Despite thinly-veiled opposition from bishops, Obama holds big lead among Catholic voters
The American Catholic hierarchy doesn’t come right out and urge its flock to vote for Mitt Romney, but its antipathy for President Obama is no big secret.
It brings to mind what Thomas Doran, who was then the bishop of the Rockford Diocese, once said of the Democratic Party without actually naming it. In a column in the Aug. 11, 2006, issue of The Observer, the diocesan newspaper, Doran warned that “adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people.”
“The seven ‘sacraments’ of their secular culture,” Doran continued, “are abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation. These things they unabashedly espouse, profess and promote. Their continuance in public office is a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.”
The good bishop went on to compare leaders of this unnamed party with the Nazis in World War II and said theirs is “the party of death.”
Yet, here we are, six years later, and the situation nationally is THIS:
President Obama’s support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, despite a summer that included the Catholic bishops’ religious freedom campaign and the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate.
On June 17, Obama held a slight edge over Mitt Romney among Catholics (49-47 percent), according to the Pew Research Center. Since then, Obama has surged ahead, and now leads 54-39 percent, according to a Pew poll conducted on Sept. 16…
Obama and Romney are essentially tied among white Catholics, which some pollsters call the ultimate swing group.
From June 21-July 4, the U.S. Catholic bishops held a “Fortnight for Freedom,” with Masses, prayer groups and presentations in dozens of dioceses nationwide. The campaign was directed in part against an Obama administration mandate that requires some religious institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, to provide cost-free contraception coverage to employees.
John C. Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio, said Obama’s surge among Catholic voters does not mean the bishops’ campaign was ineffective. But religious freedom is not the most salient issue for Catholics during an election dominated by economic concerns, he said.
“It’s not the issue that most middle-of-the-road Catholics are responding to,” Green said.