Published February 20, 2015
Limits on the use of military force
Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when he wrote to President George W. Bush on September 13, 2002: "We respectfully urge you to step back from the brink of war and help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force."
But most Catholics in our area of Riverside County are very conservative. They are not pleased that we have a President who opposed our invasion of Iraq. They are unhappy that we have a President who campaigned promising "to end U.S. combat operations" in that country. They oppose attempts to outlaw capital punishment. They support unlimited deportation of people who live in our country without legal resident status. They are saddened that our state enacts laws favored by gun control advocates. They vote for candidates who pledge to repeal Obamacare.
The bishops of California encouraged Catholic voters to approve a 2014 initiative that would have ended the death penalty. Archbishop Jose Gómez of Los Angeles has applauded a new law that enables undocumented immigrants to get driversí licenses. When the President granted work permits and temporary protection from deportation to millions of workers and their families, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops thanked him. The same group has issued yearly statements "supporting reasonable restrictions on access to assault weapons and handguns." They have called universal and affordable health care "an urgent national priority and moral imperative." Last March Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino urged citizens who don't have health care insurance to sign up for Obamacare.
Maybe the next generation of Catholics in this area will have views more in harmony with those of the institutional church.