Archbishop Levada, the man the Pope appointed to his old job, has spoken out rather forcefully on the need to remain faithful to the Church's Magisterial teachings. However, over time his position has evolved. Interestingly, back in the 1970's, Levada made statements which seem to indicate that he believed that papal infallibility is limited to matters of faith - but not to moral issues such as abortion. Obviously, one of the significant implications of such a view would be that Catholic politicians would be free to either oppose or support abortion. However, in his comments following the publication of John Paul's Evangelium Vitae, it is clear that Levada had clearly abandoned this previous view:
"The individual politician, like any Catholic, who is at odds with the teaching of the Church about the principle involved, i.e., that abortion constitutes the killing of innocent human life and is always gravely immoral (cf. Evangelium Vitae, nn. 57-62), has an obligation to reflect more deeply on the issue, in the hope of allowing the persuasive character of this infallibly taught teaching to become part of his belief and value system. I say infallibly taught not because Pope John Paul II has assumed in Evangelium Vitae the special prerogative recognized for individual papal teachings in the First Vatican Council, but
rather because he has called attention explicitly to the fact that Catholic teaching on abortion has been an infallible doctrine of the Church by virtue of the universal ordinary Magisterium, recognized for the teachings of the Pope and worldwide college of bishops together by the Second Vatican Council. (From The
Catholic Sentinel, 6/2/1995).
On another important political issue, homosexual marriage - an especially hot button issue in his former diocese of San Francisco - Levada stated:
"Heterosexual marriage, procreation and the nurturing of children form the bedrock of the family, and the family unit lies at the heart of every society. To extend the meaning of marriage beyond a union of a man and a woman, their procreative capacity, and their establishment of family represents a misguided understanding of marriage."
Another one of the Bishops elevated by Pope Benedict is Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun - a man who has been a constant thorn in the side of China's Communist government. Wikepedia has a lot of good information on his important work. Click here.
Recently, Archbishop O'Malley made waves in Boston by skipping a Catholic Charities dinner honoring Boston mayor Thomas Menino, an outspoken abortion advocate. He has been very much opposed to giving Holy Communion to pro-choice politicians. He has said, "a Catholic politician who holds a public, pro-choice position should not be receiving Communion." One of O'Malley's primary concerns has been addressing fallout from the sex abuse scandals which has rocked the Boston diocese. In order to pay off the staggering $85 million dollar court settlement, the diocese has been forced to sell off precious churches and church property. Click here for more about O'Malley.
Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard has been the president of the French Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has spoken strongly against anti-semitism in Europe. He is also known in France as one of the most outspoken opponents homosexual marriage. See the BBC story.