But if Biden and Ryan share the same faith, they couldn't be further apart in their cultural and political worldviews. On issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes and Medicaid, they are miles apart.
John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron, says Catholics have never been so polarized. The divisions between liberal and conservative Catholics have been growing for decades, but this election has thrown it into sharp relief.
But he says there are millions of Catholics who don't really fit into either camp: the swing Catholics. For them, religious and social issues take a back seat.
"Those moderate Catholics tend to respond to the economic situation much more so than more conservative Catholics or liberal Catholics who tend to be strong partisans," Green says.
These Catholics are concentrated in some swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and parts of Florida. Now, they must choose between radically different views of governance — which both vice presidential candidates say are inspired by their faith.The idea that there is a monolithic "Catholic" vote is disproven. Moreover, the majority of the Catholic vote, if it exists, doesn't line up with the values of the Bishops.
[W]hile polls show that Catholics care deeply about social issues, they aren’t focused on the issues you might expect. A recent RNS/PRRI poll found that 62 percent of Catholics support stricter gun control laws—the second-highest of any group polled, behind African American Protestants. Other polls find increasing support among Catholics for same-sex marriage, and a majority reported that President Obama—who is pro-choice and recently announced his support for gay marriage—reflected their views on social issues.
The majority of Catholics believe employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception, despite the controversy between the bishops and the Obama administration over this issue.
Catholics are also especially moved by issues that affect the poor. A 2011 survey found that 67 percent of Catholics consider helping the poor to be central to Catholic identity (by comparison, only 64 percent found the belief that Mary is the mother of God to be a core Catholic belief), and Catholic leaders frequently cite the need to protect the poor as their impetus for political advocacy.Meanwhile, the mendacious Timothy Cardinal Dolan will speak at the Republican convention. There is no longer any pretense: the Roman Catholic hierarchy is a branch of the Republican party.
"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
George Orwell, Animal Farm.