giulianicatholic.jpgNewsweek reports that a small, orthodox subset of the Catholic vote is mobilizing against Rudy Giuliani. Not much new there, but God-o-Meter thought the vows of various Catholic bishops’ vows to deny Giuliani the Eucharist were noteworthy, particularly after last week’s meeting of U.S. bishops ended in a nearly unanimous decision to release voter guidelines permitting Catholics to support pro-abortion rights candidates under certain circumstances.
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Last week a number of activist bishops told NEWSWEEK they would deny Giuliani communion for his views on abortion—if, after counseling, he continued to hold them. Their rhetoric emphasized human rights and first principles: almost every bishop interviewed by NEWSWEEK called abortion an “intrinsic evil.” “What if a candidate were right on all the issues except racial discrimination?” asked Denver’s archbishop, the Most Rev. Charles Chaput. “Why isn’t [abortion] as important as that?” If Giuliani is the nominee, Chaput says, Catholics will have to choose between the lesser of two evils or stay home from the polls in protest.

This raises two questions in God-o-Meter’s mind: Will the same activist bishops who denounced Democrat John Kerry in 2004 over his social views–contributing to Kerry’s embarrassing loss of the Catholic vote–grow more vociferously anti-Rudy in the final months of the primary race? And if Giuliani wins the Republican nomination, will those bishops encourage faithful Catholics to stay home?


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