While the Catholic bishops are careful not to instruct their flock on whom to vote for, it's clear that they're not fans of the pro-choice and pro-same sex marriage president and his party. Illinois Bishop Jenky compared the president to Hitler. Another Illinois bishop, Thomas Paprocki, said that Catholics who vote for candidates who support abortion and gay marriage are going to hell. Washington bishops are openly preaching and raising money for the defeat of the gay marriage ballot item. But their 2012 Voter Guide is a bit more *nebulous about the spiritual perils of voting Democratic. As such, conservative Catholics aren't totally on board and want stronger language. Not surprisingly, Foxy priest Jonathan Morris is part of that group and used his Sunday sermon (from Rome where he's carrying Cardinal Dolan's baggage or holy water, or whatever) to advise his Fox congregation about those "non-negotiables" that could result in a one way ticket to the lake of fire for those who vote Democratic.
Yesterday, Morris' weekly gig was opened by Roger Ailes' personal attorney, litigator for the Catholic archdiocese of NY, Knight of Malta, and Fox "friend" Peter Johnson Jr. Johhnson reminded viewers that no presidential candidate has won the presidency without the Catholic vote. He then tossed to the sweet faced Fr. Morris who was standing in front of the Vatican. Jocularity ensued with the "friends" wishing that they could be with Morris who wished that they could be there, too. He then started his homily which was a nice sermonette about all those things that the GOP wants Catholics to know about before they vote.
Morris spoke about the Voter Guide but expressed disappointment that not everything, that he feels is important, is not in guide. He preached that not all moral issue are equal.and used, as an example, a candidate in favor of institutional racism but excellent on other issues. He said a Catholic couldn't vote for such a candidate and added that the bishops teach that "when we come to issues like abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, the traditional understanding of marriage, these are non-negotiable." (The bishops talk about fighting poverty but Morris always seem to forget that.) Morris solemnly intoned that "these are already completely firm issues that we cannot just say one among many others." In other words, you can't vote for Democrats because they support these "non-negotiables" which Morris has preached about, from his Fox pulpit, previously. The connection with Rome then broke.
Johnson did some damage control. He noted that there's some confusion about what priests or ministers are saying from the pulpit and that his understanding is that the bishops are saying that these sermons are "faith based discussions" and not instructions on whom to vote for. Catholic Alisyn Camerota said that the guide tells parishioners the positions of candidates on issues important to Catholics. Johnson asserted that, "it's not endorsements, basically." Clayton Morris cited "controversy" as related to the health care law that hasn't been resolved. He showed results from a Catholic Pew Poll which showed President Obama with a substantial lead among Catholic voters. Johnson noted that the Catholic vote isn't monolithic.
So, once again, is the one true Fox priest instructing his faithful to vote Republican? Fox Father knows best!
*"As Catholics we are not single-issue voters," the bishops wrote in the guide. "A candidate's position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter's support. Yet a candidate's position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support."
I’ve not read the guide but if – as the good father said – it presents a list of values and divides them into “negotiable” and “non-negotiable”, and then presents the positions of the two candidates regarding those values. Well then, the guide tells Catholics flat out who they should not vote for and there’s only one alternative in the USA.
A side note: the good father said not a word about the fact that the Pope’s gentleman’s gentleman (butler) had just been sentenced to 18 months for leaking classified information on turmoil (aka civil war?)within the Vatican. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.