Providence Bishop on Rudy

Taking off my moral theologian hat, and putting on my hat as a native Rhode Islander, I found this column to be rather ironic. Very few people in Rhode Island would vote for Rudy anyway. In addition to being one of the most Catholic states in the nation, it's among the bluest of blue states.

In addition, probably due to our history as "Rogue's Island," we have an independent streak; we tolerate a lot from our politicians. Vincent "Buddy" Cianci's brushes with the law didn't prevent him from being reelected mayor of Providence until the feds finally brought him down on RICO charges--some people even thought the corruption charges were too harsh--a man has to make a decent living, after all.. Defining ourselves in opposition to puritanical Massachusetts, we are all a bit rebellious. Personal scandal, well, the general attitude is that we all have our problems. Lots of of Rhode Island grandmothers prayed for Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who had a little public trouble with addiction. He was a nice boy and he helped a lot of Rhode Island grandmothers. Come to think of it, Rudy would fit in pretty well in Rhode Island--if only he were a Democrat.

All politics are local. And Rhode Island politics are very local indeed. But the bishop's idea of offering Rudy a photo op in exchange for a $1500 donation to a pro-life charity; now that's good. That's the kind of constructive give-and-take Rhode Islanders understand.

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.

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