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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Priest & Politics

As a Jesuit, and now a priest, I hesitate to even share with others who I'm likely to support in elections. I have been an independent since I first began voting, so it's not hard for me to steer clear of endorsing a particular political party. And, since I have yet to find a candidate that is consistent on the issues most important to me and the Church, I never find myself voting for a particular candidate without reservations. Nevertheless, I feel it's my responsibility to vote for the candidate who is likely to be best, given the range of issues involved. Life issues, of course, are at the top of my list, and I pray that one day that we might have a presidential candidate who is consistently pro-life on all issues which involve the dignity of human life.

Archbishop Chaput has a new and, I think, positive initiative in this regard, though I was a little surprised to hear of it since he was also the man who was quoted in a 2004 New York Times article: "We are not with the Republican Party," he said. "They are with us."

Nevertheless, in 2008, he seems to be advising his priests and deacons against such statements:

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Priests and deacons serving in the Archdiocese of Denver will not be allowed to donate money to political candidates or make endorsements under an upcoming directive from Archbishop Charles Chaput.

The directive states that clerics “may not publicly participate or endorse political campaigns or initiatives, or publicly affiliate themselves with groups whose primary purpose is to do so”, The Coloradoan of Fort Collins reported Saturday. The amendment to the archdiocese’s pastoral handbook will be published in Wednesday’s Denver Catholic Register.

Chaput is one of the country’s most vocal bishops about Catholics’ need to speak in the public square and is set to publish a book on the subject this August. He oversees churches in metro Denver, northern and northeastern Colorado and some mountain communities. . .

Read the rest here.

Additional Note: The linked article was only an excerpt from a larger article, which its author was kind enough to alert me too. The full article is worth reading. Thanks to Bob Moore for the heads up!