The First Letter is from Cardinal George, President of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops
and the Second Letter is from Karl Keating, President of Catholic Answers
Excerpt from Cardinal George’s Letter: “As Bishops, we approach public policy as pastors and teachers. Our moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and reaching out to those in need. We lead the largest community of faith in the United States, one that serves every part of our nation and is present in almost every place on earth. From our experience and our tradition, we offer a distinctive, constructive and principled contribution to the national dialogue on how to act together on issues of economic turmoil and suffering, war and violence, moral decency and human dignity.”
Excerpt from Karl Keating’s Letter: “Mr. President, on Election Day you achieved a clear victory, but you won no mandate. You are savvy enough to know that if you had had an opponent with a clearer message, or if President Bush had not had such low approval ratings, or if the country had not been at war, or if the Republican Party had offered a coherent philosophy, or if the economy had tanked just a couple of months later—today you probably would be the junior senator from Illinois.
“YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE Some of the political positions you have endorsed (I refer here to your positions on the “five non-negotiables”) are unworthy of you, as they are unworthy of anyone who wishes to be considered humane. There is nothing humane in killing children, in killing the elderly or sick, or even in backing a distorted idea of what constitutes real marriage. You now have achieved the highest office in the land. There is no greater honor that the American people can bestow on you. There is no greater honor that you can return to them than to conform your own conscience to the highest moral standards and to embrace truth and justice for their own sake—and for the sake of those who are victims of the ‘five non-negotiables.'”