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Items added April 9, 2008

Letter to EOC - Latin ‘not appropriate’ in parishes
John Kennington
March 30, 2008

I have been very disturbed lately by the increasing infiltration of Latin into Sunday Masses. I have nothing against Latin, and find the Latin Mass at Clear Creek Monastery. very spiritual and beautiful. At that location, in that setting, it is most appropriate and should be preserved.

While Latin is appropriate for the Tridentine Mass, it is not appropriate for the Novus Ordo, the ordinary form of the Roman Rite used for normal Masses at one’s parish. In those the prayers should be in the vernacular so the entire congregation can actually participate. I have been to several Masses in Tulsa and other areas where the Kyrie, Sanctus (Holy, Holy) and/or Lamb of God has been spoken or sung in Latin.

These are prayers for the congregation to recite or sing. But how can we do that when we don’t know the language? Even if we follow along with a text and learn to properly form the sounds, we are just making noises. That is not prayer - unless you consider it like praying in tongues.

When I travel to Rome, I don’t expect English or Latin, I expect Italian. While I don’t know Italian, I can follow along, and it can be a sublime experience. But if I were actually living in Rome, I would attend the American Parish of Santa Susana, where the Mass is in English and I could truly participate in the Liturgy.

I’ve read all the explanations about the comeback of Latin, and quite frankly don’t buy them. If we want to go back to an “original” Mass, we should be using Aramaic or Greek, with married and female clergy.

The Latin Mass originally had a very noble purpose – to use the vernacular of the people, allowing them to actually understand and participate in the Liturgy. In our Diocese the vernacular is typically English or Spanish. I don’t think we have any Latin speaking communities in Oklahoma, at least outside the Catholic priesthood. By reintroducing Latin back into the Ordinary Rite of the Mass, the Church is perverting the original purpose of the Latin Mass itself.

John Kennington

Editor’s note: Because Bishop Slattery has encouraged incorporating Latin elements in the Ordinary Rite, the EOC asked Msgr. Patrick Brankin to respond: “Mr. Kennington’s desire to participate in the Mass as fully and consciously as he can is exactly what the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council intended in Sacrosanctum Conbcilium, the Council document on the Liturgy. But it is a mistake to argue that no one can participate in the Mass without understanding the language of the Mass. The Fathers of the Council never suggested this, and Mr. Kennington himself says that when he is in Rome he has no difficulty following an Italian Mass.

“I think that Mr. Kennington comes awfully close to confusing our active participation in the Mass with the purpose of the Mass. The purpose of the Mass - whether the Sacrifice is celebrated in any of the liturgical or vernacular languages permitted - is always to give perfect worship to the Father by offering Him the obedience of Christ His Son. We participate in Christ’s self-offering to the extent that we join ourselves to Christ, not to the extent that we are capable of understanding the words of the prayers.”

Letter to EOC - Degraded by torture
BG (with additional from Pax Christi members)
March 16, 2008

U.S. government officials have been attempting to sanitize the horror of torture, calling is by such euphemisms as “coercive interrogation.” The technique of waterboarding, long illegal, has been especially rationalized.

In the past, the U.S. government treated waterboarding as a war crime. Americans who engaged in waterboarding in the Philippines in 1902 were prosecuted by the U.S. military itself. After World War II, Japanese who had used waterboarding on Allied POWs were convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Now? Waterboarding has admittedly been used by the current administration and not ruled out for future use. What have we allowed our government to become? If our government really represents us, what have we ourselves become?

Waterboarding and every other form of torture (including hypothermia and psychotropic drugs, which constitute criminal acts under U.S. law but are being used by the CIA today) are unacceptable according to traditional American ideals and values. They are barbarism and unworthy of any civilized nation.

For Catholics, who believe in the dignity of every human person, this is a grave issue. Torture degrades not only the victims but also those who torture.

BG, Tulsa

Items added December 15, 2007
EOC Column - Pax Christi Member Witnesses Moment of Grace in Los Alamos
John Kennington
September 16, 2007

Click here for complete article

Letter to EOC - Pax Christi on Immigration and Koran
Pax Christi Tulsa Members
November 20, 2007

As members of Pax Christi of Eastern Oklahoma, we wish to add our voice to the mix of those weighing in on a couple of current issues.  In regard to the immigration issue, we agree with the one who cautions us against “intolerance toward the person whose only fault is a search for work and better living conditions outside his or her own country, and a fear of all who are different and thus seen as a threat.”  These words are from Pope John Paul II (“Welcoming the Poor”, 2/26/98).

In regard to the Koran controversy, we concur with the sentiments of the Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, where it is written: “Over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims.  The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding.  For the benefit of all, let us together preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values.”  (Nostra Aetate, #3).  It is our hope, and our opinion, that these statements reflect the mind of Christ, and a characteristically Catholic impulse to “Welcome the Stranger Among Us” (U.S. Catholic Bishops statement, 2000).

Pax Christi of Eastern Oklahoma

Rita Boyle, Fr. Richard Bradley, Barbara Geary, Shirley Hogestyn,Steffanie Keefer, John Kennington, Denise Mohr, Mary Jo Neal, Jane Rausch, Molly Rhoads

Editor's Note from EOC on Immigration Facts
Marilyn Duck, Editor, EOC
September 30, 2007

Editor’s note: Donna R. Gabaccia, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, noted Sept. 24 that “the discussion of immigration has not been a particularly well-informed one, and there are a lot of wild assertions tossed around.” She provided these facts:

Illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare. They do receive emergency medical assistance from hospitals; their children do attend schools, but most of the children are U.S. citizens. In addition, some illegal immigrant women and their children receive emergency food supplies through the federal program known as WIC.

Before 1917, the U.S. did not require passports from people entering the country. There were no visas, no numerical limits, no waiting periods prior to entry. The few restrictions in place were on Chinese workers, people who had mental or physical handicaps, anarchists, prostitutes or “a person likely to become a public charge,” usually women or widows with children who might need charity. Excluded persons, including Chinese workers, sometimes did enter anyway, often through Canada or Mexico, where borders were not regulated until the 1920s.

In the 1920s, quotas based on national origins were implemented to diminish migration from Southern and Eastern Europe, mostly Italian and Greek sailors who jumped ship or entered through Mexico or Canada without a visa.

Today, entering the U.S. without a visa is a misdemeanor and is the only law that illegal immigrants break. Contrary to popular belief, crime rates among foreigners in the U.S. are lower than among native-born Americans.

Marilyn Duck, Eastern Oklahoma Catholic Sept. 30, 2007

Items added March 10, 2005

Pharisee Nation
John Dear, S.J.
 commondreams.org, Feb. 15, 2005
Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

Click here for complete article

A new approach to reducing abortions
National Catholic Reporter Editorial, Sept. 24, 2004

Speaking at the Riverside Church Aug. 29, former president Bill Clinton said he has "never met anybody that was pro-abortion, and that's not what pro-choice means. It just means we don't criminalize mothers and the doctors."

Clinton's got a good point.

Whatever their view of the legal and political issues associated with abortion, most Americans see the procedure as a failure, a necessary evil, not a moral good...There are concrete steps our political leaders can take that would reduce the seven-figure abortion rate.

For instance, the 1996 welfare reform bill (currently up for renewal) allows states to impose a "family cap" on welfare benefits -- meaning that benefits would not increase for additional children born into a family on welfare.

Twenty-three states eventually enacted the cap.

A wide-ranging coalition -- the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, American Civil Liberties Union, American Life League and others -- argued against the cap. They said it would lead to more abortions. They were right.

Click here for complete article

No peace on Earth during unjust war
Fr. Andrew Greeley
, Dec.  24, 2004

One reads in the papers that the Pentagon expects the war in Iraq to continue till 2010. Donald Rumsfeld will not guarantee that it will be over by 2009. How many dead and maimed Americans by then? How many sad obituaries? How many full pages in the papers with pictures of all the casualties?


The reasons change: weapons of mass destruction, war on terror, freedom and democracy for the people of Iraq, American credibility. All are deceptions. This cockamamie and criminally immoral war was planned before the Sept. 11 attack in which Iraq was not involved. It has nothing to do with the war on terror. American-style freedom and democracy in Arab countries are hallucinations by men and women like Paul Wolfowitz and Condi Rice whose contribution to the war is writing long memos -- Republican intellectuals with pointy heads.
Click here for complete article

Fundamentalism and the 60’s: Reflections on a Decade
By James L. Stovall, Jr., M.Div.
from Sooner Thought, Feb 8, 2005

For many in our society, fundamentalism has come to embody and represent Christianity. For those unfamiliar with the often complicated world of religion, the two are much the same. The media are often guilty of assuming that leading fundamentalists accurately speak for all of us who identify ourselves as Christian. In analyzing the recent elections results, many analysts have suggested that individuals’ concerned Christian values were responsible for the Bush victory due to their lopsided support for the Republican position on issues such as abortion or gay marriage. Fundamentalist values are influential at the highest levels of power throughout our society (starting with the White House). The time seems right to take a step back and examine what these values are, where did they come from and do they accurately represent Christian belief.

It is a mistake to say that a decade was good or bad. The 60’s were both good and bad.
Click here for complete article

Pro-life? Look at the fruits
Dr. Glen Harold Stassen
From Sojourners e-mag Oct. 14, 2004

I am a Christian ethicist, and trained in statistical analysis. I am consistently pro-life. My son David is one witness. For my family, "pro-life" is personal. My wife caught rubella in the eighth week of her pregnancy. We decided not to terminate, to love and raise our baby. David is legally blind and severely handicapped; he also is a blessing to us and to the world.

I look at the fruits of political policies more than words. I analyzed the data on abortion during the George W. Bush presidency... My findings are counterintuitive and disturbing.

Abortion was decreasing. When President Bush took office, the nation's abortion rates were at a 24-year low, after a 17.4% decline during the 1990s. This was an average decrease of 1.7% per year, mostly during the latter part of the decade...

Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the opposite happened.
Click here for complete article

Budgeting for Poverty
from USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The federal government says a family of four making $18,810 a year is living in poverty. But how far does $18,810 go in America today? How do you budget? What do you leave out? You make the hard choices.


In America, a family of four making less than $19,000 a year will spend on average $5,274 annually for the most basic of shelter. $18,810 - 5,274 13,536

Utilities? Click Here for complete article

Popular Fiction
By Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
from The New Republic,  Nov. 8, 2004

No sooner had the red and blue ink dried on the maps of election commentators than triumphant Republicans began talking about their clear mandate for an ambitious domestic agenda. The people have spoken, Republicans proclaimed, and what they have said is that they favor the conservative agenda on taxes, Social Security, health care, gay marriage, and abortion...

Amazingly, much of the media seems to be buying the Republicans' mandate line...U.S. News & World Report was more blunt: Bush, according to one headline, is the "man with the mandate."

This is patently absurd. Leave aside for a moment the sheer brazenness of Republicans' claims in light of their contempt for the vote total in the 2000 election.
Click here for complete article

How many more Iraqis must die for our revenge?
Fr. Andrew Greeley
, Nov. 12, 2004

The election is over and so we can forget about the Iraq war. It is no longer a political issue and hence matters to no one. The American electorate has followed the tradition of standing by a wartime president and thus endorsing the president's war. It was once his war. Now the election has made it our war. The issue is closed.

A recent report suggested that if one compares the number of deaths that usually occur in Iraq per year with the number since Bush's invasion, the cost of the war in dead Iraqis may be more than a hundred thousand human beings. Now Iraqi deaths don't count because they look funny and talk funny and have a funny religion. Besides they're Arabs, and we have a score to settle with Arabs because of their attack on the World Trade Center. Yet if we are able to sustain the number of deaths that have happened as a consequence of the invasion, we will soon have accounted for as many as Saddam Hussein did. That's a lot of dead Arabs -- and a lot of bereaved spouses, parents, children, other relatives and friends. How many before will we have to kill before we're satisfied with our revenge? ...The majority of Americans have assumed responsibility for the war. Therefore they share responsibility for all the Iraqi deaths.
Click here for complete article

The War in Iraq - How Catholic conservatives got it wrong

Peter Dula

H. Richard Niebuhr once wrote that the first question of ethics is not “What should I do?” but “What is going on?” The Baghdad version of that principle might be, “What the hell is going on?” It is a question that comes to me when I wake up to a car bomb or fall asleep to the sound of mortar fire. I was asking it when a Kurdish colleague took me to see the memorial at Halabja, where Saddam gassed five thousand villagers. I asked it again last March when 223 Shi’a pilgrims died in Karbala. And again when, in the late afternoon of August 1, there were two loud thuds and the hotel shook and I saw the plumes of smoke rising over the buildings north of my balcony, buildings occupied by people I work with. I was asking it the next morning when I discovered that two more car bombs had exploded next to a Christian seminary, killing ten, leaving professors and students shaking and looking in vain for loved ones, and burnt car parts spotting the lawn.

...“Moral Clarity in a Time of War” was written by Catholic theologian George Weigel, a member of the editorial board of First Things (along with fellow neoconservative Catholics Michael Novak and Mary Ann Glendon)-and perhaps best known for his biography of Pope John Paul II (Witness to Hope). Weigel’s essay declared that “the fog of war” must not be allowed to “suggest that warfare takes place beyond the reach of moral reason.” Weigel argued that the sort of preemptive war Bush was threatening against Iraq could be justified by traditional just-war standards. Those who thought otherwise were derided as milquetoasts or as unwilling to rise to the defense of freedom and democracy in a dangerous world. Click here for complete article

Items added October 28, 2004

America: Land of Religious Freedom or Religious Intimidation?
Linda Maloney, Bartlesville, OK (Oct. 2004)
America has a new “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and it is not music to my ears. It is the rallying song of the religious right, which equates the “glory of the coming of the Lord” with the right to attack anyone who dares to suggest that certain moral issues may be better left to personal conscience. Like many Americans, I have watched with growing alarm as those among us who profess to be the human saviors of a society gone bad are laboring to undo the very freedoms upon which this country is based—central among them, freedom of belief and freedom of choice. This “great undoing” has been happening for some time, dictating everything from how people ought to vote on issues like abortion or gay rights to community-wide bans on Halloween. Particularly in the past dozen years or so, Christian fundamentalism has been on the rise, arguing for the need to pass laws aimed at banning sin and taking that message from churches to television studios, from pulpits to political meetings, from farmhouses to statehouses. Click here for complete article

Catholic election follies continue
National Catholic Reporter Editorial, October 22, 2004

The election follies continue. Three cases in point: ... St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke compares today’s United States to Nazi Germany.

...the Web site of National Review ... argue that “to vote for John Kerry in 2004 would be far worse … than to have voted against Lincoln and for his Democratic opponent in 1860. Stephen Douglas at least supported allowing states that opposed slavery to ban it. And he did not favor federal funding or subsidies for slavery. John Kerry takes the opposite view on both points when it comes to abortion. On the great evil of his own day, Senator Douglas was merely John Kerry-lite.”

“If you vote this way,” meaning for a pro-choice candidate, “are you cooperating in evil?” Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput asked The New York Times Oct. 9. “And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes.”

So, there you have it. Kerry-supporting Catholics are Nazi-like appeasers of evil, anti-freedom and need to go to confession on Nov. 3. Click here for complete article

For God's sake, vote him out
Fr. Andrew Greeley
, October 29, 2004
There are two proportionate reasons for rejecting President Bush's bid for re-election. Both the United States and the world are a mess. Mr. Bush is responsible for both messes. The first president ever to claim de facto infallibility, Mr. Bush tells us that he follows his instincts in decision-making after praying over the decision and talking to God. He admits no mistakes -- how could anyone who has a direct link to God make a mistake! In his next administration he will receive more divine inspirations which will make both the country and the world even more messy. Click here for complete article

Catholic voters can balance issues
Fr. Andrew Greeley, July 16, 2004

Catholics can vote for John Kerry. They don't have to, but it would not be a sin to do so, according to a distinguished theologian:

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

These are not the words of some radical liberal Catholic theologian who is unconcerned about killing babies. Rather they were written by the cardinal president of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. It says that Catholics are not obliged to vote on one issue, no matter how important that issue might be. They may vote for John Kerry "for other reasons" so long as they are not supporting him merely for his pro-choice stance.  Click here for complete article

Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?
Fr. Andrew Greeley, June 11, 2004

BERLIN -- I can understand, my German friend said, why Germans voted for Hitler in 1933 -- though he did not receive a majority of the vote. The Weimar Republic was weak and incompetent. The Great Depression had ruined the nation's war-devastated economy. People were bitter because they thought their leaders had betrayed them in the war. They wanted revenge for the humiliation of Versailles. Hitler promised strong leadership and a new beginning. But why did they continue to support that group of crazy drug addicts, thugs, killers and madmen?  .... 

Can this model be useful to understand how contemporary America is engaged in a criminally unjust war that has turned much of the world against it ....

Today many Americans celebrate a ''strong'' leader who, like Woodrow Wilson, never wavers, never apologizes, never admits a mistake, never changes his mind, a leader with a firm ''Christian'' faith in his own righteousness. These Americans are delighted that he ignores the rest of the world and punishes the World Trade Center terrorism in Iraq. Mr. Bush is our kind of guy.  Click here for complete article

How war in Iraq derails real war on terror
Fr. Andrew Greeley, May 28, 2004

.... The president talks about homeland security but, under the malign influence of the vice president and the ''neo-con'' intellectuals, he has made the war in Iraq a substitute for the real war on terrorism. Almost three years after the World Trade Center attack, O'Hare Airport does not have the equipment necessary to inspect checked luggage because the Transportation Safety Administration does not have the money to pay for the equipment. Click here for complete article

'Pro-life' isn't a one-way street
Fr. Andrew Greeley, May 7, 2004

Let it be clear that I subscribe to the consistent ethic of life that Cardinal Joseph Bernardin enunciated some years ago. I believe abortion is wrong. I believe the death penalty is wrong. I believe preemptive war is wrong. I also believe that we Catholics must promote this ''seamless garment of life,'' as the cardinal called it, by the methods of civilized discourse -- not by attempts at raw political power, especially since the church has yet to persuade most Catholics of this consistent ethic.

Thus, I will take seriously the ''pro-life'' enthusiasts when they are ready to protest against and denounce the death penalty. I will take them seriously when they also denounce criminally unjust wars. Otherwise, I have to wonder why some ''innocent lives'' enjoy higher value than other innocent lives. Life is, after all, life. Click here for complete article

Voting Conscience

John F. Kavanaugh, S.J.
America, The National Catholic Weekly, May 17, 2004

Over the past few weeks I have had friends plead with me, “Please don’t vote for Nader again.” “You will be giving the vote to Bush.” “You will be giving the vote to Kerry.” There’s my problem: I don’t want to give my vote to either of them. Such words could infuriate readers as well as family and friends. But if one cannot speak from one’s conscience, from what stance may one begin?

The Catholic tradition affirms the supremacy of conscience, our moral judgment. It also calls for a willingness to inform that conscience. I am open to evidence and argument. But I do not accept the dictum that the sole moral issue of November’s election is either the war or abortion. For me it is an election, a choice, between two terribly deficient candidates. With the best evidence I can muster, by November, I will choose one.

Catholic bishops who fault Kerry cross line
Thomas C. Fox (May 2004)

A staunch Democrat and equally staunch Roman Catholic, my father cast his vote for Adlai Stevenson instead of John F. Kennedy during the 1960 Democratic presidential primaries. He reasoned that Stevenson had a better chance of winning the election because conservative Protestants would eventually thwart a Kennedy candidacy.

My dad had bought into the conventional wisdom of the time that Protestants wouldn't elect a Catholic president out of fears that he would take his orders from the pope and not the Constitution. As history showed, Kennedy effectively put that question to rest.

My father never envisioned a day when Roman Catholic bishops would intentionally try to harm the candidacy of a Catholic Democrat. Yet that's where the current presidential election is headed, unless church leaders -- and the conservatives who now are gleefully piling on -- are forcefully reminded that our country was built on the doctrine of the separation of church and state. Click here for complete article

Living Nonviolence in Today’s Reality
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (July 2002)

I have a conviction that it’s a choice between what we’d like to call pax Americana, or the other choice, pax Christi. On October 7, when President Bush announced the war strikes on the Taliban in al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan, he said, “We are a peaceful nation!” Then a few days later while speaking at the FBI headquarters, he declared, “This is the calling of United States — the most free nation in the world, a nation built on fundamental values that reject hate, reject violence, reject murderers, and rejects evil. He says we are a peaceful nation, and that’s what we stand for. He would call it, I’m sure, “peace America, or pax Americana.”  Click here for complete article

Letter to the EOC - Problems with "A Voting Guide For Serious Catholics"
John & Sharon Kennington, Bixby, OK (Oct. 4, 2004)
Many have seen the booklet "A Voting Guide For Serious Catholics" which lists 5 "non-negotiable" issues - abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research, cloning and homosexual marriage - that are intrinsically evil. It further states that you cannot vote for a candidate that supports any one of these issues in any way. However this does not reflect the teaching of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In their guide for voters, “Faithful Citizenship,” the Bishops provide a wide range of issues Catholic voters need to consider, which they do not rank. Click here for complete article

Letter to the EOC - Courageous Actions by Bishop Slattery
John & Sharon Kennington, Bixby, OK (June 10, 2004)

We are shocked. Shocked that Bishop Slattery received 57 unfavorable responses (and only 8 favorable) to his letter to Sheikh Ameen Aziz. We want to publicly thank the Bishop for his letter, and we hope he continues to speak out on this subject, as our country is being led into conflicts based at a fundamental level on Christianity versus Islam. This will only lead to continued war and terrorism far into the future.

We were also very happy with Bishop Slattery’s decision to not withhold Communion from certain politicians or Catholics who vote for them. To follow that policy means a Catholic who wants to continue receiving the Eucharist could not vote, since both of our presidential candidates hold positions that are not pro-life.

Both of these actions have been courageous, especially considering the current climate in the United States, and we commend Bishop Slattery for taking them.

Sincerely, John & Sharon Kennington, Bixby, OK

Letter to the EOC - Pope appoints "liberal prelate" as Cardinal
John Kennington, Bixby, OK (March 6, 2004)
I recently received a disturbing piece of junk mail from the “Catholic” magazine New Oxford Review (NOR). I use quotes because the attitude of the letter is certainly not Catholic – it contains a continuous stream of insults and put-downs of those they disagree with. Some examples: “smug poo-bahs and quislings”, “fuzzball Catholic”, “terrorizing the Church”, “we don’t dialog with dissenting Catholics…we annihilate them - intellectually” and “certain liberal prelates shamelessly run interference for the dissenters…and openly call for reconsideration of firmly settled Catholic teachings.” That last sentence is especially disturbing, as this puts them in direct conflict with Pope John Paul II. In the most recent Consistory, the Pope chose a diverse group of 31 new Cardinals... Click here for complete article

Letter to the EOC - Listen to Pope on war

John Kennington, Bixby, OK (March 10, 2003)

I would like to suggest that we, as Catholics, seriously consider the words of Pope John Paul II and the Hierarchy about war, peace and Iraq. I hold the opinion that the Holy Father very much recognizes reality, more so than many in our own country. He personally has experienced war in his own country, something Americans have never had to face. We cannot simply dismiss him because his views don’t mesh with American popular opinion.  Click here for complete article

Jimmy Carter explains how the Christian right isn't Christian at all.

Ayelish McGarvey, April 5, 2004

Former President Jimmy Carter, America's first evangelical Christian president, still teaches Sunday school at his Baptist church in Plains, Georgia, and he and his wife, Rosalynn, continue their human-rights work in developing nations through the Carter Center at Emory University ... In February, Carter spoke about the role of evangelical Christianity in democratic politics with Prospect writing fellow Ayelish McGarvey.

Republicans have been extremely successful at connecting religion and values to issues like the fight against terrorism, abortion, and gay rights. Democrats have been far less adept at infusing our issues -- compassion, help for the poor, social justice -- with any sense of religious commitment or moral imperative. Why do you think that is? Click here for complete article

Editorial - Catholics and Politics 2004
from America, The National Catholic Weekly,  May 24, 2004

...Unlike some religious leaders of smaller congregations, the Catholic bishops of the United States have traditionally refused to endorse particular candidates or parties. In this difficult political season, a time of new and unsettling dangers and a voting public that seems sadly polarized, the bishops should be wary of singling out individual candidates by public admonitions that inevitably become politicized in the heat of partisan politics. Instead, by directing the public’s attention to the agenda they set forth last September, our bishops may help rescue the presidential election campaign of 2004 from a mindless barrage of televised attack ads made possible by the oversupply of money and the shortage of integrity that characterize our current political climate. Click here for complete article