A group of Democratic-leaning Catholics on Wednesday (Feb. 29) released a 2012 voter guide that seeks to expand the concept of “pro-life issues” beyond abortion to also include war, euthanasia and poverty.
The nine-page guide from the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good — one of the first to be released for the 2012 elections — highlights economic issues as top concerns Catholics should weigh as they consider their vote.
The guide is markedly different from others circulated by conservative Catholic groups, which stress opposition to abortion rights as a non-negotiable stance for American Catholics.
Most notably, the new guide stands in stark contrast to the positions of the two Catholic presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, whose culture war rhetoric has dominated political discourse in recent weeks.
While the authors said they took their cues from the U.S. bishops’ own voting priorities, the new guide does not even mention gay marriage, which the Catholic bishops increasingly regard as a threat on par with legalized abortion.
The guide from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good takes the words of Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings on social justice as its starting point, and from there contrasts the church’s social teaching on the common good with the “explicitly anti-Christian teachings” of the Tea Party and like-minded movements…
…The authors of the Catholics in Alliance voter guide said … that they “do not in any way wish to claim for ourselves the right to speak for the Catholic Church, nor for all Catholics.”
“Instead, we offer this voter guide to show how we apply the teachings of our church to the problems of our day.”