Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Joe Altogether

Are Catholics abandoning Obama? Is Joe Biden the reason? Gerald Warner thinks so:
More, as promised, on Senator Joe Biden (why should Sarah Palin get all the coverage?). Remember, you read it here first: on September 11 this blog reported a mounting backlash from Catholic bishops against Biden, Barack Obama's "Catholic" pro-abortion running mate. At that time I estimated eight bishops had come out to denounce Biden; the total is now 55. Beyond that, Biden is being trashed across every state of the Union by Catholic newspapers, TV and radio stations, and blogs. It is a tsunami of rejection. [...]

Archbishop Chaput of Denver had already announced Biden should not receive communion because of his pro-abortion views. Defiantly, Biden took communion in his home parish in Delaware in late August. On September 2 the Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania (a crucial swing state) banned him from communion in his diocese. That is effective excommunication. Then came the crucial provocation. On NBC's Meet the Press programme on September 7 Biden grossly misrepresented the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion and audaciously cited St Thomas Aquinas in his own cause.

That did it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had already done the same thing on the same programme, in her instance citing St Augustine. Even the torpid US bishops could not have false doctrine glibly broadcast by public figures, misleading their flock. So the counterattack described here last week began, culminating in a statement from the US Bishops' Conference. The bishops of Kansas City have also issued a pastoral letter on the subject. It is open season on Biden.

It may be that Catholic voters, willing--however reluctantly--to vote for Obama despite his rabidly pro-abortion views, find those same views (as they should) totally unacceptable when articulated by one of their own, who should presumably know better. It may be that after John Kerry's ill-fated run any aura (always false) of the interesting, thoughtful dissenter that once clung to pro-abort politicians has been tainted with that stench of opportunistic self-interest that even a kindergartner would find off-putting. It may be that Catholics are actually listening to the Church, and notice when bishops who before now had never met a Democrat they didn't appear to like all of a sudden have, and have been vocal about their disapprobation. It may even be that Catholics recognize that Joe Biden isn't necessarily a good representative of the faith, given his endless ability to get things about our faith completely, embarrassingly wrong on national television.

Sadly, there's a part of me that suspects that there's only real reason Joe Biden is being abandoned by those Catholic voters who usually vote Democrat is because he's not Hillary Clinton. Sobering as it is to realize, Hillary's husband would never have won two terms in the White House if not for our fellow Catholic voters, who twice helped hand him the victory.

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