Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 14, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Politics called a moral vocation, with pitfalls for moral actions
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- Catholic teaching may view politics as "a central element in building up the kingdom of God" and a "deeply moral" vocation, as San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy described it, but politicians acknowledged at an April 28 forum that that can be a punishing standard.

In the fifth public forum of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, Bishop McElroy laid out a theological basis for viewing politics as, "one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good in humility and love," as Pope Francis said in September.

In practice, that can be more of a lofty ideal than the reality, said other participants in the forum.

Former Democratic Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, now county executive in Erie, Pa., former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, and Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., each described being alienated by their parties when they held to policy positions that grew out of their shared Catholic faith.

Jones, a one-time Democrat who changed parties in 1994 and a former Southern Baptist who became Catholic as an adult, told of the political repercussions he's felt since he changed his mind about supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Jones acknowledged he was passed over for a plum committee chairmanship that would normally have gone to him, and he's currently facing a tough primary election challenge.

"They've spent $1.2 million to try to take me out in the primary," he said.

A recent article about the primary in the Raleigh News & Observer newspaper cited Jones' conservative credentials but noted that the 10-term member of Congress "also has become known in recent years for his willingness to break from his party leaders." Among those breaks, it cited his support for a Wall Street reform bill, his opposition to a Bush-administration secret surveillance program and his outspokenness about the misinformation that led him to originally support the Iraq War

Dahlkemper served one term in Congress, defeating a 14-year incumbent in 2007. She said that as a pro-life Democrat she found that often, "it didn't matter where I stood on anything else." While on many other issues she was in complete agreement with the Democratic Party, her pro-life stance stood out as a threat both to fellow members of her party and to Republicans, she said.

Bishop McElroy noted that "party pressures can distort legislators' very comprehension of the common good, because of the immensely powerful human instinct that we all have to convince ourselves that what is the best option for us is really the most moral option also."

Steele, who formerly headed the Republican National Committee, said he struggled to get his party to accept some of his faith-based beliefs, such as his opposition to the death penalty, which led him to recommend against an execution on which he was asked to weigh in by Maryland's then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Though his recommendation was overruled and Maryland held its first execution in 33 years in 1994, Steele said the experience taught him that even when his views are rejected, "you have to be in that space to make that argument."

Another panelist, Mike McCurry, White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton, is now a political strategist and a professor of public theology at Wesley Theological Seminary. He said the partisan divide in the country is bigger than ever, though "the agendas are unclear. I'm not sure what they're fighting for."

"You've got to stand for something, to make clear what your party believes," he said.

Panelist Mark McKinnon, also a political consultant and founder of No Labels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bipartisanship and civil discourse, said said he believes much of the partisan hostility in Washington comes from the members of Congress having no relationships across party and ideological lines. McKinnon was a Democrat who helped elect former Texas Gov. Ann Richards before he became a Republican, working on Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

He and McCurry talked about some recent ideas to try to attack that problem, including a "no fundraising zone," a two-hour period one day a month when members of Congress are told they shouldn't spend the time trying to raise money, and instead are expected to seek out another member they don't know and get acquainted.

Jones weighed in later saying he thinks the "biggest problem in Washington is money" and its influence on how members of Congress behave. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, arrived late to the program, but she agreed with Jones' points on money.

She bemoaned the "large amounts of money associated with certain positions" and the fundraising systems that rely upon positions from the extremes of either party.

"The greatest corrosive force in politics today is campaign financing," Kaptur said.

Bishop McElroy, in his opening remarks, touched further on the distortions that can come from systems that place partisan politics above other considerations:

"Party structures can at times deliberately call upon legislators to place partisan loyalties above the common good in the hope of attaining partisan advantage," he said.

He added that the current structure of American political parties "bisects the common good."

The Republican Party "better reflects the commitment to protect unborn life, reject euthanasia and promote religious liberty," Bishop McElroy said. "The Democratic Party witnesses more effectively to Catholic teaching on the issues of poverty and inequality, immigration reform, restorative justice and the environment. On the critical question of family life, each party reflects certain key elements of the core common good."

Meanwhile, he added, on issues including global poverty and warfare, "neither party embodies even an acceptable threshold commitment to achieving the Catholic vision of justice and peace in the world."

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved