Bishop Conley: You actually don't have to vote for either [CNA], Neb., Sep 30, 2016 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics who can’t in good conscience vote for either major presidential candidate are well within their rights to pick a third option, says Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Voters need to discern whether there is a candidate in each race who can “advance human dignity, the right to life and the common good,” he said in his Sept. 30 column for the Southern Nebraska Register.

“When there is, we should feel free to vote for that candidate – whether they are a member of a major party or not,” he said. “No Catholic should feel obliged to vote for one candidate just to prevent the election of another.”

The bishop advised a prudent course that avoids dangerous forms of “blind partisanship” and misleading political rhetoric and media alarmism.

He acknowledged the possibility that “in extraordinary circumstances” some Catholics may decide there is no suitable candidate for a race and abstain from voting in that particular race.

There are reasons in good conscience for some people to vote for a candidate who “would be most likely to do some good, and the least amount of harm,” on foundational issues like life, family, conscience rights and religious liberty, he said.

Others may in good conscience vote for the candidate who “best represents a Christian vision of society, regardless of the probability of winning,” while others may vote for no candidate at all.

“Catholics will make different judgments about those questions, and come to different conclusions – this reflects the fact the Lord has given us free intellects and free wills,” he said.

The bishop also offered some basic guidelines about voting. He said voting helps the government achieve its “important purpose” of supporting the common good.

“There are some issues in which the common good is clear and some issues which require careful discernment and prudent judgment. This discernment can, therefore, lead to different conclusions and ideas among people of good will,” Bishop Conley said, praising “robust discussion” among people who have the same goals.

However, Mother Teresa’s stand for the right to life should guide Catholics in the voting booth, he said, adding that there are “abundantly clear” moral obligations in voting.

“For example, no Catholic can vote in good conscience to expand legal protection for abortion, or to support the killing of unborn children.”

Bishop Conley cited Mother Teresa’s words in a 1994 letter to the U.S. Supreme Court. There, she said the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion has “deformed a great nation.”

“The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men,” she wrote. “It has shown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.”

Full article…

I intend on doing exactly that

Thank you, Bishop Conley.

[quote=CNA News]“For example, no Catholic can vote in good conscience to expand legal protection for abortion, or to support the killing of unborn children.”

Well, that makes it very clear that Hilary Clinton is not an option for Catholic voters seeing how she wants to expand legal protection for abortion.

I made up my mind that I would not vote for either a while ago.

I was looking at Gary Johnson, but he’s too clueless to be president.

So, I’m left with writing in a name or leaving it blank.


True, but that is not a “third” option.

Which makes Johnson’s position worth undergoing a little more scrutiny.

But there is the Constitution Party which promotes pro-life. As well as pro-American values.

I’m still considering Darrell Castle (Constituion Party) as a possible alternative. Evan McMullin (Independent) just became eligible in my state so I’m now considering him as well. Both promote pro-life. Trump has an extensive advisory group of pro-life Catholics that has me worth considering. Given Trump’s recent past, I’m not sure how much weight to give that at this point given Clinton’s championing of expanding abortion rights would likely come to fruition if she wins this November. A 3rd party candidate won’t be winning this November. Trump would need to be equally bad for me to vote 3rd party. I’m presently of the opinion that he could be just as bad or even worse. However, if the election were held today, I’d probably vote Trump. He’s hasn’t sealed the deal with me yet. I’m watching him closely. I think I’m your classic undecided voter this go round.

I really don’t care for DT especially after this latest tweeting incident.He does concern me in a lot of ways.and just when I think,ohhhh,I really cannot vote for him either,I read this enlightening statement fromArchbishop Conley.
His statement about discerning who would do more harm than good is a no brainer.
Donald Trump has a long list of impressive pro life advocates on his advisory board.Add to that,his long list of potential conservative SCOTUS nominees,I still think he is the one to earn my vote.
Is he perfect,heck no,however voting third party isn’t pragmatic and given the real damage HC will do to our religious freedoms and her unabashed love of PP and abortion,I thank Archbishop Conley as well,for helping me make my decision.

No but a good showing should help him or her in the future. Even 2 or 3 percent is quite a lot of votes. I think Ron Paul did a little better than this when he was running as a Libertarian. It translated later into many great years of service in the House. Since I’m in Illinois and voting for Trump will not do much good, I think it might do a lot more good in the long run if I vote for Castle, hoping that he may be able to serve later.

^ this

(except Lincoln is not an archdiocese. I know you miss him in Denver)

**The most important thing to remember is SCOTUS nominees - and they will probably serve for 30 years at least.

Do you want to take a risk with the woman who said “unborn children have NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS”? or the man who tweeted something stupid about weight.

As crazy as this sounds, Trump could actually win Illinois. RCP shows it as ‘leans Clinton’. For several elections prior, Illinois was almost like California (solid Dem). However, that’s not the case this election cycle.


Or another candidate, which is the point of the thread?

538 gives him a 4% chance of winning the Illinois electoral votes, maybe slightly better than Johnson, who btw was endorsed yesterday by the Chicago Tribune. (Though 4% was about the same chance the Cubs had of winning the World Series last year but they made it close.)

But you’re right about California, where Trump has 0.4% chance of winning there.

Other states:

New York, 0.8%
Maryland, 0.2%
Massachusetts, 1.2%

Sorry but IMHO Bishop Conley is mistaken. The details of his remarks (as presented here—1st post) seem logically at odds with the Catechism of the Church. (Note: CCC 2245 & 2246). Abstaining from voting is responsible HOW? And when so-called “poor candidates” are competing for the same office, suggesting voters should simply vote for a 3rd candidate seems to be abdicating that responsibility.
I would like to believe that responsible voters will understand when such circumstance as “poor candidate choice” arise, a candidate’s persona (to include character, personality, life-style, etc.) should be secondary to the policies they voice. I’m speaking of party-platforms here. My particular criteria for casting my ballot still include where these platforms stand on : Human Life, Supreme Court Judges, Religious Liberty, Education & School Choice, Medical Research, Marriage, Foreign Policy & National Security. (On Religious Liberty alone—see Dem Platform pg 19 and Rep Platform pg 11).
My point, of course, is that this is one of those times when voters will have to do a little extra homework. The responsibility to vote is still ours, candidates notwithstanding.

You may have missed the point his excellency was making.

Can we vote for Bishop Conley?

Or …

“That” as in voting for someone other than Clinton or Trump or “that” as in not voting? Bishop Conley mentioned both and you quoted the whole text. This is a bit like answering “yes” if I asked you if you wanted coffee or tea.

I did not think he made just one point, just my opinion.

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