In his most recent weekly column , Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia looks at some basic issues regarding Catholics and our responsibilities in the political arena. What I especially like about this column is that he does not employ his language as a cudgel to beat up one side or the other, but instead invites all Catholics to examine their consciences, to think about how conscience is formed, and to make sure that, as Catholics, we are placing our Catholicism first in our lives, in this regard as in all others.
Chaput's column reminded me of an exchange I had with a Catholic journalist this summer. I thought the journalist was being a little too quick to carry water for the Obama administrations and a little too inattentive to the Church's rightful objections regarding the HHS mandate. We went back and forth but I finished by saying, "Just remember. When you are on your death bed, the Democratic Party is not going to send someone to be there with you and help you get ready to cross the abyss. And, even if they did send someone, it would not be someone you would want!" I have my areas of disagreement with Archbishop Chaput, but I commend him unreservedly for his repeated insistence that we Catholics put our faith first. And, if we do so, partisans on both sides have plenty to think about.