Monday, August 30, 2004

Faithful Catholics should vote for Bush; grave sin to vote for Kerry

In this piece, Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas, issued a valuable statement explaining “proportionate reasons”:

When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons strictly defined.

Since abortion and euthanasia have been defined by the Church as the most serious sins prevalent in our society, what kind of reasons could possibly be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion? None of the reasons commonly suggested could even begin to be proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for such a candidate. Reasons such as the candidate’s position on war, or taxes, or the death penalty, or immigration, or a national health plan, or social security, or aids, or homosexuality, or marriage, or any similar burning societal issues of our time are simply lacking in proportionality.

There is only one thing that could be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion, and that is the protection of innocent human life. That may seem to be contradictory, but it is not.

Consider the case of a Catholic voter who must choose between three candidates: Candidate A, who is completely for abortion-on-demand, Candidate B, who is in favor of very limited abortion, i.e., in favor of greatly restricting abortion, and Candidate C, a candidate who is completely against abortion but who is universally recognized as being unelectable. The Catholic voter cannot vote for Candidate A because that would be formal cooperation in the sin of abortion if that candidate were to be elected and assist in passing legislation which would remove restrictions on abortion-on-demand. The Catholic can vote for Candidate C but that will probably only help ensure the election of Candidate A. Therefore the Catholic voter has a proportionate reason to vote for Candidate B, since his vote may help to ensure the defeat of Candidate A and may result in the saving of some innocent human lives if Candidate B is elected and votes for legislation restricting abortion-on-demand. In such a case the Catholic voter would have chosen the lesser of two evils which is morally permissible under these circumstances.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally agree with your reasoning here, though it is flawed. Why is this such a highly charged and dividing issue? I think we agree it's fairly obvious. It's obvious that the next elected president will and can do nothing significant to alter the current entrenched lines of policy when it comes to abortion laws.
Nevertheless, it appears that you are making a hard line statement here: Grave sin to vote for Kerry? Is this really your statement, to condemn people who vote for Kerry? It's a pretty serious charge that not even the Pope is willing to make. But I guess we should look to other authorities to level that charge.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not willing to vote for Kerry because of his stand on abortion period. I also am not going over to the Kerry group to preach to them. If you don't like what we say here, you certainly are free to not read our articles. We are not going to change on this one.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's o.k. to have hard line opinions like yours- it's just not sanctioned by the Catholic Church or the Pope. So when you make a serious charge that the Catholic Church does not support, and demean Catholics and their faith, I take offense. I am not judging you- I just choose to ignore your statement, because I trust the Catholic Church and the Pope more than I trust you.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do Catholics and president Bush care so much about the unborn but once born you tend to lose focus? Fact: More poverty today than 4 years ago, Fact: less health care than 4 years ago, Fact: less education for children than 4 years ago, Fact: and almost 1000 Americans and untold Iraqi children dead in a war created by Bush that the Pope disagrees with.

Catholics and Bush supporters.... Get your priorities straight!

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unborn babies is the holy pot of gold, more valuable than St. John's left nut. But once their outta the womb, drinking the polluted water and breathing the polluted air, and trying to rummage up some food from the trash can, it's the responsibility of the crackhead mother.

7:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

For those who think Catholics care little for life after it is outside the womb, how do you explain, initiatives like Project Rachel, Catholic Charities adoption services, real Catholic support of immigration services, Catholic hospitals providing medical care for those who would not be receiving it, Catholic care facilities for the elderly, Catholic schools providing quality education for impoverished kids, and mission activities here in this country and around the world which bring Christ to those who would otherwise not know Him? Catholics have done more to support and care for life in AND outside the womb, than it has been given credit for.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa there now- I wasn't condemning Catholics for not being helpful with charitable causes- I know they do much good to help the poor and needy. This thread was about 'Grave Sin to Vote Kerry'. The Catholic Church and Pope don't think this is so. But certainly other people who think they know better are stating this as if were Canon. I must say again, either the Catholic Church and the Pope know better, or you do. I tend to trust them more than you.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Boston Globe's James Carroll is trying hard to inspire "general outrage" and thereby help Senator Kerry by falsely telling his readers, especially his Catholic readers, that Republicans are misrepresenting Senator Kerry and attacking "Kerry's religion."

Those readers should be outraged with Carroll and Kerry, especially Catholic readers.

Carroll, a nominal Catholic who rejects absolute truths, shamelessly assured his readers that Kerry is a devoted Catholic, based upon having "observed the senator at prayer" over years; impugned a sound challenge to Kerry's "religious integrity" (while baselessly denouncing President Bush's religious integrity); sacrilegiously charged Kerry critics with "profaning...all that is sacred"; falsely claimed that Vatican II recognized "the primacy of conscience" over fundamental Church teaching, and ludicrously lauded the gravely sinful "public positions advanced by John Kerry" for reflecting a "spirit of openness."

The truth is that John Kerry is shamelessly posing for political purposes as a practicing Catholic in a state of grace and full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, Kerry's critics are NOT criticizing the principles of the Roman Catholic Church that Kerry is disregarding, and Carrroll is doing precisely what he charged Kerry's critics with doing: "lying about the meaning of Catholic faith...and moving the political exploitation of religion to a new low."

Carroll is the one who "twisted" what he claimed to be his own religion for political purposes.

Carroll is the liar, not the Republican National Committee.

The Republican National Committee is right to call attention to what Carroll unintendedly called "Kerry's religious unworthiness as a Catholic."

The Republican National Committee is right to "label" John Kerry as "wrong for Catholics."

Truth-in-advertising principles call for it.

John Kerry IS a heretic.

Marc A. Balestrieri has filed a denunciation to have Kerry's Boston Archdiocese officially declare that fact.

If Canon Law is faithfully followed instead of ignored, it will be declared.

John Kerry is still pathetically promising women the "right" to kill their unborn babies for any reason or no reason.

Even though last July he shocked his own spokesperson by professing to believe that life begins at conception (since Marc Balestrieri had denounced him as a heretic and that did not bode well for his presidential campaign).

Like a faithful Catholic, John Kerry asserts personal opposition to abortion.

BUT, John Kerry assures abortion supporters that they can have all the abortions they want.

At the dinner hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, John Kerry passionately proclaimed, "We are not going to turn back the clock. There is no overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is no packing of courts with judges who will be hostile to choice."

John Kerry’s excuse for supposedly opposing abortion personally but

legislating in favor of it: “I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."

The truth is that John Kerry has categorically and consistently rejected the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on the relationship between natural law and civil law in order to win the support of pro-abortion and pro-“gay marriage” voters.

That is John Kerry’s political right as an American.

But it is well established as gravely sinful for a Roman Catholic.

As Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae:

“The doctrine on the necessary conformity of civil law with the moral law is in continuity with the whole tradition of the Church. This is clear once more from John XXIII's Encyclical: ‘Authority is a postulate of the moral order and derives from God. Consequently, laws and decrees enacted in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience...; indeed, the passing of such laws undermines the very nature of authority and results in shameful abuse’. This is the clear teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who writes that ‘human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence’. And again: ‘Every law made by man can be called a law insofar as it derives from the natural law. But if it is somehow opposed to the natural law, then it is not really a law but rather a corruption of the law’.”

Pope John Paul II explained that “the first and most immediate application of this teaching concerns a human law which disregards the fundamental right and source of all other rights which is the right to life, a right belonging to every individual.”

As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in its Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life: “[T]he lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent…is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives…: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.”

The Doctrinal Note continued: “It is not the Church’s task to set forth specific political solutions – and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one – to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person. It is, however, the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.” (Emphasis added.)

The Doctrinal Note emphasized that Catholic politicians “directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.” (Emphasis added.)

John Kerry may hate it, but a faithful Catholic politician may not compromise on fundamental matters. “When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.”


Michael J. Gaynor

95 Darrow Lane

Greenlawn, New York 11740-2803

(631) 757-9452 (tel)
(631) 754-3437 (fax)


11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Catholics are to be considered sinful for voting for John Kerry, then they are also sinning in voting for Bush. There is a third alternative who agrees with the Church on all the issues identified as non-negotiable - Michael Peroutka.

A Catholic who believes it sinful to vote for someone who supports abortion MUST choose a candidate who suppors it under no circumstances. If it is a sin to vote for Kerry, it is also a sin to vote for Bush when there is a third alternative.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That just isn't true. Michael can't get elected for one thing. He doesn't even have 1 percent of the vote, and probably can't get on any ballet. I am not going to risk Roe v Wade when we are so close to getting 2 new Supreme Court Justices on the bench. There are at least 2 to 3 that wish to retire, and most likely will. You are the one that is making a mistake because you can help us overturn Roe v Wade by voting for President Bush, and you refuse to do it.

7:17 AM  

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