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US Bishops Urge Voters to Give Priority to Life [Ecumenical]
Catholic Exchange.com ^ | May 30th, 2008 | Colin Mason

Posted on 05/30/2008 7:59:13 PM PDT by Salvation

US Bishops Urge Voters to Give Priority to Life

May 30th, 2008 by Colin Mason

Late last year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put out its strongest statement yet about the need for American voters to avoid voting for candidates who refuse to defend the sanctity of human life. This document urged Americans to involve their consciences in politics, a novel concept for some folks.

The document, entitled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, was released by the USCCB as a sort of “open letter” to American Catholics, advising them on the morality of certain important political issues. The document urged them not to submit to the moral pluralism that has infected so many otherwise sensible people.

The guidelines put in place by the American bishops are relentlessly clear, so specific that even the most committed loophole-searcher would be hard-pressed to dodge them. “Conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart,” the document declares unequivocally, “revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. … a legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.”

Some issues are more important than others, say the bishops, and the life issues are the most important of all. In the bishops’ own words:

“[34…] A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

“35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

“36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

“37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

“38. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation. Similarly, the kinds of laws and policies supported by public officials affect their spiritual well being . . .

“41. Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic teaching to examine candidate’s positions on issues affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy, and performance. It is important for all citizens ‘to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation . . .’

“42. As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”

Although the document mentions genocide and torture as human rights abuses that Catholics must oppose, the issue of abortion stands paramount in their thinking. Abortion is the central human rights issue in the U.S. today. While the United States is not guilty of institutionalized genocide or torture, over 4,000 abortions take place within her borders each day.

Remember, when election time rolls around, that the pro-life issue is always paramount. Consistently voting for life does not make Catholics and other Christians single-issue voters. Rather, it makes them sensible ones. Without the right to life, all other human rights are meaningless.

 

Colin Mason is the Director for Media Production atPopulation Research Institute.



TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; prolife
In other words, Catholics MUST always put their pro-life vote ABOVE the party vote.

Thus the democrats should not (my words) get ANY Catholic votes.

1 posted on 05/30/2008 7:59:14 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All

For that matter, I think any Christian voter should put pro-life issues above any party preferences.

Thoughts, anyone?


2 posted on 05/30/2008 8:00:03 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 05/30/2008 8:01:00 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

This should fall into the, “Pope is Catholic”, type of story.


4 posted on 05/30/2008 8:12:01 PM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: Salvation

I am not a Christian but I always vote pro-life. As for party preferences, I’ve met very few pro-life Democrats.


5 posted on 05/30/2008 8:12:20 PM PDT by darkangel82 (If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. (Say no to RINOs))
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To: darkangel82

**I’ve met very few pro-life Democrats.**

Isn’t that the truth. I know Obama has voted for Partial Birth Abortion and I think Hillary has too.

They will not get my vote.

True, McCain has been in favor of embryonic stemcell research, but I believe he will withdraw that support as his campaign matures.


6 posted on 05/30/2008 8:19:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Obama is way beyond partial birth abortion. He repeatedly supported infanticide of babies who survive botched abortions.


7 posted on 05/30/2008 8:31:53 PM PDT by freespirited
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To: freespirited

ping


8 posted on 05/30/2008 8:41:31 PM PDT by Renatus
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To: Salvation
In other words, Catholics MUST always put their pro-life vote ABOVE the party vote. Thus the democrats should not (my words) get ANY Catholic votes.

Now the church MUST make this a concerted effort & MUST deny these pols communion that promote abortions. That's a start.

9 posted on 05/30/2008 8:53:51 PM PDT by Digger (If RINO is your selection, then failure is your election)
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To: Digger

I think Pope Benedict XCI just put something out entitled similarly. I’ll look and link it for you to read.

Yes, there are a lot of Catholic CINOs in Congress who have voted on the wrong side of this. May the Lord have mercy on their souls.

Right now, they may NOT receive Communion.


10 posted on 05/30/2008 9:07:04 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Catholics will ignore this as they’ve ignored the ban on birth control.


11 posted on 05/30/2008 10:18:39 PM PDT by Redbob (WWJBD - "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Salvation
Is “the document” available in a pamphlet form??

It needs to be accessed by the misinformed, the obstinate and hard of heart.

12 posted on 05/31/2008 2:33:30 AM PDT by incredulous joe
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To: darkangel82
As for party preferences, I’ve met very few pro-life Democrats.

There are a few, but they don't usually vote against the Dem. party because they are fixated on how the Democrats are the best party to help the poor. They tend to forget that the Democrats have been saying that for years, and we only seem to get MORE poor, not less of them.

About the only way that Democrats win elections to Congress in blue-collar, largely Christian areas, is when the party manages to talk a pro-life, or pro-gun Democrat into running. That's what happened when Bob Casey Jr. won from PA, and most recently in the Special Election in North Mississippi. The GOP had a conservative enough candidate, but the Democrat came on as even more conservative, and won the election.

13 posted on 05/31/2008 7:52:35 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Salvation; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

14 posted on 05/31/2008 7:54:12 AM PDT by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: Redbob

Not so fast here. Catholics are changing.

If they don’t accept this they are basically excommmunicating themselves.


15 posted on 05/31/2008 7:58:11 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: incredulous joe

Check with USSCB


16 posted on 05/31/2008 7:58:34 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Actually, I hate to say it, but they are STILL weaseling.

For instance, there’s this, which echoes earlier statements on this subject: “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position.”

That’s the hooker.

Yes, racism is a grave evil. But it depends how you define the term. Does it mean that you don’t like blacks, or Jews, or Italians? That’s rather different from building a death camp or hanging people. It’s evil, but not on the scale of killing people.

Moreover, racism is currently defined as a sin that only whites can commit. What about blacks who hate whites? Do the bishops intend to say that you can’t vote for Obama, because he’s a racist? I strongly doubt it.

Furthermore, although the Republican party fought against slavery and mistreatment of blacks for a hundred years, virtually every voter in the country believes that they are anti-black, whereas the Democrats are pro black.

So, for practical purposes, putting abortion on a par with racism means that the Republicans and Democrats are, by definition, equally culpable. So you’d might as well vote for whoevere you like.

This is, of course, total nonsense. Abortion is always abortion, and always involves the intrinsic evil of taking a human life and degrading the dignity of human life. Racism involves a whole spectrum of evils, from mild to extreme. I don’t know ANY politicians on the national scene today who are running as racists, with a platform of reintroducing slavery. But I do know plenty who openly support abortion whenever it’s convenient.

Once again, the Bishops have FAILED to do their job. And you can be sure they will shut up about abortion once again as election day nears.


17 posted on 05/31/2008 9:03:00 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Notice, too, that the bishops equate abortion and racism a second time in these extracted packages. This was clearly deliberate, and clearly a compromise introduced to satisfy their liberal bias:

“As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”

So, in othere words, it’s OK to vote for Teddy Kennedy, because his opponent is a Republican and therefore probably a racist.


18 posted on 05/31/2008 9:10:29 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Salvation

“In other words, Catholics MUST always put their pro-life vote ABOVE the party vote.”

Absolutely!

The Clintons would not have won without the Catholic vote, and we still have over one million abortions each and every year!


19 posted on 05/31/2008 8:11:06 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Cicero

But still a little bit more positive.

Keep your prayers coming.


20 posted on 06/01/2008 8:58:06 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Yes, indeed. Some of the new bishops are much better. I think you still have a majority who are dim enough to support a “compromise,” something along the lines of, “We’ll vote for saying that abortion is “intrinsically evil,” if you’ll agree to throw in something about racism and welfare for the poor.”

You know that a majority of bishops still doesn’t get it when they vote to put Donald Trautman in charge of the USCB liturgy committee, where he can prevent or delay Vatican reforms of liturgical language from going through.


21 posted on 06/01/2008 9:32:39 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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