Friday, April 12, 2019

Can Catholics Still Vote for Democrats?

In 2013, Thomas Tobin, the Catholic bishop of Providence, announced that he’d registered as a Republican. It caused a minor scandal, not because a bishop declared partisan loyalties, but because his loyalties weren’t to the Democratic Party, home of people such as New York's Gov. Al Smith and President John F. Kennedy.

In politics, America’s Catholic prelates are Democrats almost to a man. They’ve denounced President
Trump’s border wall with far more vigor than they ever demonstrated when it would have mattered during the same-sex marriage debate. They spent the entire lead-up to Obamacare trying to sweeten and woo Barack Obama, leaving nuns to fight his birth control mandate by themselves.

Bishops are citizens and have the right to their views, just as you and I do. None of our shepherds will deny, however, that it becomes increasingly difficult to vote for the party of their forefathers.

At one time, Democrats stood on the docks of Ellis Island, singing, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/ And I’ll get them registered to vote for Tammany." Today, Cardinal Timothy Dolan admits to feeling “abandoned.” In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal last March, the archbishop of New York recalls fond memories of his grandmother warning him, “We Catholics don’t trust those Republicans.” Alas, this is no longer the case. It’s a “cause of sadness to many Catholics,” Dolan wrote, his eminence, no doubt, included.

Tobin and Dolan pose a valid question, though: Is there a future for Catholics in the Democratic Party?

[Read more at The Washington Examiner]

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