The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Looking at the “socially minded ethnic Catholic tradition” of the Democrats

Over at U.S. News & World Report, Dan Gilgoff (with a big nod to David Gibson) takes note of an interesting demographic point:

Ted Kennedy’s death is an end to several different eras, but Politics Daily’s David Gibson warns against seeing it as the end of an era for the socially minded ethnic Catholic tradition in Democratic politics:
It is tempting to view Ted Kennedy’s passing as the end of an era, both politically and culturally, but also religiously—the end of a reform-minded, socially oriented Catholicism that entered the mainstream in the 1960s and brought certain liberal values to the public square while remaining anchored, at times tenuously, to the religious (and ethnic) tradition that nurtured those values…


[But] surveys of young adult Catholics over recent years have shown that, in many respects, the younger generation resembles Kennedy’s approach to faith and politics, with social justice and equality for women and gays as public markers of their religion, and devotion to the sacraments the lodestar of their private devotion.

Indeed, Barack Obama appears bent on reviving the socially minded ethnic Catholic Democratic tradition embodied by the Kennedy family…

Visit his link for more.

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posted August 31, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Enough! Right before this, I read that Cherie Blair has decided the Church needs to drop its opposition to artificial birth control because it interferes with women's careers. Naturally,we are reminded that Mrs. Blair is a "devout Catholic." And now we are told that her number is legion, especially among the young, another devout bunch who simply cannot abide old-fashioned Catholic sexual morality.What exactly is the so-called "devotion to the sacraments" all these people exhibit? Does it mean anything more than marching up to communion whenever a family member is funeralized? Does it require ANYTHING of people except paying lip service to liberal causes? You can call this Catholicism if you want, but please, stop calling it "devout."

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Jeff Miller

posted August 31, 2009 at 6:04 pm

What nonsense. Many young Catholic are more likely to be more orthodox than their parents. This is why someone like Fr. Greeley was upset by this trend and called young priests "Young Fogeys"Yeah maybe for Catholics who don't take their faith seriously this might be true, but that was always the case. As a 50 year old Catholic I am quite happy with what I am seeing among younger Catholics. There is a trend towards faithfulness and not one going the other way.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted August 31, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Jeff…See this, from last year?Like so much in the church, I suspect this stuff varies by culture and geography. DGK

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posted September 1, 2009 at 12:54 am

I think it does depend on the area of the country just like it does with adults. In the midwest we see a growth in young adults who are attending Mass in the Extraordinary Form at a number of parishes and we are starting to see many more going away from birth control and attending classes for natural family planning. We are seeing more young families having more children and seeking strong Catholic education for their children. We are seeing many more young priests who classify themselves as conservative and who look up to Popes JPII and Bendict and few if any that would look to a Cardinal Bernadine. We believe over time, the impact of these new young leaders will be felt throughout the Catholic Church in the USA.Now if we can only get the pollsters to start talking only to Catholics which means those that attend mass at least once a week. I find it amazing that anyone would care what a catholic who has not seen the inside of a church in ten years has to say about this faith. That would be like asking irish americans their view on laws that are being made in Ireland. The people of Ireland would care less what the americans felt about their laws just as Catholics want their faith represented by people who attend church at least at the minimal level to avoid mortal sin.

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posted September 1, 2009 at 11:10 am

Here is a very interesting article on the topic…using the two Kennedy's who passed away this Summer as the focus.

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posted September 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Obama falling like a rock. If he keeps up this march to socialism, he will be lower than W was after 8 years of bashing in a single year in office.

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