Bishops: God votes Republican
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is scheduled to deliver the concluding benediction at the Republican National Convention next week, after Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.
The Eternal Word Television Network leaked word of Dolan’s appearance last night in a press release about Romney’s exclusive appearance, to be aired tonight, on the program “The World Over.”
The news — both its substance and the venue in which it was conveyed — make clear three things: that Romney intends to make the Bishops’ bogus arguments about religious liberty infringements a centerpiece of his campaign’s faith outreach; that any efforts the Obama administration made to placate the Bishops’ unattainable demands on insurance coverage for contraception were a fool’s errand; and that the USCCB has unequivocally attached itself at the hip to the Republican Party.
EWTN, the Catholic television network founded by the nun Mother Angelica in 1981, and which recently acquired the National Catholic Register (“America’s most complete and faithful Catholic news source”), sued the Obama administration in February, charging the contraception mandate violated its First Amendment rights. Michael Warsaw, the network’s president, decreed it a “moment when EWTN, as a Catholic organization, has to step up and say that enough is enough.” In its support of the Bishops’ “fortnight for freedom” earlier this summer, the network quoted — on the same page! — Sir Thomas More just before his beheading and the Rev. Martin Luther King. That was all alongside network head Warsaw asserting, “these are rights not given to us by governments. They are rights given to us by God.”
In its press release, EWTN notes that Dolan hasn’t endorsed a candidate in the presidential race, but emphasizes that “he has been an outspoken critic of a mandate issued by the Obama administration to require employers to offer health insurance plans that covers contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.” (This repeats the falsehood, which Dolan himself has perpetuated, that the contraceptives covered by the insurance requirement include abortifacients.)
Belying the claims of the nonpartisan nature of Dolan’s RNC appearance, EWTN goes on to highlight that “Obama has also voiced support for abortion and is the first U.S. president to openly advocate a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples.” Just in case you weren’t clear who the enemy is.
The Jesuit magazine America quickly weighed in, and didn’t spare the Bishops any criticism: “The cozy relationship between a sizable portion of U.S. bishops and the Republican Party should be cause for concern, and not just among progressive Catholics. For the church to be able to live out its role as prophet, it cannot be tied to one political party. Cardinal Dolan’s appearance in Tampa will damage the church’s ability to be a moral and legitimate voice for voiceless, as those who view the Catholic Church as being a shill for the GOP have just a bit more evidence to prove their case.” [More]