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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Cardinal Maida's Election Statement

Cardinal Maida asked that the following statement be read yesterday at Sunday Mass throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.

--------------------------------------------------

This Tuesday is Election Day and in our Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship
is a virtue; therefore, our participation in the political process is a moral duty. I strongly
urge you to properly form your consciences according to Catholic moral teaching and to exercise your right as a citizen. So, please make sure you vote!

As you do so, in conjunction with the other bishops of the state, I ask that you keep
the following matters in mind:

If you seek further information on these or other state-wide proposals, please consult the Archdiocesan website: www.AODonline.org.

Let us pray for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we make necessary
choices which will impact our own lives and those of generations to come.

----------------------------------------------------

My Comments: Because I found Cardinal Maida's actual comments to be somewhat lacking, I chose to make several additions to his remarks. My additions are in red. I believe that my additions have sufficiently cured the Cardinal's comments of any material omissions (unintentional, no doubt) that he might have made regarding Church teaching. I do this service (at no charge, mind you) for Cardinal Maida because I am sure that his initial comments did not accurately convey his true intent, which certainly is in full conformity with the mind of the Church on these issues.

As a second matter, I would like to again offer my services to Cardinal Maida. In perusing the Archdiocesan website, it seems that Archdiocesan Communications Director Ned McGrath has been a bad boy. On the Archdiocese's home page, the headline reads "Cardinal Maida Recommends Defeat of Proposals 2 and 5." The following paragraph then purports to give an overview of the Cardinal's above comments and states:

At the conclusion of Mass at Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on the Sunday before the General Election, Cardinal Adam Maida urges defeat of the statewide ballot initiatives Proposal 2 and Proposal 5. The cardinal notes that he and his brother bishops in Michigan " . . . see the continuation of affirmative action, especially for women and persons from minority groups, as a positive policy in our contemporary culture." In conjunction with the Michigan Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in our state, Cardinal Maida recommends a "No" vote on Proposal 2. A "No" vote is also recommended on Proposal 5 -- funding for public education -- because the proposal "has many dangerous flaws" and could jeopardize funding for other necessary programs for the poor and marginalized.

To the perceptive reader, it will immediately be noted that there is no mention of Cardinal Maida's statement that "[f]irst and foremost, as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life, from the first moment of conception until natural death." It does seem curious that the Archdiocesan webmaster would omit the only minimally pro-life statement of the Cardinal's remarks.

Not one to question the motives of Archdiocesan employees, I decided to let this little omission -- no doubt, an innocent mistake -- slide. Next, however, I followed a link to an official press release issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit's Communications Director Ned McGrath. Here, it is unfortunately clear, however, that there was no mistake on the home page, and that the omission was intentional. The press release is similarly headlined "Cardinal Maida Recommends 'No' Vote on Proposals 2 and 5." Again, the text focuses primarily on the Cardinal's comments regarding Proposals 2 and 5.

At the end of the press release, and basically as an afterthought, it finally mentions the Cardinal's minimally pro-life statement. The press release states: "He reminded parishioners that ". . . as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life."

Hmmm . . . that's interesting. The only pro-life statement of the Cardinal's election remarks is minimized by placing it at the end of the press release. If that were not enough, Ned McGrath then decided to further minimize the Cardinal's already minimal pro-life remarks by further neutering the statement. McGrath omitted the Cardinal's introductory comment that "first and foremost" we consider the life issues. Furthermore, McGrath conveniently omitted the Cardinal's modifying phrase "from the first moment of conception until natural death."

Thus, with a waive of Ned McGrath's magical press release pen, Cardinal's statement that

"First and foremost, as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life, from the first moment of conception until natural death."

becomes

". . . as believers we should vote for candidates who are respectful of the common good, especially the dignity of life."

Apparently, Ned McGrath, the Archdiocese of Detroit's Communications Director, cannot even stomach a very modest pro-life statement made by Cardinal Maida. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to what this tells you about the pro-life credentials of McGrath, and the man he represents, Cardinal Maida.

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