Friday, January 30, 2004

Kingfishery & Kingcakery: Bush Campaign Headquarters at the Archdiocese of New Orleans - Reading the Archdiocese of New Orleans's publication, the Clarion Herald, and especially the political commentary of Fr. William Maestri, it becomes painfully clear that the Archdiocese is a "de facto" campaign headquarters for George W. Bush. First, we have Maestri, in his comment on the "virtues of truth, respect, faith, trust, compassion and justice" comparing GW Bush to Howard Dean. His "unpartisan" thoughts regarding this comparison are the following:

The political world (narrowly defined as those addicted to cable TV news channels) remains abuzz at the verbal meltdown of Howard Dean. We can be forgiven for missing the State of the Union speech, having been drowned out by the "Dean Screech."

Next to the spectacle of Dean making a spectacle of himself was the president offering plain speaking sense about moral values. Yes, Bush's State of the Union speech offered a mini-course on the fundamental virtues which are required of a free people. Liberty requires moral truth, or so the Founders believed. So does Bush - and a good many of his fellow Americans.
When you see such obvious partisanship emanating out of an organization that supposedly represents ALL CATHOLICS (Anti-Bush Democrats among them), you begin to lose faith in your Church leadership. The Catholic Church, as presented by Maestri, is NOT a home for those who don't agree with Bush. Moreover, it really seems like Maestri doesn't want to welcome us Catholic Democrats who think the Bush Administration is against the Social Justice teachings of the Catholic Church in the communion of faithful believers. And when you add Maestri's obvious partisanship to the Archbishop's recent edict that any Catholic who supports or votes for a political candidate who happens to be pro-choice should refrain from communion, you can't help but be disillusioned by the politicization of the Catholic Church. And this is all the more poignant when one realizes that, at the same time the Archbishop is effectively ex-communicating most Catholic Democrats, he's giving a pass to anyone who votes for a pro-death penalty, anti-life Republican. If he ex-communicates those of us who vote for a "pro-choice" candidate who more completely embodies the Catholic Social Justice Teachings in his or her other politics, he is effectively privileging one measure of a Catholic citizen's social and political obligations over another. Furthermore, he's also privileging one measure of respect for life over another.

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