The Catholic Church is the world’s largest relief agency. Even those who don’t adhere to the Church’s doctrine have respect for the work it does for the poor and disadvantaged.
Apparently, Michael Skindell does not. At a Separation of Church and State event in November of last year, Senator Skindell complained that the Catholic Church doesn’t lobby for the poor.
“By the way, they don’t lobby for the poorest of the poor. …They are there to lobby for the auxiliary line items and vouchers because it supports the Catholic Schools. The only time I see the Catholic Church in the Statehouse Lobby was either on the statue of limitations dealing with the priest abuse cases or these two auxiliary line items and vouchers.”
The Church has been proving for hundreds of years that it is more effective at providing relief services to the poor than the government. It does not need the government’s advice. The Church’s charitable side functions best when the government steps out of the way.
Senator Skindell’s constituency is comprised of a large number of Catholics. Is he out to offend them by taking a cheap shot at priests? His district also extends into Cleveland so he has a fair number of constituents whose children receive the vouchers which he complains about.This is a different brand of constituent relations.
Tom Haren, Skindell’s opponent, is a practicing Catholic who resides in Parma. He disagrees with Skindell.
“It is precisely this kind of language that keeps Michael Skindell from being effective in Columbus. His ‘us vs. them’ attitude is what people hate about politics. It’s what I hate about politics. At a time when we need to be building consensus to grow our economy and lift folks out of poverty, Michael Skindell continues to choose to hold us back.”
Perhaps Skindell should volunteer a day of his time at St. Vincent de Paul or St. Augustine’s Hunger Center. He will be given a new perspective on how to directly serve the poor and those in need.