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December 27, 2002

Will Conservatives Cite Pope Now?

The Pope has declared that any "Preventive War" against Iraq would not be moral or a "just war" under church doctrine.

Aside from one more global voice against the war, an interesting question is whether social conservatives will now apply the same rule as they do in the case of abortion-- namely that any Catholic politician who does not follow church teaching on a specific issue is therefore a hypocrite and a betrayer of their faith?

Of course, conservatives have always been selective in citing the moral authority of the Pope to lambast liberal Catholics, since while they love the Church's teaching on abortion, they regularly ignore its moral opposition to the death penalty, its pro-union doctrine (it's literally a sin not to pay union dues), its support for immigrant rights, and, yes, its traditionally antiwar international policy.

But for the "Mayberry Machiavellis" in the White House, the outspokenness of the Vatican on the issue of war could upset plans to reach out to swing voters, including the heavily Catholic conservative parts of the latino population.

Posted by Nathan at December 27, 2002 08:20 AM

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