By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

October 24, 2008 ( – With only days remaining before the November 4 U.S. election, a tally has shown that over a quarter of America’s bishops have published articles, issued statements or given interviews where they have declared that the most important issue for voters in their choice of a new president is the candidate’s stance on abortion.

The tally was put together by well-known Catholic journalist and blogger Rocco Palmo, and published in The Tablet, a Catholic periodical (See Rocco’s article here:

Catholics across the nation have taken the message pro-life to heart, as their pastors have repeatedly called on them to make the right to life the defining issue and to vote accordingly.

Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis wrote in the archdiocesan newspaper last Friday that “the issue of life is the most basic issue and must be given priority over the issue of the economy, the issue of war or any other issue.”

“Saving our children or killing our children. This,” wrote the Bishop Hermann in the St. Louis Review, “is the overriding issue facing each of us. All other issues … have to take second place to the issue of life.”

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph wrote in his diocesan newspaper that “despite hardship, beyond partisanship, for the sake of our eternal salvation,” Catholic voters “should never” support a candidate who favours the continued legalization of abortion.

Bishops Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas and Keven W. Vann of Fort Worth issued a pastoral letter on October 8 which singled out abortion as the “preeminent intrinsic evil of our day,” and again stressed that all other rights originate in the right to life.

“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop,” the bishops wrote.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver made national headlines when he described Barack Obama as “the most committed abortion-rights presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.”

Archbishop Chaput later said that those Catholics who promote Obama as “this year’s ‘real’ pro-life candidate,” are under a “peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.”

The determination of these bishops to reach Catholic voters appears to be paying off.

Investor’s Business Daily and the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (IBD/TIPP) has released a tracking poll that shows a dramatic shift in opinion that may be a result of the bishops’ guidance to their flocks.

IBD/TIPP reported on Thursday that McCain, who has repeatedly declared his pro-life stance on abortion, has cut into Obama’s lead for a second day in a row and is now just 1.1 points behind. The spread was 3.7 on Wednesday and 6.0 on Tuesday.

Of particular note, however, the poll also shows that John McCain has gone from an 11-point deficit to a 9-point lead over Barack Obama among Catholic voters.

According to the Drudge Report, IBD/TIPP was the most accurate pollster for the 2004 election.

Read related articles:

U.S. Bishops Come out Swinging against Abortion, Pro-Abort Politicians

Texas Bishops: Abortion is the “Defining Issue” of This Election