Where did the idea that Catholics, whether laity or Cleric, shouldn't let their faith and their politics mix? Seriously, as a faithful and somewhat knowledgable Catholic, I just don't think that there is any notion more absurd.
This is the card that "catholics" play when wanting to wash their hands of any sort of complicity they have as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. This is their trump card so they can still be of this world, yet Luke-warmly claim to be a "catholic".
If our faith doesn't transform everything, and I mean everything in our life, then we aren't all in, we are Luke warm and that is NOT a good thing. It is not what we are called to be. The first commandment is to Love God, with all our heart, soul and mind, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves. That encapsulates, pretty much our obligation as Faithful God fearing Catholics. How do we love God, well, some of us seem to think that loving God entails having warm, cozy, snuggle feelings about God. It all about the emotion! It means that we cry when we watch the Passion and that we really think Jesus is a cool, neat person, that we admire and would like to know. The problem is a very relativistic way want to "know" Jesus. This is knowing Jesus on our own terms and according to our own definitions. We attribute "faith" to be whatever it is that makes us feel good, because that is what we turn Christ into, a feel good label that we define and dictate. We can then go about twisting and distorting what the Church teaches to our own desires, likes and circumstances as we conform the "faith" into what fits our lifestyles, wants and desires. This is called Heresy, blasphemy and apostasy!
Sorry Charlie, the faith is anything but that. That is a very prideful and arrogant definition of the Catholic Faith, and not the Catholic Faith at all. If we are truly Catholic, then we abide and obey everything the Church says we must. That is not easy, and it isn't supposed to be. Why in the world would anyone think that getting into Heaven would be easy, and that is the whole purpose for the Church's existence. Jesus himself said, that we must be perfect to enter Heaven! The Church does not exist primarily to provide Charity to the underprivileged and do good works. The Church exists to make Saints, and She does this extraordinarily well in every age. Becoming a Saint isn't easy though, I mean, read about the lives of the Saint. It is not reading for the faint of heart. They all struggled with how to be Catholic and they paid terrible temporal prices and sacrifices on that road to holiness, because becoming holy takes a lot of work, effort and subordination. We don't define for ourselves what to believe, we just work at understanding it as best we can, so that we can believe, and then when it's too hard to believe, like so much of the supranational is, we have Faith, that is the very definition of Faith.
In our age, it has become so difficult, because there are so many self-proclaimed and self defining "catholics" out their distorting what the Church teaches and believes, both among the clerics and laity. There seems to be a misunderstanding that this is okay and acceptable, but it is not. So when we go to an abortion clinic to protest the killing of babies, and a woman with an anguished face and disposition walks by us and moves us to pity and compassion, we don't give up by letting Satan convince us that we don't have a right to tell that woman what to do regarding her baby's life. We don't let our feelings dictate what we believe about being pro-life, because it isn't up to us, it is up to God. We don't our feelings define our religion. We don't know and love an experience as Catholics, we strive to know and love God. God decides such things, and we execute those decrees from Him. That is what the Church does, and that is why we must find those who authentically teach what the church decrees!
It is so important. Not knowing what the Church teaches is a choice. All the resources to find out exist, if we choose to not learn how we are to live as dictated by the Church, and then follow that as best we can, and with true and sincere effort, then we commit the sin of omission and are not moving toward holiness, or Sainthood. As a matter of fact, we are walking in the opposite direction and heading toward Hell. Look to the Saints, if you are confused about what to do, look and see what they did or what they had to say about any subject.
A Catholic not being political is a farce. Politics is the way we see the world and then navigate it in our lives. If we are not being political, then we are not being the Catholics we are called to be. If we aren't living the Faith every minute, every hour, every day, or at least trying! it, then our souls are dying. It is possible to live this life with a soul that is near dead, so be a political Catholic, because you simply cannot separate the two.