I’m sure Senator Rick Santorum has never heard of me or read my blog. But it appears that in spite of this he is eager to make the point I made the other day: that his candidacy poses the greatest threat of any to the integrity of the Catholic faith in this country.
First, the day after I wrote of the danger that his candidacy poses, of how it would confirm right wing Catholics in their selective dissent, he spoke of the “theological” dispute between himself and Mr Obama, thus injecting a whole new kind of rhetoric into the campaign.
And a couple of days after that, he spoke in Steubenville, itself a center of Republicatholicsm.
According to the news reports:
“Santorum almost immediately acknowledged the strong Franciscan University of Steubenville presence at the campaign rally.
‘Its great to be here. Thank you Steubenville Franciscan. We love you. It’s good to be back here. You have a gem in the university here in the Ohio Valley. You are a beacon of light for the country and the Catholic church,’ Santorum told the audience….
The speech resonated with Kimberly Hahn, president of the Jefferson County Federated Republican Women, who brought her son to the rally.
‘I thought it was an outstanding speech from someone who understands the roots of our area and who is faithful to those who went before us. This is a momentous election. He inspired everyone in the room, especially the high school and college age students. What comes through so clearly is Rick Santorum has a principled approach to our nation’s complex problems,’ explained Hahn (wife of Catholic apologist Scott Hahn -ed.)“.
Afterwards, he attended Mass at the campus chapel.
Meanwhile, also confirming my point, over at CatholicVote.com, which says it is ”a lay movement, foremost, of committed Catholics who are passionate about living out the truths proclaimed by Christ and His Church in the modern world”, there is a blog entry by Thomas Peters (“American Papist”) called “Rick Santorum, Catholic hero”.
Is there any doubt that Senator Santorum seeks the mantle of “the Catholic candidate”? This in spite of his selective adaptation of Catholic social teaching, which I remind you is simply applied moral doctrine? This is a man who said that the assassination of an Iranian scientist was “wonderful”, who endorses waterboarding and other torture, who implies that he will launch yet another preemptive war, who is hostile to immigrants, who supports the death penalty, who does not criticize the Empire, who, in spite of his repeated references to his blue collar grandfather, proposes policies that are hostile to labor (see: http://unionreview.com/blue-collar-baloney)
Granted, he speaks eloquently of the life of the unborn. But that is but one part of Catholic teaching regarding the sanctity of life and of justice. As important as that is, we should not ignore it when someone dismisses wide areas of the tradition that apply to other lives.
I reiterate: it would be a tragedy for the Church if this man assumes the Republican candidacy. And it is tragic that so many Catholics seem eager to overlook the man’s inconsistencies.