Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good releases 2012 voter guide


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.”

Read more.


  1. Make no mistake Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is one of George Soros’s funded anti-catholic front groups.

  2. Henry Karlson says:

    Anti-Catholic front? They are Catholics. They are not anti-Catholic. The fact that they might look at the political world differently from you does not make them anti-Catholic.

  3. deacon john says:

    While I do agree that abortion is a VERY important issue, the most important issue perhaps…Its not the only issue.
    Many of us have lost sight of the fact that we are called to care for the poor, to work for peace and to forgive sinners.
    Instead, many of our politicians who claim to support the sanctity of human life are all too willing to go to war, to deny government health coverage to the poor and to execute convicted felons, while many other politicians claim to support the poor and to oppose the dealth penalty, but who are all too willing to give women the right to kill their own children in the womb.
    Its maddening!
    Every election each one of us has to decide which politician is the lesser of the two evils.
    Its not easy. Perhaps it shouldn’t be easy to apply our belief to our ballot.

  4. Dcn Luis says:

    Wedge issue like pro and anti abortion, pro and anti death penalty, pro and anti gun control are loved by the politicians because they put the voters on the horns of a dilemma. I don’t think that they (the Politicians) don’t want these issues to ever go away because they use them to galvanize their likely voters and perhaps cause opposition voters to not vote.

    In the case of abortion it wasn’t particularly politicized until the era of Ronald Reagan. Members of both parties were pro and con on the issue. Now it would be unthinkable for a Republican to be pro-choice.

    So what is one to do who wishes to vote in good faith?
    Vote for someone who may be insincere.
    Or retreat from voting because it is impossible.
    It is a conundrum.

  5. “In the case of abortion, it wasn’t particularly politicized until the era of Ronald Reagan.”

    That’s only partly true, but the reason has NOTHING to do with Ronald Reagan (who was first elected in 1980), but it has EVERYTHING to do with the Supreme Court decision in 1973 in Roe v. Wade.

    The pendulum has swung to one extreme since 1973. The issue we debate now isn’t a woman’s legal right to obtain an abortion. Now the issue is whether the government can compel private groups to pay for something they find morally wrong. We live in an Alice-in-Wonderland world :-(

  6. Klaire, I’ve heard the same thing about this group being funded by George Soros, the multi-billionaire currency speculator who was behind Obama’s rise and who in a “60 Minutes” interview 12 years ago admitted that he was a Nazi collaborator as a teenager in Hungary. A real charming guy :-(

  7. You can’t really be a ‘Catholic’ and support issues that are contrary to your religion.

    Can you?

    This is nothing more than a PR group designed to be used by the Obama campaign to give him cover on his anti-Christian policies. “See, look I can be all that bad right? I’ve got the support of the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.”

  8. Henry Karlson says:

    Well, let’s see, prostitution is clearly against the morals of our religion. Would you say someone who said it should be legal is anti-Catholic?

  9. In the case of abortion it wasn’t particularly politicized until the era of Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan did not become president until 1980. The Roe v. Wade political storm happened prior to 1973. In fact, as many as 1/3 of states liberalized abortion laws after 1967.

    I know its knee jerk reflexive to blame Reagan for everything but that statement is not supported by the facts.

  10. Mark Greta says:

    Since there appears to be two Marks, I will go by Mark Greta to honor my recently deceased wife and hopefully will not be banned.

  11. Is the leadership made up of those who are long time Democratic party operatives? Yes.

    Is this group funded by Soros who opposes Catholic teaching? Yes.

    Does the group dissent from the teaching of the Magesterium of the church and our Pope that some issues require Proportionate Reasons before Catholics can ignore them because they are intrinically evil? Yes

    Do these front groups led by democrat operatives using the name Catholic try to confuse Catholics in ways that can put their very soul at risk? Yes

    Do those who chose to follow this type of group and ignore church teaching demanding Proportionate Reasons thus deny the Catholic Church Magesterium and Pope as the sole authority in matters of faith and morals. That one each of us should ask ourselves. My answer is yes and it shows in how hard many try to make other issues of Catholic concern but clearly not coming to the level of Proportionate Reasons for supporting the non negotiable intrinsic evils.

    Again, if we look at the issues of democratic answer to poverty, we see a horrible end result in almost every measure. Time to look at new answers to fight poverty such as removing the stranglehold the teachers unions have on education to allow the poor to actually get quality education. Time to look at ending democratic regulations and mandates that kill growth of business and jobs. Time to reduce the costs of energy by allowing drilling so that the poor who have to buy gas to get to thier jobs do not spend their entire paycheck and then see the price of everything else go up as well further hurting the poor.

    War is the domain of the Democrats since they have got us into almost every war since the countries founding. Democrats got us into the civil war, WWI, WWI, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Lybia, and supported with their leadership the wars in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the issue is peace, seems like democrats would be last place to go.

    Big government becoming our god is not a Catholic position last time I looked.

    Can anyone list clear Proportionate Reasons to support the party of death and gay marriage, both non negotiable issues?

  12. I believe I wrote, “ERA of Ronald Reagan ” for a reason. I did not say that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the politicizing of abortion just that it ramped up during his watch. Please try to read more carefully, Thanks.

    My whole point is I would like there to be candidates who come close to a consistent ethic on all life issues. It pains me that there seems to be no one who is. They are either rabid on one or another position.

  13. Next time, to avoid being misleading, try saying the “era of the 1970s” rather than the “era of Ronald Reagan.” Also, I would spell “era” as “era” and not as “ERA.” The latter is an acronym for a proposed amendment to the US constitution that failed to receive sufficient support for passage in the 1970s.

  14. The issue on abortion is so volitle because the Constitution was violated as it was in 1947 with Everson. The Constitution has a way for changes to be made in this country. It is the amendment process. It is not easy for all the right reasons. major changes in core areas of belief by the people need to be ones that make sense for the people in each of the states. When you have buy in by the majority in our country, the changes are accepted and if they prove to be in error in actual practice, can again be modified by those same people. We seem to have forgotten this important part of the Constitution and its value. We also seem to have forgotten the essential tenth Amendment on the rights of the states to insure that the federal government had limited powers. People fought and died for freedom of the people, for the people, and by the people, not some unelected judges with lifetime appointments. The Constiution limited each branch of government and gave each tasks. If they wanted the court to have the power to legislate, to find words not there, or to distort clear intentions of the Constitution, they would surely have listed this right of the court. For those on either side of the political divide, this distortion of the Constitution can have equal peril. The left likes their views bashed into law by the courts, but do not realize that courts can change to the others view and use the precidents now established to go the other direction in total. There could not be a clearer example than Germany.

    But in many ways the real damage is in the anger and angst that now is between one american and the other because values in New York are bing thrust on the people of Ohio or Alabama. Some argue that we need the courts to do this because some are denied rights. Yes, some are denied rights, but it is not for the court to decide unless those rights are violating what the Constitution has listed as rights. If they are not there, the court should send it back to the people and their representatives, maybe with an encouraging comment. God created us with free will as one of our unalienable Rights which can only come from our creator and which the founders wisely chose to make part of our founding documents. If we chose to act to add government rights, we have a process to amend the constitution thus bringing into the discussion the free will and liberties of the people to agree or reject. Also in this process because rights come from our Creator, the Constitution put in place protection of those religious liberties as first right of all the rights in the Constitution. It was protected FROM government because it had to have a voice if new rights were to be made or changed.

    Allowing the states to have in essence stronger rights than the central government on matters not clearly identified by the Constitution keeps those of local importance from being forced on other states. This allows those who differ to chose to live in the state or to locate to another where their views are more accepted. The government has no moral tools to change peoples minds and hearts like faith can and does. They use mandates, regulations, force, threats, IRS, and more to dictate. This always brings anger. In Ohio, I could care less if New York citizens choose to leagalze gay marriage as long as it is the will of the people. The Church.s of New York have an obligation to speak out on issues and have full protection from government actions to their being stopped as long as they do not break the law such as using force. That the state has broken their first amendment rights as written to stop the involvement of the Church in the public square has created a mess and needs to be repaired, not made worse as Obama is trying to do.

    Those who disagree simply means that the violations have been to their liking thus far, but if the violations of rights change impact them, they will squeal like a hog in the slaughter. We should all unite to get the government actions to limit our rights stopped and get back to the wonderful document our founders and God gave us.

  15. the post below is Mark Greta but not yet being allowed by adm.

    ["Mark" ... you've posted previously as "Mark Greta" without any problems, and I'm not doing anything to disrupt that. If it's not going thru, it's a technical glitch, not an administrative one. Dcn. G.]

  16. “we are called to care for the poor”

    But Deacon, are we called through government fiat? Through government power to take from someone perhaps against his will to give out? And don’t forget all the little political constituencies that are built for the sole purpose of re-election.

  17. Henry the fact that they “look at the politically world differently” than the Magesterium of the Catholic Chruch indeeds makes them “anti-catholic.”

    FWIW, this entire “anti-catholic” thing with the Obama Administration has been in the works for some time, with George Soros leading the charge. This is only one of many of the intentionally misleading “Catholic” groups.

  18. Where does this group support issues contrary to Catholicism? I scanned the document quickly and they state the following:
    We remain focused on the need for clear conscience protections as the ACA is implemented. As Catholics, we celebrate our long and proud history of providing health care to all our fellow citizens, with a special focus on the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. The Catholic Church’s network of hospitals and other patient care facilities are among the best in the country. They are a vital part of the Church’s ministry and, just so, should be free from government interference that would require these institutions to violate the moral teachings of the Church.

  19. Democrats got us into the civil war, WWI, WWI, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Lybia, and supported with their leadership the wars in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

    A truly ridiculous list. Yes, there will likely be proportionate reasons to vote for the Democratic candidates this fall.

  20. Henry Karlson says:


    You confuse your interpretation of politics for the Magisterium. They look differently from how YOU interpret things, but the Magisterium has not said their position is anti-Catholic. Perhaps you would do well to follow the Magisterium?

  21. A pretty slanderous statement, seeing as how Soros was 14 when the war ended and he described his alleged collaboration in the following way:
    “The Jewish Council asked the little kids to hand out the deportation notices. I was told to go to the Jewish Council. And there I was given these small slips of paper … It said report to the rabbi seminary at 9 am … And I was given this list of names. I took this piece of paper to my father. He instantly recognized it. This was a list of Hungarian Jewish lawyers. He said, ‘You deliver the slips of paper and tell the people that if they report they will be deported.’”

  22. You are clearly wrong Henry. This group is NOT in accordance with church teaching, period, regardless of politics.

    In fact, if it was, I can assure you that George Soros would be running from it, not supporting and funding it.

  23. Hardly slanderous. Nothing I said was inconsistent with Soros’ statement, even assuming his statement was an all-inclusive testimony of all that he did and also assuming that he didn’t omit — in a self-serving way — any truly damning details of his actual conduct.

    How curious that you are so quick to rise to this wealthy man’s defense, and with such details. What’s your connection to this individual?

  24. “sjay,” this is the second or third time I’ve noticed that your response to a set of facts is merely to call them “riduculous” or “absurd.” Surely, you can do better than that.

  25. Henry Karlson says:


    How are they “clearly” not in accordance with Church teaching? If it is so clear you can prove it. What I remember is that they promoted “Faithful Citizenship,” which upset the political rhetoric of some because it denounced a false understanding of how Catholics are to use prudential reasoning while engaging politics.

  26. Mark
    Since you are making assertions about this group please, share your sources. I would suggest that since you state the pope is the sole authority in matters of faith and morals that make sure you are living up to that very high standard. Most if not all of us fall short in one way or another.
    As to the party of Death – the Republicans you seem to support ignore the just war teachings of the church, are in favor of the death penalty, seem to missing in action when it comes to charity and how to view people or calumy.

  27. As you know there are two “Mark”s on this group. I’m one of them. The other one, who now goes by the handle (as of today) of “Mark Greta,” posted the comment above that you have referred to. So you will need to wait for “Mark Greta” to respond to you, assuming that he is able to.

  28. Dcn Luis says:

    I capitalized it when I was quoting myself to emphasize the word. And, yes, I thought about the Equal Rights Amendment when I typed it. but since it was a quote from my earlier post I thought it an unnecessary concern.

  29. “After much debate, the Obama administration took steps to accommodate the conscience rights of our Catholic institutions. Some argue that the accommodation does not go far enough and others think it is sufficient. At CACG, we welcome the president’s accommodation and hope that whatever remaining policy difficulties can be worked out in good faith negotiations among all stakeholders”

    After reading this statement “some argue” (eg the Bishops) I disregard the whole document as a piece of progressive blather.

  30. Richard Johnson says:

    As I see it, Manny, it’s a simple question:

    Q: If the Body of Christ is unwilling/unable to care for all the poor, will God simply let them die?

    I’m not belittling what the church does. It does a huge work. But there are still poor people with unmet needs, in spite of what the church is doing. Should they simply die and decrease the overall number of needy? Or should they have their needs met?

    And if the church is not in a position to meet those needs, where is God going to draw from to meet the needs of his poorest children?

    On Palm Sunday, didn’t Jesus say that if the people did not praise his entry, the very stones themselves would cry out? Then why are we surprised that when the needs of the poor are greater than what the Church can handle, God is using all of His resources to meet those needs.

    After all…as Christians our wages are given to us by God for His glory, are they not?

  31. Richard, I’m going to reply here since I can’t directly below you.

    There is a safety net. I’m not talking about that. The poor are fed and clothed and have a roof over their head. They get free education and medical. What more can you ask? I grew up poor and on welfare. My father went blind in mid life and my parents had three young children. We made it. It’s not perfect but then you’re getting money from other people’s labor, one has to be humble over what one gets. That’s the Christian approach in my opinion. To ask for more, to ask for luxeries is getting close to the sin of greed.

  32. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    As someone already said- according to many accounts-there is a lot of corrupt and corrupting Soros money floating around and many willing recipients. Too bad the bishops couldn’t somehow copyright a word or phrase to identify themselves that would make it far more difficult for groups masquerading as some sort of official Catholic doctrine teaching organization to mislead people

  33. naturgesetz says:

    deacon john —

    You write “Instead, many of our politicians who claim to support the sanctity of human life are all too willing to go to war, to deny government health coverage to the poor and to execute convicted felons, while many other politicians claim to support the poor and to oppose the dealth penalty, but who are all too willing to give women the right to kill their own children in the womb.”

    I’d just note that the willingness to go to war and to execute convicted felons does not distinguish either the parties from one another, nor Obama from his opponents, and that health coverage for the poor and universal health care are not synonymous terms.

  34. Yes, this is probably the second or third time one of your comments has qualified for that designation. Your assertion is so divorced from the reality that surrounded the “getting into” of those wars that the designation properly applies. E.g, WW2 — do you believe that a Republican administration would have avoided that war? Likewise for the Korean war. As for Vietnam, the Democratic administrations at the time were being heavily baited by Republicans to the right accusing them of being “soft on Communism” in their less belligerent responses to the events in Southeast Asia. The bulk of the opposition to the war certainly came from the Democratic party. Similarly, as recently as last year we had a gaggle of Republicans blaming Obama for not being more aggressive with respect to Libya. We can also remember a decade ago when the right, acting through the Republican party, shouted down any opposition to the Iraqi war. Democratic leaders will often fail to live up to the standards of their party by going along with Republicans who never fail to live down to the standards of theirs. Need I say more?

  35. I read about him in the papers.

    His connection to the Nazis seems similar to the connection of Pope Benedict — the latter, however, being a little bit older at the time of his involvement. I don’t blame either one of them.

  36. How was it violated in Everson, a case which upheld the power of a state government to fund parochial schools?

  37. Sure, prostitution is a degradation to the physical being and the temple of the Holy Spirit of both parties. It also violates the Sixth Commandment and against Canon law (CCC 2355).

    So advocating for mortal sin surely places you in anti-Catholic position.

  38. Henry Karlson says:

    Ah, so George, St Thomas Aquinas is anti-Catholic? He believed that prostitution should be legal!

  39. If you read the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good literature, it talks about the cutting taxes as ‘Un-Catholic”. They “denounce this new ideology as un-Christian, un-Catholic, and, indeed, as a perversion of America’s own best traditions.”

    Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was founded by a former VA Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello.

    The group is led by Obama supporters like Stephen Schneck, head of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, and liberal Catholics like Alfred M. Rotondaro of the Center for American Progress in Washington.

    The group also rails against the “explicitly anti-Christian teachings” of the Tea Party and like-minded movements.

  40. Henry Karlson says:

    Let’s start with the first. Yes, taxes and taxation is, of itself, supported within the Catholic tradition.

    Second, so if a Democrat is involved with them, they can’t be Catholic? Talk about confusing political parties for Catholicism!

    Third, Catholics can and did vote for Obama. The idea that if they voted for Obama they have no Catholic voice is, once again, proving partisanship instead of Catholicism lies behind your claims.

    And yes, many of the things which come out of the Tea Party have been very anti-Christian and contradict the encyclicals of Pope Benedict.

  41. Issues such as alleviation of poverty and care for the sick cannot be accomplished within the current economic culture of corporate capitalism. I realize my ideas are not the only ways to fix our crises of economics…but I’d like the conversation to shift from what bills need to be passed to how can we as Catholics restore economics to an area of life where we use the Faith to inform our decision-making. Industrial corporate capitalism isn’t gonna cut it for me. Chesterton said this a hundred years ago, and few listened. And for crying out loud, how can society care for all its living members when it won’t give them a chance to live at all? Hence, the focus needs to be on electing pro-life leadership who are willing to restore a moral framework to the State.

  42. Perhaps, you should actually do some historical readings about St. Thomas Aquinas before you post on the internet.

    I will save you some time.

    There are few direct references to prostitution in the works of Aquinas.37 He does note that prostitution is filthy and against the law of God,38 that it is something unlawful,39 a shameful occupation 40 that it is venal 41 and forbidden by the sixth commandment.42

    37. There is also a lack of secondary studies on Aquinas’s view of prostitution except for an article in Spanish by Gustavo E. Ponferrada, “Santo Tomas y la prostitucion,” Sapientia 45 (1990), 225-30.
    38. ST 2-2.32.7.
    39. ST
    40. ST 2-
    41. ST 2-2.154.2. This discussion clarifies a mistaken quotation of a gloss on Deuteronomy 23.17 which asserts that prostitution is a “venial” sin, when in fact it should read “venal.”

  43. Henry Karlson says:

    I have done considerable historical work with Aquinas, which is clear you have not. His position on prostitution is rather well known to those who study him:

    “Accordingly in human government also, those who are in authority, rightly tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost, or certain greater evils be incurred: thus Augustine says (De Ordine ii, 4): ‘If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust.’”
    ST 2-2.10.11

    What is interesting is that the source you are quoting, George, actually cites this — “Given this strong condemnation of fornication and prostitution, it would seem obvious that Aquinas would want to engage every force against them, especially civil law. Oddly enough he does not. Instead he notes that the state should allow fornication and prostitution to exist for the sake of the common good.” (

  44. Andy,

    There is a hierarchy of sins. Abortion ranks higher since there are no rights without the right to life.

    And social justice is not socialism. In fact Ron Paul is the better conservative.

    It would be better for Catholics to go independent.

  45. Why should Catholics hold to any one party? Socialist policies cannot dictate private health care options. The principle of subsidiarity says, government should be as local as possible.

  46. How about Ron Paul?

  47. Deacon,

    Ceasar’s offer comes with an expiry date. We have seen this with Obama’s mandate. If you take govt. money you have to do as they say.

    Catholics need to wake up to this.

  48. Aquinas, said there were different kinds of laws. He did not think the human law, the laws used to self-govern a nation, was not changeable or or that he was infallible.

    Aquinas also supported the death penalty.

    Catholicism does not today, based on the development of natural law.

    Pope Benedict sees, the natural law as the bridge between religious believers and secular rationalists.

    Only the eternal law is unchangeable. The Natural law helps us know parts of the eternal law through human reason.

    Cherry-picking misses how Catholic law theory works.

  49. This “voter guide” is completely dishonest. The Counsel of Catholic Bishops has set clear guidelines which are ignored in part and mangled in part here. The Bishops have stated “It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice.” Just the opposite of this guide. Voting for a pro abortion (“fundimental and intrinsic evil’) candidate would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil. The guide does not identify any “truly grave moral reasons” that would justify a Catholic voting, for instance, for Obama instead of any of the republican candidates.

  50. Not a conundrum at all. Someone who wants to vote in good faith may not vote for a pro abortion candidate in any but the most extenuating circumstances which do not present themselves in the 2012 election cycle. ). “It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice.” Catholic Bishops and ” Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed” Catholic Bishops

  51. You are right — in the bazzaro world this was a reasonable accommodation. In the real world, the employer is paying the insurance company for the coverage, thus even if an accounting adjustment is done to pretend the insurance company is providing the coverage, the employer really is. In addition this “accommodation” does not address the many Catholic organizations that self insure their emplyees.

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