And (piggybacking here on what I just posted about the shoddy pastoral performance of Paul Ryan's bishop Robert Morlino as he distorts Catholic social teaching to give Ryan cover), as Carol Dechant explains at Huffington Post, the Catholic vote--whatever it actually might be--is still in play for the 2012 elections. And GOP operatives and bishops who make themselves putty in the hands of those operatives desperately want the votes of the "undecided" 10% of Catholic voters on whom the election may well hang. In other words, as I've been saying for weeks now, the outcome of the 2012 presidential elections may well be determined by a small minority of Catholic voters, and behind them, the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference, which wants to use them to throw the elections.
GOP operatives and the USCCB have anticipated this, and this is what the brouhaha about "government-imposed secularism" and "attacks" on religious freedom has been about all along. This is why bishops who, to every appearance, know and care little about authentic Catholic social teaching, are hotly insisting on their right and their right alone to define Catholic teaching--particularly in the political realm.
The bishops and their GOP handlers (behind whom are people of extraordinary wealth pulling the strings of both groups) desperately want Catholic swing voters to vote Republican this fall. And if the price that has to be paid to put those voters in the GOP voting column is a bit of duplicity about Catholic social teaching, then so be it.
The outcome is worth the evil means employed to reach the outcome.
And in case you're not thoroughly worn out with discussion of Paul Ryan and his connection to Catholic teaching, you may want to check out Daniel Burke's Religion News Service article at Huffington Post comparing Biden and Ryan as Catholics. Burke puts his finger on why Republican operatives are so concerned right now to have bishops like Morlino give Ryan episcopal cover: many Catholics, in whom the principles of authentic Catholic social teaching have long been instilled and who regard how we treat the poor as intently connected to our salvation, simply aren't buying the argument that cutting social services to the poor makes Ryan a good and faithful Catholic.
Many of us have reached precisely the opposite conclusion--as the graphic at the head of the posting indicates.