Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Monday, July 26, 2004

Should Catholics vote for Bush? -- A legitimate debate. 

Posted by Christopher Blosser at 5:50 PM

Today one of our commentators made the suggestion that anybody who remained as yet "undecided" on who to vote for, or even "hesitated" in voting for Bush, did not consider abortion an important issue -- and even proposed that they might be recruited by supporters of Kerry to infiltrate this blog.

Coincidentally, the question of whether Catholics should vote for Bush was the subject of a recent op-ed piece by Matthew Abott (Should Catholics vote for Dubya?" 7/20/04). *

Mr. Abott (fairly, I think) presents both sides of the issue, presenting the thoughts of one reader on why Catholics ought to vote for Bush:

". . . In light of our understanding of the Church's role in guiding us in our electoral process without actually telling us who to vote for, let us consider what the Church has said to 'nudge' us in the right direction this election year:

"1) Belief in capital punishment, while a present day [but not intrinsic] evil, is not necessarily heresy and thus does not warrant the severe penalty of excommunication;

"2) Belief in the Iraqi war, while denounced by the Pope, still can be dissented from and does not warrant the severe penalty of excommunication;

"3) Belief in abortion is a heresy, a terrible, inexcusable evil, and always warrants the severe penalty of excommunication. [According to the Code of Canon Law, 'a person who procures a completed abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.']

According to this argument, abortion occupies a position of higher priority than the death penalty or the debate over 'just war' -- and it is precisely for this reason why one ought to vote against Kerry, since a Kerry victory would assuredly ensure the repeal of any legislative advancement the pro-life movement has made under the Bush administration.

However, Mr. Abott goes on to present the case of Janet M. Thompson of the Fides Foundation who would not recommend that Catholics vote for Bush on grounds that he isn't unconditionally pro-life, and takes issue with those who justify such a compromise:

"Appealing to 'proportional cause' to justify voting for pro-abortion candidates is erroneous; whatever good may have been gained from such a practice is far, far outweighed by the evil, not only the killing of the innocent, but the steady deterioration of the moral fabric of society – moral compromise does not build strength, it only spawns greater compromise.

"Given the above, the liceity of voting for pro-abortion candidates cannot be conclusively affirmed by the application of those principles so often appealed to; therefore, the only certain morally licit recourse is to the Fifth Commandment, 'You shall not kill.'"

What's my point in mentioning this op-ed? -- I believe that the case can clearly be made (and has been made by several of our bishops) why Catholics should not vote for John Kerry. However, I do not think this is grounds for questioning the moral integrity or pro-life commitment of those who are as yet "undecided" about whether to vote for Bush in November. It seems to me a subject very much open for discussion.

I'm grateful for Matt's raising of the question, and would be interested in hearing my co-editors weigh in on this question.

* * *

On a parting note, you may have heard that in response to the roster of pro-abortion Republicans slated to speak at the GOP convention, some 127 members of Congress drafted a letter to the president urging him to request that Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde, a longtime pro-life champion, be added to the list -- said letter being signed by more than half of the Republicans in the house (SOURCE). Let's pray for the success of this effort, and a renewal of the GOP's commitment to advancing the culture of life.

* Lest anybody cast doubt on Mr. Abbot's credibility or impugn him as not giving due consideration to abortion as the most critical issue in this campaign, Mr. Abott happens to be a contributor to some fairly reputable organizations: ". . . the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is also a contributor to,,,,,, "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper,,,,, and"

Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch

Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.


03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005

Contributing Editors:

Oswald Sobrino of
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain

CKW Shop
Proceeds will be donated to De Fide!

Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics

Read it online, or click here to have a free copy mailed to you.

Kerry's Critics


Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
Laudem Gloriae
Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
[The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian]
The Mighty Barrister
Open Book
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission


Catholics Against Kerry
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

Google News
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
Weekly Standard

Related Documents & Articles

Worthiness To Recieve Communion: General Principles
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Evangelium Vitae
Pope John Paul II

Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion, from Archbishop Donoghue (Atlanta, GA), Bishop Baker (Charleston, SC) and Bishop Jugis (Charlotte, NC).
August 4, 2004

Catholics in Political Life U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. June 7, 2004.

Catholic Politicians and Bishops. By Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. America June 21-28, 2004.

A Time For Honesty, Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark. May 5, 2004.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators. Interview with Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Why Don't Catholic Politicians Practice What the Catholic Church Preaches?, by Judie Brown. Washington Dispatch April 19, 2004.

How to tell a Duck from a Fox: Thinking with the Church as we look toward November, by Archbishop Chaput. Denver Catholic Register April 14, 2004.

On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, a Pastoral Letter by La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke.

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians, by Mark Stricherz. Crisis May 2003.

The Failure of Catholic Political Leadership, by Robert P. George & William E. Saunders. Crisis 18, No. 4 (April 2000).

Denying Holy Communion: A Case History, by Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida. [PDF Format].

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, by Barbara Kralis.

Recommmended Reading

John Kerry, Abortion and the Catholic Church

Irreconcilable Differences", by Matthew Mehan. NRO Sept. 16, 2004.

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion Investigative report by Christopher Blosser. August 30, 2004.

"Please answer the question, Senator Kerry", The Mighty Barrister. August 2, 2004.

You wouldn't even ask. Fr. Pavone (Priests for Life). July 2004.

Kerry isn't making abortion stand clear, by Raymond J. Keating. Newsday July 27, 2004.

Senator Kerry May Be Human . . . But is He a Person?, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 23, 2004.

Kerry's Catholic Problem, by Brent Bozell. July 7, 2004.

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ: Candidates, Communion and the Catholic Church. Debate btw/ Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and George Weigel. June 23, 2004.

The Kerry challenge, by George Weigel. May 5, 2004.

Rites and Wrongs: Why John Kerry should not take communion, by Philip F. Lawler. Wall Street Journal April 30, 2004.

John Kerry's Catholic Problem", by Cal Thomas. April 26, 2004.

Kerry Distorting Catholic Doctrine. interviews George Weigel. April 16, 2004.

"Personally Opposed, But…" Five Pro-Abortion Dodges, by Todd M. Aglialoro. Crisis April 1, 2004.

On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up, Catholic Kerry Watch, August 14, 2004.

Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology"  Catholic Kerry Watch. August 9, 2004.

Ron Reagan & Functionalism, Revisited, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 29, 2004.

Out of Touch, by Michael Fumento. Refuting Kerry's claims on the use of embryonic stem cells. Citizen Magazine August 2004.

Stem Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004.

Stem Cell Research: Fact Sheets, Letters to Congress and Articles from the USCCB.

On Voting, "Proportionality" and Cardinal Ratzinger's Memorandum

What Ratzinger Said, by James Akin. Sept. 9, 2004.

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology (of Andrew Greeley) Barbara Kralis. August 22, 2004.

Thoughts on Proportionality, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 12, 2004.

Spread the truth!
Download this ad today!

Listed on Blogwise


<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

Ignatius Press - Catholic Books