Matt C. Abbott
June 4, 2011
Is Michele Bachmann an anti-Catholic crank?; Thomas F. Roeser, 1928 - 2011
By Matt C. Abbott

I got a kick out of a June 2 article titled "Michele Bachmann thinks the world is ending and the pope is the antichrist," written by Alex Pareene, posted on the liberal Salon news and views website. The article, which can be read by clicking here, predictably mocks the outspokenly-conservative congresswoman.

Pareene writes:

    'When Bachmann was running for Congress in 2006, her official website bio said she was a member of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Stillwater, which belongs to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. WELS is one of the very conservative 'confessional' Lutheran denominations that maintains that the 'antichrist' is the pope. You know, the leader of the Catholic Church? That pope. WELS confirms that they still 'identify this 'Antichrist' with the Papacy,' in case you're curious....

    'It seems more than fair to ask whether Michele Bachmann is anti-Catholic, and whether, should she be elected president, she'd purposefully sabotage a Middle East peace deal in order to bring about the Second Coming. Or whether she'd launch some sort of tactical strike against Vatican City. I think she would. Look who she pals around with!'

I love it when liberals who normally don't care a wit about Catholicism suddenly voice concern about a conservative politician's alleged anti-Catholicism — even if their concern is somewhat tongue-in-cheek or just a political ploy. Never mind all the abortion- and unnatural vice-supporting "Catholic" politicians out there; we practicing Catholics should really be concerned about the likes of Bachmann and Sarah Palin. (I addressed Palin's alleged anti-Catholicism in my Dec. 7, 2010 column.)

Yeah, sure.

Interestingly, Bachmann gave a talk last year at a conference organized by the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation. I didn't attend the conference, but I think it's safe to say that had she said anything even remotely anti-Catholic, the CMF wouldn't have made the audio CD of her talk available for purchase.

I asked William A. Borst, Ph.D., Catholic author and feature editor to the CMF, to comment on the Salon article. Dr. Borst replied in an email (slightly edited):

    'Nowhere in the article did I find any substantive quote from Rep. Bachmann. I think it is shoddy journalism to try to create a paper trail of quotes from second-, third- and fourth-hand sources and attribute belief to their target by mere association. What may appear as exhaustive research on the surface often is nothing more than a writer desperately grasping for straws.

    'To compare her [associations] to Barack Obama's relationship with the Rev. Wright is specious reasoning at best. Bachmann seems like a 'seeker' who is still searching for the religious truth. Obama spent 20 years listening to Wright's racialist rants and even had his kids baptized by this poor excuse of a minister. There is no comparison, unless apples can be confused with asparagus. So we really know even less about her views than we did before reading the article. If they give Pulitzers for misdirection, obfuscation and innuendo, Alex Pareene would be a strong contender.'

Heck, even if Bachmann is theologically misguided, is it possible to elect an American president (ahem) more anti-Catholic — not to mention anti-life and anti-family — than Barack Obama? Me thinks not. Nor does William Oddie, it appears.

So there.



I knew Tom Roeser, who died last Sunday at age 82, for several years. He was a gifted writer and commentator whose knowledge of politics, both historical and current, was amazing. He was a faithful Catholic who wasn't afraid to point out clergy corruption and ruffle a few feathers in the establishment. In 2010, he received an achievement award from the aforementioned Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation. (Source)

Requiescat in pace.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me... (more)

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