On September 17, 2004 Archbishop Myers had an insightful yet succinct article in The Wall Street Journal titled, A VOTER’S GUIDE Pro-Choice Candidates and Church Teaching.
He begins by talking about a statement released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (headed at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) called “On Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion“. He goes on:
“Cardinal Ratzinger stated that a “Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of a candidate’s permissive stand on abortion.” But the question of the moment is whether a Catholic may vote for a pro-abortion candidate for other reasons. The cardinal’s next sentence answered that question: A Catholic may vote for a pro-abortion Catholic politician only ‘in the presence of proportionate reasons.’
What are “proportionate reasons”? …for a Catholic citizen to vote for a candidate who supports abortion and embryo-destructive research, one of the following circumstances would have to obtain: either (a) both candidates would have to be in favor of embryo killing on roughly an equal scale or (b) the candidate with the superior position on abortion and embryo-destructive research would have to be a supporter of objective evils of a gravity and magnitude beyond that of 1.3 million yearly abortions plus the killing that would take place if public funds were made available for embryo-destructive research.
Frankly, it is hard to imagine circumstance (b) in a society such as ours. No candidate advocating the removal of legal protection against killing for any vulnerable group of innocent people other than unborn children would have a chance of winning a major office in our country. Even those who support the death penalty for first-degree murderers are not advocating policies that result in more than a million killings annually.”
The rest of the article wrestles with that question: ‘What are proportionate reasons?’ He comments on lots of issues – the war in Iraq, the death penalty, welfare, social security, taxes, and others showing how abortion takes precedence over each of these issues. It is an excellent article and just as relevant today as it was in 2004. To read the entire article click here.
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