In 2004, His Eminence Raymond Burke, archbishop of St. Louis, received a standing ovation from the denizens of St. Blog’s Parish, that loose collection of conservative Catholic bloggers, when he declared that pro-choice Catholic politicians such as John Kerry should be denied Communion for the sake of their souls. Archbishop Burke was rightly hailed as courageous, and St. Blog’s parishioners defended him against the inevitable charge that he was acting as a shill for President Bush’s reelection campaign.
Which makes the silence in those hallowed halls today all the more deafening. Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a lengthy article entitled “This presidential campaign, Burke’s rebukes snare Giuliani.” The article reads, in pertinent part:
Asked if he would deny Communion to Giuliani if the former New York mayor approached him for the sacrament at the Cathedral Basilica, Burke said: “If the question is about a Catholic who is publicly espousing positions contrary to the moral law and I know that person knows it, yes I would.”
In an interview earlier this year, Burke said of Giuliani: “I can’t imagine that as a Catholic he doesn’t know that his stance on the protection of human life is wrong. If someone is publicly sinning, they should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”
After Justin Raimondo called the article to my attention, I deliberately waited until 24 hours had passed before I blogged about it. After all, surely someone in St. Blog’s Parish would pick up on it and applaud the archbishop for consistently placing Catholic teaching about party politics.
If so, I haven’t found that person. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch story has hit every major newswire in the country, yet no one—not even St. Bloggers who have been critical of Giuliani—has singled Archbishop Burke out for the praise he so richly deserves.
And that, I’m afraid, is frightening confirmation of the extent to which politically active conservative Catholics in America have become enslaved to the Republican Party.
If Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination, we will hear dozens of reasons why Catholics should vote for him. Some will declare a vote for Giuliani a positive good, deciding that his support for the war in Iraq (and, more broadly, the “War on Terror”) is more important than his position on abortion. Others will make the (dubious) argument that he’s still more likely to appoint pro-life judges than any potential Democratic candidate. Still others will tell us that, of course, Giuliani is hardly better than a Democrat, but the alliance of pro-lifers with the Republican Party “necessarily places voters in the situation of in effect having to buy a whole political package”—even when that package now includes abortion “rights.” And finally, and most pathetically, we’ll be told that pro-abortion “conservatives” are our most faithful allies in the fight against “Cultural Marxism”—as if Rudy and his ilk aren’t Cultural Marxists themselves.
Let me go on record right now—and feel free to fire away: If the “choice” in November 2008 is between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, I won’t vote for either. But if one of them has to win, I’ll hope that it’s Hillary. Not because I support anything that she stands for or will do, but because the Bible tells us that Satan, the prince of lies, is the prince of this world, and, furthermore, it tells us that we should not put our faith in princes, “in the sons of men, in whom there is no trust.”
If Hillary is elected, at least pro-life Catholics won’t be tempted to trust her, let alone regard her as any kind of an ally, and they might start acting, once again, in accordance with their beliefs.
But put the devil in a dress and paint him up like a Times Square whore, and some people, unfortunately, will be nearsighted enough to be fooled.
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