Catholic leaders overplaying their hand? —

Amy Sullivan wonders if Catholic voters are going to tolerate the intimidation:

This conflict is about the fact that the church has not been successful at convincing lay Catholics to abide by its teaching regarding reproductive control. Catholic leaders can’t go into the voting booth with individual Catholics to see if they support pro-choice politicians or policies, but they can target visible Catholics and hold them out as examples. That is upsetting enough to many Catholics, but when the leaders then tell them who they can and cannot vote for, the dams burst loose.

Dan Carpenter wryly comments upon the selective enforcement of Catholic church doctrine (thanks for the link, A.):

How is a poor bishop or even pope to keep up with all the insidious ways in which public servants can fail their religious masters? The most gallant try made so far is that of the Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colo., who has informed his flock they may not take communion if they vote for politicians who support abortion, stem-cell research, euthanasia or gay marriage. But even Bishop Sheridan left out the death penalty and the bombing, saying they weren’t as big a deal as, like, women holding hands.

And Anna Quindlen discusses some of the obvious hypocrisies in the policy, and the “curious” timing of the sanctions:

What of the pro-life policies of a living wage or decent housing? The church is opposed to the death penalty, yet no bishop has yet suggested he will deny the sacrament to those who support capital punishment. And sanctions for Democratic candidates have far outnumbered those for Republicans, even Republicans who favor legal abortion. The timing of all this is curious as well. It coincides with that new Catholic holy day, the feast of the first Tuesday in November, known to secularists as Election Day.

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