Skip to comments.How should Catholics vote? [editorial from the LA Times]
Posted on 08/25/2008 10:22:14 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Pope Benedict XVI has bestowed a key position on an American prelate who was the leader of a faction in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that believes Catholic voters should judge political candidates primarily by their views on abortion. With a presidential election looming, supporters of the separation of church and state can hope that the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis as the head of the Vatican's supreme judicial body will defuse the controversy in the church about single-issue voting.
Burke, an icon of conservative Catholics, is best known as the prelate who announced in 2004 that he would deny Holy Communion to Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, because he was pro-choice. Burke's insistence that voting for pro-choice policies is the equivalent of procuring an abortion, and thus disqualification for the sacraments, puts him at one pole of a debate within the U.S. hierarchy. Now in Rome, he reiterated this view this week in a magazine interview.
At the other pole are churchmen such as Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, who has been savaged by conservative Catholics for refusing to bar pro-choice Catholics such as Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Communion rail. Asked how he would respond to Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, Wuerl replied: "Teach. That is what Jesus did."
Whatever the theological validity of Wuerl's approach, it is consistent with John F. Kennedy's description of the relationship between church and state in his historic address to Protestant ministers in Houston in 1960. Kennedy said: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Anyone who has an abortion; abets in an abortion; or supports abortion or a politician who favors abortion, has committed a mortal sin, and must go to confession to erase that stain from one’s soul.
A choose life ping back at you
I do not believe the Catholic Church has an official position against the death penalty.
It is the personal opinion of some higher ups in the church.
Can anyone show me where any Pope has officially decreed the death penalty to be morally wrong. - Tom
No ex cathedra statement.
[Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]
Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding ones worthiness to do so, according to the Churchs objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to Gods law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a persons formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Churchs teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the persons subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the persons public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
You really need to get out of your office and teach to your flock.
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1 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion,
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2 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A
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2 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3),
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gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent
I know I will be savaged for this but ultimately when we see Catholics who ignore the teachings of the Church (cafeteria Catholics) it is a reflection of the “protestantization” of the Church in America, where each individual believes that they are their own theologian to determine their own personal truth based on their own personal interpretation of scripture and in this case their own personal interpretation of Church documents and positions.
The Catholic Church is not a monolith. There is a 2000 year history of lively debate within the house. And that debate continues today.
I don't think a politician who advocates abortion should be given communion. I am glad to see Rome speaking clearly on this issue. But there will always be disagreement and dissent within the Catholic Church, even among bishops. This has nothing to do with Protestantism. After all each Protestant church is mainly one aspect of Catholicism emphasized to the exclusion of all other aspects. As G.K. Chesterton said, all that is best in Protestantism will survive in the Catholic Church.
and here another official vatican position
The catholic church has a long history for being against the death penalty and supporting the death penalty is clearly against the faith.
But where you really would be surprised are the comments of the pope about the war in Iraq and the US foreign policy.
I think separation of church and state is a good thing because i have my doubts that following the official catholic line would favor the republican party in general.
Opposition to the death penalty is a matter of opinion held by the church hierarchy. It is not a matter of dogma. No Pope has issued an ex-cathedra statement against the death penalty.
The people in the pews are just as Catholic as the Pope and are entitled to their opinions too- until the Pope makes the official call.
Then to hold a contrary opinion would make them heretics. - Tom
If someone is catholic as i am and believes that abortion is a crime as i do. Then someone must also be against the death penalty for the same reasons.
faith and the position of your church isn´t ( at least in my opinion) something for cherry picking.
But faith is a individual and personal decision and should not be a part of politics