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June 26, 2004

Vatican: Okay to Vote for Pro-Abortion Politician

On top of the general "each bishop can do their own thing" statement by the Conference of Catholic Bishops released last week, they now have released the task force reports leading up to that decision.

And as the New York Times describes, the committees were far more dubious about the use of the Eucharist as a tool against politicians. See the reports.

But possibly the most fascinating fact is that Vatican officials clearly told the Bishops that voters are free to support pro-abortion politicans without sinning, if they support them for other policies:

As many of you know, Vatican officials offered both principles and advised caution and pastoral prudence in the use of sanctions. . .It is important to note that Cardinal Ratzinger makes a clear distinction between public officials and voters, explaining that a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil only if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion. However, 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 if there are proportionate reasons.
Mark that statement. Essentially, the Vatican's official position is that abortion IS NOT an issue that trumps every other issue politically. By the logic of this statement, the Vatican is saying that if a poltician is pro-choice, but supports many other priorities of the Church, it is quite reasonable for Catholic voters to support them over a politican who is pro-life, but fails to support Catholic doctrine on many other issues.

Which leaves John Kerry is a great position, since by at least one measure, he is the best Catholic in the Senate on supporting the priorities of the Conference of Catholic Bishops on non-abortion issues.

So repeat this as a mantra until the media gets it. The Vatican says (a) abortion is NOT the only important issue politically, and (b) voters are free to support pro-abortion politicians as long as they are proportionately good on other Church priorities.

Posted by Nathan at June 26, 2004 03:47 PM