by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A new voter-driven group of Catholics who support Barack Obama has been formed to build a grassroots effort to lure Catholics to the side of the staunchly pro-abortion candidate by downplaying the abortion issue.
The organization, known as 10,000 Catholics for Obama, is operating independently of the Obama campaign but has consulted with the Senator’s campaign staff.
One of the creators of the group’s web site, Peter James Kralovec, told CBN News that Catholics who are backing Obama want the abortion issue de-emphasized even though the Catholic Church has said no political issue is more important.
“We take the abortion issue very seriously but at the same time abortion has been used as a wedge issue to divide voters,” he said. “We have seen some resistance in some circles but we want to express some facts about the senator’s record on abortion and change the dialogue on this issue.”
Obama’s support for abortion has earned him a 100 percent approval rating by pro-abortion groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood. In addition, he has promised that one of the first things he’ll do in office is sign the controversial Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which will virtually eliminate all restrictions on abortion, including partial-birth abortion.
Father Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, says the policy for Catholic voters, set forward by the nation’s bishops, can’t be more clear that abortion is the overriding issue in the elections.
He points to the Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship document the bishops produced saying, “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.”
Pavone also directed Catholic voters to the statement of Pope John Paul II in the Gospel of Life which states that when a state makes abortion legal, “the disintegration of the State itself has already begun.”
So how good are the chances of this new group of luring Catholics? Statistics from The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life suggest the movement may encounter some problems.
According to Pew, the ideological portrait of Catholics is similar to that of the population as a whole. More than four-in-ten Catholics (44%) describe themselves as politically moderate, about a third (34%) say they are politically conservative and less than one-in-five (18%) describe themselves as politically liberal.
However, in recent presidential elections Catholics have tended to split their vote roughly evenly between Republican and Democratic candidates. In 2000, Al Gore and George Bush nearly split the Catholic vote (50% to 47%, respectively). In 2004, Bush beat John Kerry among Catholics, but by a relatively narrow margin (52% to 47%).
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com
Voting with a Clear Conscience, by Father Frank Pavone, answers all your questions about how to vote with your faith and is written in an inexpensive pamphlet form. Buy enough to spread the Word! Available in our store at http://womenofgrace.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=331