Catholics Still Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians

Dear Editor,

With each election cycle over the past 30-40 years, the Catholic Church has espoused the importance of a voter’s “well formed conscience,” guided by Catholic Social Teaching, for the selection of elected officials. 

Until November 2002, when the Vatican issued the “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life”, the principle for assessing a politician’s position on moral issues was the “Whole Cloth” philosophy.  This discredited theory, espoused by the now deceased Cardinal Bernardin, promoted the idea that when deciding who to vote for, one should consider the entirety of a politicians positions, thus “Whole Cloth”. 

This was great political cover for politicians, voters and priests alike, and the philosophy still lives among some diehard priests and lay persons.  All succeeding documents since 2002 clearly define “life issues” as the preeminent determinant for Catholics when deciding who they should vote for.  The latest USCCB document released in November 2007, further reinforces this position.

That’s history.  So were are we today?  Catholics are still voting in overwhelming numbers for pro-abortion politicians. Have the Bishop’s failed in their responsibility to instruct the laity so that they can approach voting with a “well formed conscience”?  Is the laity simply ignoring the teachings of the Church? 

Let me just say that my conscience forming was achieved by my own efforts, not due to any effort on the part of the Diocese.  The politics of death are winning.  Were if not for Protestant Evangelicals there would be little hope.  A serious, conscience-forming effort on the part of the Church would help, but I am growing old waiting.

  David Berendsen
  Durham, NC


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