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Obama Gaining Catholic Votes

This column by Tim Rutten in today’s LA Times is heartening and shows American Catholics are voting for a candidate based on his overall positions on issues instead of one a single and divisive issue.

From the column:

In fact, nearly one-third of all Pennsylvanians are Catholics, and in recent weeks, McCain’s candidacy has received a major boost from their clerical leaders. Last week, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia wrote in his archdiocesan newspaper: “The transcending issue of our day is the intentional destruction of innocent human life, as in abortion … [and] no intrinsic evil can ever be supported in any way.”

Yet Barack Obama continues to lead McCain by double figures in every reliable Pennsylvania poll. In fact, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, Obama holds a commanding 59% to 31% edge over McCain among Catholics nationwide. What’s significant about that is that at least 50 of the country’s 197 Catholic bishops recently have published articles or given interviews in which they argued that abortion, more than any other issue, ought to determine how members of their flock cast their votes. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and St. Louis Bishop Robert Hermann have been two of the most forceful voices in this regard, but polls now put Colorado in Obama’s column and have him slightly ahead in Missouri.