The Catholic Case Against Rick Santorum?

John Gehring, a former writer for The Catholic Review, has a provocative piece on The Huffington Post: “The Catholic Case Against Rick Santorum.”

Rick Santorum

It’s easy to see why Santorum might appeal to some culturally conservative Catholics and moderate evangelicals who are wary of Democrats but also turned off by the Republican Party’s cozy embrace of economic libertarianism and tireless defense of struggling millionaires. Santorum is more comfortable with communitarian language, has been a strong supporter of foreign aid to impoverished countries and connects with personal stories of his blue-collar upbringing.

But it’s a political delusion to think Rick Santorum is a standard-bearer of authentic Catholic values in politics. In fact, on several issues central to Catholic social teaching — torture, war, immigration, climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor and workers’ rights – Santorum is radically out of step with his faith’s teachings as articulated by Catholic bishops and several popes over the centuries.

Read the rest here.  What do you think?

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About George P. Matysek Jr.

George P. Matysek Jr. is the assistant managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore. View all posts by George P. Matysek Jr.

5 responses to “The Catholic Case Against Rick Santorum?

  • Fred

    This is a typical combination of twisting the truth and using non-binding opinions of liberals in the USCCB against a conservative. Each point is rebutted by the facts, but Progessives do not let facts get in the way of their agendas.

    Our good clerics would better serve their flocks if they stuck to their real jobs: saving souls and evangilazation.

  • Patrick

    I think you and John Gehring are political neophytes and simpletons who have no business taking potshots at an authentically Catholic politician.

    You think that by taking out a list of US Catholic Conference white papers and comparing them with the reality of being an American politician that you can then cloak yourselves in the magisterium of the Church and decide who is and is not an authentic Catholic? He defends the rich against the poor? By what measure do you make that outrageous assertion? Unfortunately, no one knows who either of you are but apparently, your take on economic and monetary policy hasn’t acquired any nuance since about 1929.

    Ask Bono what he thinks of Rick Santorum and the truly downtrodden. In fact, you two are probably obtuse enough to question Bono’s faith because you don’t like some of the B-side cuts from the Joshua Tree. Stay on the sidelines where you belong.

  • Janet

    Immigration reform is one thing, condoning breaking the law by entering a country illegally is another. Does the Catholic Church really promote lawlessness? I think not. Climate Change. . .even the Pope is concerned that Climate Change is becoming a religion. We must care for the earth but not at the expense of human beings. I think a moral case can be made for enhance interrogation for the purpose of saving lives. Soon Iran will have a nuclear bomb. I think Mr. Gehring would be surprised at how many “good” Catholics do not share his views. No one is saying Rick Santorum is a saint but as far as I know, no saints are running. I think the country would be far better served by Rick Santorum as President than Barrack Obama.

  • JohnB

    I think John Gehring is focusing on (and deliberately confusing) Catholic teachings vs. doctrines and dogma–and thus setting up an equivocation and a red herring to criticize Rick Santorum as holding views not in the mainstream with the Church. For instance, he (Mr. Santorum) might disagree with the Pope on whether global warming is anthropogenic or natural, but that is not a disagreement on a fundamental teaching or doctrine of the Church, nor would it put Mr. Santorum in danger of being an inauthentic Catholic. If he didn’t believe in the Trinity, then that is another matter altogether. But I think John Gehring’s tactic is to say that because Mr. Santorum doesn’t carry the water for the majority of liberal causes and supposed solutions of the moment that he, Gehring, does, then Santorum’s not a good Catholic and is outside the mainstream. Nice try, John, but the rhetorical technique is quite hackneyed, and makes your point that much more shallow.

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