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Catholics Against Rudy…all the way?

June 12, 2007

There’s a new online initiative going by the name Catholics Against Rudy. Slated to launch on July 4th, the site will focus on Rudy Giuliani’s pro-choice views. Steve Dillard, one of the founders of Catholics Against Rudy, has unequivocally stated, “You cannot, in good conscience as a faithful Catholic, vote for Rudy Giuliani.” This statement clearly extends beyond the more balanced statement of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s memo to Cardinal McCarrick in 2004 as outlined in Ratzinger’s nota bene section.

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback, a conservative darling among many pro-life Catholics, has already explicitly stated that he would support whoever earns the Republican nomination for the 2008 Presidential Race, even if that means publicly supporting Giuliani. I have posted on Brownback’s pro-life backpedalling here. If Giuliani were to earn the Republican nomination, a very likely scenario, will Catholics Against Rudy continue its campaign beyond the Republican primaries? Will it concede as Brownback has and support Rudy Giuliani for the U.S. Presidency? Will it remain consistent with Dillard’s unqualified remark that no Catholic can vote for Giuliani in good conscience regardless of the political circumstances? Will it make good on its campaign and advise Catholics to choose a pro-life third-party candidate? We shall see.

UPDATE: Steve Dillard has kindly provided clarification in light of my post. I reproduce his clarifications in whole below:

(1) My comment that, “You cannot, in good conscience as a faithful Catholic, vote for Rudy Giuliani,” is limited to the GOP presidential primary. To the extent I failed to make that clear to you, I apologize. I certainly believe that there would be “proportionate reasons” to vote for Mayor Giuliani in the general election against a pro-abortion democratic candidate (e.g., Clinton).

(2) Yes, if Giuliani “were to earn the Republican nomination,” which I agree is “a very likely scenario,” Catholics Against Rudy will “continue its campaign beyond the Republican primaries” That having been said, for the reasons noted above, our arguments against his candidacy will have to shift gears a bit. While there clearly are not “proportionate reasons” that would permit a Catholic to vote for Giuliani in the GOP primary, the same cannot be said for the general election, and, as such, our arguments will shift from the theological to the prudential (e.g., that Catholics should not vote for Giuliani because of the long-term harm that would result from having a pro-abortion leader as the head of the only pro-life political party).

(3) For all of the reasons noted above, Catholics Against Rudy “will . . . make good on its campaign and advise Catholics to choose a pro-life third-party candidate,” while at the same time respecting those Catholics who, for other prudential reasons (e.g., supreme-court vacancies), elect to choose the lesser of two evils.

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