Editor's Note: If you are aware of any additional strong statements to add to the list below, please send them to [email protected].
November 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics voters frequently find themselves wishing more clergy, especially bishops, would speak out on the crucial nature of voting for life on Election Day instead of often enduring a prevailing silence on obvious pro-abortion candidates and party platforms.
When priests and prelates do speak out to remind Catholics of their responsibility to vote for life, it gains attention and very often appreciation.
In two cases with priests, these messages went viral as well.
Here we present some of the best comments we've seen from bishops and priests this election season on the urgent need to vote pro-life.
Phoenix cathedral rector's warning gets over 900,000 views
The rector of Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral Rector in Phoenix gave an early October homily that went viral, with 924,000 views on Youtube to date, showing the flawed reasoning and grave moral dangers of supporting a pro-abortion candidate.
“Suppose a candidate for president promoted a policy that would make it legal for someone to kill a black person if that black person created a hardship for them getting the education they desired,” Father John Lankeit said. “How many of you would be comfortable voting for that candidate?”
“One party favors open borders, the other party favors law and order,” he said. But “suppose a candidate for president promoted a policy that would make it legal for someone to kill a Hispanic person if the presence of that Hispanic person made it more difficult to pursue one’s career of choice. How many of you would be comfortable voting for that candidate?”
“There is a candidate, in this 2016 race for president, who along with that candidate’s political party does, in fact, sanction the killing of blacks and Hispanics in the situations previously described under one particular condition,” Father Lankeit continued. “That that black person or that Hispanic person is still in his or her mother’s womb.”
“Your soul will be in grave danger” if you vote for a candidate and party that are committed to expanding abortion on demand, “especially if you present yourself for Holy Communion after casting such a vote with the full knowledge of what you’re doing.”
Priest says voting for abortion candidate ‘incomprehensible’
Father Mark Goring made a video message in August explaining the culpability of Catholics who support pro-abortion Catholics in an election, stating, “The blood of these unborn children is on your hands if you vote for and support an aggressively pro-abortion politician.”
A lot of Catholics do so, the director of the Catholic Charismatic Center in Houston, Texas, said, something he finds “incomprehensible,” making them “stupid Catholics.”
“These Catholics don’t realize that by voting for an aggressively pro-abortion politician they share the responsibility for the death of these unborn children,” Father Goring said.
Portland archbishop: Voting for life ‘foundational’
Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, told LifeSiteNews recently that “all candidates are flawed in some way or another,” and it boils down to “what their stance is in the life issues, which is the foundational stance in every election – the respect for the dignity of human life.”
“According to the teachings of the Church – on the moral issues – that form and shape the culture in the society in which we live, we need to be guided by the teachings of Christ and the Church on moral issues,” Archbishop Sample stated. The lack of perfect candidates diminishes neither the imperative to actually go and vote nor the reflected discernment of the Catholic voter, he explained.
New York bishop: Abortion support 'sufficient' to disqualify candidate
Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, said recently in a letter to parishes that the fact a candidate supports abortion is sufficient reason alone to disqualify them from getting a Catholic’s vote.
“Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive ‘personally opposed but …’ line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote,” Bishop Murphy wrote in the October 24 letter. “Let me repeat that: Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive ‘personally opposed but …’ line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote.”
Bishop says pro-abortion Catholics are Pharisees
The Catholic bishop of Bismarck took to Twitter and his diocesan website this month to give Catholics clear guidance on voting in accord with Catholic principles.
“A properly formed Catholic conscience does not contradict the defined truths of our Catholic Faith in matters of faith and morals,” the bishop said in a statement this month. “The Catholic Church’s teachings are the means for us to properly form our consciences so that we seek always what is objectively true and good.”
Kansas bishops: Abortion should be at 'forefront' of voters' minds
“All Catholics have a moral obligation to keep [the] human rights catastrophe” of abortion “at the forefront of their minds when voting,” Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, Kansas, said in a video released in September by the four bishops of Kansas. “In our country, over one million unborn children are killed by abortion every single year.”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Bishop Carl Kemme of Wichita, and Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Salina joined Bishop Brungardt.
The bishops told voters to “place special emphasis on those issues where Catholics must speak with a unified voice because of the reality that certain laws directly contradict Church teaching, the natural law, and the good of society.”
Other priests stand up for life
Other priests have spoken out strongly about voting for life as well.
“Really, how dare anyone say — I don’t care, laity, priest, bishop — that all issues are equal?” Father Stephen Imbarrato, a priest associate at Priests for Life asked during a recent homily broadcast on EWTN. “That we adhere to some consistent life ethic as a reason to regulate murder at the beginning and end of life is just another issue facing our society?”
“As important as all the non-negotiables are, and they are non-negotiables, we now have seen others try to make the list include all issues, Otherwise known as this ‘consistent life ethic,’ the ‘seamless garment,’ so to speak,” he said. “As much as we need to be mindful of the poor, and many other social issues…the fact is that marriage and moral experimentation do supersede all other social issues. “But the even plainer fact is abortion is the pre-eminent and defining issue of our day and supersedes all other issues.”
“Over a hundred twenty thousand babies die from abortion each day worldwide,” Father Imbarrato stated as well. “This is such a river of blood, such an affront against God, the author of life, that there can really be no issue more important or demanding greater or immediate attention.”
Father Michael Orsi, a Naples, Florida, priest and former Ave Maria Law School chaplain, delivered a fiery message about the need for pastors to have the courage to speak up o political issues from the pulpit or risk losing their very churches at a September 10 National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children event, listing the sanctity of life among the issues.
“Your churches may be closed anyway,” he said, “because if a certain party gets elected, this certain party said, if the churches do not agree with our interpretation of women’s reproductive rights, they’ll just have to change their doctrine.”
“If a certain party gets elected,” Father Orsi continued, “I can assure you what kind of judges are going to be on those appeals courts,” noting the judges would be issuing decisions on whether the government may force churches and religious institutions to pay for abortion, contraception, and abortifacient drugs.
Father Orsi, also the host of a weekly pro-life cable television program, said in a subsequent message that if the U.S. continues on its current patch, citing Hillary Clinton’s that the unborn children have no rights, “we’ll soon be confronting the open practice of infanticide.”
Father Christopher Pollard, pastor at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, said in a piece this month for Catholic News Agency that this year’s election was a choice between two different poisons, stating, “Vote because it will bring about the better outcome. And for heaven’s sake, if you do cast a ballot, do not use it to promote abortion.”
“If you have ever done so, please repent,” the Diocese of Arlington priest wrote. “The punishments for those who deliberately kill the innocent, from which God will not be able to spare the impenitent, do not expire after three days or three months or three years or ever.”
Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone has been highly active throughout promoting the message of voting pro-life. He told LifeSiteNews earlier this fall that whether a candidate supports abortion should determine a person's vote in and of itself.
“There are certain positions that a public official takes which disqualify them from public office,” Father Pavone said. “Abortion is a disqualifying position. To be in support of the killing of innocent children disqualifies you. It doesn’t matter how good you are on other issues. It really doesn’t matter because you have undermined even your position on those other issues.”
The national pro-life leader is active in advocating for life in every election cycle, and this year is no exception, while in addition he is serving in the Catholic Advisory Committee for the Trump campaign. Priests for Life released a guide this fall comparing the two major parties’ platforms and where they came down on the life issue.
“An issue is an issue in the first place only because life matters,” Father Pavone said. “If life doesn’t matter, you don’t have any issues. So poverty is important because it’s the life of the poor person that matters. Unemployment is important for the same reason. Protecting people from terrorism is important because people have a right to live. It all comes down to the right to life.”