From Neil Steinberg:
Anti-Catholic bigotry was once widespread in this country. In 1959, nearly a quarter of Americans — 24 percent — said they would not vote for a Catholic for president, no matter how well-qualified.
John F. Kennedy overcame this prejudice in part by insisting that, if elected, he would not be a tool of the Vatican.
He said he believed in “an America where the separation of church and state is absolute . . . in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair . . . I am not the Catholic candidate for president, I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me.”
Pope John XXIII did not contradict him.
Such discretion, alas, is not the style of Cardinal Francis George, who over the weekend decreed that Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t using his own conscience correctly.
What Quinn has done to draw church censure — for those of you not up to date — is present an award to a rape victim at a pro-choice dinner, and lead a state whose laws forbid discrimination against citizens due to their sexual orientation, which means the church had to decide whether to place homeless children with gay couples, or get out of the adoption business. It chose to get out of the adoption business — you can debate among yourselves whether that is a choice a loving God would smile upon."
Read more: Francis George Doesn't Like the Governor's Autonomy Chicago SunTimes