A Catholic Political Party?

While the Democrats and Republicans remain the powerhouses of the United States’ political system, political affiliation is not restricted to one of these parties. When tallied, the number of political parties in the United States numbers is rather high: five major groups constitute the majority of the population, the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and the Constitution Party, while the author is familiar with nearly thirty minor constituents not tied to a particular region.

It must be stressed that each of these parties is motivated by a particular ideology, beliefs that influence their agendas, and backed by their ideals, each party is convinced that it can propose the best solutions to a variety of America’s issues. It is not novel, but natural, to form a political party.

It is not uncharted ground to form a political organization based on religious ideals. The Christian Liberty Party, a minor affiliation, is one such addition to the political sphere. But what of a Catholic party? There has been no example in the United States, but there are historical equivalents beyond this continent. The Catholic Action Party of Italy, for instance, is notable due to its efforts to stem the spread of socialism after the Second World War.

That being said, the only obstacle for the formation of a Catholic political party in the United States is in its concept. Since total separation of church and state is commonly held as fundamental to the American system, the proposal of a religiously grounded affiliation, particularly one that is Catholic, will receive instant backlash from the public, and most certainly from the media.

A Catholic political party wouldn’t survive in the current US system until the system is redrawn so that 3rd parties have survivability. There are two parties, and then a conglomerate of 3rd parties whose combined total is feeble compared to EITHER the GOP or Democrat party. It would be an even further uphill battle since pretty much the only people that would vote for the Catholic party would be Catholics. Of course, if the system were redrawn, there would naturally be a wider spread of more specific parties, in which they would later form coalitions in order to get measures passed. Anti-Catholicism is (I think) in decline among American protestantism, and there would probably be a natural alliance between a Catholic party and another Christian conservative party. Even over contraception, a Christian conservative party or a libertarian party would be amiable to the freedom of people not forcefully getting involved in its funding and distribution, and a Catholic party could draw alliances with them on that.

I am not sure how you could get a punch of Catholics together to form a political party. Just looking at CAF, you can’t get even the more motivated Catholics to agree on many things.

Such as what?

I agree with TK, under the “winner takes all” system we have in place (unlike in Italy) a third party is a non-starter. The Dems are one of the original two political parties, the Repubs date back to just before the Civil War. Outside of something truly cataclysmic, nothing suggests either party is going away. A better plan would be to dominate one of the parties and co-op them. Even a quick study of American Political History shows that neither the Dems or the Repubs have held consistent values throughout their history. Heck, the Republicans used to be the party of African-Americans, while the Dems stood for Jim Crow. And the Dems were for a long time the de facto Catholic party.

In the time of Christ in Israel, there were two political parties: the Pharisees and the Saducees. Jesus condemned the idealogies of both. Their members were more or less forced to believe along the party line, or were “expelled from the synagogue”.

Also, we already have a party that represents our beliefs, the Catholic Bishops. Why form a party different than this? It would be a trap, like our political parties today and the Israeli parties of those days which force members to support group idealogies.

Read a little about what JFK had to prove about being Catholic before he could be elected and you will have your answer. Yes, it was 53 years ago, but in political reality not much has changed.

The Catholic Bishops are not a party.

What would be a trap about having a party that aligns itself with Catholic orthodoxy? Are you worried about it becoming infiltrated with false suits? That’s a risk every party runs, and there’s always some amount of PR damage that will go with it, but I really don’t think you can make a strong case that this will be a severe problem. A non-serious Catholic isn’t going to bother voting for a Catholic party, let alone running for it. They’ll just run for a party that better suits their manmade values and do whatever it takes to win.

There are a couple of problems with a Catholic political party. One is that a lot of issues do not have a “Catholic” solution: ahould the water plant be located on the north or east side of town? Should there be a achool bond referendum? That sort of thing does not have a Catholic position. the issues which are important could be subsumed by these other issues.

The second problem is the need for political parties to operate like political parties. Political parties exist by getting votes. Getting votes sometimes means waiting to accomplish things. Look at how many elections we heard that the Republicans had accomplished nothing towards ridding the US of the scourge of abortion! Political considerations overwhelmed gettng something done.

All of this was suggested by the Jesuits in their magazine Civita Catolica between the 1st ans 2nd World Wars. I found out about it through a talk by a Catholic professor and writer named John Rao.

What he said the Jesuits suggested was one or more Catholic pressure groups. This would be something closer to the Tea Party than the Democrats or Republicans.

Good Luck!

Abstinence vs. Abortion?

Many Catholics think the media culture is god and so the necessary result is casual sex, bullet-proof birth control, and abortion.

Some Catholics want to withdraw from the seedy modern media cuture to embrace a modern day Leave It To Beaver culture so abstinence and true love won’t be so impossible.

Good Luck!

The Catholic faith is not inherently political. There are a few “non-negotiable” teachings that have obvious political consequences, but the vast majority of political decisions are purely discretionary.

Eh, but those handful of non-negotiables can be hard to maintain, and since these non-negotiables will be more important to a Catholic than any discretionary policymaking decision, I can see a Catholic party being plausible. There have been Catholic parties in places other than Italy (Belgium comes to mind).

I am a right-wing person. I like low taxes and limited government. If I had to choose between a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage right-wing fiscal conservative and a pro-life, pro-family big time spender, I would in spite of myself choose the 2nd person. On all of the “discretionary” policies a Catholic party would more than likely end up moderate or with a moderate right-tilt, but it would provide a haven where you can guarantee legislatures that will fight on the non-negotiable areas that are the building blocks to a society.


There actually is a small Catholic party called the Catholic Democratic Party, or something like that, where they are liberal on things like environmental and maybe some social issues, but they are pro-life.

Shouldn’t it be chaste living instead of abstinence? They sound the same but they are not reapteam.org/abstinence-vs-chastity

First, I think you need to ask yourself is this is just another attempt to avoid voting for the “boring” GOP.

Second, Something like this could really backfire.

What would most likely happen is that the pro-life, pro-marriage could split and the Democratic Party would have little to no incentive to adjust their radical party platform and the GOP would be under pressure to move left, which would allow the Democrats to move to even more extreme, anti-Catholic positions.

Third parties just don’t work here in the USA, the other two parties (with the notable exception of the TEA PARTY) have their hand in them sometimes and benefit from them as well.

Cases in point: Ralph Nader and Ross Perot.

Plus, there’s really no reason for me to believe that a Catholic party politician wouldn’t be tempted or even susceptible to the wiles of big government power that is a cancer in Washington.

One really does have to be vigilant not fall into that trap.

I think we need more people to infuse our values into both major parties.

Would someone please explain to me why there isn’t a big push at local Democratic Party meetings to have the party platform changed? Is this even happening and not getting reported on? :shrug:

I know there are Democrats out there who are **very pro-life **and pro-marriage…make your voices heard!

And keep the heat on the GOP! Of course, you’ll be ridiculed by the in-crowd, the mainstream media and those wanting to be elites. But as Catholics, what else is new for us? :shrug:

The temptation to move left on the social issues is stronger than ever!

Sadly, I agree with TK421. At this time in American politics, a 3rd party candidate doesn’t stand a chance at least not on a national level. I think in our lifetimes a better approach might be to choose a few key beliefs on issues such as abortion, same sex marriage and maybe one or two other things that we could all agree to agree on and look for and support conservative candidates who conform to our values in those areas. I hate for second best or third best too—but even fifth best would be better than most of what we have running things now!

There will never be a Catholic political party because, as runningdude said, most issues are prudential. It should also be clear from the fact that at least half of all Catholics support the political party that is officially on the wrong side of all the non-negotiable issues that their faith is a poor second to their political inclinations.


The GOP is moving left, if you pay attention.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.