National Catholic Reporter

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The Happy Return of Nuance

Two statements on the upcoming midterm elections, one from the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, and one from Communion and Liberation, exhibit a welcome nuance in their estimation of the good achievable by participation in the electoral process.

I defy anyone to read either statement and conclude, "Aha! I must vote for this party!"

Instead, both statements do something really wonderful and essential: they invite voters to serious reflection of the choices they face, unlike so many political ads that merely try and excite the basest of human emotions.

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The statements focus the Church's social and moral teachings on the issues of the day, and remind Catholics of the fact that our tradition is far different from the rampant individualism that characterizes so much of contemporary political wrangling.

The statements inform the consciences of Catholics, they do not dictate the consciences of Catholics. Finally, neither statement has any foolishness about Canon 915, denying communion to politicians.

Hats off to the bishops of Massachusetts and the good folks at CL.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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