On Monday, two days after Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan, a pro-life Catholic as his Vice Presidential running mate, the Obama campaign announced the leadership team for the 2012 version of “Catholics for Obama.” The group is dominated by radical left wing intellectuals and politicians who promote the “social justice” ideology of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is an organization founded in 1969 with the help of Chicago’s Saul Alinsky, the original “community organizer.” Its members are not typical of the Catholic congregations in America. Instead, they are academics at Catholic universities, nominally Catholic pro-abortion legislators, and labor leaders.
As Matthew Arnold wrote earlier this week at the Cardinal Newman Society blog:
Relying heavily on left-leaning academics at Catholic colleges and universities, the Obama campaign on Monday unveiled its “Catholics for Obama” team for 2012 in an effort to boost its Catholic vote.
Among those leading the group are several pro-abortion rights politicians along with faculty members at Catholic colleges including Sister Jamie Phelps, director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans; Nicholas Cafardi, a canon and civil lawyer who teaches at the Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh; Thomas Groome of Boston College, a theologian; and Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America.
Cafardi just last week took to the pages of the National Catholic Reporter to convince readers that Obama was more pro-life than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He didn’t mention in that piece that he would soon be publicly affiliated with the Catholics for Obama group. Presumably, that affiliation will be pointed out in future writings.
Schneck is on the board of directors of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which was co-founded by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ director of faith-based programs, Alexia Kelley, to generate Catholic support for President Obama’s policies. Last year Schneck led a faculty effort to embarrass Republican House Speaker John Boehner, when he delivered the commencement address at The Catholic University of America. In February Schneck joined with other politically liberal Catholics in an open letter “celebrating” the “accommodation” proposed by President Obama with regard to the HHS contraceptive mandate — a compromise that the U.S. bishops have explained is entirely unacceptable to Catholics, and which has still not been written into the regulations.
Other members of Obama’s 21-member team includes Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy who was uninvited by a Catholic college at the request of the local bishop in May, Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, who pushed for that state’s law legalizing gay marriage.
Just as it did in 2008, the group apparently intends to ignore President Obama’s long history of support for pro-abortion policies (most notably his support for late term abortions while a member of the Illinois State Senate) and attack Ryan from what it considers the “moral high ground” of “social justice” ideology. As Lifenews.com reported earlier this week:
During the 2008 presidential election, a Catholics for Obama effort led by Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec apologized for then candidate Barack Obama’s pro-abortion record. Now, a new group of Catholic professors are leading a new effort to get the pro-abortion activist re-elected.
Kmiec, the former Malta ambassador who resigned from his position after he was found to be derelict in his duties, will not be leading the charge. . .
Deal Hudson, president of the Pennsylvania Catholics’ Network, made the argument at the Daily Beast after the Ryan announcement that Obama’s strategy in the 2012 Presidential campaign among Catholics will be to pit “social justice” Catholics against traditional Catholics:
Biden is a “social justice” Catholic who claims to know how to connect with blue-collar Democratic Catholics, like those in his hometown of Scranton, Pa. During four of his last five years in the Senate, he received a 100 percent rating from NARAL. As vice president he supported federal funding for abortion, despite voicing opposition to it in 2008, and the Health and Human Services mandate requiring Catholic institutions serving the public to provide insurance coverage for contraception, including abortifacients and sterilization.
During the 2008 campaign, some of Biden’s remarks on NBC’s Meet the Press defending his position on abortion were publicly criticized by Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wis., and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, then of Denver, now of Philadelphia. Morlino’s diocese, by the way, includes Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis…
Since being elected to the House in 1998, Ryan has developed a solid reputation with the grassroots as a pro-life, pro-marriage Catholic, and among Tea Party and fiscal conservatives, he has attained hero status for his extraordinary grasp of economic and budgetary issues. At age 42, Congressman Ryan is now often referred to as the “intellectual leader” of the Republican Party, a description repeated by Mitt Romney in announcing his VP choice…
While the choice of Ryan will please the Tea Party as well as fiscal and social conservatives, it creates an opening for the Catholic supporters of Obama… Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, [a member of Catholics for Obama 2012] who after underscoring her Italian, Catholic upbringing charged:
“The Ryan budget does not address debt nor fiscal responsibility. What it does is take care of the very wealthy at the risk of the middle class and people who are poor. That is contrary to Catholic teaching.”
Ryan argued that as a Catholic he was justified in taking into account the bigger picture of the entire economic situation facing the nation. He argued there was a moral obligation “implicit” in Catholic social teaching to address “difficult basic problems before they explode into social crisis.”
It should come as little surprise that President Obama, the “great unifier,” will now apply the tactics of division and envy that have characterized his campaign to the entire population specifically to the Catholic community. The ideological imprint of Saul Alinsky, the modern promoter of divisive class warfare techniques, is all over Barack Obama’s early career. During his community organizing days, Obama was employed by a non-profit organization known as the Calumet Christian Conference, which received much of its funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Most conservatives anticipate a steady onslaught of “social justice” class warfare attacks on Romney and Ryan from the Alinsky influenced “Catholics for Obama” for the remainder of the campaign.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.