Excerpted from BIG GOVERNMENT: 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. . .
The outreach page for the new pro-Obama group says nothing of his pro-abortion record.
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.