It has bothered me for a long time how Right Wing Catholics have chosen to augment the outrage about some issues and ignore others. It appears that Abortion is the only social issue that needs to be highlighted but other issues that Catholics also hold important or even central are ignored. I
t appears that in fact only Sexual issues are important while other issues can be easily ignored by these Right Wing Catholics. There are however strongly held positions on many issues for Catholics except that these are ignored because they are politically uncomfortable for these right wingers.
Economics and Justice
On a recent episode of "The World Over" a Right Wing Catholic news program on EWTN TV Raymond Arroyo the host, chose to interview Grover Nordquist- the anti-tax zealot about President Obama's economic plan. Nordquist's positions are in direct opposition to Church teaching on economics and no one who agrees with the Church's social teachings on the economy were interviewed.
Because Catholic social teaching on the economy does not concur with Republican orthodoxy . In fact Catholic Social Teaching starting with Rerum Novarum in the late 19th century is the origin for European Social Democracy including a large welfare state and rights for Labor Unions. Economic justice is central to Catholic Social thought but this is ignored by these Catholic thinkers. But this is ignored by the right wing amid their outrage about Abortion.
George Bush and Richard Nixon were not prohibited from speaking at Notre Dame. Yet the Church condemned their views on many issues. The Church was not endorsing their views for inviting them.
Pope John Paul II has in fact condemned neo-liberal (conservative) economics in the strongest terms but this is glossed over in a rush to the pelvic. These Right Wing Catholics do not care about the Church's social teaching they care about Right Wing Republican power and making points.
Just War and the Death Penalty
For the entire period of the 'war on terror' the Roman Catholic Church has condemned the war in Iraq as unjust and sinful. In fact Michael Novak, who was US Ambassador to the Holy See was dressed down by the Pope himself about this issue.
The Pope condemned as unjust and evil war in Iraq and yet GW Bush was allowed to speak at any number of Catholic Universities.
Why was there no outrage as Bush speaking?
Because they do not care about the Church's social teaching they care about making right wing points.
Also, the Catechism of the Catholic church says that the Death Penalty is almost never just- yet George W Bush acted on the executions of over 200 people and yet he was able to speak at Notre Dame and other Catholic universities.
The Church condemns the Death Penalty and George W Bush's direct actions resulted in, according to the Church, unjust deaths, but he was still allowed to speak.
The fact is that what Right Wing Catholics want is for the Roman Catholic Church to have the same 'moral 'positions as American Evangelicals. This means supporting American 'conservatism' and its formulation on what is moral but that is not what the Church believes or teaches. Catholic social teaching is contrary to BOTH the right and the left in the United States and that is not something that right wing Catholics want to admit. This shows an intellectual inconsistency among Catholics on the right. Many right wing Catholics (EWTN, Michael Novak, Michael Gerson & now Newt Gingrich-he is converting) want the teachings of the Church to be the same as the teachings of Rush Limbaugh but they are not.
So why does Obama's position on Abortion merit more outrage than GW Bush's position on war or economic justice?
With my Church, sexual issues have of late, become very important. It seems that we have forgotten the entirety of the Church's social teachings and it seems that Right wingers want us to forget the entirety of our Church's positions.
I am not arguing here for a change in the Church's position on morality. What I am arguing for is consistency on the part of Catholic pundits and outrage mongers.
This is lacking in Catholic media and in Catholic publications. If one reads left leaning Catholic publications like The National Catholic Reporter there are a host of thinkers like Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Al Smith, Robert Kennedy, Dom Helder Camara, Arch. Oscar Romero, Cesar Chavez and others whose faith and witness are highlighted. There is an integrated struggle with moral issues and what it means to be a Catholic. Catholic social teaching is more than the labels of current American political discourse. In the NCR for example the Church's social teaching in total are taken seriously this is not true in Right Wing Publications.
The Catholic thinkers and issues mentioned above are completely avoided in Right wing publications like the Wanderer, EWTN, Crisis and First Things. The reason for this is because they want to be part of the vast right wing world of evangelical preachers and right wing think tanks.
The true Catholic world-view that was 'conservative' but also Pro Labor, Pro Worker, and Just War Supporting is ignored because it is not convenient and it does not fit into established political labels.
By inviting President Obama to Notre Dame the University is saying that it is a Catholic institution.
Catholic Social Teaching is more than one issue, admittedly an important one. Hypocrisy has it seems become a leading Catholic value among the right wing.
Where was the outrage when Cardinals were protecting pedophiles?
Where was the outrage when unjust war was being waged in Iraq?
This is Fox News Politics not Catholic Social Teaching