Where are the Catholic Politicians?

(Fourteenth Sunday)

I don't travel in political circles, but a while back I had the opportunity to talk with a retired Catholic politician. Since he had been prominent in both King County and Washington State politics, I asked him this question, "Are there any Catholic politicians, I mean ones we can really be proud of, in our state today?"

He thought for several seconds and finally came up with two names. Interestingly, even though he is Republican, the two he mentioned were Democrats. One was a man from Olympia, the other a woman from Tacoma. He couldn't think of any from King County, something which surprised me and which I pray is not true.

In asking for a Catholic politician I wasn't expecting St. Thomas More (although a modern version of the saint would be wonderful). What I did hope for was someone who practices his faith by attending Sunday Mass and who does not separate moral convictions from politics.

To get specific about how Catholic values impact politics is to enter murky waters. Still, we can take a clue from today's Gospel. Jesus said that he did not come for the rich and famous, but for the humble, for those on the margins. A Catholic politician should be a voice for the most defenseless members of our society. The big three in that category today are: the immigrant, the unborn child and the terminally ill. Of course none of them vote which is why we who are voters should elect politicians, Catholic and otherwise, who will represent those without voice.

The Fourth of July is an opportunity to reflect on the role we as Catholics take in the public life of our country. With all its faults we should love America and be grateful we are part of this nation. And specifically as Catholics we have a contribution to make. People who don't want us to make that contribution try to intimidate Catholics and other Christians with rhetoric about "separation of Church and state." But it is a red herring; the fact is none of us wants a state religion even if we converted every U.S. citizen. What we do desire is that our deepest values be heard and fairly represented. And we want at least some of our children to grow up to be Catholic politicians we can be proud of.

Fr. Phil Bloom

From Archives (for Fourteenth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2017: Spiritual Warfare Week 3: The Yoke of Jesus
2014: Life in the Spirit Week 1
2011: Take My Yoke
2008: Not Debtors to the Flesh
2005: The Real Revolution
2002: Come to Me You Who Are Burdened
1999: Where are the Catholic Politicians?

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