See, that’s reasoning politically when there’s no reason to do so. It does not matter whether clergy and laity support this or that party - neutrality means that their conscience must be formed according to the Catholic teaching, which is non-partisan.
Which means in some areas it appears to be liberal, in other areas it appears to be conservative. That’s why politicizing creates such a huge division within the Catholic laity.
You mean “the Catholic position”. There is no “Vatican” or “bishop’s” position when they teach in the name of the Church. If they opine as individual American citizens, that’s a whole different story. But from the pulpit one should only hear the Church speaking.
You do make a good point when you mention parties bent on wiping the Church away. We’ve seen this in several countries, with right-wing and left-wing dictatorships. If you study the Italian example, where the Church confronted the strongest Communist party in the entire European region after the War, you will realize that a lot of trouble was stirred when clerics began to take political positions instead of being the neutral voice of the Church.
For example, you had priests who dressed like laborers, participated to their strikes, and so forth. As a result, they alienated the landowners, industry owners, and almost every conservative layman. They were called “Bolshevik priests”.
Then you had priests who would always be seen at social gatherings with the landowners, industry owners, and so forth, and they always told the people not to stir up trouble, because communism is condemned by the church [true] and therefore they had to vote for the ABC Party [false!!! that’s a political stance]. These were called “Fascists” or “enemies of the people”, and sometimes they were attacked and even killed.
What was the proper stance to take? Simply to speak to both sides, reminding one side that the Social Doctrine of the Church does not leave room for the exploitation of the worker and of the immigrant, and reminding the other side that the Magisterium of the Church had condemned the Communist ideology because of x, y, and z, and that voting for the Communist party carried an automatic excommunication. This way, both sides would have seen the neutrality of the Church.
The only banner the Church should carry is the banner of the Cross.