everything old is new again

Separation of Church and State? Guess again

June 13, 2004
Separation of Church and State? Guess again

Guess who’s asking the Vatican for help in the “Culture Wars?” If you guessed the Shrub, you’d be right.

On his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper.

In a column posted Friday evening on the paper’s Web site, John L. Allen Jr., its correspondent in Rome and the dean of Vatican journalists, wrote that Mr. Bush had made the request in a June 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state. Citing an unnamed Vatican official, Mr. Allen wrote: “Bush said, ‘Not all the American bishops are with me’ on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism.”

Mr. Allen wrote that others in the meeting confirmed that the president had pledged aggressive efforts “on the cultural front, especially the battle against gay marriage, and asked for the Vatican’s help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken.” Cardinal Sodano did not respond, Mr. Allen reported, citing the same unnamed people.

[snip]

“It is just unprecedented for a president to ask for help from the Vatican to get re-elected, and that is exactly what this is,” Mr. Lynn said. Linda Pieczynski, a spokeswoman for Call to Action, a liberal Catholic group, said, “For a president to try to get the leader of any religious organization to manipulate his fellow clergymen to support a political candidate crosses the line in this country.

We’ve already seen that the Shrub is doing all he can to get the Religious Right more firmly on his side, what with the recent attempts to allow churches a say in politics, currently forbidden by separation of Church and State. Just look what’s happening in Pennsylvania.

Again, it just boggles the mind.

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