There's an article today in the Ottawa Citizen about the premier of my beloved province in which he responds to the Pope's comments en route to Brazil about the Bishops of Mexico and their actions towards politicians who support abortion.
TORONTO - Premier Dalton McGuinty insisted yesterday that his duty to
voters trumps his obligations to the Catholic church and Pope Benedict XVI, who
has suggested that politicians who support abortion rights should be
"There are very few political leaders who would allow all of
their actions to be informed exclusively by dictates of the church," Mr.
McGuinty, who is both Catholic and pro-choice, told reporters when asked about
the Pope's remarks.
"I have a different constituency than does the Pope. I am
responsible for representing all kinds of people from all kinds of different
backgrounds, different faiths, different cultures, different traditions."
"There's one particular aspect of myself that is in common with the Pope
and (that is) I happen to be Catholic. But I have other responsibilities as
He mentions his responsibility to the voters, but dismisses any responsibility he has to the Church, (which is identified here with the Pope). Nowhere is any duty to God mentioned.
Before I continue, strictly speaking, his duty to voters does not include abortion. That issue is in the hands of the federal government, and he is merely provincial. So asking him questions on this matter are a non-issue, at least in terms of political power.
McGuinty is the leader of the provincial Liberal Party. While I know that many of the conservative Catholic bloggers find the word "liberal" an anathema, I actually like the party in theory. The Liberal party is Canada's party of the centre; the other two main parties are of the right and of the left. I like the idea of a party acting in the centre, working as a balance of the opposing ideologies, from a position to see and use the characteristic truths of both the right and the left, while avoiding perhaps their characteristic errors. At least, that's the theory. In practice you generally get guys like this.
There is not a leader of any of the parties willing to face the issue of abortion. There is not a leader willing to face the issue of same sex marriage. There is, in short, not a leader amongst Canadian politicians on either of these issues.
I have always felt strongly about the past, and our duty to those who came before, and our duty to those who come after us. I look back to the wars of my father, and his father before him, both good men who stood up in the struggle for freedom, who like so many other good men of their time stood against the darkness so their children could stand in light, and this is what we do with the precious freedom bought by their blood and sacrifice.
My democratic right and responsibility- to whit, voting- has become an agony for me. My vote is nearly irrelevant in my own riding. Even if it did, there is no one who is willing to represent me, no one who is worthy of my vote. The politicians around here would sell whipping rights to their fathers (providing they know who that is) if it would only get them one more vote. Their opinion comes from polls and surveys. With but a few exceptions, they are not leaders but weather vanes, swinging in whatever wind blows them, and what our fathers held in strength and trust they will surrender in weakness and deceit.
Does anyone out there know the position of the Church on these matters. We are not supposed to support pro abortion politicians as such, but if everyone is pro abortion, does that mean we are now free to vote any way, (since on these matters all the parties are six of one, half dozen of the other), or should we spoil our ballots? Should we abstain from voting?
Municipal elections are a bit easier, since those governments have the power to do nothing. But again, those guys are all losers of a different stripe. At least around here.
I suppose we must continue to pray for the conversion of Catholics to Catholicism.