Abuja, Nigeria, Aug 10, 2004 / 22:00 pm
A political questionnaire, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops and distributed to both major-party presidential candidates, has been criticized for presenting questions that are traditionally associated with Democratic Party policy positions, says a report by the Culture of Life Foundation.
The questionnaire contains 41 questions, asking the candidates to answer "support" or "oppose" to statements on a range of issues.
The report, published in Culture and Cosmos, indicates that the questionnaire had seven questions on immigration and refugees. Abortion and school choice were each given three questions. Capital punishment, gun control, agriculture and rural development, aid for low-income families, housing, federal education programs, and marriage each received two. Fourteen other topics received one question each, including health care, decreasing nuclear weapons, cloning, physician-assisted suicide, and embryonic stem-cell research.
Patrick F. Fagan, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says that many of the questions involve policies over which Catholics may properly disagree, but that this official questionnaire gives the impression that these are the only acceptable Catholic positions.