Samuel Evola | Thursday, September 20, 2012
Mr. Whichard (Catholics and liberals, Sept. 18):I proudly identify as both liberal and Catholic, and every Catholic should, despite the GOP touting its anti-abortion stance. Little to nothing can be done on a federal level on the matter without a constitutional amendment or a flood of state-based legal challenges. You misrepresented the concept of subsidiarity, which is and always must be tied with solidarity (“forced inter-dependency”) and recognizes the government’s role as essential. The White House is in opposition to the HHS mandate and conservatives errantly seem to believe that personal charity is a replacement for the requirements of justice. The bishops have clearly identified Ryan’s budget as a “moral failure,” and Mitt Romney has personally profited from abortions (National Catholic Reporter, August 10). But your original letter has a flawed premise.
John Carr, recently retired from the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace,and Human Development, has often said Catholics are politically homeless; he’s right. We do not fit into either political party well. We feel forced to choose between defending the unborn and ignoring the dignity of most others, or accepting abortion as an unavoidable evil while standing up for Scripture’s widows and orphans. Neither position is right. Instead, as Archbishop Pates points out, we are called to challenge the paradigm of both parties (America, Aug. 13). We are called to actively engage in public life as lay Catholics, as a prophetic people building the Kingdom. We’re called to pursue women’s reproductive health while preserving human dignity. We’re challenged to be fiscally responsible while forming a “circle of protection” around Christ’s “least of these.” To suggest otherwise is folly, irresponsible and reprehensible. The culture of life is a seamless garment and should never be distorted by “Don’t tread on me” attitudes. We cannot be conservative Catholics, nor liberal, red or blue ones. We must be Catholics – period.