I ask the question because the graphic’s source is the Occupy Democrats organization, not a group I might usually associate myself with.
I love what Mark Shea said about it on FB:
Americans are divisible into two kinds of people, those who think I share something like this because I am secretly a Democrat longing to abort as many children as possible and those who get that I am a Catholic with common sense. The former are using unborn children as human shields to defend inhuman policies. The latter, Catholic or not, are defending sanity.
Which brings us to this piece:
Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pontiff’s favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59 percent from a 76 percent peak early last year.
Among conservatives the dropoff has been especially sharp: just 45 percent view Francis favorably today as opposed to 72 percent a year ago.
“This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of ‘the idolatry of money’ and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs,” wrote Gallup analyst Art Swift.
But liberal fervor for the Argentine pope, who was elected to great acclaim in March 2013, has also cooled, dropping an average of 14 points.
Some observers have predicted that many who embraced the pope’s candor and his views on a range of social justice issues would temper their ardor as they realized he would not change church teachings on hot-button issues like abortion or contraception or gay marriage.
Seems to me that this proves the Pope’s Catholicity… and given that I now regularly piss off both conservatives and liberals, it proves my own. It all takes me back to this older piece by Msgr. Charles Pope:
The goal is for every Catholic to learn the Catholic faith and be a principled adherent to the faith prior to any political allegiance, or worldview. Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He is God and He does not fit into our little categories. Neither does the Church. And hence we are to some extent an “equal opportunity annoyer.” And while we may align with the views of certain political parties and groups in certain matters, we are just as likely to stand opposed to other views of the very same party in other matters.
Is the Catholic Church Republican? Democrat? And what are you? As for me:
- I’m against abortion, and they call me a Republican
- I want greater justice for immigrants, and they call me a Democrat
- I stand against “Gay” “Marriage,” and they call me a Republican
- I work for affordable housing, and stand with unemployed in DC, and they call me a Democrat
- I talk of subsidiarity and they say: “Republican, for sure.”
- I mention the common good, and solidarity and they say, “Not only a Democrat, but a Socialist for sure.”
- Embryonic Stem cell research should end, “See, he’s Republican!”
- Not a supporter of the death penalty, standing with the Bishops and the Popes against it…”Ah, told you! He’s really a Democrat!…Dye in the wool and Yellow Dog to boot!”
Hmm, and all this time I just thought I was trying to be a Catholic Christian. I just don’t seem to fit in. And, frankly, no Catholic should. We cannot be encompassed by any Party as currently defined.
True Catholicism cannot be tamed by any political party or interest group. True Catholicism will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It will annoy both the right and the left, and will also affirm them, it has no permanent allies or opponents. As it was with Christ, most every one will have reason to hate the Church, and some will come to love the her. We are destined to be, with Christ, a sign of contradiction (Luke 2:34) that will often be opposed, for we do not simply fit into any on world agenda or party.
In the end we are called to be those who are “simply Catholic.” Every other party affiliation, membership, alliance, or connection must yield to the Faith and be judged by it. No worldly thought should ever trump the Faith which God has revealed through the Church. And, even in some matters (e.g. how best to care for the poor) that are prudential in nature, our alliance to the Church founded by Jesus Christ ought to win the day when it comes giving the benefit of any doubt. And while staying in a dialogue with our Bishops, we must also accept their leadership and respect their insights as those designated to teach, govern and sanctify. In the end we should be simply, plainly and essentially Catholic.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.