Why is voting for Biden a mortal sin?

Thank you yet again for a post supporting sound Catholic Teaching.

As an aside but still on topic of this thread: What I have found among Catholics is a confusion between grave matter and mortal sin. Grave Matter is not always mortal sin. Serious moral wrongs are grave matter, but not necessarily mortal sin; it must be said however that serious moral wrongs are very much in danger of mortal sin as all grave matter can be.

There are three conditions necessary for mortal sin

  1. Grave Matter
  2. Full Knowledge
  3. Full Consent
    As T_B posted: "we do not have full insight into the knowledge and consent of others, so we’re not in a position to tell someone else they committed a “mortal sin”.

And “grave matter”? Is voting for a pro-choice candidate equal to performing an abortion?

No, it’s equal to being an accessory to all the abortions that result from the vote.

1 Like

and that can be 0.

also, as Catholics who support the Church, does that make us accessories to the scandals?

I didn’t actively vote for or endorse any scandals :man_shrugging: Did you? In fact, to the farthest extent I am in a position to, I demand accountability for scandals. Personally, I even withhold financial support from anyone but my local parish.

In my book, it certainly is grave matter.

Sometimes, there is no clear choice between good and evil. Sometimes one may need to try to discern the lesser of two evils.
To vote for a pro choice will somehow involve one in what results from that choice and in this case abortions; however, there might be other issues in voting for the politician who is pro life - issues that do not protect human life rather mortally endanger it; other issues the pro life politician promotes that endanger seriously the common good.

I like the following post by @Tis_Bearself:

"We’ve had a couple dozen threads on this already, but I’ll say it again:

Voting for Biden is NOT a mortal sin unless a voter were to choose Biden, with full knowledge and full consent of the will, for the main purpose of opposing the Church teaching on abortion OR OTHERWISE UNDERMINE CHURCH TEACHING (formatting are mine).

Those who claim voting for Biden is always a mortal sin are going against the teaching of the Church. There are many legitimate and moral reasons for a voter to choose to vote for Biden.

Not to mention that we do not have full insight into the knowledge and consent of others, so we’re not in a position to tell someone else they committed a “mortal sin” unless perhaps we are the priest hearing their confession and gathering this information from them, in which case we wouldn’t be allowed to talk about their mortal sins outside the confessional anyway."

Reading matter on The Common Good:

https://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/principles/glossary/ (scroll to Common Good)

Does anyone know where Amy leans on this issue? Talk about activism! As far as I’ve read, our founding fathers never envisioned corporations being considered people. It seems conservatives were quite fond of this case of judicial activism!

“Accessory” is a legal term, not a moral theology term. In this, you may present your opinion, but it goes further than the Church teaches. It makes no sense. If this was sin, than any voting would be sinful.

1 Like

This thread is eye-opening to me. Abortion has been considered as a “non-political issue” in Korea and none of the two major parties advocate for abortion rights. Yes, the supreme court has overturned that abortion is illegal to legal, but no parties have even mentioned abortion in parliament. I’ve never understood that certain parties can advocate for abortion. That has never been done in my country.

Yes, It is certainly not something to be done lightly. Both Trump and Biden are extremely poor candidates for different reasons. third part candidates, Like American Solidarity Party, are unvetted. No matter who one votes for there is a legitimate distaste and the country is heading the wrong direction with both.

1 Like

It is a “legal” term that captures a theological teaching and truth.

CCC 1868 - Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them :

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

  • by protecting evil-doers.

In Pre-V2 teachings this was summed up as…

Nine Ways of being ACCESSORY to Another’s Sin

  • By counsel — talking one into sin.
  • By command — telling one to sin.
  • By consent — agreeing with the sin.
  • By provocation — to pressure one into sin.
  • By praise or flattery — congratulating the sin committed by others.
  • By concealment — covering up the sin for another.
  • By partaking — approving sin by assisting in it.
  • By silence — by not speaking up against the sin whenever he is bound to do it.
  • By defending of something evil — justifying somebody else’s evil.

New Roman Missal by Father Lasance, with Imprimaturs in 1937 and 1945.

Please do your research before rendering mischaracterizations of true Church teaching as personal opinions. This is the type of stuff that leads souls astray.

1 Like

They are not exaggerated. Look what’s going on right now with big tech.Controlling the news,locking those out with whom they disagree.This is just the nose of the camel under the tent.
I just cannot.understand the willful denial of things happening in plain sight by so many .This is how the left will succeed.Its very concerning.I feel awful for my children and grandchildren.

This is rude, judgemental and assumes stuff about me that you know nothing about. Please do not continue with personal attacks. After all, it was you that used a legal term, and not “cooperation” which is more nuanced. More to the point, it is false, unless you can say what in my post was a mischaracterization of Church teaching. Hint: there was nothing. You did you a legal term. You did present your opinion, further than the Church teaches.

I will submit that not one of the reasons mentioned here, by necessity, apply to the issue of voting. It is only an opinion, an interpretation. Perhaps in someone who is trying to promote abortion, the second one could apply. But is is possible, even likely that:

  • One is not directly participating in an abortion
  • Has not ordered, advised or approved on one having an abortion
  • Has not had an obligation to disclose or hinder one having an abortion
  • Has not protected one having or performing an abortion.

…and yet would vote for Biden.

The closest one might be if one held an opinion that we had to base all voting on a single issue. As the Church has said the opposite of this, that would just be an opinion.

You are just begging the question, using a circular logic of applying voting to this and saying that voting applies.

Excuse me, you were rude by denying a Church teaching and accusing me of spreading fallacy via personal opinion. No need to get dramatic about being corrected.

Tomato/ TomAto … I also cited a source using the term that you find too legalistic, which is approved with 2 Imprimaturs. The term is appropriate.

Now THAT is an opinion.

Then I will quote the Church, as I think you are mistaken.

A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil.

There is a critical phrase in here which I bolded. A voter is not held responsible, for example, of the racism promoted by an elected president unless his intent was to promote that racism.

That is an irrelevant straw man. No one is arguing that principle. It is only your application of this that I am saying is an application the Church has not made. One is not universally responsible for every evil thing someone does that one votes for, unless there is an intention to promote that evil.

I will not argue the rudeness issue. I believe the posts that remain speak for themselves.

The basic truth remains, after all these threads and all the attempts and convoluted reasoning - the Catholic Church has never claimed that voting for Biden is objectively sinful, much less a mortal sin. Some of the reasoning to show the problem with it is pretty sound, but being mean to others will never sway anyone. No one likes to be bullied.


No one is bullying you. Just because someone says something that you disagree with, or it refutes a narrative being promoted, or corrects an error, doesnt make it rude. Pretending to be a victim only serves to undermine whatever substance you may actually be trying to deliver.

I’m not sure if this article has been posted elsewhere on CAF, but I thought it summed up well the divide we are seeing here. Two well-known and respected Catholic laymen, John Carr and Jayd Henricks, both of whom have worked with the USCCB, reaching different conclusions regarding this election, one for Biden and one for Trump, and neither of them necessarily being in mortal sin because of it, due to each of them following their well formed conscience.

1 Like

Do you work in publuc sector? I am in private sector and am doing better now, even during covid crisis, thank God.

1 Like

I worked in the private sector. I was able to retire after the 2008 recession, but the current administration’s policies of deregulation and weakened government oversight concerns me. I know that puts me at odds with libertarians and most conservatives, but that’s how I see the situation.

1 Like
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.