The National Catholic Review

See update above: DFL Ad Not Anti-Catholic.  Just Confusing.

Want a real example of anti-Catholicism? Here it is, courtesy of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, apparently in reponse to Archbishop John Nienstedt's mailing of 400,000 DVDs in opposition to same-sex marriage. (H/t to Grant Gallicho at Dotcommonweal.)  If you click on the link above, you'll see that the Catholic priest is sporting a button that reads "Ignore the Poor."  The DFL has the right of course to oppose, even vigorously oppose, the archbishop's public campaign against gay marriage.  It does not have the right to engage in anti-Catholic rhetoric, visual or otherwise.  And for the record, the DFL was founded in 1944, somewhat later than the church began its work with the poor, 19 centuries before.  Evidence of that legacy is here and here and here and here and here and, well, pretty much anywhere that you find the poor. 

James Martin, S.J.

 

Comments

Stephen SCHEWE | 10/26/2010 - 5:25pm
Clarifications from the DFL are up on dot.commonweal.  The DFL put out two postcards attacking Dan Hall, a Republican candidate for the Minnesota State Senate, for his opposition to policies that favor the poor.  The body shot of the clergyman in the Roman collar apparently refers to Hall's affiliation with the Assembly of God; the back side of the postcards refer to him as "Preacher Hall."  PDFs of both postcards, front and back, are now posted on dot.commonweal, along with a significantly revised post that includes a statement from the DFL's spokesman.  I've found Google images of Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and various other Christian clergy wearing Roman collars or close variations, but the photo certainly made the task of whoever decided to take a cheap shot at the DFL easier.  As Grant Gallicho said in apologizing for jumping to conclusions, "At least we can dispense with the claims that the mailing is anti-Catholic, although it may be anti-wise."
Thomas Piatak | 10/26/2010 - 4:28pm
Fr. Martin's comments are on target. 
Vince Killoran | 10/26/2010 - 3:51pm
Brett-please don't call me "Mr. Vince." It's weird.

I guess this will be my final comment on this thread (the nuns always said I wanted to get the last word but not so on this blog):

How on earth am I "picking & choosing"? You've somehow taken my critique of the postcard and the hierarchy  and rushed in to define the level of my commitment to my faith. Please re-read my original post and respond to my argument about whether the postcard is a case of bona fide anti-Catholicism. Or don't respond, whatever.
Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 3:41pm
Final comment on this: pro-family/life positions of the Church is in no way mutually exclusive from the support of the poor.  If one does not value the life of an unborn child, why would one value the life of a poor person?  Utilitarian ideology of abortion applies equaly to other undesirables of society.

Only a healthy society correctly ordered can address all of these issues - and they can all be addressed by the Church in unison. 

The bishops are not the ones "picking and choosing" on the totality of Christian life, Mr. Vince, you are.
Vince Killoran | 10/26/2010 - 3:33pm
"'[S]narky" commentary from liberals": Who, me? I'm a socialist.

But really guys-I did not engage in mindless attacks, or partisanship.  There are charges of anti-Cathollcism and I was questioning the accuracy of that label. I did say that the DFL postcard, if they sent it, was inaccurate. As a collective body the bishops seem to be on "autopiolet" when it comes to poverty.  Their real passion is in re-criminalizing abortion and stopping gay marriage.

You must accept that the hierarchy are not infalliable.
Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 3:20pm
Is this a suble rebut to Arch. Dolan's kerfluffle with the NYT?  Nonetheless, good to see recognition of the fact that supporting "conservative" positions does not equate with neglect of the poor!  Of course as social data show, its all of a piece.  The stability of the family is THE primary weapon in the "war" on poverty!  Its ironic that the most vocal same sex marriage proponents are largely from the upper middle class and its environs secluded from the economic throes faced by lower middle class families.

And Mr. Killoran's comment about "the bishops" & their care for the poor vis-a-vis other concerns is just what it has been labelled: slander.  Why can't we just acknowledge that on political matters good faith disagreements don't translate into moral hypocrisy?  And to raise the "culpability" of the bishops, the majority of whom today were NOT in office during the height of the abuse, is a bit unwarranted.

PS America blog: this is the kind of "snarky" commentary from liberals that some of us regular posters on here generally see as "slipping through" and results in some of us feeling like the "let's be civil" conversation only flows in one direction.
Vince Killoran | 10/26/2010 - 3:07pm
I don't know that the bishop do care as much-how can I tell? The way they spend their resources suggest otherwise.  Thank God, they are not the whole Church.

BTW, I wasn't rationalizing-I was questioning whether we are collapsing all criticism of the Church hierarchy with pure-and-simple anti-Catholicism.  I've noticed a tendency of some bloggers to do that.  It's inaccurate and self-defeating.
Stephen SCHEWE | 10/26/2010 - 1:58pm
This has to be a hoax.  It appeared originally on Stella Borealis.  I've emailed the communications director of the DFL for comment.
David Cruz-Uribe | 10/26/2010 - 1:22pm
Definitely a classic of anti-Catholicism, and perhaps the worst I have seen associated with the democratic party since 1992, when democratic activists distributed buttons with a picture of Pennsylvania Governor Casey's face superimposed on a picture of the pope.

This ad has been in circulation for at least 24 hours:  has there been any explanation from the DFL?
Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 4:00pm
I was responding to your later posts indicating your view that the bishops didn't care about the poor as much as "re-criminalizign abortion" etc. - and I was saying that this is patently untrue and can been seen as such by merely looking at the anti-poverty programs run by each and every local Catholic community and, yes, bishop.

As for the ad, it is certainly "anti-Catholic" - and it is much more blunt than the usual subtle attacks by media and entertainment outlets such as the NY Times.

In any case, if you want to read the holistic approach of the "hierarchy" regarding how economic poverty and moral poverty intersect (and how the Church recommends defeating them both) then you should read Caritas en Veritate by Pope Benedict - if you have not already.

Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 3:32pm
Opps, I was speaking to Mr. Vince Killoran, as I understand his position on homosexuality etc. from his previous comments regarding the bishops.
Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 3:21pm
Considering all of the programs that each dioceses run for families and the poor - and how much of the annual Catholic appeals run by the local bishops goes to this endeavour - I would say that they care for all of the vulnerable in society.  I know you disagree with the Church on sexual morality, but didn't we just have a thread on charity?

In any case, the most vulnerable are those yet to be born - so such emphasis is understandable.  Especially when abortion is promoted by a major political party such as the democrats and was expanded in the health care power grab in Washington...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW1DuhBRoUw

Like I said, we need a third party.
Anonymous | 10/26/2010 - 2:57pm
No need to try to rationalize this slander; the bishops care just as much for the poor as they do for the unborn. 

Catholics need to start a third party option...away from the libertine social morals of the democrats and libertine economic policies of the republicans.
Vince Killoran | 10/26/2010 - 2:36pm
I don't think the Church "ignores the poor."  If the postcard actually went out from the DFL, they should apologize.

But is it "anti-Catholic"? There is a long history of anti-Catholicism in this country but I've always defined it as a malicious attacks on the Faith by repeated misrepresentations of beliefs and positions. The goal was to put into serious doubt the legitimacy of the Faith in the American Republic.  Have their been such attacks regarding the Church's teachings about poverty?  This is the first that I've seen. It seems more like a ham-handed attempt to criticize Nienstedt.

Given the full-court press of the bishops on health care legislation, and their culpability in the sex abuse scandal, is it any wonder that many non-Catholics (and probably many Catholics) no longer view anti-poverty as a priority of the hierarchy?