalty?" My response to both of these questions is a question of my own.

Can you be a good Catholic and support either a Democratic or Republican candidate who opposes Church teachings on each of these vitally important principles of our Catholic faith? Both parties reach out to Catholic voters claiming that they best represent their values on the issues. So what's the answer? The following statement may upset leaders of both political parties, who believe it is they who deserve the support of Catholic voices. Which party should faithful Catholics vote for? I say neither party reflects the values and principles of the Catholic faith and I'll explain why.

I'll accept Flynn's point that good Catholics must put their adherence to the Church's teachings first, before loyalty to any particular political party. That's just common sense.

I don't buy into every Republican plank in their party platform and I'm opposed to the legalization of the death penalty in our country based on what our country can do to insure justice without it. However, I can't believe Flynn's thesis here. You can't equate the Democrats' pro-abortion, pro-sexual perversity positions with the Republicans' stance on economic and social issues.

For the Democrats, their positions cannot be reconciled with the Church's clear doctrine. For Republicans, their positions on economics and "social justice" can be justified in relation to Church teaching and are a matter of prudential judgment. It's just not the same thing and I think Flynn's liberal political sympathies are showing here.

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