One of these things is not like the others, say critics of a new questionnaire being sent to presidential candidates: abortion, human cloning, euthanasia and the dollar amount of the minimum wage.Kudos to Bishop Gracida for speaking out!
Three are intrinsic evils, always gravely evil in themselves, and prohibited by absolute moral norms derived from the natural law. The fourth is a prudential political matter about which Catholics and non-Catholics alike may legitimately disagree.
Yet a new 41-item questionnaire by the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will confuse the public by blurring lines and giving issues such as welfare reform the same moral gravity as partial-birth abortion or the sanctity of marriage, said Bishop Rene Henry Gracida.
(all emphasis mine - LRS)
Bishop Gracida also affirms what many others have said, when he states:
"The questionnaire can only result in confusion in the minds of Catholic voters who do not understand that there is no moral equivalence between these two groups of issues."And this has been reported before, but the National Catholic Register has also included it:
"When this document [the questionaire] is made public, it will immediately be used by John Kerry to argue that he’s a good Catholic," said Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington. "Out of 41 questions, almost all reflect priorities in the Democratic platform and only a few pertain to doctrinal issues of the Church."USCCB staffers have attempted to defend their confusion and ambiguity against right reason and Church teaching.
"It’s total nonsense. It’s just absolutely not true," conference spokesman Bill Ryan said of charges that the survey was written to benefit Kerry over Bush.You're so right, Bill! It is important to the Holy Father. But the Holy Father has also stated that the right to life is paramount. Other issues mean nothing if there is no life.
"We don’t agree this survey confuses Catholic issues with political issues," Ryan said. "Take immigration, for example. This is an issue of tremendous importance to the Holy Father, and therefore, it’s of interest to Catholics."
I wonder if there is any similarity to or connection with the USCCB questionaire and Sen. Dick Durbin's "Catholic Voting Report Card"? Having seen neither, I cannot answer the question but they certainly seem to be closely related... Is there any investigative reporter who can check this out?
Maybe a sleuth at National (un)Catholic Reporter? One who adept at going wherever the story leads him?
The article from the National Catholic Register is here.