Nov 01 2011

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St. Thomas More Appointed Patron Saint of Politicians

On this All Saints Day I encourage all politicians to look into the life of St. Thomas More a man of great virtue, a politico of the 16th century, and an enlightened statesman. Happy All Saints Day.

Sometimes when in doubt we can fall back on faith. The Catholic church has Patron Saint for almost everything, even politicians.

Saints are holy people that have lived extraordinary lives. Saints are Servants of God, canonized by the Church for their beatific vision so that they may show us the example for a righteous life’s path.

On All Saints Day we as Catholics honor all of them.

Catholics believe in the intercession of Saints. We can pray to Saints to lobby God directly, or to intercede on His behalf. Christians from around the world know them for their optimism. If there’s trouble and you need a little help, chances are there is a Patron Saint for your problem.

For example, if you’re a youthful offender of the criminal justice system, you can pray to St. Dominic Savio, the Patron Saint of juvenile delinquents, or if you’re a dashing reporter and your editor starts bitchin’ about comma usage you can pray to St. Francis de Sales the Patron Saint of writers and journalists.  Is there a plan you know may not win? St. Jude the Patron Saint of lost causes is there for us. Need a taxi? Say a quick prayer to St. Fiacre, the Patron Saint of taxi drivers. Is your business about to take a nosedive? Talk to St. Homobonus, the Patron Saint of business  people.

We need Saint-like politicians in government. The word to describe the New York State legislature is dysfunctional, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. Waste, pork, fraud, theft, mismanagement, violence, all the deadly sins, and we have more politicians indicted than any other state legislature, it’s an embarrassment. On the bright side, Jerremy Creelan, well known in the circle of legislative critics, was appointed by Governor Cuomo in 2010 as his adviser on creative strategies to help stop the future Brian Mcloughlins, Hiram Monserattes, Tony Semenerios, Gregory Meeks, Anthony Weiners, Dennis Gallaghers, Alan Hevesis, Joe Brunos, and Pedro Espadas of the world. Has it worked?

Creelan’s appointment was questionable. After all,  this was the same man that in 2004 called the legislature the most dysfunctional in the nation based on failure to hold public meetings, lack of debate, and proxy voting. Jeffrey Stonecash, a well respected political scientist and Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University said Creelan  had “a very simple, high school notion of how it works,” according to a report.

There are some problems in Albany and then there are the politicians we elect to represent us. The new cadre of elects have failed on legislative reform. We can debate the type of reform and the need for reform until we are blue in the face. Facts are all candidates who ran on a platform of legislative and ethics reform have failed miserably. “Legistlative reform isn’t going well,” said Senator Tony Avella in March, 2011.

Many ‘reform’ campaigns were bankrolled by the Democratic  Assembly  Campaign Committee,  or the Senate’s equivalent. two of the many questionable components of our Polis that candidates demonized during the last election. On the Assembly level it is known as DACC for short. Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver is the honorary chair. The purpose  is to “Help Democratic candidates across the state win Assembly elections by providing financial assistance and strategic direction.”

Many candidates eagerly await their palm cards and mailers, which cost an arm and a leg. This money comes from  individuals and groups who support the Assembly’s Democratic majority, according to the website. It’s a checkbook to elect selected candidates.

This means goodbye citizen legislator, unless you can put your money where your mouth is, DACC will rain a shit storm down on your campaign faster than you can stuff an envelope.

There is hope beyond these fruitless means.

In 2000, the late Pope John Paul II proclaimed Sir Thomas More the Patron Saint of Politicians, and thank God he did that. The Pope wanted to set the bar high  by selecting a Saint that would raise the moral standard for elected officials. Pope John Paul wanted to remind politicians ”of the absolute priority of God in the heart of public affairs,” according to a report in the New York Times.

Politicians can spin Saint Thomas More’s moral authority, but you don’t hear too much of it from the Democratic party as those with deep religious convictions tend to gravitate toward the Republican party who’s platform will more often than not reflect the teachings of Catholic dogma.

On this All Saints Day I encourage all politicians to look into the like of St. Thomas More a man of great virtue, a politico of the 16th century, and an enlightened statesman. Happy All Saints Day.

Read: The Biography of St. Thomas More 1477-1535


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