Thursday, October 23, 2008

Archbishop Naumann on Voting at KU

Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann spoke at the University of Kansas this week on the role of Catholics in the public square. The presentation was hosted at KU's Robert J Dole Institute of Politics and organized by the Saint Lawrence Catholic Campus Center. Many thanks to Jennifer Meitl and the staff at the Saint Lawrence Center for passing this along. Please visit them. The center is one of the best things happening in the world of Catholic higher ed. and it happens to be at a state college.

This video seems to end at about 30 minutes, and it could be my conversion software cut it off there. If I can recover the rest, we'll post a part 2. UPDATE - Thanks to Jennifer and Grace at the center we've got two more clips. I'll upload them tonight.

If you don't have time to watch, the Lawrence Journal has a report on the talk (hat tip to Whispers in the Loggia) excerpt:

“Our democratic institutions are founded upon the premise that there are certain inalienable rights,” including the right to life. Without that, other campaign issues like the economy and the war in Iraq mean nothing, he said.

In a speech organized by KU’s St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, Naumann sought to discuss how Catholics should live their lives in public and how numerous social issues are in play during the campaign. He spent much of the evening discussing the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion and mapping out the church’s moral platform.

“The church in the United States always cherished its rights and its responsibility to form the moral (conscience) of the country,” he said.

He stopped short of endorsing a candidate, saying, “We (the church) don’t really believe that is the role of the church in a democratic society.”

Naumann told the crowd of more than 100 that sometimes there is no perfect candidate and sometimes it’s a choice between the lesser of two evils. Catholics should weigh their beliefs before voting, he said.

He blamed cultural relativism for forming beliefs that “(impair) a culture from what is imperatively true.”

Naumann said this election was part of a battle for the soul of our society, and warned that bowing to pressure from pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage groups could lead down the road to totalitarianism, because democracy could “(devolve) into the will of the majority trampling on the rights of the” minority.

“If liberty becomes distracted from truth, it leaves society vulnerable to totalitarianism,” he said. “Remember, Hitler was elected.”