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Liberal Catholics use election results to battle bishops
Archbishop Timothy Dolan sounded a nuanced tone on politics at a recent bishops meeting.
November 13th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

Liberal Catholics use election results to battle bishops

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Emboldened by the re-election of President Barack Obama, a cadre of liberal Catholic activists and groups is waging a campaign alleging that America's Catholic bishops are out of touch with Catholic laypeople.

The Catholic bishops, who are in Baltimore this week for a quarterly meeting, spoke out against the Obama administration during the election cycle over what they said were White House violations of religious freedom.

Some bishops also spoke out against legalized gay marriage and abortion rights, positions embraced by many Republicans.

A Sunday opinion piece in the National Catholic Reporter by Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University, hammered the bishops for their public proclamations during the campaign, saying the church leaders' “political strategy … is not working.”

“A majority of Catholics voted for Obama, and gay activists won every referendum,” Reese wrote, referring to initiatives legalizing gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington.

Exit polls showed that Catholics narrowly voted for Obama, by 50% to 48%.

Reese also noted that Republican Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana who voiced very conservative lines on abortion were defeated.

Catholics United and Catholics for Choice, two liberal Catholic groups, released statements around the meeting decrying the bishops' “failures” during the 2012 campaign.

“The bishops had a miserable return on investment of Catholic people's money and we demand an accounting of how they spent it campaigning on measures that Catholics clearly did not support,” wrote Catholics for Choice President Jon O'Brien.

Catholics United is delivering a petition to the Catholic bishops that calls on them to "reconsider their alliance with the Republican Party and refocus their attention on caring for the poor and vulnerable.”

In remarks to the 250 bishops assembled in Baltimore, bishops conference President Timothy Dolan touched on politics, sounding a nuanced tone.

“The premier answer to the question ‘What's wrong with the world? What's wrong with the church?’ is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming,” Dolan said.

"The answer to the question ‘What's wrong with the world?’ is just two words: ‘I am,' ” he continued, quoting author G.K. Chesterton.

Other archbishops at the meeting seemed to double down on the fight for religious liberty and same-sex marriage, according to the Catholic News Service.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, in a report to a committee on religious liberty, stated that “whatever setbacks or challenges in the efforts to defend religious liberty we may be experiencing, we're going to stay the course.”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone addressed the spate of successful gay marriage initiatives, saying that “people don't understand what marriage is.”

“This is not a time to give up but rather a time to redouble our efforts,” he said.

The fight between liberal and conservative factions of the Catholic Church has been simmering for years, playing out in parishes, in college campuses and on the national political stage, with the vice presidential candidacy of two Catholics: Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

In their sole debate together, Biden and Ryan gave different reads on how their faith shaped their politics. Biden focused on Catholic social teaching about helping the poor while Ryan talked about his belief that life begins at conception.

Steve Schneck, a Catholic University scholar who was supportive of Obama's candidacy, disagreed with liberals who are criticizing the bishops, saying most bishops did not weigh in on the election.

"Only a handful of bishops were involved, and it is about the same number that was involved in 2008,” he said.

“Most Catholics, whether they are politically liberal or politically conservative, are not interested in seeing their priests become politically involved,” said Schneck, the Obama campaign’s national co-chairman for Catholics. "They want their parishes and archdioceses to become politics-free zones.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (569 Responses)
  1. Science

    Oops again........... forgot this !

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Peace

    May 4, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Science

      Oops........

      Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

      Gravity is not up for debate !

      BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

      Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

      Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

      May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

      Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

      No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

      Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

      Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

      Good stuff !

      The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

      Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

      Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
      bears his name as the “God particle.”

      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

      Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
      Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

      Science

      Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
      By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

      April 7th, 2012

      08:32 PM ET

      The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

      Make sure to read comments

      April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

      Breaking News

      NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

      NASA: Mars could have supported life

      Star Dust we are

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=390]

      Holy Hallucinations 35

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=390]

      The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

      Human Evolution

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

      BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&w=640&h=390]

      BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

      Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

      By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

      Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

      “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

      May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

      Cheech & Chong's History of 420

      Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong

      All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

      The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      Peace

      May 4, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  2. profling

    There are going to be MORE poor and downtrodden now that Obama is back. Brilliant, liberal Catholics!

    February 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  3. The Court

    The justices' decision will likely resolve an ongoing battle between scientists who believe that genes carrying the secrets of life should not be exploited for commercial gain

    December 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  4. Mirosal

    These are old vir'ginal men who have NEVER been married, have probably NEVER had se'x (at least with a woman lol), and they have the gall to tell others all about what marriage is and the choice of abortion? When any of these chronic mastu'rbators gets married, or grows a uterus, THEN they might have a voice. Until then, they need to shut the f-ck up!! I can say what I want, I went through the "nice" Catholic school system.

    November 24, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • gerald

      So wheter or not the child in a woman's womb is a life or not depends on whether she thinks it is? I guess you are the one who can tell everyone whether they can have an opinion or not. You would make a wonderful dictator as dicatorts like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Mao, and other murders of priests and Catholic go. I think you should shut up.

      November 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way Mir, not everyone who has not had s-e-x has to stroke themselves like you apparently do or fornicate outside of marriage. It's a personal problem.

      November 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      The fall of the catholic church is a good thing.

      November 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • gerald

      If it ever falls then I suppose you would be right because it would prove Chrsit a liar. But it has held together for 2000 years and Jesus did say "the gates of hell shall not prevail" so I am not looking for it any time soon.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.