Catholic leaders weigh in on US Senate candidate

.- The race for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania between Republican candidate Rick Santorum and Democratic candidate, Robert Casey Jr. continues to heat up.  While both candidates are Catholic, some Catholic groups have pointed out the contradictions in Casey’s platform and positions on controversial issues.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue said Casey’s position on abortion makes Casey “a fraud.” According to Donohue, Casey has told reporters that as senator he would focus more on health care and jobs than on abortion.  

With regard to abortion, Casey said he wants “to see more of an emphasis on what brings people together rather than what tears people apart,” Donohue reported. “I support initiatives which would reduce the number of abortions,” Casey reportedly added.
“If someone said he was opposed to racial discrimination, but would not commit to using the law as a means to affecting its reduction, we’d call him a fraud,” Donohue said in a statement. “That’s why Casey is a fraud: his reluctance to use the law as a means to reduce abortions speaks volumes.”

Fidelis, a national Catholic-based advocacy group, criticized Casey’s support of same-sex unions, which mirrors the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The decision excludes the possibility of same-sex marriage but orders the state legislature to grant same-sex partners all the benefits of traditional marriage. 

Fidelis reported that Casey recently stated: “I don't support gay marriage, but I also don't support a constitutional amendment banning it. That would be tremendously divisive. However, I do support same-sex unions that would give gay couples all the rights, privileges and protections of marriage.”

Fidelis reported that Casey is also on record for saying that he would work to defeat the Federal Marriage amendment if elected.

“Bob Casey should say ‘I am prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the traditional institution of marriage for the people of Pennsylvania.’  Instead he sides with homosexual activists who view the New Jersey ruling as a stepping stone to homosexual marriage,” Fidelis President Joseph Cella stated.

Cella noted: “It is interesting to note that in June of 1995 former Governor Casey, the deceased father of the current candidate for the U.S. Senate, founded the Campaign for the American Family and the Fund for the American Family to protect the traditional family.  Now his son has staked out a position on homosexual marriage that would tear down the traditional family.”

In the polls, Casey has consistently come out ahead of Santorum.  And according to the Associated Press, polls have also shown Santorum's approval rating below 40 percent for the last year, with roughly the same number of voters viewing him unfavorably as favorably.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released in last month, 39 percent of voters viewed Casey favorably, an increase from 31 percent about a year ago in the same poll. 

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April 19, 2014

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