New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Editor, The News:
The claim that Catholics who vote for President Obama cannot be true Catholics is false.
While Catholics understand that abortion is intrinsically evil, paragraph 25 of “Faithful Citizenship” reminds us: “The right of life implies and is linked to other human rights ...”
Paragraph 34 identifies the complexity of the issues: “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 ... 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.”
Pope John Paul II warned in paragraph 29: “Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity.” While Catholics first must always oppose abortion, “The second is the misuse of these moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or lack of health care or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our conscience and require us to act.”
The church understands that conscientious Catholics may vote for pro-choice candidates, not to further these candidates’ abortion agenda; rather, thoughtful Catholics support other important respect-life programs that the church compels her faithful to address. Guided by paragraphs 29 and 34, informed Catholics recognize abortion as evil, but abortion cannot be an excuse to ignore other important respect-life issues.