Catholic groups launches pro-Obama web site
Catholics, who account for close to a quarter of the U.S. adult population, comprise a key religious group that both sides have tried to woo. In closely contested swing states such as Ohio or Florida the Catholic vote could make a difference.
The web site is sure to stoke controversy in Catholic circles with this statement: “Is Barack Obama really pro-life? The answer is ‘yes.’ Looking through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, Senator Obama has spent his entire career striving for the common good. He supports health care programs that will cover all Americans, a living wage for working families, and solutions that allow distressed families to stay in their homes.”
It goes on to say that Obama, a strong advocate like his party of abortion rights, will reduce the number of abortions by promoting health care for pregnant women and infant care.
Abortion is one of the most polarizing issues in America and official Catholic doctrine on the matter is clear: the church regards it as murder.
Archbishop Raymond Burke, a senior American in the Vatican, recently said the Democratic Party risked “transforming itself definitively into a ‘party of death'” because of its choices on bioethical questions and abortion.
Echoing several U.S. bishops, Burke accused the Democratic Party’s most high-profile Catholics — vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — of misrepresenting Church teaching on abortion.
McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are both staunchly opposed to abortion rights and the Republican Party often does well with conservative Catholics who vote largely on this issue.
But the flock itself is far more divided on the issue which can help Obama build on the leads he already has in most national polls with Catholic voters.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Jim Young. Obama speaks at campaign rally in Miami, Oct. 21, 2008.