ARLINGTON, October 29, 2004 ( – Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Catholic diocese of Arlington, Virginia has issued a letter to his flock in which he asserts, “To be a faithful Catholic necessarily means that one is pro-life and not pro-choice.” Bishop Loverde joins a growing group of Catholic bishops in the US who are reminding Catholic voters of the ‘fundamental’ nature of the life issues in the upcoming Presidential election.

He writes in the weekend edition of the Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper for Arlington, “The foundation for these principles is the first, the protection of human life, since without it the other three would be rendered meaningless.”

Political commentators have accused the bishops of taking a partisan role in the presidential race. Bishop Loverde writes, “The Church’s God-given responsibility is to propose the Truth, thereby offering people the proper criterion for examining issues and making informed decisions that are morally right and serve the common good.”

Many Catholics in the US have been confused by the suggestion, first put forward by the well-known, liberal sociologist and writer, Fr. Andrew Greeley, who said that a Catholic could support a pro-abortion politician as long as the support was not specifically because of his position on abortion. A number of bishops have corrected this position, pointing out that the extreme gravity of the offence of abortion cannot be balanced by any of the commonly cited reasons.

Bishop Loverde addresses the issue of proportionality in his letter, saying, “Proportionate reason does not mean that each issue carries the same moral weight; intrinsically evil acts such as abortion or research on stem cells taken from human embryos cannot be placed on the same level as debates over war or capital punishment, for example.

The bishop wrote, “It is simply not possible to serve and promote the common good of our nation by voting for a candidate who, once in office, will do nothing to limit or restrict the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.”

Read Bishop Loverde’s letter:   ph


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