An excellent explanation! hit the link for the full essay - it's not very long.
You have to love Mario Cuomo's comment. People wouldn't vote for Catholics because Catholics might "be guided by [their] faith." Horrors!
News broke this week that Thomas Tobin, the Catho lic bishop of Providence, RI, had in 2007 asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy to refrain from receiving Communion because of the congressman's support for legalized abortion. The ensuing howls of protest almost universally missed the point.
Some Catholic writers charged that Tobin was sowing division within the church and "politicizing" the sacrament. On the pro-choice left, Tobin was flayed for everything from "religious blackmail" to -- inexplicably -- violating the separation of church and state.
Perhaps the strangest comment came from former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who predicted that if pols like Kennedy started listening to the bishop, "nobody would vote for Catholics" because voters would fear they'd "be guided by [their] faith."
Yet Tobin's stand has practically nothing to do with wielding political power -- and everything to do with preserving a coherent definition of what being Catholic means in the first place.
And, if he succeeds, it might go a long way toward returning some thoughtfulness to America's public discourse.