[The National neo-Catholic Register on Hillary for Prez]
[Hat-tip to PewSitter; redacted for emphasis]
From: Presidential Hopefuls 2016: Hillary Clinton
Some of the Democratic frontrunner’s positions on social issues appear to overlap with Catholic teachings …
by STEPHEN BEALE 02/26/2016 NCRegister.com/daily-news/presidential-hopefuls-2016-hillary-clinton
While there seems to be no common ground between Catholics and Clinton on abortion, marriage and religious freedom, there might be some on other issues.
Clinton has backed a proposal to allow 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave that would allow workers to care for a sick relative or a newborn child and retain two-thirds of their paychecks up to a certain point.
“Hillary Clinton’s support of paid family leave is consistent with Catholic social teaching,” said Julie Rubio, a professor of Christian ethics at St. Louis University [and contributor to the National un-Catholic Reporter and the liberal CatholicMoralTheology.com blog], noting that most other developed nations have paid family leave.
She pointed to Pope St. John Paul II, who, in the 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, called for women’s roles at home and in the workplace to be “harmoniously combined.”
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act, ensuring that workers can take time off for work without losing their jobs.
“However, many cannot afford to take unpaid leave,” Prof. Rubio said. “This is why Pope Francis expressed strong support for paid family leave last fall, affirming the societal duty to help women in their ‘dual task’ of work and motherhood. This support for family leave can be seen as a natural extension of Catholic social teaching’s insistence on the rights of workers to a just wage and humane working conditions.”
In a departure from other similar proposals, Clinton would not fund her plan through an increase in payroll taxes, easing the potential burden on small businesses. Instead, she has said she will seek increased tax revenues from the wealthiest payers, though she has not elaborated on her specific funding mechanism.
Some of Clinton’s other positions are in line with Catholic social thought as well, according to Prof. Rubio, including her support for labor unions, comprehensive immigration reform, disability rights and more effectively dealing with sexual assaults on college campuses. “Her focus on criminal-justice reform and racial justice can also be seen as responses to Catholic social teaching’s ‘preferential option for the poor,’” the St. Louis professor said.
Praise for the Pope
Moreover, Clinton has invoked Pope Francis’ teaching in the encyclical Laudato Si to bolster her own proposal for dealing with climate change. “Pope Francis is right. All countries and all people are responsible for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. But countries like the United States have a particular role. We are rich, powerful and blessed with many advantages. We must lead the charge,” Clinton wrote in an op-ed for the National Catholic Reporter last September.
When Pope Francis spoke before Congress last year, Clinton said she hoped the Pope “pricks the consciences” of Democrats and Republicans alike.
“One cannot read the Sermon on the Mount without thinking that we all have to be more humble,” Clinton said in an interview with ABC News at the time of the papal visit. “We all have to try to do more to help our fellow men and women. And I think that the Pope is emphasizing the words of Jesus Christ: emphasizing the high priority given to the poor; the priority of caring for those who are in trouble, whether they are on the side of the road or whether they are in prison.”
While Clinton’s concern for the poor is a principle of Catholic social thought, her approach may not be, according to Paul Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College and author of the 2007 book God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life.
“I would argue that her approach to that is less of a Catholic subsidiarity approach,” Prof. Kengor said, alluding to the principle that society should not take over tasks that can be carried out by smaller units, such as local and state governments and organizations in the private sector. “She probably supports more of a central federal-government approach to helping the poor.” [Nonetheless, the USCCCP favors such an approach.]