Yes, Barack Obama. So wrote Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (pictured right) on July 9 in Newsweek magazine. Behold, willful ignorance:
In truth, though, Obama’s pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints) and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists.
When Obama meets the pope tomorrow, they’ll politely disagree about reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, but Catholics back home won’t care, because they know Obama’s on their side. In fact, Obama’s agenda is closer to their views than even the pope’s….
That’s just one egregious example of Townsend’s understanding of authentic Catholic teaching, which is no understanding at all.
Here are more illuminating conclusions set forth by Townsend:
Here Obama (the community organizer from Chicago) could teach the pope a lot about politics – and what a Catholic approach to politics could entail….
The hierarchy ignores women’s equality and gays’ cry for justice because to heed them would require that it admit error and acknowledge that the self-satisfied edifice constructed around sex and gender has been grievously wrong….
[A]n advisory body of theologians and laity empaneled by the pope advised that the church should reverse its position on birth control and concede that the issue should be a question for morality and for science. But authority – not truth, not love – prevailed….
Pope Paul VI, listening to the advice of Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), disagreed with the majority of these advisers, who had voted 69 to 10 for change, fretting that to change this position would weaken his authority….
The pope has a lot to learn about Catholic politics in America. Barack Obama can teach him.
Absent from Townsend’s article is any mention of Obama’s opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and Obama’s support of partial-birth abortion. Destroying her credibility point-by-point would take more space than permitted here. I’ll leave Catholics on the comments section to set the record straight.
What is astounding is Townsend’s assumption (arrogance?) that Pope Benedict doesn’t “get it.” The pope knows exactly who he is dealing with. He is well aware of Catholic politics in America, and it is not for him to discard basic Catholic principles in order to satisfy their inordinate attachment to presumptuous falsehoods.
I will agree with Townsend on one point, however. 54% of Catholics didn’t care about the truth last November. 6 months into this presidency, we are paying the price.
[Photo attributions: changenet.net; romancatholicblog.typepad.com]