Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Particular Candidate's Mistaken Views—Setting the Record Straight 

Posted by Earl at 9:44 PM

Bishop Paul Loverde "A recent response on the issue of abortion by a candidate for national office prompts me to offer these clarifications," Bishop Paul S. Loverde writes in today's Arlington, VA, Catholic Herald.
I feel it necessary to correct what I consider to be a misstatement by this particular candidate on what an article of faith is, and what the duties of the faithful are. In fact, there are others as well, including legislators, judges, and ordinary citizens, who espouse a similarly erroneous approach.
A short time ago, when asked about his position on abortion, this candidate said:
I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith.
"Opposition to abortion does not depend on a foundation of religious faith," Bishop Loverde reminds us. "Many people, who profess a variety of religious beliefs or even no religion, oppose the direct taking of innocent human life by abortion. There is an error inherent in the assertion that abortion is just an article of faith."
The error is simply this: the wrongness of direct abortion is decidedly not just "an article of faith." Rather, it is rooted in the natural law. Citing legislators who say "I am personally opposed to abortion, but I cannot impose my religious beliefs on others," my predecessor, Bishop John Keating, spoke clearly in words which I echo today:
The fallacy in this reasoning is simply that the morality of abortion is not a religious belief, any more than the morality of slavery, apartheid, rape, larceny, murder or arson is a religious belief. These are norms of the natural law of mankind and can be legislated even in a completely religionless society (A Pastoral Letter on Morality and Conscience, 1994).
In this light, it is obvious why we bishops stated the following in Catholics in Political Life:
Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work towards correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and sinning against the common good.
As Pope John Paul II has said in Evangelium Vitae:
The real purpose of civil law is to guarantee an ordered social coexistence in true justice, so that all may 'lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way' (1 Tim. 2:2). Precisely for this reason, civil law must ensure that all members of society enjoy respect for certain fundamental rights which innately belong to the person, rights which every positive law must recognize and guarantee. First and fundamental among these is the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being (71).
As Bishop Loverde concludes:
To be a faithful Catholic necessarily means that one is pro-life and not pro-choice. To be pro-choice essentially means supporting the right of a woman to terminate the life of her baby, either preborn or partially born. No Catholic can claim to be a faithful member of the Church while advocating for, or actively supporting, direct attacks on innocent human life. In reality, protecting human life from conception to natural death is far more than a Catholic issue. It is an issue that cuts across denominational lines. It is an issue of fundamental morality, rooted in both the natural moral law and the divine law. Because of this, no other issue is objectively more important. Therefore, both as citizens and as Catholics, we can never give up our efforts to eliminate the killing of innocent, defenseless human beings. [emphases and hypertext links added]


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.

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Ad Limina Apostolorum

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News Resources

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The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

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Periodicals

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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. Newsmax.com 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.




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