Archbishop Chaput: Catholics May Not Be Able to Support Either Republicans or Democrats

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says that when it comes to voting, Catholics may not be able to support either the Republicans or the Democrats, now and in the coming years.

“The day may come when Catholics can support neither of the main American political parties or their candidates. Some think it’s already arrived,” Philadelphia’s archbishop wrote in a Nov. 6 essay for The Witherspoon Institute.

“Serious Catholics” who believe in the Church’s teaching on social and life issues “can’t settle comfortably in either political party,” he remarked.

But this is nothing new, Archbishop Chaput said, adding that Christians find their home and hope in heaven.

Saint Augustine, he recalled, “wrote the ‘City of God’ to remind us that we’re Christians first, worldly citizens second. We need to learn—sometimes painfully—to let our faith chasten our partisan appetites.”

The political tensions that Catholics are experiencing today flow from the cultural problems of individualism and a lack of virtue, he said. “In feeding the sovereignty of the individual, our public leaders fuel consumer self-absorption, moral confusion, and—ultimately, as mediating institutions like the family and churches wither—the power of the state.”

Archbishop Chaput concluded his column by calling on Catholics to live their faith, and so heal the culture. “In this Year of Faith, she (the Church) invites Catholics to a great new evangelization … our ambition must be to repair a culture of unbelief and to heal the inhuman politics that flows from it.”

“And if we can’t achieve that in concert with our fellow Christians, then we can at least live the Gospel more faithfully ourselves. It’s time, and long past time, to close the gap between our words and our actions; our preaching and our practice.”

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=6507#ixzz2BqcFXdNu

 

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  • EMS

    I agree. It’s been like that for a long time. There was an opinion piece in Our Sunday Visitor several years ago that said the same thing. That’s why I’m checking out the U.S. Christian Democrat Party.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Let us know what you find.

      • EMS

        They have a website. And the writer for the Different Perspective blog will be working on a newletter (I think) for them. I believe it will begin in December. From the US Christian Democrat Party website, I see nothing that contradicts Catholic teaching on social issues like abortion or the social justice issues either.

  • Peg

    Wow. Their platform looks great. Thanks for sharing. The archbishop is very insightful. I would love to see a strong Christians First movement. We really need our unity back. I think I have felt the most broken hearted for the black churches this year- manipulations from various political factions and leaders. A united Christian front would be a force to reckon with for both parties. Sometimes I think both need reminding we already have a Savior. The devil divides, God unites.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Here is the link to the Christian Democrat Party. I’m going to contact them next week. Their platform sounds like what I believe. However, when you delve into the web site, it appears that it’s mostly just one guy or maybe one guy and a few others. A great idea, but I have no idea how viable it is.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        I like it about 95% of the way. I don’t agree about some of the industries that they say shouldn’t be privatized. Public education is proving to be more and more of a disaster. It is one of the reasons that 90% of the voters are uninformed about the real issues. Don’t get me wrong – public education must continue, at least for now, because other structures don’t exist. But I must strenuously disagree with those who don’t want to allow competition for private schools.

        I also don’t agree that the social safety nets should be at the federal level. It causes it to be too depersonalized, and all opportunity for charity is taken out of our hands. It causes most people to say “I’ve already paid my taxes. The government should fix it.” when confronted with the poor. (I’m not saying this is right.)

        I’m not sure their platform on healthcare being not “for profit” is realistic, unless you want most of the doctors to choose different careers, but we do need to find some solution. Right now, health care is an out of control locomotive, and Obamacare is just going to make it worse.

        • EMS

          One of the best health care providers is the Kaiser Permanente group. It is a nonprofit health care deliverer. From personal experience with my parents, I can testify that they are excellent. So a nonprofit health care company is not only feasible but can work very well.

          • Dave

            It’s really great to hear that, but one company does not necessarily prove that it would work on a nationwide scale.

            • EMS

              Kaiser is huge. It covers all of CA, Colorado, MD, VA, DC, Ohio, Washington, Oregon and a couple of other places as well. Parts of BC/BS networks are supposed to be nonprofits as well. I’m sure there are others. So, there are quite a number of people already covered by nonprofits. The problem is that the for profits are growing and merging. Like it or not, we already have “death panels”. They’re called insurance companies. I think Medicare should expand to cover everyone; most people already pay for it via their paychecks. Those who don’t like the level of coverage (Medicare A only covers 80% of hospital and related costs) can always buy their own, like the Medicare Advantage plans already available.

              • Dave

                That’s actually really cool. I was musing that non-profits could be a way to bring down the power of the big corporations (as it would be hard for them to compete with non-profits), and it seems like this is a good start.

                • Rebecca Hamilton

                  True. Which is why I expect the administration to widen its attack on the Church through the HHS Mandate to other actions intended to bring all non-profits under the government heel. I may be wrong. But it’s what I expect. You heard it here first.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I think healthcare costs and the costs of higher education are both out of control locomotives.

        • Ted Seeber

          I think that we need to start looking at health care workers as a VOCATION rather than a CAREER.

  • Denny Sea

    This is the first time Bishop Chaput has disappointed me. It sounds to me like
    he is making excuses for the Catholics who didn’t vote. What we all should be
    talking about is the Catholics who voted for Obama and all the anti-Obama
    Christians/Catholics/Jews, Democratic, Republican or Libertarians who didn’t
    vote at all. ( 2-+5 Million). Obama just got elected with almost 8 million votes
    less than he got in 2008? He didn’t win we lost.

    • Denny Sea

      PS Going third party is a cop out. Lets fix the Republican party.

    • Ted Seeber

      If I had voted for Romney, I’d be dead right now. As it is, it took everything in me last Wednesday when I got off work to avoid stepping in front of the MAX train.

      Voting for evil is not the solution to get good.

  • Faith

    I like a lot of their policies. It reminds me of Joe Schriner, someone I have voted for before as a protest vote. However, the one thing I don’t see really being addressed is the $16 trillion debt. Even taxing all the rich is not going to be enough to fix the debt. I am pretty ignorant of economics but it seems to me one reason why European countries have been able to provide healthcare is because so much less of their budgets goes to their militaries. We have a huge portion of ours go to our huge military which other Western countries rely on as the police officiers of the world. If we cut back on the military we’ve got lots and lots of unemployed. So we’ve got to be able shift these military folks into other jobs which means we need a thriving, expanding economy that doesn’t rely on government spending to stimulate it. Unions are good. I come from a union family but I do think they have overreached to their own detriment causing jobs have moved overseas. My dear sister just lost her job because it moved to India. This right after her husband had to retire due to bad health (diagnosed with MS). She did manage to find a job after months of unemployment, but she is really underemployed and took a big pay cut.
    Anyway, the party is good idea, I just cynically think it is a bit pie in the sky.
    On a lighter note, my 13 yo son is all excited about an idea he read about: getting rid of pennies. He says it takes almost 2 cents to produce one penny and pennies have become useless. He’s got the whole thing worked out on how to phases out pennies and save money in our federal budget. I think he’s planning to write our local congressman. So you see, there is hope for the future. Those kids are always thinking!

    • EMS

      Joe Schriner was the party’s candidate. I did a write-in for him.

      As for taxes, the current thinking seems to be the lower the better, which is plain ridiculous especially when the country is fighting 2 wars (for over 11 years now!). The lower the better theory was once called “voodoo economics” by the first George Bush and he was right. It’s been that way for 40+ years, and it’s not working. Most people forget or don’t know that taxes used to be much, much, much higher. If Romney were paying taxes in the 50s or 60s, his tax rate wouldn’t be 13% or whatever; it would be 90% with a possiblility of a surcharge on top of that. His Bain company would actually have to create jobs instead of destroying them (and the companies as well). A CEO wouldn’t be making hundreds of times the workers’ income, more like 40 times (which is the way many countries operate). And the workers would be making a living wage (thanks a lot to the unions), enough to get a small house, a car, keep mom at home – in other words a middle class lifestyle. Those taxes also paid for the interstate highway system, better schools, etc. Now, we have an infrastructure that’s crmbling, ditto many schools and social institutions. Yeah, there were problems such a segregation, Jim Crow laws, the McCarthy era, and the like. But even for blacks, there were real opportunities in getting real jobs making good money. Families were more intact and people for the most part thought they and their children would do much better in the future.

      • Dave

        Taxes have been much higher and much lower. For the first 130 years or so of our country, there was no federal income tax at all. Sure, tax the rich more…I’m all for that, to a limited degree, as long as we don’t cause the rich to flee the country. But that won’t solve our financial issues.

  • Faith

    You mean the same George Bush who said “Read my lips, no new taxes” just to get elected. Hah! No, if taxes go too high the people who have to pay them flee the country. For instance in the 70s when Great Britain had such high taxes, people simply moved out of the country. I remember reading a biography of James Herriot where even though he was the bestseller author in English speaking countries for years because he was in a such high tax bracket he was struggling to make ends meet and he didn’t buy any luxurious homes or anything and in fact was still working as a vet! All the other bestselling authors had fled. Thus ushered in the age of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Why do you think they were so appealing? I don’t know the answers at all. I do agree that everyone should have basic necessities of shelter, food and education (and healthcare) but I don’t begrudge the wealthy their wealth. Seems to me that a socialist system (or governments moving too close to the socialist model) makes everyone poor in the name of equality while infringing on everyone’s freedoms. I don’t wanna go there with my country. I think we have to always strive for the golden mean but the pendulum swings are painful.

    • Ted Seeber

      Perhaps we need a separate currency for the rich than the poor- because personally, I wouldn’t mind certain people fleeing the country because of “high taxes” if doing so meant they had to give up all ownership in anything in America with no compensation.

      • EMS

        Fleeing the country is a straw myth. How many people actually left the US when the tax rates went as high as 90+%? If they did, fine they can leave. Our current tax rates are the lowest since the 1920s. It’s also a myth that high tax rates hurt the economy (not my opinion – look it up). The best years for the average American were the 50s and early 60s when the rates were the highest. During that time, employment was high, income and benefits for the average worker were high enough to buy homes, get into the middle class, support their families on one income and the stock market was booming. While decreasing taxes may result in a quick burst in the economy, long term prosperity happened when taxes were much higher. Taxes were rasied at the start of the Great Depression and continued to go up into the war years. They didn’t go down until the 60s. For the past 40 years, we’ve been told that lowering taxes would help the economy grow. Heck, even Reagan realized that cutting taxes wasn’t the answer, not when debt kept going up. Today, people are out of work, the big companies are sitting on over $1 trillion in cash, the rich keep getting richer while the rest of us stagnate or get poorer (the middle class is shrinking, not growing), our highways, bridges and other infrastructure is crumbling – get ready to hear about more highways and bridges failing – debt keeps piling up, and all we get from the Republicans is do away with taxes on capital gains (that will make Wall Street very happy and Romney could pay zero on his tens of millions), cut the tax rates (already the lowest since the 1920s), eliminate the estate tax (so we can create more privileged classes) and the like – all sounding like the robber barons. I’m not talking about raising taxes to 90%, but we need more graduated tax rates. It’s ridiculous to lump people who make $1million+ in with people who make $379,000 (the threshold for the highest rate), and people who make more than a milion with those who make that amount. But to lower taxes even further and refuse to raise them for the higher brackets is a bad joke on the rest of the country, especially when they’re talking about increasing things like the military budget.

  • BongDu

    I’m not a faith expert nor faith defender but only thing that I can share in my opinion that the world is not ours to fix. God made it, he owns it. He’ll let us know if he has something big for us to do. In the meantime, as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said: “We cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
    Let Jesus have the last word in our lives: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).


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