Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CAN A CATHOLIC SUPPORT HIM? Douglas W. Kmiec Asks the Big Questions About Barack Obama

On April 18, 2008, Douglas W. Kmiec was denied Communion at a Catholic Mass in Westlake, California. Ironically, Kmiec had been invited by a Catholic business group to give a dinner address on the Bishop’s teaching of “Faithful Citizenship.” Kmiec had served as head of the Office of Legal Counsel for both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. But now, he found himself rejected by his faith—simply for endorsing the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama. In a new book just released by Overlook, Can a Catholic Support Him?, Kmiec offers us a thoughtful explanation of his rationale. He addresses the difficult questions at the core of his decision: Can a Catholic support a Pro-Choice candidate? Can there be a reverence for life that embraces a larger set of values? How does a Catholic citizen balance his obligations to the Church and to community? In asking these questions, he challenges those whose partisan interests are provoking a false rift between the Catholic Church and the Democratic party. This inquiry could hardly be more timely. Catholics have been on the side of the top vote-getter in the last nine presidential elections, and make up roughly one fourth of the electorate. This provocative book—at once a legal and religious treatise and a sincere and personal journey of faith—will be an irreplaceable contribution to the conversation, in 2008 and beyond.

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