Catholic World News

University president on Catholic Democrats: ‘Where are the Caseys now?’

August 27, 2012

The HHS mandate, writes Ave Maria University president Jim Towey, “is disillusioning for us who felt it is possible to be a good Catholic and a good Democrat.”

“I remained a Democrat the entire time I served as a senior adviser to former President George W. Bush, and I served previously in the Cabinet of then-Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles, a Democrat,” he added. “So I am no political partisan. Yet I found myself last November in Immokalee no longer registering to vote as a Democrat.”

Towey added:

There used to be good role models for those of us wanting to be practicing Catholics and good Democrats. Many of us uncomfortable with the socially liberal views of the party could point to Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey — whom I had the privilege of introducing to Mother Teresa of Calcutta to show her that not all Democrats were pro-abortion — and cling to the belief that indeed it was possible to serve God and Caesar, just like he did. So we lived our faith, stayed Democrats, voted Republican in the presidential elections and hoped for a new generation of Democrats who would model faithful citizenship in public life.

None emerged. Where are the Caseys now?

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  • Posted by: impossible - Aug. 28, 2012 5:39 PM ET USA

    The GOP is not perfect, but to be a Democrat today so as to change the organization from within is like remaining in the mafia and proclaiming that you are opposed to grand theft, murder, drug trafficking and prostitution.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Aug. 28, 2012 11:07 AM ET USA

    I've always registered as an independent, figuring that parties use and distribute worldly power rather than basing themselves on God's law, but I haven't voted for a Democrat in 20 years. To paraphrase Groucho Marx: I'd never register for any political party willing to have someone like me as a member.

  • Posted by: chasann113163 - Aug. 28, 2012 8:32 AM ET USA

    I have just last month change from being a Democrat, to being a Republican. I have always voted My consience, my consience tell me I can no longer be a Democrat. Gov. Casey was truly a great politican but he was also a faithful Catholic. What has happened to our Democratic Catholic Politicans? I will vote my consience again this fall, but for the first time in my voting life, I'll be voting as a Republican.

  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 28, 2012 7:39 AM ET USA

    Towey's comments sure make me wonder what motivates the "practicing Catholics" who are still registered as Democrats. It seems that their politics are more important than their faith.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 27, 2012 8:30 PM ET USA

    Bob Casey was probably the last Catholic Democrat with a national exposure. I left the Democrats in 1974 when they went all in for killing babies before birth. I don't like the Republicans' major devotion (lower taxes) and suspect the sincerity of the pro-life plank, so am technically an independent. I recall praying at Mass once for the election of godly leaders, and the parish Democrat accused me of shilling for the Republicans. That says a lot.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Aug. 27, 2012 7:12 PM ET USA

    I vowed back inthe 70's to never vote Democrat as long as they had a pro-abortion plank in their platform. It's a matter of subsidiarity. This issue must take primacy, for NO other causes the deaths of 1,000's every day. Welfare reform, immigration, etc, don't deal with intrinsic evils. But abortion is an intrinsic evil and must not be supported. Period. And now they've added the same-sex 'marriage' plank. Worse, not better. GOP ain't perfect, but doesn't support evils.

  • Posted by: joancollins507161 - Aug. 27, 2012 5:35 PM ET USA

    It could be there are no more "Caseys" in the Democrat party because they was unwelcome there. Casey was not allowed to speak at the Democrat convention because of his prolife position. I changed from Democrat to Republican about six years ago as I could no longer vote Democrat because of the social issues. I understand their convention this year is one big tribute to women's rights, i.e. abortion, and their manufactured "war on women" that they claim Republicans are waging.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 27, 2012 1:35 PM ET USA

    I have been registered as a Republican since 1980, and was active in party and election activities for many years. The most impressive person I worked with in those years was the Election Commission chairman, a Democrat, who pulled a whole sheaf of absentee ballots out of my hand, all for a straight Democratic ticket, because they showed evidence of fraud--signed by the same hand and from nursing home residents. I knew this attorney to care for the poor, and I admire him to this day.