Obama Announces Catholic Advisors

Today Senator Barack Obama announced his national Catholic advisory committee. The names are a fascinating mix of, well, Catholics--and include some regular and recent America contributors, like Mary Jo Bane, Lisa Cahill, Richard Gaillardetz, Cathy Kaveny and David O'Brien. And congratulations to Grant Gallicho, associate editor at our sister (brother?) publication, Commonweal. But what, no Jesuits? Maybe I should reconsider my possible vote. (By the way, if anyone wants to contribute to us Senator Clinton's or Senator McCain's list, we'd be happy to include it.) Here's Obama's Catholic Kitchen Cabinet: National Co-Chairs Senator Bob Casey; Representative Patrick Murphy (PA-08); Former Congressman Tim Roemer, President of the Center for National Policy; Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia; Tom Chabolla, Assistant to the President, Service Employees International Union; Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President, Common Sense About Kids and Guns; Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Professor of Theology, Xavier University; Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, Congregation of St. Joseph. National Steering Committee Mary Jo Bane, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Nicholas P. Cafardi, Catholic Author and Scholar, Pittsburgh, PA; Lisa Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College; M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College; Ron Cruz, Leadership Development Consultant, Burke, VA; Sharon Daly, Social Justice Advocate, Knoxville, MD; Richard Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo; Grant Gallicho, Associate Editor, Commonweal Magazine; Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Scranton, PA; Don Guter, Judge Advocate General of the Navy (2000-2002); Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Pittsburgh, PA; Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame; Jim Kesteloot, President and Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse; Vincent Miller, Associate Professor of Theology, Georgetown University; David O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross; Peter Quaranto, Senior Researcher and Conflict Analyst, Resolve Uganda (Notre Dame Class of 2006); Dave Robinson, International Peace Advocate, Erie, Pennsylvania; Vincent Rougeau, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame; Mary Wright, Inter-Faith Liaison, Louisville, KY; National Leadership Committee Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin; Former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle; Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois; Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts; Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts; Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Representative Xavier Becerra of California; Representative Mike Capuano of Massachusetts; Representative Lacy Clay of Missouri; Representative Jerry Costello of Illinois; Representative Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts; Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut; Representative Anna Eshoo of California; Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona; Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island; Representative John Larson of Connecticut; Representative George Miller of California; Representative James Oberstar of Minnesota; Representative Linda Sanchez of California; Representative Carol Shea Porter of New Hampshire; Representative Peter Welch of Vermont. James Martin, SJ
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12 years 5 months ago
Catholics should not be supporting a candidate who consistently supports the ongoing slaughter of the unborn, and has a history of supporting infanticide while a state senator. While though none of the major candidates are Catholics, Sen. McCain at least shares a common respect for the protection of the unborn that is in line while Catholic dogma. Also, with recent comments in mind, Sen. Obama has show his high-minded elitist nature as he looks down his nose at Catholics like me who kneel on a Sunday, like to shoot my gun, and believe that immigration to America should be done within the confines of the law.
12 years 5 months ago
It does not matter what Barack or Hillary stand for on healthcare, education, housing, etc because they are permissive on sodomy and killing of human beings,intrinsic moral evils. Catholics who know their faith should not even consider them as candidates. Jesuits should not joke about them either. The people supporting them or giving publicity to them, as though they were acceptable, are scandalizing Catholic faithful. Catholics may not promote or remain indifferent to choices that are intrinsically evil. Pope John Paul II wrote in Christifidelis Laici 38 that the "right to health, to home, to work, to culture is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination".
12 years 5 months ago
Yes, in pectore! And for those of you who have written about my disappointment in no Jesuits, I wasn't being serious, since we Jesuits (thank God) are not supposed to be endorsing anyone but Jesus!
12 years 5 months ago
First, one does not need to agree with all the policies of a candidate to be an advisor to them. What IS required is the conviction that they are the best candidate given the options OR the conviction that one can have a positive impact upon this candidates policies. One can legitimately argue from Catholic teaching on morality and politics that Obama is the best candidate...whether you agree with this prudential judgment is another matter. Second, accusations of "cafeteria Catholicism" is an unfair slam against some very holy and dedicated people listed above. Third, the notion that disagreeing with a moral teaching of the bishops (pope included) constitutes being a "pick and choose Catholic" is very problematic. Even Thomas Aquinas recognized that our first allegiance is to our conscience, even when in conflict with church teaching. Being Roman Catholic is not primarily a matter of accepting non-dogmatic teachings and canon law. [By the way Anthony, criminalizing abortion is not "Catholic dogma."] Fourth, the argument that certain moral issues represent "intrinsic evils" and therefor trump other moral issues that are not "intrinsically evil" is philosophically problematic. I realize that Pope John Paul II liked this philosophical category, but he was wrong. He (falsely) ascribed it to St. Thomas Aquinas rather than its actual promulgator Durandus of St. Porcein (the Dominican responsible for the condemnation of St. Thomas' work). The notion of "intrinsic" moral evil is both philosophically problematic and falsely attributed to St. Thomas. [I'd also be interested to hear whether one who accepts such a philosophical category considers racism an "intrinsic evil." It certainly has played a part in this election campaign...especially among us Catholics. See E.J. Dionne's article in today's Washington Post...very disturbing.]
12 years 5 months ago
I do not believe lists will translate into votes. All this does is open up Obama to be attacked by the right for who is on his list. I would much rather see a list of Catholic issues he is going address. How do his policies translate into Catholic Social Teaching? As a Catholic, I am not inclined to vote for a candidate based on a list of Catholics, I have mostly never heard of.
12 years 5 months ago
Sam Brownback aside, both lists are unimpressive to me. My question is: Will these so-called advisors counsel Obama to repent of his pro-abortion voting record and fight for the unborn from here on and support pro-life legislation? If not, then why bother having a committee of Catholics advising a candidate that goes against Catholic teaching on the most fundamental issue - life? Why would they support him at all?
12 years 5 months ago
All the Jesuits are, fittingly, in pectore.'
12 years 5 months ago
Catholics For McCain (Part 1) Co-Chairs: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas Former Governor Frank Keating, Oklahoma National Leadership Committee: Republican House Leader John Boehner, Ohio Former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, Ohio Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Washington, DC Representative Ray LaHood, Illinois Representative Dan Lungren, California U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, Florida Representative Jean Schmidt, Ohio Representative Pat Tiberi, Ohio
12 years 4 months ago
What is truly tiresome almost boring, is that claim that anyone who stands up for a moral right is taking a "holier than thou" attitude. It is a argument wiped off the floor of illogic. The reality is that Obama's list is a who's who list of pro-kid killing in Congress. It is simply wrong. Period. Regardless of party, it is wrong!
12 years 4 months ago
A National Co-Chair on Obama's Catholic National Advisory Council is KS Gov Sebelius. Just released is KS Archbishop Nuemann asking her to AGAIN to refrain from presenting herself for the Eucharist. This is an example of some of the "Catholics" on Obama's Council. Here is the link to Archbishop's article. http://www.theleaven.com/columnists/archbishop_naumann.htm
12 years 5 months ago
Why do we have to vilify people who are honestly trying to live their faith in the public square. Some of the bloggers here automatically assume that these Catholic advisors are not pro-life or that they will not try to persuade their preferred candidate to reconsider his position on the abortion question. They may also be supporting Senator Obama for all the other things he stands for besides his regrettable position on the abortion issue. Let's stop bashing each other and intelligently debate the issues as adults. Let's use the vision of hope that Pope Benedict has been speaking of during his visit and share our faith and our values not only with Senator Obama but Senators Clinton and McCain as well? The holier-than-thou attitude is tiresome.
12 years 5 months ago
All members of Obama's Catholic Committee should urge him to co-sponsor the Pregnant Women's Support Act , Senate 2410 sponsored by Committee Member Bob Casey. This bill developed by the Democrats for Life of America is intended to reduce abortions by 95% through support for pregnant women against the factors that push them towards abortion rather than restrictions. Obama should have no problem endorsing his supporters bill if he really wants to change the dynamics of the old politics of the abortion issue.
11 years 12 months ago
I wonder if any of these people would vote for David Duke. He is a fanatical member of the Ku Klux Klan and wants to destroy black people. Would they say "he has a great health care plan, he will bring jobs, he is for change and yeah, it is a shame he wants to make killing black people legal but there are other things important too". Of course they would not. But because we cannot see the preborn they think they can commit a holocaust against the most defenseless of our society. You cannot be a faithful Catholic and vote for a pro-abortion candidate when there is a pro-life candidate. Obama also supports infanticide in his voting against the Born Alive Act. I wonder how these people are going to answer to Jesus on judgment day?
11 years 7 months ago
I believe the Pope Benedict weighed in on some of your contributors this past week when he spoke to Ms. Pelosi. Therefore, to support them politically, may be an issue for some Catholics.


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