While the US Catholic church traditionally sides with Republican interests in promoting a pro-life agenda, the archdiocese of Milwaukee threw its support behind the unions in the ongoing Wisconsin-based protests against the erosion of workers’ bargaining rights.
Reflecting on the significance of the Catholic church backing a cause that’s historically been a linchpin of the Democrat party platform, Daniel Schultz, author and pastor of a United Church of Christ congregation in rural Wisconsin, said: “This shift means that Wisconsin Catholics are not going to retreat into social conservatism and let the Republican governor enact legislation that is not in sync with the will of the people.”
Putting aside Schultz’s (and Garrison’s) faith in Wisconsin’s Catholics (they’re purer of faith than I am, I’ll admit), there is something to be said for what passing observers would call the two minds displayed by Church leadership. Think immigration. When you’re sitting on centuries of theological exposition, perhaps the boundaries of two contemporary U.S. political parties don’t seem so very significant. But then again, neither does the will of the people depending on which issues you’re discussing.