Friday, September 24, 2004

Importance of abortion to the Catholic voter

A commentor posted the following statement:

"So, the peripheral abortion issues are important, but not important enough to outweigh many other issues of life and death."

How do you reconcile such a statement with this statememt?

"The inviolability of the person, which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination . . . " (From John Paul II's 1988 apostolic exhortation, The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World (Christifideles Laici))

or this one,

"But being 'right' in such matters [policies on poverty, employment, education, etc.] can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community." (From the US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, 1998)

or this one,

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. Ratzinger memo

or this one,

"The Church recognizes that there are occasions when war and the death penalty are justified, even though such measures are undesirable and should be kept to the necessary minimum . . . Catholics who fully accept the doctrine of the Church can sometimes disagree about whether a given war or death sentence is morally defensible...Abortion is in a different class. As the deliberate taking of innocent human life, direct abortion can never be justified. About the moral principle, there can be no debate in the Church. The teaching has been constant and emphatic." Cardinal Avery Dulles

or this one,

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. Bishop Rene Henry Gracida

or this one,

Certainly policies on welfare, national security, the war in Iraq, Social Security or taxes, taken singly or in any combination, do not provide a proportionate reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

Consider, for example, the war in Iraq. Although Pope John Paul II pleaded for an alternative to the use of military force to meet the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, he did not bind the conscience of Catholics to agree with his judgment on the matter, nor did he say that it would be morally wrong for Catholic soldiers to participate in the war. In line with the teaching of the catechism on "just war," he recognized that a final judgment of prudence as to the necessity of military force rests with statesmen, not with ecclesiastical leaders. Catholics may, in good conscience, support the use of force in Iraq or oppose it.

Abortion and embryo-destructive research are different. They are intrinsic and grave evils; no Catholic may legitimately support them. In the context of contemporary American social life, abortion and embryo-destructive research are disproportionate evils. They are the gravest human rights abuses of our domestic politics and what slavery was to the time of Lincoln. Catholics are called by the Gospel of Life to protect the victims of these human rights abuses. They may not legitimately abandon the victims by supporting those who would further their victimization. Archbishop John Myers

or this one,

"If the reasons are really proportionate, and the person remains clear about his or her opposition to abortion, that can be done. What is a proportionate reason to justify favoring the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life? That's the question that has to be answered in your conscience. What is the proportionate reason?" He said that the difficulty of these nuanced ideas is the reason he did not discuss the problem of proportionality in his earlier statements in June. "It is difficult to imagine what that proportionate reason would be," Archbishop Raymond Burke

or this one,

More to the point, however, it is a classic abuse of religion that people will invoke a religious authority to justify violence. There is no act of violence more brutal, or claiming more victims than abortion. It kills 4000 children daily in the United States alone. Practitioners admit under oath that they dismember and decapitate these babies. If people try to equate that with other issues by misquoting a Vatican Cardinal, they are guilty of the most shameless type of abuse of religion -- the same kind of abuse used to justify burning people at the stake. Only this time, we're talking about babies." Father Frank Pavone


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most proportional of reasons to ban killing embryos EVER!

Don't the Catholic Church teach that shooting spunk anywhere but in your wife's fertile womb is sin? Should we not nip this in the bud and outlaw condoms, birth control pills, and male/female enhancement drugs? Did you know that countless embryos get killed off by these things? Did you know that 50 Million+ get killed every year by birth control devices? Explain that one, or do you not believe in the Catholic Church's teachings? Hmm...kay?

11:36 AM  
Blogger Tim Huegerich said...

I'm glad you asked, because you still seem to be misunderstanding what I am saying. The key point here is that I am not comparing human rights such as the right to culture or education to the right to life, but I am imploring you to aknowledge other issues threatening the right to life! The sad fact is that just as the unborn do not have a right to life in this country, neither do millions of others throughout the world. You and I both know that removing a feeding tube (or other vital support) can be equivalent to killing someone, that is, euthanasia, even though nothing is done to actively harm a person. In the same way, allowing 24,000 people to die every single day from hunger (with only token efforts to address the causes) is equivalent to denying their right to life, frankly, to killing them. Policies that increase the likelihood of war around the world are likewise responsible for countless deaths. Look, it is not me counting these sorts of issues among the "life issues" but the Magisterium (e.g. Faithful Citizenship).

Take another look at paragraph 4 of the oft-quoted Doctrinal Note.... I hardly need to repeat the statement: "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." The statement then lists specific issues for which this is the case, beginning with "abortion and euthanasia" and including "the development of an economy that is at the service of the human person and of the common good, with respect for social justice, the principles of human solidarity and subsidiarity" and "the question of peace must be mentioned." The document is very clearly stating that the "Catholic Answers issues" are not the only non-negotiable issues!

And this is consistent with most of your quotes, such as Cardinal Ratzinger's, "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia." Notice he says "not all" other issues have the same weight, because he is aware that other issues of life carry the same moral weight, as only makes sense.

In the same way, Cardinal Dulles says "Catholics who fully accept the doctrine of the Church can sometimes disagree about whether a given war..." Sometimes! Because he knows that some wars are clearly unjust, and no informed Catholic may agree with it in good conscience!

As for individual bishops and priests who argue there is no proportionate reason, they do not acknowledge either the gravity of the reason I have given nor that (sadly) only peripheral abortion issues are at stake this election (i.e. a vote for Bush will simply not save the 4,000 babies per day, so stop pretending like it will).

5:03 PM  
Blogger David said...

I would argue that if Sentor Kerry is elected, there will be an increase in the number of abortions, so no, 4000 babies do not hang in the balance, but 5000, 6000, could. True, I have nothing to prove that, but clearly we have a better chance of moving towards the day when we will overturn Roe with President Bush then we would ever have with Senator Kerry in the White House.

I'll comment more later.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're efforts are misguided/misplaced. Saving 1.3 million embryos is a noble cause. Saving 50+ million embryos is a nobler cause. Why do you focus in on the 1.3 million, when the 50+ million embryos are screaming out for salvation, while being cruely chemically aborted?

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would argue that you're talking outta your ass with such unsupported claims. I would further argue that if Kerry becomes president, there would be people lining up in droves at abortion clinics to get abortions. In fact, Kerry would mandate that every McDonalds have a mini do-it-yourself abortion kit distributed with every happy meal. True, I have nothing to prove that, but clearly we have nothing to lose by voting for Bush; I mean all the good killings we've been doing in Iraq are really really getting the Muslim people on our side, and like there are a billion of them. If they don't see Bush's spread of freedom and liberty as a good thing, well we've got a billion bullets that will help us on our crusade! Again, thank GOD the assault weapons ban expired!

4:20 PM  

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