O’Malley’s a “Progressive” Before he’s a Catholic

In something of a sequel to the glowing tome that Senator Jim Rosapepe wrote back in January, Martin O’Malley took to the internet today to try to revive his flailing campaign by attaching it to the star of Pope Francis. In an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter, O’Malley says that the visit by His Holiness “also calls for a time of deep reflection on our nation’s obligations and priorities.”

First off, let’s point out that O’Malley took his editorial to the pages of the National Catholic Reporter and not another outlet. Presumably, other more mainstream media outlets declined to offer O’Malley the opportunity to try to make a name for himself off of the Pope’s visit. But also the National Catholic Reporter is the arms of the social justice, progressive wing of the Catholic Church. It is widely seen in the Catholic Community as an organ that is more critical than supportive of the Church and its teachings.

One of O’Malley’s themes about in the piece is about how Pope Francis is challenging Catholics and also Americans to think about a wide range of issues: poverty, injustice, refugees, and environmental stewardship. He’s not necessarily wrong in that. And certainly the Pope has taken the lead on challenging American Catholics to think about these things in a different way. Certain Conservatives, particularly American Catholic Conservatives, have been bothered by some of the things that the Pope has said and how he has said them. A lot of that discomfort, of course, is related to terribly misleading coverage by the mainstream media. However, let’s also remember that we as Catholic Christians have a higher calling than partisanship. The themes of what the Pope says are biblically sound, even if he is describing them in ways that offends conservative ears.

O’Malley, of course, cares nothing for that. The focus of his message is not what he says, but what he doesn’t say. Take a look at this series of paragraphs where O’Malley talks about refugees, climate change, and illegal immigration:

Today, Europe shoulders an unprecedented surge of refugees from war-torn Syria. Pope Francis asks us to house and feed families fleeing crisis, saying, “the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope.”

As a generous and compassionate nation of immigrants, the United States has a long, proud tradition of providing comfort to the weak and weary. The United States should heed Pope Francis’ call by welcoming no fewer than 65,000 Syrian refugees next year. We cannot forget what it means to struggle and toil and yearn for a better life beyond the next horizon; we have a moral responsibility to act.

The world’s poor will first bear the brunt of climate change, as Pope Francis wrote this summer. But there is no independent salvation on this planet. Our survival depends upon our meeting this challenge. Fortunately for the United States, leading the transition to a 100 percent clean, renewable electric future is also the greatest job creation opportunity we have had in a century.

We must seize this opportunity to build a cleaner and more humane economy that lifts up all of us, while protecting our “common home.”

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And with 11 million aspiring citizens living in the shadows of our nation, it is imperative that we remember our fundamental character: e pluribus unum, that out of many, we are one. For, as the Holy Father says, “Humans have a dignity that is priceless.”

It is very clear that O’Malley didn’t follow along with everything that the Holy Father said when it comes to the environment and protecting our common home. He certainly did not read all of it. Because in Laudato Si, His Holiness writes:

Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.

O’Malley’s concern for refugees, illegal immigrants, and the environment apparently leaves no room for O’Malley to be supportive of one of the Church’s most central and basic teachings; preserving the lives of unborn children. Because while O’Malley is quick to quote the Pope on issues regarding human dignity and the status of refugees, he neglects the most vulnerable members of society who themselves, no matter their age, whether they are born or unborn, have a dignity that is priceless too. And while he is quick to quote Laudato Si when it is convenient for him, he is woefully silent on those times when Laudato Si conflicts with the modern Democratic Party.

This of course is not a surprise to those who have paid attention. In 2014 I wrote in the Baltimore Sun about how O’Malley’s focus ensuring no child died a violent death in Maryland did not include any mention of the most violent death that a child could face, being killed in utero.

I’m willing to concede that O’Malley is being honest when he talks about his desire to address the refugee crisis, illegal immigration, and “climate change.” But it is completely dishonest to do as he is done here. Here, O’Malley is trying to have his cake and eat it too by wrapping himself as the “Catholic candidate” for President while simultaneously be an active and willing participate in fighting against Church teachings on abortion and contraception. You can’t serve two masters like that, and you certainly can’t legitimately be the candidate who is at the same time a champion of the pro-abortion lobby, supportive of gay marriage and a devout Catholic. Those don’t compute, which is why Jeff Quinton asked back in February whether or not it was a mortal sin for Catholics to even vote for O’Malley.

O’Malley is, sadly, doing what he often seems to do which is prioritize progressive politics as opposed to his Catholic faith. As Catholics, we should pray for his soul and that he confess his sins.

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