Abortion is intrinsically evil, a Catholic polititian cannot support legal or illegal abortion. There are no “prudential judgements” involved in abortion, it is always evil. To say otherwise is to say that it is okay to kill a child sometimes.
“The penalty of excommunication for abortion extends to the mother, all medical personnel, anyone who offers the mother moral or financial support to abort, as well as those who publicly campaign for legalized abortion. Incidentally, no formal notification of such excommunication is necessary, as it takes effect as soon as the action is performed.” p. 77 The Catholic Answer Book vol 1, Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas PH.D S.T.D.
In general, we mustn’t vote for anyone who we know supports immorality of any kind, but especially abortion, as it’s worse than murder because you definitely know you’re killing an innocent.
Some issues are so grave that they outweigh other issues, such as economic benefits or social works or anything else.
Unfortunately, I find that there are no politicians that don’t support immorality, esp. abortion, or who aren’t sold-out to the rich and powerful. So, I don’t vote for any of them, as that would be “partaking in their sins”.
For real Catholics knowing that truth will make you free, and for those misled by dissenters, the following provide the reality needed to make wise and faithful decisions.
“The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.”
~ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, USCCB ~ gospeloflifeinstitute.org/voting.htm
Readers might like to know that the late Fr Torraco was none other than the Executive Director of the Society for the Study of the Magisterial Teaching of the Church (SSMTC), and answered questions for Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network.
Because it is a prudential judgement (not a denial of moral dogma) based on the balance of likely consequences of criminalisation or decriminalisation to the temporal good of the State where different groups vehemently hold to differing values.
The leaven of Christianity is sometimes not best spread by Politics, State Law and power plays… especially in a mixed society of different cultures/religions/races.
In fact Jesus said quite the opposite at times.
As do Augustine and Aquinas.
That is quite a bridge very far from Canon 1398 which simply states:
“A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”
No doubt Rev Stravinskas (as others in this camp) would include excommunicating a mother for driving her rebellious teenage daughter to the Clinic even if the mother was vociferously opposed to the abortion. Better she do so in the company of her opposing mother than in the hands of strangers.
If that is formal aquiescence in sin then someone may have retained their “sense of sin” but somehow they have misplaced their “sense of grace.” I don’t think its me.
And yes Aquinas, the Universal Doctor/Teacher of the Church, was excommunicated because it was felt that he was saying things politically incorrect for his time.
In response to the above post, Rev. Stravinskas was simply paraphrasing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which you know is another word for Bishops),. You can find the decree in a document called, " Declaration on Abortion".
Rev Stravinskas is simply doing his job by being faithful to the teachings of the Church.
CB are you able to provide the sentence(s) in this document which would lead you to believe that:
(a) a Catholic politician may never support decriminilisation of abortion legislation under pain of mortal sin and/or excommunication;
(b) an anti-abortion mother knowingly driving her rebellious daughter to a Clinic (or picking her up) would be committing mortal sin or excommunicated?
The criteria for Double Effect, according to Aquinas, are:
1.that the action in itself from its very object be good or at least indifferent;
2.that the good effect and not the evil effect be intended;
3.that the good effect be not produced by means of the evil effect;
4.that there be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect
Abortion fails tests #1 and #3! And a decent case could be made that it fails test #2, as the death of the child IS the intended result of an abortion, by definition of abortion.
I also would presume that any Catholic priest would not hold that abortion is either morally good or morally indifferent, so I am surprised that this priest would even mention the principle of Double Effect in regards to abortion.
In a debate during his 1994 race against Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country”.
That was enough of a reason for me not to vote for either of the major party candidates. Flip Flop or a conversion, I will never vote for a candidate that was ever not firmly pro life. It’s my vote and I refuse to waste it. I voted for Bush in 2000 and lived to regret it. With that in mind, Gore would have been worse but my preference, in retrospect, would to have voted for neither.
CarolNoel, I pay taxes and am a citizen of this country. Therefore, I have a right to complain as well I also have a right to avoid choosing the lessor evil. Evil is evil and I’m not required to vote for evil.
How is this “virtuous”? Because a mother cares for her child she is within her moral right to participate in killing her grand child? This is plain wrong. Two lives and multiple souls must be protected.
What about in the case of racism, is it ok for a child to be a racist inside of the family home and not be corrected by the mother, since the child will be racist anyway?
What about the war in Syria, we saw moral outrage at 1000 + people gassed but no moral outrage for the 100,000 + killed by conventional weapons?
If a mother in the situation you site does what you suggest, she is guilty of direct material participation in murder, and yes has committed grave sin, and yes disqualified herself for receiving Holy Communion. To justify this act in any way is simply that, an attempt to justify a sinful act.
Define the prudential judgment that would allow an abortion to be a moral choice; that is, define it in light of Catholic doctrine and dogma. That is a challenge you cannot meet because there are no prudential judgments that would make it a moral choice.
As a Catholic, we cannot live a pluralistic life. We are Catholic, to live a Catholic life we must stand against what is evil and for what is right, according to the Church and not our opinions. To live as a Catholic we must vote and if in public life, we must govern in a Catholic manner. We do not have the option of playing both sides of the fence.
Joe Biden is a perfect example of a pluralistic Catholic; a perfect example of what we cannot be. He is in grave error believing he can “believe” one thing and by his actions, “do” something opposed to his belief; this is hypocrisy.
Cardinal Ratzinger disagrees with you. Catholic politicians shall learn the truth and live the truth. He/she can choose to do otherwise but he/she cannot choose to do it without sin or other sanctions which are automatically imposed by one’s own choice and action. Catholics in public office must act as Catholics for the common good. There is no justification for abortion that is in the common good, this is Church teaching.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
on some questions regarding
The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
“By its interventions in this area, the Church’s Magisterium does not wish to exercise political power or eliminate the freedom of opinion of Catholics regarding contingent questions. Instead, it intends – as is its proper function – to instruct and illuminate the consciences of the faithful, particularly those involved in political life, so that their actions may always serve the integral promotion of the human person and the common good.The social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic’s duty to be morally coherent, found within one’s conscience, which is one and indivisible. «There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called ‘spiritual life’, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called ‘secular’ life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. The branch, engrafted to the vine which is Christ, bears its fruit in every sphere of existence and activity. In fact, every area of the lay faithful’s lives, as different as they are, enters into the plan of God, who desires that these very areas be the ‘places in time’ where the love of Christ is revealed and realized for both the glory of the Father and service of others. Every activity, every situation, every precise responsibility – as, for example, skill and solidarity in work, love and dedication in the family and the education of children, service to society and public life and the promotion of truth in the area of culture – are the occasions ordained by providence for a ‘continuous exercise of faith, hope and charity’ (Apostolicam actuositatem, 4)». Living and acting in conformity with one’s own conscience on questions of politics is not slavish acceptance of positions alien to politics or some kind of confessionalism, but rather the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person.”
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 24, 2002, the Solemnity of Christ the King.
X Joseph Card. RATZINGER
X Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B.
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
DECLARATION ON PROCURED ABORTION
“13. To this perpetual evidence - perfectly independent of the discussions on the moment of animation - modern genetic science brings valuable confirmation. It has demonstrated that, from the first instant, there is established the program of what this living being will be: a man, this individual man with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization is begun the adventure of a human life, and each of its capacities requires time- a rather lengthy time- to find its place and to be in a position to act. The least that can be said is that present science, in its most evolved state, does not give any substantial support to those who defend abortion. Moreover, it is not up to biological sciences to make a definitive judgment on questions which are properly philosophical and moral such as the moment when a human person is constituted or the legitimacy of abortion. **From a moral point of view this is certain: even if a doubt existed concerning whether the fruit of conception is already a human person, it is objectively a grave sin to dare to risk murder. **“The one who will be a man is already one.””
Do you think the mother is daring to risk murder? I do, and I think most thinking Catholics would agree that this mother you have imagined is guilty of grave sin for risking murder.
Every document, every bit of information from the Magisterium is given for us to developed and form our consciences in a proper and full manner. To reject this formation is to act on an erroneous conscience and is not invincible ignorance, it is dissention and holds in itself moral culpability of sin.
Thanks, I won’t vote for a Mormon candidate because that would lead for a platform for the Mormon Church to convert millions of people to a religion that believes in multiple gods and says Jesus is the brother of satan.
I just cannot in clear conscience cast a vote for Mormonism.
Are you sure that you read Aquinas??. To Aquinas, the very point of secular government was to make manifest the Natural Law. A State only had the authority to enact laws that had their foundation in Natural Law. Any other law was, by definition, an unjust law.
We see that again in Romans 13. The purpose of government was to reward the good and to punish that which is evil. But the State has no claim to the very definition of what acts are evil and which are good. That is province of the Church as the infallible guide to Faith and Morals, and Christ, Aquinas and Augustine were all very clear on that!!
The article at this link may assist your understanding of a truly traditional Catholic (as opposed to traditional Protestant) point ov view. I say Protestant because your position may lean more towards Protestantism than traditional Catholicism on this topic.
The Catholic view on the role of the State…
*Let’s grant that public acts of homosexual sex are wrong. Does it follow that the state ought to forbid them?
It doesn’t follow automatically — at least, not for a Catholic. The Catholic view has never been that it is the duty or role of the state to forbid acts because they are wrong.
In fact, it’s easy to find counter-examples. Take prostitution, for instance:
Augustine was clear that prostitution was gravely wrong, but he argued against banning it.
Aquinas agreed. He wrote at great length on the inherent evil and harmful consequences of prostitution before asserting that, nevertheless, it should not be illegal.
For Aquinas, the primary purpose of civil law is not to reform people or to lead them to behave morally; that is a matter for the grace of God. Civil law can only have indirect, supporting role here. The primary purpose of civil law is to preserve social order and the common good. Things should be prohibited only if the common good requires it.
Now, in Aquinas’ view, prostitution was very damaging to the community. But he shared the prevailing opinion of his time that, sinful and harmful as it was, prostitution provided a necessary outlet for the sexual energy of men who lacked the social or financial standing to become betrothed, and the moral fibre to practice chastity. There was a large class of young or poor men who, if they could not visit prostitutes, would tend to engage in more disruptive and harmful wrongs — rapes, seductions, debauches, threats to family, property and social relationships. The common good therefore required the state to accommodate prostitution.
Augustine’s reasoning was slightly different. Laws, he felt, will not be respected or enforced unless they enjoy at least the assent, if not the active support, of a critical mass of the community (which, he considered, a ban on prostitution would not). It is damaging to society and to the rule of law to make laws which are not going to be respected or enforced. Therefore they should not be made.
So, although their reasoning was different, Augustine and Aquinas both agreed that showing that a particular act was wrong is not, in itself, a justification for outlawing it.
The views of Luther and Calvin…
It was the Protestants, notably Luther and Calvin who argued that the state has a duty to criminalise prostitution (and indeed adultery). The community should be Christian, they felt, and the state, as an emanation of the community, should also be Christian.
They were fully aware that laws attempting to legislate personal morality could not always be enforced, but they did not see this as an objection. Luther in particular argued that, if prostitution and adultery, when criminalised, went on anyway, but underground — well, at least the state would not be complicit. This was better than the state appearing to condone immorality.
For Luther, in other words, unworkability or unenforceability was not an objection. It was important that the law should say the right, Christian thing, even if that did not result in the right, Christian thing being done.
The Netherlands is an interesting country…
This state of affairs continued until after the Second World War, since when two things have happened.
First, Catholics came to outnumber Protestants (and still do, although both are now outnumbered by people of no religion).
Secondly, the Dutch abandoned social conservatism for social liberalism, at least so far as legislation is concerned.
It would be too simple to say that the first change led to the second. History is usually more complex. But I do not think it is a coincidence that the eclipse of Calvinism has been accompanied by the disappearance of a Calvinist attitude to the legislation of morality.
Common good versus personal morality…
That is why, today, the discussion about the legality of cruising in the Vondelpark proceeds with little or no reference to the intrinsic morality of casual sex. Various social surveys show that most Netherlanders do in fact disapprove strongly of casual sex, but they don’t see that it is the role of the state to forbid it. Thus the discussion about cruising in the Vondelpark proceeds along other lines.
Does cruising injure or harm other users of the park? The answer, obviously, is yes; they don’t like it, and feel excluded by it.
Can we avoid that harm by criminalising cruising? No. That’s been tried; it hasn’t worked.
Is there any good, then, served by criminalising cruising? Not enough good, it seems, to justify criminalising it.
It may be ironic, but this debate seem to me to proceed along classically Catholic lines, focussing on the common good and largely ignoring the issue of personal morality. *