EWTN Catholic Q&A
Lc on abortion Oct 27 and Judie
Question from John on 10-27-2008:

Dear Judie,

I am, like LC, leaning to vote for the Democratic administration this coming election. And, with all respect to Fr. Torraco's opinion, didn't Pope Benedict (before pontificate) proscribe that a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate if 1) the vote was not because of the candidate's pro-choice position, and 2) if the voter understands their to be proportionate reasons to vote against the other (pro-life) candidate?

Now, I know that Jimmy Akin, on his webpage (and catholic.com) suggests that there is practically no situation that can constitute such a proportionate reason. But his reasoning is too narrow, and only focused on the issue of making abortion illegal in the US, and ignores GOP global economic policies and GOP connections to corporations dealing in weapons, and all the rest of it together. etc. etc.

So, why will not the USCCB take a vote and officially endorse a candidate? Why will our Pontiff not endorse a candidate? If the soteriological state of Catholic voters who want to do the right thing is really at stake if someone votes for Obama, shouldn't the USCCB say so? Shouldn't the Vatican say so? And shouldn't both entities say it CLEARLY and without confusion? All we get are different priests', bishops', apologists', and activists' opinions on what the Church teaches.

Why will not the Vatican or the USCCB help us INTERPRET and apropriate what the Church teaches here, and tell us who to vote for?

In my opinion, if the answer is "Because one must choose for him/herself" then this is inadequate, especially if our soteriological state is at stake.


Answer by Judie Brown on 10-28-2008:

Dear John

All I can say is that in my humble opinion there is never a proportionate reason to vote for someone who supports murdering the most innocent members of the human family.

Here is what Archbishop Chaput says:

“So can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is: I can’t, and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics–people whom I admire–who may. I think their reasoning is mistaken, but at least they sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And most important: They don’t keep quiet about it; they don’t give up; they keep lobbying their party and their representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can vote for pro-choice candidates if they vote for them despite–not because of–their pro-choice views."

It occurs to me that if someone is searching for a reason to vote for a blatantly pro-abortion individual, then his desire to do so is going to color his opinions. In your question I see such an position developing, and while I cannot justify what you are suggesting, I can tell you that it is never a just action to support someone who is totally dedicated to preborn child killing.

Finally the Catholic Church should NOT tell anyone how to vote. What the Church does do is impart the wisdom of Christ and the principles set forth in Biblical teaching. Based on those teachings, I again repeat, that I can see no justification in voting for anyone committed to child killing.

Judie Brown