The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, is representative of a new brand of Catholic ideologue who is deeply hostile to government and, just so, seems to be decidedly clueless about history. Check out this speech he gave to the Christian Life Summit in which he blasts the Catholic Church and its bishops because "They’ve helped create a culture of dependency on government, not God. And rarely do you see the two – once churches get out of the business of serving the poor, or not get out of the business but hand over and argue that they shouldn’t be the primary institution in a society that is responsible for service to the poor." Huh? I do not know what Church he goes to but the Catholic Church has never gotten "out of the business of serving the poor" and, I might add, we have never viewed it as a business proposition. Certainly, in the modern, industrialized West, the ravages of capitalism overwhelmed the traditional charitable institutions of the Church and governments in Europe and in the US got involved in creating a social safety net. To suggest that serving the poor is an either/or proposition is the kind of thing reserved for kooks. And Cuccinelli sure fits the bill. Take the time to watch the video. It is frightening really.
And, you can bet because Mr. Cuccinelli is a Republican, this direct attack on the bishops will not cause much of a stir. I do agree with Cuccinelli when he says that he feels a bit sorry for Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, whom Cuccinelli evidently accosts and is proud to accost. I feel sorry for Bp Loverde too for having to deal with raving lunacy like this. Cuccinelli is running for Governor of Virginia and look for groups like CatholicVote and magazines like Crisis to start championing him as a loyal Catholic. Yuck. A thousand times yuck.