Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kudos to Cardinal Barbarin of Lyons

Western Catholic Bishops aren't known for their bluntness or gutsyness, but Cardinal Phillippe Barbarin really stands out.

As you many know, the French are holding elections this year. Cardinal Barbarin has been outspoken and fairly clear about what is required of a Christian.

In the weekly Famille Chr├ętienne, to be published this Saturday, Cardinal Barbarin said that when a Christian votes that he is "acting in front of God", and that his vote must not favour "abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, the partition of good or the rejection of immigrants".

When asked about the second round of presidential elections, he said "When Christ will judge us on the last day, he will demand an account: why did you vote for this or that candidate? Did you really make your choice in front of God or in function of your personal interests?"

He also said that some points are non-negotiable for a Catholic. "This is why I want to clearly tell the candidates that on these points and others, we will be vigilant, and they know this."

The Cardinal has not taken a public stance on which candidate to vote for, but he says he prays for them.


What I like about this Cardinal is that he not only speaks to the Catholic faithful in general, but to the candidates in particular. We need more of this in the Church. Catholics who run for office must know that the clergy have their eye on them, and that they will be publicly told the truth, so that if they say stuff like "I'm a Catholic but I'm for legal abortion" the public will know that's not true.

I read a letter the Cardinal published just before the beginning of the elections-- but I couldn't track it down. It was addressed to the candidates, and it spent about 80% of the letter saying that the most important issues were aboriton, euthanasia and gay marriage. Then he addressed other points of social justice. Then he told the candidates their platforms sucked. Well, maybe not that bluntly, but he said their platforms were "inadequate".

We need more cardinals like him.

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