Elsewhere: Can a Catholic vote for Romney?


On Tuesday I wrote about the source of human rights (It’s your right), the completely false “right to choose” and the upcoming election. Considering his unequivocal position and track record in favor of abortion, no Catholic can morally vote for Barrack Obama.

Can a Catholic vote for Mitt Romney? There are a number of areas where faithful Catholics can disagree on the potential effectiveness of his plans (e.g. healthcare, taxes, government aid for the poor, just war and the death penalty). These are prudential judgments on effectiveness, not morality.

Primary issues of morality where Mitt Romney differs from Barack Obama include abortion, traditional marriage and religious freedom. Romney would score “excellent” in all but abortion where his position is pro-life but not as perfect as we would like. Where does that leave us faithful Catholic voters?

Leila Miller coincidentally addressed this question last Tuesday on her blog Little Catholic Bubble:

I have heard faithful Catholics agonize over this year’s presidential election. They know that a vote for Obama is morally impossible (they are correct), but they are conflicted about voting for Mitt Romney, who is not 100% pro-life. Should they sit out the election or vote for a third party or write-in candidate, knowing that those options boost Obama’s chances of winning?

Or should they vote for Romney and possibly commit a sin?

I hope to assure you today that you will not commit a sin if you vote for Mitt Romney. Not only is the faithful-to-the-Magisterium organization, Catholic Vote, endorsing Romney, but pro-life warrior Fr. Frank Pavone will be voting for him as well:

Speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of any of the organizations I lead, it is clear to me that taking account not only of the teachings of the Church but of the demands of conscience in the light of the holocaust we continue to face with abortion, voting for the Romney-Ryan ticket is a smart way to mitigate the present evil we are facing.

Priests for Life has laid out “Ten Easy Steps to Voting with a Clear Conscience“, and I’d like to draw your attention to number eight, which helps us make some critical distinctions. Please note that all emphases are from the original:

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After you chew on that for a bit (I know I did!), you can continue to form your conscience on these matters by considering what Blessed John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 73), concerning the legislative votes of elected officials (emphasis mine):

A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.

Look, it would be nice to have the perfect candidate running against Barack Obama this November. But we live in the real world, the fallen world. We have a viable candidate in Mitt Romney, a man who will not actively persecute the Church (can you believe that’s even an issue?), and who will mitigate the evil that has come and will continue to come through Obama’s policies, executive orders, mandates, and (lifetime!) judicial appointments. As we read above, “by your vote, you can keep the worse person out. And trying to do that is not only legitimate, but good.”

You will not be in sin by voting for Romney. I beg of you not to “make a statement” this election, but to make sure that Obama is voted out of office for good. There is no greater threat to both the Catholic Church and unborn children in America than four more years of Barack Obama in the White House.

According to the principles of the Catholic Church, you may vote Romney-Ryan with a clear conscience.

Read Leila’s whole post: Catholics: Why it is not a sin to vote for Romney.

Priests for Life publishes the Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics and…

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