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Politics from the pulpit
NY Daily News ^ | 07.11.06 | Bill Hammond is

Posted on 07/16/2006 7:12:37 PM PDT by Coleus

Catholics will get a dose of election-year issues this fall as New York's priests weigh in on the statewide contests.

For the first time since the late 1980s, the Catholic Conference of New York State is putting together a voters guide to lay out where candidates for all statewide offices and the Legislature stand on 10 or 12 issues important to the church. The information will be distributed to parishes across the state, and priests will be encouraged to spread the word.  So some Sunday morning, expect to be reminded that Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic front-runner for governor, supports gay marriage and legalized abortion, while John Faso, his Republican and Catholic opponent, opposes both.

The candidates themselves are focusing mainly on pocketbook matters - too many taxes, not enough jobs - but the church is doing what it can to put social issues on the agenda.  "We can't explicitly endorse a candidate, but we can make candidates' views known and let Catholics in the pews decide for themselves," said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the Catholic Conference, which represents Edward Cardinal Egan and New York's other bishops in Albany.

George Marlin, author of "The American Catholic Voter" and an activist in New York's Conservative Party, says the bishops are waking a "sleeping giant."  Marlin said New York's 7 million Catholics represent 42% of voters and skew more conservatively than the rest of the state, particularly on social issues.

"It's about time the church stands up and speaks out strongly," Marlin said.

The guide won't necessarily be all bad news for Spitzer. He aligns with the church on the need to ease harsh sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, for example. And Faso parts company with his fellow Catholics by supporting the death penalty and showing openness to "civil unions" for same-sex couples.  But the hot topic these days is the Court of Appeals' recent decision upholding New York's ban on gay marriage - which created a big headache for the governor and the Legislature.

Spitzer responded to the ruling by promising to push to legalize gay marriage if elected, while Faso said he would keep marriage strictly a heterosexual thing. But neither candidate is pounding the table. Republicans in other states have used the issue to rile up their supporters, but Faso isn't going there.  "He'll appear too far to the right," Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf explained. "And appearing too far to the right is a recipe for absolute electoral immolation."  I happen to think gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, and hope the bishops' proselytizing onthis front fails to win converts. But the major candidates aren't giving us a serious debate, so advocates on all sides have a right - even a duty - to raise their voices.

"This is an experiment in educating the Catholic population," Poust said. "We certainly can't compete in terms of money. We don't contribute to campaigns. So if you're going to be influential, the only thing that speaks louder than money is votes."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey; US: New York
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholicvote; churchandstate; election2006; elections; votersguide
It's about time, better late than never.  Now the Chuckey Cheese Schumer and Hitlery are in, it's going to be hard to get them out.  And where were the 49 other Catholic Conferences during the 2004 election?  To the best of my knowledge, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was the only one to have put out a 2004 voters guide.   I hope more Bishops will follow.  I'm not going to hold my breath.

A state Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of that state's bishops and their Catholic dioceses.

1 posted on 07/16/2006 7:12:37 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

Some refreshing news. Let's hope the other states will follow. Maybe a letter or two to your bishops.


2 posted on 07/16/2006 7:16:43 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: Coleus

It will be interesting to see whether they do whatever they can to support LaRaza and the illegal immigrants' cause.


3 posted on 07/16/2006 7:34:57 PM PDT by Spirited
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To: Spirited

I expert that they will not be influenced by La Raza but I expect Catholic Teaching as well particually what God has had to say on the issue will affect it viewpont


4 posted on 07/16/2006 7:38:29 PM PDT by catholicfreeper
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To: Spirited
oh, i bet the church will support illegal immigration, they've been very vocal on that front....I think it's a big mistake on their part, it's one of the reasons why Catholic Hospitals and Schools are closing. Also, wasn't it Jesus who said to obey Caesar's and Civil laws? Our laws say that illegal immigrants must be deported. Funny, in the 1990's when the catholic Africans were being slaughtered by muslims I never heard a thing from the church about having them immigrate to the USA. What? Just because their countries don't border the USA they had to forget about them? I wish they would come clean on that one.
5 posted on 07/16/2006 7:46:02 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: Coleus
The independent Baptist church I belonged to and attended regularly for 34 years before moving here distributed non-partisan guides giving the various state and national candidates' positions on moral and family oriented issues at every election. Some members were afraid that practice would jeopardize the church's tax exempt status, but AFAIK from keeping in touch with friends back there it is still giving out the guides and no change has been made to it's tax status.

I hope the Catholic Church can do the same thing with the same good results without running into conflict with the IRS. If churches can't even legally reveal a candidate's positions on issues such as abortion and homosexual marriage we might be of more use to God's work without our tax exemption. I know, I know, the clergy just dropped it's collective jaw in horror at that suggestion, but there are much more important things at stake in America's elections these days than a tax exemption for our tithes and offerings.

6 posted on 07/16/2006 7:58:39 PM PDT by epow (I have gone to find myself. If I return before I get back keep me here until I find me.)
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To: epow
Pennsylvania did it, look at post #1. The IRS forbids partisan politics. A non-partisan voters guide is allowed by the IRS. I wonder why the democrats and the pastors get away with campaigning in the black churches all over the country.
7 posted on 07/16/2006 8:07:59 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: Coleus

I wonder if anyone ever determined how much the "religious exemption" COSTS (as politicians say) the US Government every year? I would think that the IRS will be all over this (unless the candidates and positions supported are liberal) to turn this into a completely new source of revenue.


8 posted on 07/16/2006 8:32:54 PM PDT by USMA '71
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To: Coleus
More Catholics need to start slipping copies of section 2241 of the Catechism into the collection basket in lieu of money and include a note asking their bishop to explain why they are thumbing their nose at Church teaching.

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

9 posted on 07/16/2006 8:46:46 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Coleus
The IRS forbids partisan politics...heard an interesting discussion somewhere the other day - it was the opinion of one lawyer that what the IRS actually forbids is the endoresement of specific candidates, but that churches can advocate specific policies without jeopardizing their tax status - guess it depends on what "partisan" means.....
10 posted on 07/16/2006 8:47:37 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Coleus

The Church with its widespread coverups of decades of sexual abuse by clergy has lost all credibility. I'm sure the loony left in the Church will be supporting illegal immigration and pacifism.


11 posted on 07/16/2006 9:01:48 PM PDT by The Great RJ ("Mir w├Âlle bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Good point, thanks.


12 posted on 07/16/2006 9:11:43 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: Coleus
Funny, in the 1990's when the catholic Africans were being slaughtered by muslims I never heard a thing from the church about having them immigrate to the USA. What? Just because their countries don't border the USA they had to forget about them? I wish they would come clean on that one.

I believed you are referring to Rwanda. In 1981 there were apparitions reported at Kibeho of the Virgin Mary. She foretold a civil war, Aids, and one seer described a "river of blood", people killing each other, abandoned corpses, bodies without their heads. In 1994, a civil war broke out in Rwanda. In just three months an estimated 500,000 to one million were killed, beheaded by machetes and dumped into the Kagera River ("river of blood"). Also in 94 Africa had seventy percent of the world's aids cases.
The apparition was approved by Bishop Augustine Misago, who issued a "declaration on the definitive judgment"...and the judgment was that they were true: officially authentic.
The Virgin Mary also told the seer Marie-Clare Mukangango, who was killed, the warnings were not just for Africa.
13 posted on 07/16/2006 9:37:21 PM PDT by Irisshlass
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To: Coleus; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


14 posted on 07/18/2006 5:54:22 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Coleus
"We can't explicitly endorse a candidate, but we can make candidates' views known and let Catholics in the pews decide for themselves," said Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the Catholic Conference, which represents Edward Cardinal Egan and New York's other bishops in Albany.

***************

Excellent.

15 posted on 07/18/2006 6:05:01 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Coleus
What's news to me is the name of the guy running against Spencer....I live in upstate NY (Watertown) and have NEVER seen a campaign ad put out by Faso. So far, I've only seen Spencer ads.
16 posted on 07/18/2006 7:09:34 AM PDT by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Coleus
On the circulation of voter's guides by the church, I can say that I have never seen one circulated as such here in Louisiana. But the church has been fairly vocal about candidates, especially those who call themselves Catholic but whose public pronouncements are at odds with church doctrine, and at times it has made itself quite controversial for doing so. And I have never seen our local Catholic leaders side with liberal politicians against conservative ones.

The Archbishop of the Diocese of New Orleans has been very vocal at times in Louisiana politics. In 2002 he came down very hard on supposedly Catholic Mary Landrieu for her views on abortion and the church did circulate the Archbishop's "Letter" on the two candidates -- the Republican was also Catholic -- and abortion. Most political pundits down here think the Archbishop's stern stand may have backfired in the New Orleans area to Landrieu's advantage, and even I believe that is possible. The Archbishop also gave a sermon during the 2004 campaign that was published and, though it did not name John Kerry specifically, was clearly aimed at him. This sermon was circulated among Louisiana's Catholics, who constitute the largest religious denomination in the state and are overwhelmingly strong in its southern portion. And by way of information, President Bush carried Louisiana's Catholics by a significant margin, over 55%, and he did even better among South Louisiana's [Catholic] Cajuns, carrying those parishes [we have no counties here] by over 62% of the total vote.
17 posted on 07/18/2006 10:16:45 AM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: Coleus

Yes and I helped distribute them at my parish. This years problem is Casey. Pro Life Catholic. Kind of makes the senate race moot.

Santorum's ads have been purely small business taxes.





18 posted on 07/18/2006 5:29:58 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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