“When, one wonders, will Catholics hear a letter from the pulpit on the vital question of torture – and the support for it from a leading Catholic candidate for the presidency?”

When indeed?

Leading Catholic conservative, advocate of gay marriage and center-right Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan –he’s an interesting guy, well worth a read – is fed up with the Cafeteria Catholicism of the Church’s hierarchy.

While the Church is insatiably keen to interfere in affairs of state that intimately affect the lives, health and rights of non-Catholics on questions of abortion, gay marriage and even contraception – with prominent US bishops eagerly denouncing leading Catholic Democrats as unworthy of receiving communion –this same hierarchy is the first to claim “religious persecution!”  the moment the state asserts its primacy in setting public health policy. See recent and ongoing showdown on access to contraceptives for more.

So why do the righteous moral protests and threats to withhold communion fall deafeningly silent the moment prominent Catholic politicians, like leading Republic nominee Rick Santorum, campaign on violating core Church teachings on torture?