In this morning's flyer, Rob Kall wrote:
Between canvassing and phone banking, go to a church you've never gone to today "" a right wing, evangelical or a megachurch. Monitor them to see if they do endorsements. DO it with a concealed recording device. Let's cover this abuse of tax exempt status. At the least, let's find out what churchgoers are told the Sunday before elections.
I suppose it never occurred to Mr Kall to go to church to, oh, worship God!
Well, being the nice guy that I am, I'll tell you what the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, has done, by giving them the hyperlink to the current issue of the AD Times, our diocesan newspaper. This is a .pdf file, but if you start on page 8, you'll come to articles about the responsibilities of faithful Catholics in the political arena.
The AD Times also contains position guides on the candidates for various offices, where the candidates stand on specific issues: education, health care, immigration, international justice an peace, refugee assistance, abortion, stem-cell research and religious liberty. The congressional and state legislative candidates were sent questionnaires by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, for the candidates to make their positions clear.
Amazingly enough, of the Democrats running for seats in the Diocese of Allentown, fewer than a quarter (5 out of 21) had the courage to respond, in a state where one out of three voters are Catholic.
The Catholic Church hasn't taken any positions on candidates, but she does take positions on the issues. If you look at those positions, you'd find some that are more closely aligned with general Democratic Party positions, and some that are more closely aligned with Republican Party positions. However, the Church has made it clear: the issue of life, and adamant opposition to abortion, is the single most important issue facing Catholics today; without the basic right to life, nothing else matters.
But, Mr Kall wanted to know what was said today, didn't he? Well, today is All Soul's Day, a day in which we had a special Mass for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. Father Jim Torpey (a very good, visiting priest, who celebrates Mass at our church frequently because our pastor is ill) spent most of his homily on the promise of resurrection, and how we must try our best to be holy, but also noting that few of us are saints, and we need the prayers of others. He went over the concluding line of the Hail Mary, in which we ask our Lord's mother to "pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death."- When we die, and stand before the Lord in judgement, who will say that we were good people, and who will remain silent. Fr Torpey said,
When I stand there, I don't want 47,000,000 children to remain silent.
No candidates were endorsed; no candidates could be endorsed, because such violates the rules governing maintenance of the tax-exempt status. But faithful Catholics know what matters are important to the Church.
One final point. Mr Kall asked his readers to go to churches where they've never been before, "right wing, evangelical or a megachurch."-
Monitor them to see if they do endorsements. DO it with a concealed recording device. Let's cover this abuse of tax exempt status.
Yet just what messages do you suppose were given in the heavily black churches in Philadelphia? Why didn't Mr Kall suggest that a few of his readers check them out, to see if any endorsements were made?
This article, in slightly different form, is published on my website.