Catholicism's impact on politics

July 3, 2008 7:37:01 AM PDT
North Carolina's Catholics are trying to make their mark in politics.

The diocese of Raleigh and Charlotte announced a new organization aimed at helping Catholics with their political stands. But how much of an impact will they make?

The Catholic message is coming out of the church and onto the steps of the N.C. Legislature.

Catholic Voice N.C. will tell you the church's stance on pending state and federal bills.

"Obviously the Catholic vote is going to have some impact," Political Analyst Dr. Andre Taylor said.

According to Taylor, the Catholic church is joining the faith community's push in politics.

"It's seen burgeoning numbers, increased numbers of Catholics in the state that believe that it's about time that they can play some kind of role in the debate about public policy and the way we choose our elected officials," Taylor said.

Wednesday Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge supported a state amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

He said immigration is also top priority.

"While we want to be certainly respectful of what we need to do as a country to protect our borders, we also cannot do that in isolation to those realities," Bishop Burbidge said.

Both presidential candidates have spent the last week courting Christian voters.

Catholic Voice N.C. is not promoting either man, but Bishop Burbidge says he wants the more than 800,000 North Carolina Catholics to be informed by November.

Whether or not they rally behind one party is a different story.

"A big question remains," Taylor said. "Is the Catholic vote monolithic? It is unified, and I don't think it really is."

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