Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pope Seeks to Influence 2012 Elections in the U.S.

The Roman Pontiff has appointed Charles Chaput, one of his most conservative and political archbishops, to head the Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania is one of the battleground states in the 2012 elections.


Flee said...

Telling me to how to vote was what drove me out of the catholic church....

DennisH said...

I am not well versed on Pennsylvania politics or Papal machinations, but to assume that the Pope's selection of this guy to this post is purely to influence American politics seems a bit of a stretch.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...


Don't take my word for it. Here's a quote from a Catholic magazine editor on NPR that I heard after I wrote my blog:

Chaput is famous for his bold style and conservative views, particularly on culture war issues, according to the Rev. Thomas Reese at Georgetown University.

"Chaput is very concerned about political issues. He, in Denver, has been very vocal on them, not afraid to be controversial," Reese says. "I think he's going to do the same thing in Philadelphia, where he's got an even bigger pulpit to do it from."

Chaput has excoriated Catholic politicians — including John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi — for supporting abortion rights, saying that they offer a "dishonest public witness."

And some, like Princeton professor Robert George, believe the appointment says something about where Pope Benedict is taking the church.

"This is clearly a statement and a signal," George says.

George is a good friend of Chaput's.

"It's pretty clear this means the pope wants the church to be in the middle of the cultural struggle on the great moral issues of our day," he says.

And some note that Chaput will be fighting those issues in the swing state of Pennsylvania, just in time for the 2012 election.