Friday, January 8, 2010

The Jesuit Personal Consulant To Cardinal Francis George

As he tangles with Democratic Party leaders over the direction of health-care reform, particularly relating to abortion, Cardinal Francis George can sound an awful lot like a Republican.

Whether he is, is unclear. He won't talk about a partisan affiliation, and because he hasn't voted in a primary election for more than a decade, there are no recent public records to provide a clue.

But an analysis by ChicagoCatholicNews found a number of Democratic voters in the cardinal's own inner circle -- and among rank-and-file priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago -- despite the party's strong support for abortion rights.

Among those who requested Democratic ballots in the February 2008 primary, which was held several months before Barack Obama secured the party nomination over Hillary Clinton, are:

• Chancellor Jimmy Lago, a layman who holds the No. 3 job in the archdiocese, handling many of the day-to-day operations of the Catholic Church in Cook and Lake counties.

• The Rev. Raymond Baumhart, a Jesuit and former Loyola University Chicago president who serves as a "personal consultant'' to the cardinal.

• John Gorman and Timothy Lyne, two of 10 active and retired auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese.

Curbing abortion was described by one of the cardinal's confidants as the "No. 1 issue'' for George, who serves as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Link (here)

Photo is of Fr. Raymond Baumhart, S.J.

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