- Created on 11 November 2012
Psalm 138:7 –– Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
Hebrews 10:23 –– Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Deuteronomy 33:12 –– Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.
Joshua 1:9 –– Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
1 Samuel 15:22 –– Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
- Created on 09 November 2012
(Reuters) - Post-election polling shows U.S. Roman Catholics were as likely to favor President Barack Obama as the general population in 2012, continuing the Catholic record as the bellwether of the popular vote.
Catholics - the country's largest religious group with one-quarter of the population - have supported the winner of the popular vote in every election since 1972.
Reuters/Ipsos exit polling found that 51 percent of Catholics favored President Barack Obama, compared with 48 percent for Republican contender Mitt Romney. A report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life had a similar finding, with 50 percent of Catholics for Obama and 48 percent for Romney, the same as the popular vote in the general population.
Hispanic Catholics were far more likely to favor Obama - by 76 percent to 23 percent - than white Catholics, who favored Romney by 56 percent to 43 percent, according to the Reuters poll. Black Protestants favored Obama by 97 percent to 3 percent, while white Protestants favored Romney by 69 percent compared to 29 percent for Obama.
"When you talk about Catholics, there are really two Catholic votes, the white vote and the Hispanic vote, which look starkly different," said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute. He said exit polls found that overall, voters were focused mainly on economic issues.
This election year saw strong advocacy on the conservative side of some issues by Catholic bishops, which caused discomfort for liberal Catholics. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops protested the Obama administration's health care mandate which requires Catholic hospitals and colleges to carry insurance that provides free contraception as a violation of religious liberty.
Church leaders also protested against same-sex marriage, which was on the ballot in four states. Some individual bishops took exceptionally strong positions, with Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki warning his flock that if they voted for someone who promotes abortion their souls would be in jeopardy.
The bishops' stands did not seem to have much influence on the vote, said Jones. Catholic attitudes on the healthcare mandate were unchanged in March and September polls, despite advocacy by church leaders.
"If the (Republican Party) has some reflecting to do about its inability to reach an increasingly multicultural country, Catholic leaders could benefit from similar soul searching when it comes to their own diverse flock," said John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, a liberal advocacy group.
Some Catholic bishops and nuns also protested the budget plan of Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a Catholic, because of cuts to anti-poverty programs.
Catholic support for Obama was stronger in 2008, with 54 percent going for the Democrat compared with 45 percent for Republican contender John McCain, Pew reported. But this also reflected the population at large.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote in an email that the 2012 election touched on "many issues of concern," not just abortion and same-sex marriage but also physician-assisted suicide, treatment of immigrants, and society's obligation to the poor.
"Sometimes the majority of the electorate agree with the church, sometimes not," Walsh said.
Conservative Catholic writer George Weigel said that there is no such thing as the "Catholic vote." He wrote in an e-mail that church-going Catholics went for Romney, while Catholics who do not go to church or go infrequently went with Obama.
"The same is true for white Protestants, and this entire pattern has been true for the last several presidential election cycles," Weigel said.
The Pew survey found that among those voters who attend services once a week or more, 59 percent went for Romney, while 39 percent went with Obama. Among those who never attend church, six in ten went for Obama.
Jews favored Obama by 69 percent to 30 percent, according to the Pew poll, while 78 percent of Mormons favored Romney, the first Mormon presidential candidate.
(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and David Brunnstrom)
- Created on 06 November 2012
KENDALL, N.Y. (AP) — A 67-year-old nun has pleaded not guilty to a grand larceny charge stemming from the theft of nearly $130,000 from two Catholic Church parishes in western New York.
Local media outlets report that Sister Mary Anne Rapp entered her plea Monday night in Kendall Town Court in Orleans County. She was released without bail.
Rapp is charged with stealing $128,000 from rural parishes in Kendall and nearby Holley where she used to work.
Diocese of Buffalo officials say she was placed on leave in February 2011 and fired two months later. She's accused of stealing the money between March 2006 and April 2011.
Officials say Rapp has a gambling problem and they believe she spent the money at casinos.
Rapp lives at the Stella Niagara Mother House in Lewiston.
- Created on 08 November 2012
CHICAGO, November 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Obama's re-election sets up a looming clash with people of faith over abortion, marriage, and the implementation of government-controlled health care –a fight the pro-life movement has vowed to carry out by defying the president, reforming an increasingly unfriendly Republican Party, and building a culture of life that transcends the boundaries of politics.
A second Obama term means "the collision course of the Obama administration with the Catholic Church...is assured," said Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life after the election.
He was outraged by the fact that a majority of his fellow Catholics voted for Obama, the most pro-abortion president in history.
"Many in Church leadership failed to connect the dots between personnel and policy," he explained. "They prayed and preached against the HHS mandate, but then were silent about the election – and called the police to remove citizens who leafleted the Church parking lot trying to inform voters about where the candidates stood on this issue."
Such rebuffs from faithless laity and fainthearted leaders would not deter the faithful.
"The pro-life cause will prevail in America," Fr. Pavone said. "In the elections of 2014, we will work for a pro-life Senate majority to further blunt the ability of President Obama to damage the cause of life."
To do so, they may have to reclaim the Republican Party, which most pro-life voters call home.
"We all need to stand guard now. They will try to kick pro-life values out of the Republican Party and blame the abortion/rape question for the loss," Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America wrote on her Facebook page. "Please stand ready to respond."
Soon forces inside the party proved her right. Greg Valliere of the Potomac Research Group went on Fox Business to urge Republicans to be "much more conciliatory on things like immigration and social issues," particularly abortion.
The political movement will be met with a cultural and social effort to educate Americans about life and change hearts about the horrors of abortion.
The Obama administration has attempted to chill this speech, with Attorney General Eric Holder filing frivolous lawsuits against sidewalk counselors like Mary Susan Pine and churning out reports branding pro-life Christians potential domestic terrorists.
Fr. Pavone called on pro-lifers to "an unwavering commitment to civil disobedience."
Kelly Clinger wrote, "I will go save babies as long as I still have the right to do so!" In what may have been a tweak at the president's re-election slogan, she sent the message under the hashtag "Forward."
One of the longtime leaders of the pro-life movement, Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, said his "mission continues: Confront society with the ugliness of abortion, save babies and women from the tragedy of abortion, and build the Culture of Life."
- Created on 02 November 2012
The Anti-Defamation League wants an apology from Peoria's bishop following a recent homily comparing President Barack Obama's policies to those of despots Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
During the message at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria, Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky contended social services for Catholics could be eliminated if Obama's directive to include contraceptives in health insurance continues. Jenky went on to compare the actions to past cultural wars against the Catholic Church.
"Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room," Jenky said.
In comparison, he pointed to Otto von Bismarck's "culture war against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany."
"Clemenceau, nicknamed 'the priest eater,' tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century," Jenky said. "Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care."
"In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama, with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path," he said.
The Diocese of Joliet has not returned calls to NBC Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago said they offer religious freedom as something they encourage people to investigate.
Chicago's Anti-Defamation League calls the comments "not only offensive, but grossly inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric."
"A clergy person with so many people listening to every word should be more responsible and should think twice before making analogies," said League Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir.
Nasatir told the Chicago Tribune the bishop's homily trivialized the deaths of six million Jews and others during the Holocaust. He said there are few if any historic parallels to 'the religious intolerance and anti-Semitism fostered in society by Stalin, and especially Hitler."