The Common Good
February 2005

Catholics Take On Single-Issue Bishops

by Rose Marie Berger, Mark Betz | February 2005

Catholic reform movement Call To Action - a national 25,000-member group of laity, religious, and clergy-is challenging U.S.

Catholic reform movement Call To Action - a national 25,000-member group of laity, religious, and clergy-is challenging U.S. Catholic bishops who promoted "single-issue voting" in the November 2004 elections. According to Call To Action organizers, the views of these bishops are not in the tradition of the bishops' Faithful Citizenship statement, which promoted a multi-issue approach to forming one's conscience on electoral decisions.

"We cannot let the bishops get so single-minded about one particular moral evil that they ignore others. It denigrates the other moral evils of our time-for example, pre-emptive war," Linda Pieczynski, CTA's national spokesperson, told Sojourners. "It's morally reprehensible to me that the bishops spent half a million dollars hoping to pass the 'protection of marriage' amendment in Michigan at the same time they are closing churches and schools."

The Catholic bishops themselves decided that they could hold a variety of views. "Bishops can come to different prudential and pastoral judgments on how to apply our teaching to public policy," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in a November report from the task force on Catholic bishops and Catholic politicians.

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