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A ten minute video presentation: Is It A Sin To Vote For Pro-Abortion Candidates?
Surprised by Truth ^ | Patrick Madrid

Posted on 10/03/2004 10:21:55 PM PDT by

Patrick Madrid, a Catholic apologist does an excellent job using scripture to explain why ALL Christians are called to vote in defense of life—and why it IS INDEED a sin to vote for pro-abortion politicians.

I believe our Protestant brethren will agree with this presentation as well.

The video file is 10 Megs and 10 minutes long. IMO—it is excellent and I recommend it be forwarded to as many as possible, especially fence sitters.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionismurder; babies; ballot; catholicvote; children; chooselife; crime; democrats; dnc; election; humanlife; johnkerry; kerry; life; murder; prolife; rats; righttolife; sin; vote; voteprolife; voters; voting
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1 posted on 10/03/2004 10:21:55 PM PDT by
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for the video file.

2 posted on 10/03/2004 10:23:10 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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To: MHGinTN; Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...

Please let me know if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.

3 posted on 10/03/2004 10:24:43 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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It depends on the situation and the views of the choice of candidates, in my humble opinion.

I will watch the video.

4 posted on 10/03/2004 10:32:53 PM PDT by TOUGH STOUGH
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I believe abortion is what grieves God the most of all the sins we commit as a nation.......just my opinion...funny isn't it that the left protest the war, but they think nothing of sticking a sharp object into the base of the skull, of a defenseless baby. There is alot of irony in it. W is making the attempt to help the defenseless babies, I know God will honer for voting for a pro-abortionist.....I guess that is up to your conscience. God will be the one that judges, the choice you make.

5 posted on 10/03/2004 10:33:40 PM PDT by marmar (Faith is a beautiful thing.....)
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6 posted on 10/03/2004 10:35:08 PM PDT by ppaul
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Thank you, CP.

7 posted on 10/03/2004 10:39:03 PM PDT by Lexinom (America needs Jonathan Edwards, not John Edwards)
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To:; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...

8 posted on 10/03/2004 10:47:08 PM PDT by Coleus (
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I believe we must remember that, if both candidates support abortion, then not voting for one because of that belief is the same as supporting the other so, it can not be a sin in that instance as we have a choice to sin or not to sin.

I believe that single issue voters often fail to recognize the net results of their actions.

9 posted on 10/03/2004 10:49:34 PM PDT by sharktrager (Nobody deserves our hostility when they are in a time of need.)
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Is it a sin to pretend some candidates are "pro-life" just because others are honestly "pro-choice"?

10 posted on 10/03/2004 10:52:49 PM PDT by Askel5 ( Cooperatio voluntaria ad suicidium est legi morali contraria. )
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To: marmar
funny isn't it that the left protest the war, but they think nothing of sticking a sharp object into the base of the skull, of a defenseless baby.

...or rip a little boy's limbs off one-by-one.
...or sucking a little girl out her warm, secure, little home with a powerful vaccum connected to a knife-edged nozzle, scrambling her into little bits
...or poisoning the teeny-tiny little guy...

Regardless of the method employed, all abortion is reprehensible and the more cruel for the apparent indifference of its practitioners.

God is not merely grieved. He is filling up the full measure of wrath, stoking the flames of hell with every opprobrious defiance of His holy Law, be it abortion, or mocking Him to his face by the fashioning of some god besides the Truine God of Scripture.

11 posted on 10/03/2004 10:56:41 PM PDT by Lexinom (America needs Jonathan Edwards, not John Edwards)
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I don't have time tonight but by tomorrow will post today's homily on ACTING in comport with the "personal values" for which you were elected in the first place.

Actions speak louder than words ... though those words which appear in the Republican memoranda and reports to Congress regarding abortion as linchpin of our population control program or the steps they suggested we take to avoid a thing they called "down-breeding" certainly do give one pause where the so-called "pro-life" party is concerned.

If we'd have even one PEEP of retractions in the last 30 years ... one pretense of metanoia or epiphany regarding their ideas, their arguments, their policies and their funding it might be one thing.

Feigning some kind of horror that Alan Guttmacher would follow Republican logic to its ultimate conclusion and make abortion the 'rallying cry' of Planned Parenthood just doesn't cut it ... particularly coming from the "abortions in the first trimester only" lips of just ONE of the consistently pro-abort Pubbie First Wives.

12 posted on 10/03/2004 10:57:29 PM PDT by Askel5 ( Cooperatio voluntaria ad suicidium est legi morali contraria. )
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=== why it IS INDEED a sin to vote for pro-abortion politicians.

I hate this language. Hate it.

Not since the Kennedy Administration and the trotting out of Catholic pols whose consciousness on birth control was raised courtesy of Hesburghs closed door conferences have I ever seen such a calculated use of Catholics by the (from all appearances) yet rabidly anti-Catholic heirs of the Know Nothings.

Playing us like a piano. It's sickening.

13 posted on 10/03/2004 11:00:38 PM PDT by Askel5 ( Cooperatio voluntaria ad suicidium est legi morali contraria. )
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Can you really imagine Jesus voting for abortion anytime for any reason?

14 posted on 10/03/2004 11:00:40 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Askel5; sharktrager; All
See 8 - 10 below:


A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters

Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD

1. Isn’t conscience the same as my own opinions and feelings? And doesn’t everyone have the right to his or her own conscience?

Conscience is NOT the same as your opinions or feelings. Conscience cannot be identical with your feelings because conscience is the activity of your intellect in judging the rightness or wrongness of your actions or omissions, past, present, or future, while your feelings come from another part of your soul and should be governed by your intellect and will. Conscience is not identical with your opinions because your intellect bases its judgment upon the natural moral law, which is inherent in your human nature and is identical with the Ten Commandments. Unlike the civil laws made by legislators, or the opinions that you hold, the natural moral law is not anything that you invent, but rather discover within yourself and is the governing norm of your conscience. In short, Conscience is the voice of truth within you, and your opinions need to be in harmony with that truth. As a Catholic, you have the benefit of the Church’s teaching authority or Magisterium endowed upon her by Christ. The Magisterium assists you and all people of good will in understanding the natural moral law as it relates to specific issues. As a Catholic, you have the obligation to be correctly informed and normed by the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. As for your feelings, they need to be educated by virtue so as to be in harmony with conscience’s voice of truth. In this way, you will have a sound conscience, according to which we you will feel guilty when you are guilty, and feel morally upright when you are morally upright. We should strive to avoid the two opposite extremes of a lax conscience and a scrupulous conscience. Meeting the obligation of continually attending to this formation of conscience will increase the likelihood that, in the actual operation or activity of conscience, you will act with a certain conscience, which clearly perceives that a given concrete action is a good action that was rightly done or should be done. Being correctly informed and certain in the actual operation of conscience is the goal of the continuing formation of conscience. Otherwise put, you should strive to avoid being incorrectly informed and doubtful in the actual judgment of conscience about a particular action or omission. You should never act on a doubtful conscience.

2. Is it morally permissible to vote for all candidates of a single party?

This would depend on the positions held by the candidates of a single party. If any one or more of them held positions that were opposed to the natural moral law, then it would not be morally permissible to vote for all candidates of this one party. Your correctly informed conscience transcends the bounds of any one political party.

3. If I think that a pro-abortion candidate will, on balance, do much more for the culture of life than a pro-life candidate, why may I not vote for the pro-abortion candidate?

If a political candidate supported abortion, or any other moral evil, such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, for that matter, it would not be morally permissible for you to vote for that person. This is because, in voting for such a person, you would become an accomplice in the moral evil at issue. For this reason, moral evils such as abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are examples of a “disqualifying issue.” A disqualifying issue is one which is of such gravity and importance that it allows for no political maneuvering. It is an issue that strikes at the heart of the human person and is non-negotiable. A disqualifying issue is one of such enormity that by itself renders a candidate for office unacceptable regardless of his position on other matters. You must sacrifice your feelings on other issues because you know that you cannot participate in any way in an approval of a violent and evil violation of basic human rights. A candidate for office who supports abortion rights or any other moral evil has disqualified himself as a person that you can vote for. You do not have to vote for a person because he is pro-life. But you may not vote for any candidate who supports abortion rights. Key to understanding the point above about “disqualifying issues” is the distinction between policy and moral principle. On the one hand, there can be a legitimate variety of approaches to accomplishing a morally acceptable goal. For example, in a society’s effort to distribute the goods of health care to its citizens, there can be legitimate disagreement among citizens and political candidates alike as to whether this or that health care plan would most effectively accomplish society’s goal. In the pursuit of the best possible policy or strategy, technical as distinct (although not separate) from moral reason is operative. Technical reason is the kind of reasoning involved in arriving at the most efficient or effective result. On the other hand, no policy or strategy that is opposed to the moral principles of the natural law is morally acceptable. Thus, technical reason should always be subordinate to and normed by moral reason, the kind of reasoning that is the activity of conscience and that is based on the natural moral law.

4. If I have strong feelings or opinions in favor of a particular candidate, even if he is pro-abortion, why may I not vote for him?

As explained in question 1 above, neither your feelings nor your opinions are identical with your conscience. Neither your feelings nor your opinions can take the place of your conscience. Your feelings and opinions should be governed by your conscience. If the candidate about whom you have strong feelings or opinions is pro-abortion, then your feelings and opinions need to be corrected by your correctly informed conscience, which would tell you that it is wrong for you to allow your feelings and opinions to give lesser weight to the fact that the candidate supports a moral evil.

5. If I may not vote for a pro-abortion candidate, then should it not also be true that I can’t vote for a pro-capital punishment candidate?

It is not correct to think of abortion and capital punishment as the very same kind of moral issue. On the one hand, direct abortion is an intrinsic evil, and cannot be justified for any purpose or in any circumstances. On the other hand, the Church has always taught that it is the right and responsibility of the legitimate temporal authority to defend and preserve the common good, and more specifically to defend citizens against the aggressor. This defense against the aggressor may resort to the death penalty if no other means of defense is sufficient. The point here is that the death penalty is understood as an act of self-defense on the part of civil society. In more recent times, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II has taught that the need for such self-defense to resort to the death penalty is “rare, if not virtually nonexistent.” Thus, while the Pope is saying that the burden of proving the need for the death penalty in specific cases should rest on the shoulders of the legitimate temporal authority, it remains true that the legitimate temporal authority alone has the authority to determine if and when a “rare” case arises that warrants the death penalty. Moreover, if such a rare case does arise and requires resorting to capital punishment, this societal act of self-defense would be a *morally good action* even if it does have the unintended and unavoidable evil effect of the death of the aggressor. Thus, unlike the case of abortion, it would be morally irresponsible to rule out all such “rare” possibilities a priori, just as it would be morally irresponsible to apply the death penalty indiscriminately.

6. If I think that a candidate who is pro-abortion has better ideas to serve the poor, and the pro-life candidate has bad ideas that will hurt the poor, why may I not vote for the candidate that has the better ideas for serving the poor?

Serving the poor is not only admirable, but also obligatory for Catholics as an exercise of solidarity. Solidarity has to do with the sharing of both spiritual and material goods, and with what the Church calls the preferential option for the poor. This preference means that we have the duty to give priority to helping those most needful, both materially and spiritually. Beginning in the family, solidarity extends to every human association, even to the international moral order. Based on the response to question 3 above, two important points must be made. First, when it comes to the matter of determining how social and economic policy can best serve the poor, there can be a legitimate variety of approaches proposed, and therefore legitimate disagreement among voters and candidates for office. Secondly, solidarity can never be at the price of embracing a “disqualifying issue.” Besides, when it comes to the unborn, abortion is a most grievous offense against solidarity, for the unborn are surely among society’s most needful. The right to life is a paramount issue because as Pope John Paul II says it is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.” If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with the unborn, he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone.

7. If a candidate says that he is personally opposed to abortion but feels the need to vote for it under the circumstances, doesn’t this candidate’s personal opposition to abortion make it morally permissible for me to vote for him, especially if I think that his other views are the best for people, especially the poor?

A candidate for office who says that he is personally opposed to abortion but actually votes in favor of it is either fooling himself or trying to fool you. Outside of the rare case in which a hostage is forced against his will to perform evil actions with his captors, a person who carries out an evil action  such as voting for abortion  performs an immoral act, and his statement of personal opposition to the moral evil of abortion is either self-delusion or a lie. If you vote for such a candidate, you would be an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion. Therefore, it is not morally permissible to vote for such a candidate for office, even, as explained in questions 3 and 6 above, you think that the candidate’s other views are best for the poor.

8. What if none of the candidates are completely pro-life?

As Pope John Paul II explains in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), “…when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.” Logically, it follows from these words of the Pope that a voter may likewise vote for that candidate who will most likely limit the evils of abortion or any other moral evil at issue.

9. What if one leading candidate is anti-abortion except in the cases of rape or incest, another leading candidate is completely pro-abortion, and a trailing candidate, not likely to win, is completely anti-abortion. Would I be obliged to vote for the candidate not likely to win?

In such a case, the Catholic voter may clearly choose to vote for the candidate not likely to win. In addition, the Catholic voter may assess that voting for that candidate might only benefit the completely pro-abortion candidate, and, precisely for the purpose of curtailing the evil of abortion, decide to vote for the leading candidate that is anti-abortion but not perfectly so. This decision would be in keeping with the words of the Pope quoted in question 8 above.

10. What if all the candidates from whom I have to choose are pro-abortion? Do I have to abstain from voting at all? What do I do?

Obviously, one of these candidates is going to win the election. Thus, in this dilemma, you should do your best to judge which candidate would do the least moral harm. However, as explained in question 5 above, you should not place a candidate who is pro-capital punishment (and anti-abortion) in the same moral category as a candidate who is pro-abortion. Faced with such a set of candidates, there would be no moral dilemma, and the clear moral obligation would be to vote for the candidate who is pro-capital punishment, not necessarily because he is pro-capital punishment, but because he is anti-abortion.

11. Is not the Church’s stand that abortion must be illegal a bit of an exception? Does not the Church generally hold that government should restrict its legislation of morality significantly?

The Church’s teaching that abortion should be illegal is not an exception. St. Thomas Aquinas put it this way: “Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.” [ emphasis added]. Abortion qualifies as a grievous vice that hurts others, and the lack of prohibition of this evil by society is something by which human society cannot be maintained. As Pope John Paul II has emphasized, the denial of the right to life, in principle, sets the stage, in principle, for the denial of all other rights.

12. What about elected officials who happen to be of the same party affiliation? Are they committing a sin by being in the same party, even if they don’t advocate pro-choice views? Are they guilty by association?

Being of the same political party as those who advocate pro-abortion is indeed a serious evil IF I belong to this political party IN ORDER TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF with that party’s advocacy of pro-abortion policies. However, it can also be true that being of such a political party has as its purpose to change the policies of the party. Of course, if this is the purpose, one would have to consider whether it is reasonable to think the political party’s policies can be changed. Assuming that it is reasonable to think so, then it would be morally justifiable to remain in that political party. Remaining in that political party cannot be instrumental in the advancing of pro-abortion policies (especially if I am busily striving to change the party’s policies) as can my VOTING for candidates or for a political party with a pro-abortion policy.

13. What about voting for a pro-abortion person for something like state treasurer, in which case the candidate would have no say on matters of life in the capacity of her duties, it just happens to be her personal position. This would not be a sin, right?

If someone were running for state treasurer and that candidate made it a point to state publicly that he was in favor of exterminating people over the age of 70, would you vote for him? The fact that the candidate has that evil in his mind tells you that there are easily other evils in his mind; and the fact that he would publicly state it is a danger signal. If personal character matters in a political candidate, and personal character involves the kind of thoughts a person harbors, then such a candidate who publicly states that he is in favor of the evil of exterminating people over the age of 70 - or children who are unborn - has also disqualified himself from receiving a Catholic’s vote. I would go further and say that such a candidate, in principle - in the light of the natural law - disqualifies himself from public office.

14. Is it a mortal sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate?

Except in the case in which a voter is faced with all pro-abortion candidates (in which case, as explained in question 8 above, he or she strives to determine which of them would cause the let damage in this regard), a candidate that is pro-abortion disqualifies himself from receiving a Catholic’s vote. This is because being pro-abortion cannot simply be placed alongside the candidate's other positions on Medicare and unemployment, for example; and this is because abortion is intrinsically evil and cannot be morally justified for any reason or set of circumstances. To vote for such a candidate even with the knowledge that the candidate is pro-abortion is to become an accomplice in the moral evil of abortion. If the voter also knows this, then the voter sins mortally.


Stephen F. Torraco


Back to Voting



15 posted on 10/03/2004 11:05:55 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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To: Askel5

I wrote "why it IS INDEED a sin to vote for pro-abortion politicians." Actually I wrote the entire original thread recommending the video.

I'm not "playing" anybody or anything with regards to the election or on voting in defense of life.

I have stated many times on this forum that Bush is by no means fully Pro-Life, but that he is the best option we have at the moment.

Sadly there are no perfect pro-life candidates that are electable.

I have said we have to do SOMETHING. I am doing the best I can with what I've got to work with.

You seem to tear everything down without offering any alternatives. What options do you offer?
16 posted on 10/03/2004 11:17:27 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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To: Lexinom
Amen! While not a "holy roller" myself, I fully agree with your analogy. Dues for sins will be paid at judgment day. The Lord has spoken in the past of such consequences.
17 posted on 10/03/2004 11:24:26 PM PDT by left handed righty
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To: left handed righty

Welcome to Free Republic.

18 posted on 10/03/2004 11:26:58 PM PDT by Lexinom (America needs Jonathan Edwards, not John Edwards)
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To: Askel5; sharktrager; All

The article below is as specific to our current situation as it gets, and the good Bishop specifically names names and pulls no punches.

Please tell me if you disagree and what alternative you offer if you do disagree.

"One Reason is Proportionate: Defense of Innocent Human Life", says Bishop Gracida
BROWNSVILLE, September 21, 2004 ( - Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi Texas, has written a letter to the editor of the Brownsville Herald, giving his clarification on the contentious issue of 'proportionate reasons' for a Catholic to vote for a pro-abortion politician. Naming names, he writes that Catholics cannot vote for presidential candidate John Kerry. To do so, he says, "would be formal cooperation in the sin of abortion if that candidate were to be elected and assist in passing legislation that would remove restrictions on abortion on demand."

He says that it is not enough to make a mental reservation that a voter is not supporting a pro-abortion politician because of his stand on abortion. The reasons to support the politician must be objectively 'proportionate.' He further states that the usual reasons cited, a candidate's stand "on war, or taxes, or the death penalty, or immigration, or a national health plan, or Social Security, or AIDS, or homosexuality, or marriage," are not important enough. They are, he says, "simply lacking in proportionality."

There is only one reason, says the retired bishop, that would be proportional to the killing of millions of innocent children through abortion. The bishop addresses a question that frequently vexes pro-life voters, that of having three bad choices. "Consider the case of a Catholic voter who must choose between three candidates: Kerry, who is completely for abortion on demand, Bush, who is in favor of very limited abortion, i.e., in favor of greatly restricting abortion and Peroutka, a candidate who is completely against abortion but who is universally recognized as being unelectable," he writes.

Without directly telling Catholic voters to support Bush, the bishop makes a strong logical case that this could be considered the only choice. "The Catholic can vote for Peroutka, but that will probably only help ensure the election of Kerry. Therefore the Catholic voter has a proportionate reason to vote for Bush, since his vote might help to ensure the defeat of Kerry and might result in the saving of some innocent human lives."

To read Bishop Gracida's full letter:

19 posted on 10/03/2004 11:33:14 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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Battling the 'heretics' at the Republican National Convention; Former Corpus Christi bishop prays for Bush victory

By Joe Feuerherd

Washington Notebook was at the Republican National Convention, Aug. 29-Sept. 2.

NEW YORK -- The delegates and other Bush supporters gathered Sept. 2 for the "Catholic Outreach" rally on the closing day of the Republican National Convention bowed their heads as the retired bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, offered the benediction. "Help them," Bishop Rene Gracida asked God, "to achieve the election of George W. Bush as president of this great nation."

So much for subtlety.

But this was not an understated event. No, after three nights of seeing the "moderate" pro-choice (and Catholic) face of the Republican Party showcased through the speeches of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, these true believers longed for meat and potatoes Republican Catholicism.

And that's what they got.

"Isn't it great to be among Catholics who aren't afraid to be political?" Fr. Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, asked the hundreds of Republican delegates and other Bush supporters gathered in the Times Square hotel ballroom. "And isn't it great to find a few priests who aren't afraid to be political?" Pavone offered the invocation, urging the Almighty to intervene so that "when [Catholic voters] go into the voting booth they do not cease to be your people."

While abortion is the "No. 1" issue, same-sex marriage is a "tremendous motivator for people who have never been involved" in politics, Virginia State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli told the delegates. Cuccinelli, a member of the Republican National Committee's "Catholic Working Group," noted that recent polls show an upswing in antiabortion sentiment among young voters. He offered a partial explanation: "Pro-life people are bearing the children and pro-abortion people are killing them.

"The 'culture of death,' " said Cuccinelli, "is self-limiting."

Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns asked his wife, Stephanie, to join him at the podium. "We're proud to say we're members of the Lincoln diocese" where, said Johanns, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz "leads in a very conservative way and we love it." Further, the Johanns' home parish is St. Mary's in the state capitol of Lincoln. "So we're not only in the most conservative diocese in the country, but we're also members of the most conservative parish - and we love that."

When President Bush was Texas governor, he visited Nebraska, Johanns recalled.

"Mike, do you read the Bible?" Johanns recalled Bush asking. Johanns said he assured his gubernatorial colleague that he did.

"That's the kind of man I want to be president of the United States," Johanns told the delegates.

Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, a recent convert to Catholicism, said Bush's reelection was vital. "I can't think of anything more important to our faith than getting that job done," said Brownback.

New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, the event's master of ceremonies, said Kerry's support of federal funding for abortion, his opposition to the ban on partial birth abortion, his support for international family planning programs, and his embrace of embryonic stem cell research "makes it abundantly clear that he wants to be the abortion president."

Human embryos stored for research purposes can be saved, said Smith. "Sixty babies have been thawed and adopted," said Smith, and more embryos can "be saved and adopted." He continued: "We believe that no child, born or unborn, should be left behind."

Republican National Committee Catholic Outreach director Martin Gillespie offered the first of several political conversion stories. "The values of my grandfather's Democratic Party have nothing to do with the values of today's Democratic Party," which, said Gillespie, is dominated by pro-choice advocacy groups and "drug legalizers."

"They have told us Catholics that we can take our values and our votes and go somewhere else … and we're glad to do it," said Gillespie.

Minnesota Rep. Mark Kennedy cited the Jan. 2003 doctrinal note from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the "Participation of Catholics in Political Life." It is now "impossible" for a Catholic legislator to support abortion-rights, said Kennedy. This is "no longer allowed within the church," he said. On Iraq, said Kennedy, "people of good will can differ."

By the time Gracida rose to offer the benediction, the crowd had thinned. But he still had something to say.

It is "sad to say that there are some bishops who are not strongly pro-life," the youthful looking 81-year-old prelate told the remaining delegates. Many bishops are "timid and afraid."

The "heresy" promoted by pro-choice Catholics is similar to the Arian heresy of the fourth century which, said Gracida, was overcome largely by the faith of the laity. The bishops, he told the delegates "need you to light a fire under them."

Following the event, Gracida told a reporter that there is a distinction between the pro-choice positions advocated by John Kerry and those supported by such convention speakers as Giuliani, Schwarzenegger and New York Gov. George Pataki.

"Schwarzenegger is not 100 percent pro-abortion -- he is to some extent, to a large extent, pro-life," Gracida said of the California governor. "Same way with Giuliani. Therefore, one must be careful not to issue a sweeping condemnation of everyone who has reservations about one or another aspect of human life and to recognize that it is only those like John Kerry who are 100 percent pro-abortion who deserve condemnation."

In fact, Schwarzenegger is generally considered pro-choice, though he favors a ban on "partial birth abortions." Giuliani is a strong supporter of abortion rights and opposed the ban on partial birth abortions (a position that Gracida, when challenged, said that he was not aware of.)

Meanwhile, Gracida was handing out business cards to those who approached him. But they didn't bear his name. Rather, they had the name and contact information of Marc Balestrieri, the Santa Monica-based canon lawyer who recently petitioned the Vatican to have John Kerry declared a heretic.

The e-mail address for Joe Feuerherd is

20 posted on 10/03/2004 11:43:25 PM PDT by (Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease? Singing.... You are, you are, you are)
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