Is it a mortal sin to knowingly vote for a total pro-choice candidate ( complicity ) when there is a pro life Candidate?

Dear Friend, I know it’s very difficult be to vote for a pro-choice candidate is a vote for multi-murder. It is all the more horrific in your country in that partial-birth abortion is sanctioned…and you don’t want to know what that involves. You’d never be able to forget it. If you ever saw a film “the scream” regarding younger foetuses, you would also never consciously vote for anyone who isn’t anti-abortion.

People who have voted in the past for pro-choice candidates didn’t know what they were doing, but you are researching the truth. The Clintons are pro-choice too and Clinton vetoed a ban on partial-birth abortions. But at least in the U.S. you can choose to vote or not. In my country voting is complusory. The best one can do if there is actually no Christian choice, is an invalid vote, but we do have one minority Christian family Party here.

yes but the question is

Is it a mortal sin and a sin against the Holy Spirit?

Is one only concerned about the effect upon oneself, the degree of guilt one has regarding supporting someone who is supporting murder? Just because one isn’t in the operating room when a child is half born and sissors are thrust into the base of the baby’s skull and opened out in the child’s head to kill it?
**This is to declare with Pilate, “I am innocent of the blood of this just man”? (innocent child of God)? **Yet by his refusal to stand up against these people though he knew Jesus was innocent he was guilty of murder. Perhaps, if you stand before God who is father of each person and ask the question, you may be able to see the answer.

I know many people even permit abortion in their own lives and I do have much compassion for them, I believe that mostly they don’t face what they are really doing because of other pressures. There are books of the later psycholical effects on many of them, and they poor darlings have to learn how to forgive themselves. I pray for their healing. You however, have an intellectual decision to make.

I’m sorry that the truth is painful. All the best with the difficulties you face. It is painful to work out what is right when you do wish to vote for a particular candidate.

I am hardly a theologian, but here’s what my understandings are:

First, it is difficult for me to conceive knowingly supporting an avowed supporter of abortion-on-demand “rights” being anything other than a mortal sin unless there is a correspondingly (and I would say greater) clear and grave moral evil to be avoided by doing so. It is very difficult for me to conceive of any evil in this election cycle that even remotely approaches abortion in gravity.

Second, however, (and again, claiming no expertise) my understanding of the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit is that the sin is the persistent and intentional rejection of grace. It’s an ongoing thing, continually chosen. It isn’t a one time thing except at death.

Therefore, I cannot think of voting for an abortionist candidate as the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit, as grave as I think doing so is. We could always turn away from that particular sin. Part of the problem with such things, though is that the more we persist in some particular sin, the more hardened we tend to become about it. The more self-justifying we become. And the closer we get to deciding to persist permanently in doing what we know is gravely wrong. Where that point is, I don’t know.

Your descriptions are motivational but again the question is

Is it a Mortal sin to vote for a total pro-choice candidate when there is a Pro life candidate.

If you do not consider the question answered, then perhaps you are looking for something else. If, for example, you mean it this way: “Is it a mortal sin to vote for a viable candidate who is prolife in most ways and might be reasonably expected to fight abortion on demand but, e.g., is pro-choice only in the case of rape, when there is another viable candidate who is totally pro-choice, and yet another who is totally prolife but has no chance at all of winning?” then the question is different. Is that what you are trying to get at?

There is no such thing as a “pro choice” candidate. What the candidate actually favors is the legal status of abortion. They will vote for and protect laws that make it legal to kill children.

A Catholic cannot support such a position or person without being complicit in the support of legal abortion.

A mortal sin requires grave matter, full knowledge, and free will. Abortion and the support if it is grave matter. So, what remains is full knowledge and free will. If you have both, then it is likely that you are committing a mortal sin.

Note the recent statement by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver

. . . [Catholics who support ‘pro-choice’ candidates] also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it. What is a ‘proportionate’ reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life – which we most certainly will.** If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed**."

There are two candidates and one is totally pro choice and one is totally pro life and a Catholic with that knowledge votes for the pro-choice candidate due to dislike of the pro life candidate or party affiliation to the pro choice candidate or uses another issue of the pro-choice candidates position such as a lesser evil than abortion to vote for that candidate willingly understanding that abortion is the killing of innocents and the greater of the two evils.

Is this not a mortal sin and being complacent with and a part of that sin being committed

I did not think the question is that complex.

I would love to see a candidate who is REALLY pro-life-against abortion, against euthanasia, against the death penalty and who really places the option of war as an absolute last resort. I’d also love to see a candidate who truly believes in a preferential option for the poor.

Sadly, I’ve never seen one and don’t think I ever will.

It is not intrinsically evil, nor is it always wrong, to vote for a candidate who is pro-abortion. There are many different important issues, such as war, poverty, healthcare, abortion, and a Catholic voter may weigh these issues and vote accordingly.

Also, sometimes voting for a pro-abortion candidate strengthens a party that is mostly pro-life.

Most pro-life politicians would permit abortion in some cases, and many would permit stem cell research. Some pro-abortion candidates would still favor some restrictions on abortion. So it is not always a clear choice.

Given a choice between a fully pro-abortion candidate and a fully pro-life candidate, the abortion issue should weigh heavily on the conscience of the Catholic voter.

It is always a sin to vote with the intention of keeping abortion legal, making it more widely available, or loosening restrictions on it. But one can morally vote for a pro-abortion candidate despite that position on abortion.

But does not the Popes letter below invalidate what you are saying as other items overriding the abortion issue when voting for a candidate?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Abortion is a crime of aggression not only against the unborn, but also against society, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Children have the right to be born and to grow in the midst of a family founded on matrimony, where the parents are the first educators of children in the faith and where they can grow to full human and spiritual maturity,” the pope said Dec. 3.

  1. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. …] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propoganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. …] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

  2. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

I agree with you but is not the killing of innocents (abortions) called upon us to be weighed above al other evils when choosing a candidate ?

It’s the most important issue to me, because I believe it is the most important issue to God.

From the Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics (

These five current issues concern actions that are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by the law. Intrinsically evil actions are those that fundamentally conflict with the moral law and can never be deliberately performed under any circumstances. It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues.

1. Abortion

The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is “never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it” (EV 73). Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.
The unborn child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child’s, who should not suffer death for others’ sins.

2. Euthanasia

Often disguised by the name “mercy killing,” euthanasia is also a form of homicide. No person has a right to take his own life, and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person.
In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed, by action or omission, out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include intentionally doing something intrinsically evil to another person (cf. EV 73).

3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Human embryos are human beings. “Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo” (CRF 4b).
Recent scientific advances show that often medical treatments that researchers hope to develop from experimentation on embryonic stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there is no valid medical argument in favor of using embryonic stem cells. And even if there were benefits to be had from such experiments, they would not justify destroying innocent embryonic humans.

4. Human Cloning

“Attempts . . . for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through ‘twin fission,’ cloning, or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union” (RHL I:6).
Human cloning also involves abortion because the “rejected” or “unsuccessful” embryonic clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.

5. Homosexual "Marriage"

True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other union as “marriage” undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.
“When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral” (UHP 10).

Of course, this is a pamphlet from an advocacy group against abortion-not the Catholic Church proper. It bothers me a little bit, because IMHO it tacitly supports one party over another. I don’t believe that Churches of any denomination should be involved even in tacit support of a political party. Historically, the candidates of one party have spoken in churches on Sunday morning-which is also way out of bounds in my mind.

The Churches have an obligation to inform the faithful of their teaching, but if they want to remain tax exempt, they need to be careful not to inject themselves into the political process.


Please re-read the words: “never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it” (EV 73).

Notice the “EV 73.” That stands Pope John Paul II’s, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), which is a papal encyclical. And we all know the Holy Father was neither Democrat nor Republican.

Incidentally, when grave moral issues are on the line, the Church has no choice but to advise in the political process. And why should it lose tax-exempt status for stating policy positions according to moral teachings that predate even the foundation of our country? This is absurd. If American (or any other) politicians want to play the dangerous game of selecting which human lives are valuable, the Church has a direct responsibility to inform the faithful of the grave moral error being proposed, including the sin incurred by actively promoting such policies, by voting for the men who would enact them.

The quote from the Pope’s document does not endorse a party-the pamphlet that contains it comes thisclose.

Churches and other non-profit organizations that hold 501©(3) tax-exempt status must abide by Internal Revenue Service regulations barring any involvement in partisan politics. The blanket prohibition concerns only races for public office, not issues. Religious leaders may speak out from the pulpit or in other forums on moral and political issues. **However, churches and pastors may not endorse candidates for public office or advise congregants to vote for or against certain candidates. **Federal tax law in this area is quite strict, and the IRS has indicated that it follows a “zero tolerance” policy toward violations.

If the group in question is considered tax exempt-they’re dancing very close to that line.

It so happens that we only have TWO candidates from which to choose, and each candidate is free to decide for himself what his position will be on moral issues. Are you condemning the Holy Father’s statement? Because Priests for Life has merely echoed exactly what he said. And nowhere is a candidate’s name mentioned. Are we now not to be free to discuss morality? Perhaps we should just tape our mouths and hum Kumbaya?

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