Sunday, July 03, 2005

Catholic politicians and abortion

Politicians who say that they are personally opposed to grave injustices (such as abortion) but that they could not refuse to cooperate in them manifest readiness gravely to violate their victims' rights and, consequently, the common good. Such politicians are either badly confused, gravely dishonest, or both. Pope John XXIII has taught that: "It is quite impossible for political leaders to lay aside their natural dignity while acting in their country's name and in its interests. They are still bound by the natural law, which is the rule that governs all moral conduct, and they have no authority to depart from its slightest precepts." (Pacem in terris, AAS 55 (1963) 279-280, PE, 270.81).

Also, Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical letter Immortale Dei (AAS, 18 (1885) 179, PE, 93.47) teaches that: "It is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue."

As a result, one should not vote for a politician who says, "Personally, I am opposed to such and such an injustice, but..." This is the very argument advanced by State Representative Maurice Pilotte of Manchester, New Hampshire. In an e-mail written to a Catholic layman who had expressed concern over his support of Senator Joseph Lieberman (whose voting record demonstrates a total support for the murder of the unborn), Mr. Pilotte wrote: "I do not consider the Senator's position on abortion to be the correct one. I cannot however allow it to become the breaking issue in deciding to support a man who I believe to be electable and who is more adequately attuned to other social issues that I consider equally important to the quality of life for elderly, families and people in the adult population."

Several weeks before he was elected Pope, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the severity of scandal which results when Catholic politicians support abortion (and same-sex "marriage") and then receive Holy Communion. Writing in reference to the reception of the Eucharist by Catholic pro-abortion politicians and others who are opposed to Catholic teaching, he said: "How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts.."

Most Catholics would agree that it is scandalous for Catholic politicians to cast their votes for the culture of death and then to receive Holy Eucharist. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, Rev. Edward Arsenault of the Diocese of Manchester, responding to a laywomans' concerns over State Representative Maurice Pilotte's voting record (he voted twice for SB30, the House Bill allowing the "morning-after pill" to be administered over the counter and even to underage females without parental notification and against a ban on partial-birth abortion - infanticide), wrote that: "As for his voting record, I find it difficult to believe that anyone is scandalized by his votes..."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - would give him an argument.


No comments:

Site Meter