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October 7, 2004

Inviting the Enemy to Supper

Within the past couple of weeks, a priest mentioned to me, in group conversation, that Catholics oughtn't find their decision in the next presidential election to be a simple matter. I've been meaning to bring up in private the easy confidence of my voting intentions, but the opportunity hasn't arisen. Perhaps, though, I need only point to Spain:

I know many Spanish Catholics who voted for the Socialist candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in last March's elections, driven by opposition to conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Though Zapatero is a leftist, many Spanish Catholics felt his emphasis on peaceful resolution of conflict, and his strong social concern, were closer to the Catholic spirit than Aznar's more bellicose style. A Spanish Opus Dei member told me that even Opus Dei voters probably went 60-40 for Zapatero.

The first few months of Zapatero's reign, however, may be giving some of his Catholic supporters pause.

Reporter John Allen lists various issues, other than the war, that have subsequently fallen against the Catholic policy platform. Although perhaps not as extreme, American Catholics currently face a similar decision. If only one could assume that Catholic voters in the U.S. picked up, while being catechized, the distinction between truth and convenient rhetoric.

Posted by Justin Katz at October 7, 2004 6:51 AM
International Affairs