Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Confirmation: Bush asks Pope to Intervene in Constitutional Debate

As discussed in an earlier posting, it appears the when George Bush states that 'the poeple's voice needs to be heard" on the debate over FMA he means the voice of the Vatican, a soveriegn foreign government. Here's the quote from that National Catholic Reporter.

During his June 4 visit, Bush asked the Vatican to push the American Catholic bishops to be more aggressive politically on family and life issues, especially a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

A Vatican official told NCR June 9 that in his meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano and other Vatican officials, Bush said, “Not all the American bishops are with me� on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism.

Other sources in the meeting said that while they could not recall the president’s exact words, he did pledge aggressive efforts on the cultural front, especially the battle against gay marriage, and asked for the Vatican’s help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken.

According to sources, Sodano did not respond to the request.

Sources say Bush made the remark after Sodano thanked him for his stand on the issues of family and life. They also said that while Bush was focusing primarily on the marriage question, he also had in mind other concerns such as abortion and stem cell research.

Bush supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and has urged Congress to take swift action. Since polls show that in several battleground states in the fall election a majority of voters is opposed to gay marriage, some Bush analysts think an aggressive push on the issue will help the president’s prospects.

Again, if Bush want's to lobby the Catholic Bishops in the U.S. that's fair game, but to ask the Pope to intervene is inappropriate. What's worse, having new interpretations of law 'imposed' by 'activist judges', or having American legal issues decided by the Vatican?

Seems fairly appropriate to me.

He wasn't asking the Pope to campaign for one of his initiatives. He was asking the Pope to encourage the American Bishops to stick to the Church Doctrine on several issues about which the Church and the President agree.

You see, the American Bishops who will be advocating the issues with the public are, generally, American, and their parishoners are, usually American too. What's wrong with this tactic?

Is it that you don't like the idea that the Church might come down with a policy that the Bishops need to promote official church doctrine? I fear, instead, that you don't like the idea that people who are motivated primarily by moral/religious concerns will have an impact on the outcome of the election.

Maybe it's just sour grapes since you know that you are in the distinct minority in your outspoken support of same-sex marriage and will use any reason to attack those who oppose it...
The structure of the Church is such that the Pope doesn't reccomend or suggest, he tells and it is obeyed. How would you feel if John Kerry were President and sought Chirac's support for mandatory public school attendance? It's odd and its wrong. No sour grapes here.

Also, while I think being guided by faith is a good thing, I don't yearn for the merging of politics and religion and those who do can move to the country's that have achieved this wonderful goal like Iran, pre-9/11 Afganistan, or to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia.
Also, dear Bronson, you are attributing a position to me that I don't think is accurrate. I support the ability of states to decide the issue for themselves and oppose the FMA, which (depending on your poll) is the view of about 1/2 of the public and the view of the President and the Vice-President before they flip-flopped on this issue.

My position, to be clear...I support states being allowed to regulate marriage as have been the traditional approach for some 200 odd years and oppose the FMA.
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