Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Bishops Speak Out Against One Issue Voting


Bishop of Memphis Calls on Catholics Not to be One Issue Voters


The Most Rev. J. Terry Steib, Bishop of Memphis, called upon Catholics to avoid being one issue voters. He asked them to follow their consciences and weigh all the moral issues they face before casting their ballots.

“We must recognize,” he wrote, “that God through the Church, is calling us to be prophetic in our own day. If our conscience is well formed, then we will make the right choices about candidates who may not support the Church's position in every case.”

Citing words from a statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” a voting guide issued last November by the Bishops of the United States, Steib wrote that "there may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible o nly for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil."

“A person might choose not to vote, but voting is a necessary part of our witness to Jesus Christ and a witness to our Baptism. So, sometimes hard choices will have to be made.”

Steib wrote that within the past few weeks some denominations have taken on the task of challenging the policy of the IRS concerning the Church and politics and that they were deliberately endorsing candidates and urging people in their congregations to vote for those persons in order to force the IRS to determine if the current policy of forbidding such endorsements is proper.

The Bishop called upon Catholics to be prudent when they form their consciences. “Prudence is not easy to define, but according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prudence helps us to ‘discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.’"
He posed the question facing many Catholics, asking what is a voter to do when presented with candidates whose views do not reflect the full teachings of the Church.

Bishop Steib's statement that Catholics should not be one issue voters was also proclaimed this week by the Most Rev. Gabino Zavala, a Roman Catholic bishop in California.

Bishop Zavala "What I believe, and what the church teaches, is that one abortion is too many. That's why I believe abortion is so important. But in light of this, there are many other issues we need to bring up, other issues we should consider, other issues that touch the reality of our lives."

The full text of Bishop Steib's statement is here: http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2236

22 comments:

FranIAm said...

And have you seen EJ Dionne's column? Or Bishop Martino's (Scranton) bomb blast of words?

Strange days indeed.

However - hopeful days too.

Maryanne said...

How very sad that a Shepherd would mislead his sheep. Life must come first because without it, nothing else matters. The Church has spoken, the Pope has spoken. I will pray for Bishop Steib daily. I would think he would be more passionate about life since Planned Parenthood targets the death of black babies 5 to 1 over white babies. All life is precious.

Rustler45 said...

"Two Bishops Speak Out Against One Issue Voting"

WOW! Two Marxist bishops speak up.

The Church has already spoken and said that without life no other issues are important.

What's with these two Judases?

Anonymous said...

Abortion (according to the Catholic Catechism) 2270-2275.

2270:"Human life must be respected and protected ABSOLUTELY from the MOMENT OF CONCEPTION. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person-among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life."

2271: "Direct abortion willed either as an end or a means is gravely contrary to the moral law" "You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish."

2272: "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this CRIME against human life." "...The Church does not intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the IRREPARABLE harm done to the INNOCENT WHO IS PUT TO DEATH, as well as to the parents and the whole society."

The truth cannot be changed or willed different. Our Creator (for all including those aborted) determines the truth. He gives us free will to make decisions. We all will be responsible for the decisions that we make. Telling yourself or letting others tell you that abortion is a "right" plainly does not understand. At the end, you and I will be in either heaven or he** FOREVER!

A vote for ANY individual supporting abortion earns that person the right to explain to God why they feel that they can decide who shall or shall not be created. For myself, I think that the CREATOR is the only one who can make those decisions.

BIGRED1 said...

I can not understand how a Catholic can possibly ever vote for a democrat, especially one as liberal as Obama. What part of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness does he champion? None!

When I ask those left Catholics’ why they lean left they have one of two answers

1) Social Justice we need to help our fellow man. With this I agree, but I believe that we will be judged based on what we are willing to do for our fellow man…not by what we legislate and force upon others. You do not get a reward for forcing others to be “giving”

2) Capital Punishment Life is Sacred – I say BS. Do they really care more about the lives of the 42 convicted felons that were executed in 2007 than the estimated 0ver 1,000,000 innocent babies that were aborted in the same year?

The Pro-Life position is not a negotiable position in the Catholic Faith yet so many who claim to be Catholic are willing to turn a blind eye.

I recently saw a video at the following url ( http://www.durarealidad.com/ ) I challenge any Catholic, indeed any person to watch this video and still say they can accept Abortion. It is difficult to watch but whether you are pro-life, pro-abortion or somewhere in between it will change your view and probably your life. I will warn you in advance that if you have the courage to watch, you will be forced to reconsider what you believe and what you are called to do regarding this issue.

Katherine said...

Social Justice we need to help our fellow man. With this I agree, but I believe that we will be judged based on what we are willing to do for our fellow man…not by what we legislate and force upon others.

I am familiar with that line of thinking, though I do not concur with it. It is the philosophical basis for the pro-choice position.

Becky said...

I would like to know why it is more important to protect the innocent lives of unborn children than the innocent children that we already have in the world. Both should be equally important.

Abortion is never a good option, but the Republican stance on War, helping those in poverty, and almost every other issue (and these issues DO affect innocent life) is so opposite of what the Catholic church teaches. How can you reconcile yourself with that?

Florentius said...

Wow, you had to dig pretty deep to find a bishop saying anything close to what you're saying. Fortunately, there are 20 times as many bishops telling folks that abortion IS a grave and paramount issue.

And here's more bad news for you all. Look who has come out for John McCain--Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King:

Black Leaders Support McCain

Here's the money quote for you from Alveda:

"I am very excited about the McCain-Palin ticket, simply because they support the values that mean the most to me," Ms. King said. "It is a plus to me that Sarah Palin is a woman because I've been elected to office as a wife and mother. I've been appointed to office as a woman and at the time I was a mother and became a grandmother." 



Ms. King said her experience taught her she could both be a good mother and still serve the public. This is something she has in common with Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, McCain's running mate.

However, the most important reason she is backing the McCain-Palin ticket is its commitment to the pro-life cause.

Florentius said...

Becky wrote: "Abortion is never a good option, but the Republican stance on War, helping those in poverty, and almost every other issue (and these issues DO affect innocent life) is so opposite of what the Catholic church teaches. How can you reconcile yourself with that?"

Dear Becky,

What is the Republican stance on war? Do you think Republicans go to war willy-nilly? Do you truly think that Obama will pull all our troops out from everywhere if he is elected? If so, that is a naive position. As Joe Biden said, Obama is likely to invite future attacks on the US as a result of his inexperience and the desire of our enemies to test an unproven president. I personally have no faith that Obama could pass such a test.

As for poverty, you are no doubt aware that conservatives are, on average, more generous when it comes to charitable donations than liberals. We just don't believe it is the proper function of government to take money by force from one person, process it through a huge, unwieldy and corrupt bureaucracy, and give considerably less money to someone else. That kind of caritas is NOT what Christ taught. Love is not measured by COLA increases. And the Catholic Church has never taught that you can save your soul by demanding more largesse from the government.

But be that as it may, the key issue here is abortion. Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate ever to have achieved his party's nomination and will govern as such.

Watch this video: Dura Realidad

If you can watch that and still vote for Obama, then nothing I can say will change your mind.

Florentius said...

Oh, and I noticed you missed this article that's also relevant:

Bishop Warns of Obama’s Promise to Implement Extreme “Freedom of Choice Act”

Kylie and Andrew said...

Where in the catechism does the church say an infant, surviving a partial-birth abortion, may be left outside the womb to die? This is what Senator OBAMA voted for in the Illinois senate.

Jesus died for infants surviving abortion too.

OBAMA is running a DEATH CAMPAIGN.

Katherine said...

What is the Republican stance on war? Do you think Republicans go to war willy-nilly?

Yes, I do. That is my judgement. As a faithful lay Catholic, I have the right to make that judgement and then act accordingly.

As for poverty, you are no doubt aware that conservatives ... don't believe it is the proper function of government to take money by force from one person, process it through a huge, unwieldy and corrupt bureaucracy, and give considerably less money to someone else.

That is the same arguement the pro-choice people make about abortion.

Rustler45 said...

KATHERINE SAID: "As a faithful lay Catholic...."

Excuse me while I puke.

KATHERINE SAID: That is the same arguement the pro-choice people make about abortion.

No it's not.

sean said...

No it's not

boy, that's intellectually deep.

martin m. said...

Finally someone found a way to shut Rustler up. As soon as Sean called for more intellectual depth, not another word out of Rustler!

Rustler45 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rustler45 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
martin m. said...

What's the matter Rustler? Cat got your tongue? Postings so stupid even you feel the need to delete them?

Anonymous said...

You may be a Catholic, but before you vote for Obama, you better think real hard on what you are doing. By voting for a man that supports 43 Million babies killed over the years. They try to make it sound all too good by giving it all a new name. "Pro-Choice", but lets call it for what it really is, and that is murder. Read the bible and maybe you will see the light. See a medical ex-ray and you will be able to see that baby moving in the mother. What more do people need to know? Maybe no one cares anymore or they do not have a strong faith in God. Please do the right thing and don' t put you're support to a president that gives no rights to the unborn. Its not about the mother, its about what's in her, that is the issue here. And that is a life. Just think about this. Anybody that is, lets say 30 years of age might of not been born because of this abortion law. So every mother that is expecting a child in the USA are making every child at risk of being killed before birth or at birth. It is the people and government that support this evil everyday. I will pray for you, and I hope you turn to God before voting and pray that he guides you to make the right choice.
If you vote for Obama it makes you a supporter of this killing. Their are also other issues why people should not support him, I could go on and on. But this one is the issue that we will be judged before God on that day. So think about what you are doing and make the right choice. Do not be fooled, God bless you.

Sincerely yours,
Michael

Anonymous said...

Michael,

It is outrageosu that George W. Bush allowed 43 Million babies to be killed.

Rustler45 said...

KATHERINE SAID: "As a faithful lay Catholic...."

Excuse me while I puke.

KATHERINE SAID: That is the same arguement the pro-choice people make about abortion.

No it's not.

Rudi said...

Personally, as an American and a Catholic, I can't support a candidate who's foreign policy prioritizes the interests of industry and jingoism over human life, for whom globally competitive education standards or transitioning into a sustainable energy economy is not a priority, and who regards healthcare only as a commodity and not also as a human right.

Weighing all those issues against abortion, I have to say that the scale of my conscience tips in favor of former. That's ME, my personal choice as an American and a Catholic. If others' consciences arrive at a different conclusion after prayer and consideration, I can respect that. This is our choice as Americans.

My faith guides my vote, and I think it should be respected even if it is disagreed with. I extend all "pro-life" Catholic voters the same courtesy. To suggest that voters like myself are going to suffer in the afterlife for "voting the wrong way" is really absurd, offensive, and downright ignorant.