November 3rd, 2012 11:27 EST
Catholic Leaders Afraid to Call Out Evil When They See It
The following is a statement from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, regarding the silence of many Catholic leaders on the upcoming elections:
"Last week, I wrote an article at tinyurl.com/bpxu7zz noting that, with only two Sundays to go before the November 6 presidential election, many Catholic Church leaders had not yet spoken out on the crucial issues in this election.
"Other religious leaders, particularly in the Evangelical Protestant churches, have made powerful statements -- often from the pulpit -- to tell their congregations what is at stake in this election on the issues of same-sex marriage, abortion, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception and abortion mandate.
"However, the overwhelming majority of Catholic Church leaders have continued to remain silent about what is at stake in this election. With only one Sunday left before Election Day, only a few Bishops have issued statements addressing the issues I raised.
"Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, Florida, who has long been at the forefront of the movement to educate Catholics about the issues of faith at stake in this election, continued his series of powerful videos and letters to the faithful, such as his letter at tinyurl.com/cwmtd7q on defending human life.
"Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, in the battleground state of Wisconsin, told the faithful of his diocese that voting for candidates who support abortion or gay marriage can `put your own soul in jeopardy.`
"Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia issued a powerful statement on abortion, telling the Catholic News Service in Rome that Catholic voters should put faith above party: `It`s very important for Catholics to make distinctions when voting that they never support intrinsic evils like abortion, which is evil in all circumstances. That`s a lot different from different economic policies.`
"Where are the rest of the Catholic Church leaders?
"Their silence on the politics of the intrinsic evils of same-sex marriage, abortion, and the HHS mandate -- which, as Archbishop Chaput said, are important for Catholics to make distinctions on -- is a stark and telling contrast to the vigorous preaching and activism many priests and bishops have engaged in on other political topics.
"Immigration, taxpayer funding of various welfare programs, and even the federal budget have all received more attention from the pulpit in most Catholic Churches than have the contrast between the Republican and Democratic party platforms.
"Why haven`t more Catholic leaders done as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois did, when he pointed out that the Republican Party Platform does not advocate sinful behavior, while the Democratic Platform promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful in the eyes of the Church?
"Can it be that they are afraid to speak out because of the potential for a negative reaction from liberals and Obama partisans in the media, such as that directed at Bishop Paprocki?
"The Democratic Party and Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet when they chose to put the power of the federal government behind the intrinsic evils of same-sex marriage and abortion and by attacking Catholic freedom of conscience and freedom of religion through the HHS Obamacare mandate.
"By their silence, all too many Catholic leaders are telling the faithful that these issues aren`t important and that faith is irrelevant to public policy decisions on these matters.
"Catholic leaders have one Sunday left to exercise the moral courage and leadership required to educate their flocks and confront these evils from the pulpit, as did Archbishop Chaput, Bishop Dewane, Bishop Ricken, Bishop Paprocki, and a few others.
"When the polls close on November 6, history -- and the election results -- will judge whether they met that test or stood by and let Barack Obama have a second term to promote his radical secular agenda and undermine the Church`s teachings for another four years.
Richard A. Viguerie, one of the founders of the modern conservative movement, is an active member of a parish in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.