DETROIT, October 21, 2004 ( – Several liberal priests and a Detroit bishop have come out against so-called “one-issue” voting, namely voting based on a politician’s pro-abortion or pro-life record.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, pastor of St. Leo’s parish in Detroit, and two liberal priests groups, the Milwaukee Archdiocese Priests Alliance, and a group of 50 priests from Pittsburgh, argue that the Catholic Church should advocate the so-called “seamless garment” view of political policy. Proponents of the garment view argue that all life issues, including such issues as war, capital punishment, poverty and health care should be considered on an equal footing to the capital punishment of the unborn.  “In the light of this demand, we must ask: will a policy of excluding Catholic politicians from Holy Eucharist, solely on the basis of their votes on abortion, be pastorally effective in promoting the intrinsic value of all human life?” the Milwaukee Alliance asks, in a letter addressed to American prelate, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. “We must say no.”“We do not believe that coercive techniques: orders, sanctions, and harsh public statements serve the Catholic Church in our American culture,” the Milwaukee letter continues. “Likewise, we cannot endorse policies that reduce complicated issues to bumper sticker clich├ęs or which focus only on the votes of politicians as the remedy to a larger problem . . . We appeal as well for a return to the sound wisdom of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who proposed a ‘seamless garment’ approach to pro-life issues.”  The large group of Milwaukee priests undermining church emphasis on moral issues appears to reflect the 25 years influence in the diocese of its former bishop and notorious U.S. church dissident, Rembert Weakland. Weakland was finally forced to retire in 2002 over public reveleations of his $450,000 payment to a gay lover.   In a column appearing in the Detroit Free Press, Auxiliary Bishop Gumbleton, another leading dissident U.S. bishop, supporter of Marxist-leaning liberation theology condemned by the Church and another outspoken supporter of homosexuality, repudiates US President George W. Bush for his positions on the war in Iraq and capital punishment, among other things.  An ad by the Pittsburgh group appeared in the diocesan newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic. “A candidate for office must understand that the Church stands against any policy or course of action which diminishes life, dignity or the rights of the human person: abortion, capital punishment, war, scandalous poverty, denial of health care, mistreatment of immigrants and racism to name but a few,” the group claims, according to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette report. ” All are essential issues to a ‘pro-life’ voter.”  See related articles:  Bishop Gumbleton: President Bush’s policies are in opposition to culture of life (Detroit Free Press)   124 Milwaukee priests urge bishops not to deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians (Milwaukee Alliance)   50 Pittsburgh priests sign diocesan newspaper ad opposing single-issue voting (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)   Read related Special Report:  Pro-Abortion Environmental Activist and Renegade Bishops Headline Catholic Program   Denver Archbishop: Voting for Known Pro-Abortion Candidates is a Sin Requiring Confession Criticizes use of liberal Catholic ‘seamless garment’ philosophy to sideline abortion issue   tv


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