Or, pro-choice voters as Muslim invaders? I don't know if Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph wanted to go there, but he did, in his latest column in the diocesan newspaper:

"Our Catholic moral principles teach that a candidate's promise of economic prosperity is insufficient to justify their constant support of abortion laws, including partial-birth abortion, and infanticide for born-alive infants. Promotion of the Freedom of Choice Act is a pledge to eliminate every single limit on abortions achieved over the last thirty-five years. The real freedom that is ours in Jesus Christ compels us, not to take life, but to defend it......Join me in calling upon Mary in this month of the rosary. In 1571, in the midst of the Battle of Lepanto, when the future of Christian Europe was in the balance and the odds against them were overwhelming, prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary brought the decisive victory. We ask her now to watch over our country and bring us the victory of life."

Lepanto is a favorite analogy ofmany bishops, especially in Europe, where people actually get the reference. I think in today's interreligious climate, we could find another. Though the Hitler/Stalin route is pretty well-traveled, too.H/T: Catholic World NewsUPDATE: Via Rocco, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O'Brien's election eve column, which recognizes the division within the hierarchy...but he hews to first principles, takes a serious and sensitive approach, andsays he will notengage in public battles over reception of the Eucharist:

Our Conference of Catholic Bishops has agreed overwhelmingly that there can be differing pastoral approaches at this critically teachable moment. Some American bishops, after engaging public officeholders to no avail on this serious issue, have opted to forbid their reception of the Eucharist within their jurisdictions. In so doing they are within their rights, and I respect their decision. However, and upon soul-searching reflection and prayer, I have decided that I will not take this public step. Let me note the following points in support of what I pray is a prudent decision on my part:1. In contrast to and in spite of the measured tones of several bishops who have made this decision, many of the letters I have received and advertisements I have seen calling for this penalty reflect an uncharitable anger and even a vindictiveness that undermine the healing intent of those bishops decrees.2. At this stage, the divisive result of such an action in the Archdiocese of Baltimore both within and outside the Catholic community would, in my opinion, prove counterproductive to our evangelizing efforts and to our overall unity.3. In this unique and highly charged atmosphere, it is likely inevitable that such a step, in spite of any appropriate attempts on our part to explain it, would be distorted as constituting an unwise and unwarranted intrusion of the Church in the political life of the community. It might even undermine pro-life politicians, suggesting that their position is simply a consequence of pressure from the institutional Church, rather than the result of the Churchs clear obligation to defend the dignity of every human life.How grateful we must be to those public figures (a good many of whom are not Catholic) who often put their careers on the line in defense of innocent human life. As for those Catholics unwilling to defend life, I would hope that prayer and the graces that would accompany discussion and persuasion would help bring about a conversion of mind and heart. We ask no politician to do anything unconstitutional or immoral in pursuing legal steps to avoid the killing of innocent human life and in defending women too often victimized and traumatized by a powerful abortion industry.We ask all our public servants to reflect upon the words of St. Thomas More, the patron saint of those who hold public office. From the gallows which would soon claim his life, he declared that he would die the kings good servant, but Gods first. Whose servant, my admirable friends in public life, do you claim to be?As a bishop of the Catholic Church, I must be authoritative in explaining the Churchs 2,000-year teaching on a matter as basic as life and death. I pledge not to be confrontational, however, and would welcome a private discussion of this message with those who seek or hold public office.Finally, I ask for your prayer for me and our Conference of Bishops as we meet here in plenary session next month in efforts to provide just and effective moral guidance for our people and our leaders whom we seek to serve.

BTW, Rocco also updates his original "guesstimate" of 50 "single-issue" bishops with a detailed reckoning--and raises the total to more than 60. He lists them, with links to relevant documents for those who wish to peruse. The post-election meeting of bishops in O'Brien's Baltimore should be interesting...UPDATE PLUS! (Exciting, huh?) Dan Burke at the RNS blog cites David Brody's report from CBN that McCain campaign workers in Las Vegas are passing out "Catholic voter guides" from CatholicAnswers.com, not a church-authorized group. He also cites one estimate of the number of "single-issue" bishops at 89. Hmmm...

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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In medio stat virtus ...

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