Election morality

Did I commit a mortal sin yesterday by voting for Darrell Castle, a pro-life, conservative, Christian, Marine Corps veteran who had no chance of winning, and not for Donald Trump?

Somebody told me that Pope Francis had issued an edict to American Catholics that they were to, under pain of mortal sin, vote for Trump. I never saw it though.

That’s utter nonsense. Pope Francis said nothing of the sort. Whoever told you that is either lying or extremely confused.

It’s never a mortal sin not to vote for someone, as far as I can see. And it’s rarely if ever intrinsically evil to vote for a particular candidate. It is gravely sinful to vote for a candidate with the intention of promoting an evil cause (i.e., to vote for Clinton because you like Clinton’s policy of supporting the continued legalization of abortion on demand). And voting for a candidate who supports evil might be a grave failure in the virtue of prudence.

But a lot of nonsense has been spoken in this campaign by Catholic Trump supporters.

Well, the election of Trump is on their consciences now. I hope God will be merciful to all of us.


How could it be a sin at all to vote for someone like Mr. Castle? When we appear before the throne of God on Judgment Day, I’m pretty sure He won’t ask, “Did you vote for the candidate you thought would win?”, but more like, “Did you use your vote to speak up for Me?”

I never heard any such thing as an edict from Pope Francis to vote for a particular candidate under pain of mortal sin. What I did hear, however (praised be God for it, too), were several exhortations NOT to vote for an anti-life platform, under pain of sin.

Do you really think that the Pope would intervene in a US election?

Thank you all. Yes, a lot of Trump supporters came into this with the idea that if you aren’t 100 percent for him, then you are a Hillary-backing baby killer. I can see how they’d name drop Pope Francis, bishops, etc…

I just couldn’t conscientiously rationalize voting for someone who used the phrases “nuclear missiles” and “I want to be seen as unpredictable” in the same sentence. Or someone who admits to having a close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Someone with the mindset that nuclear missiles are toys is prone to abort a lot of people and not just unborn babies.

Well, he won. Hillary’s agenda was defeated (thank GOD!). I will pray for Trump that he can be a good President.

when did Trump say he had a close relationship with Putin?
Nuclear missiles as toys? I think he really realizes the seriousness and danger of nuclear weapons and doesn’t see them as toys.
He definitely needs our prayers as he works to clean up the mess Obama and Hillary left.

Ugh that was a fake article. The Pope would never say that.

Perhaps we can strengthen it a bit and say it is “never” intrinsically evil to vote for a person - it is only intrinsically evil to vote for immoral policies to be advanced (this is “formal cooperation” as opposed to some kind of material cooperation), as you noted, or to vote in a way that violates prudence because one ought to have seen the future better based on the information available. Remember, sometimes politicians lie about what they are going to do in office! The human element is what makes this never a matter of “intrinsic evil” attached to the vote per se… We don’t vote for robots, we vote for people, who are flawed, can change, will probably react in this or that way to a certain situation, etc.

Not sure if there is never a situation in which it would be gravely immoral not to vote for someone… seems there could be, well outside the realm of normal American politics.

Realize also that American presidential elections are not at all as they seem… in fact, it can be disadvantageous to vote FOR the person you want in office in certain circumstances. This was actually a live-issue this election… There was a small (but real) chance that McMullin would win Utah, which could have prevented Trump and Clinton from getting 270 electoral college votes (which are the votes that really matter). It depended on a certain split of state votes - a split which could have been thrown off by taking away individual votes for Trump (most likely) which then would have given Clinton the state. If one is aware of how certain states are likely to vote, then it is wise in this case to make sure the right candidate gets the college’s votes when your preferred candidate (like McMullin) will not realistically win the state. Then the vote (among the top 3) goes to congress, who in this election may have compromised with McMullin.

It’s bizarre. :shrug:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.