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Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Edward C. Malesic

CLEVELAND, Ohio, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Edward Malesic of the Diocese of Cleveland released a letter on his diocesan website regarding the “paramount consideration” that must be given to the right to life and opposing abortion above all other issues when voting in next month’s election.

“The consistent teaching of the Church regarding the intrinsic evil of abortion seeks to secure all other rights as well,” Malesic wrote in his Sept. 30 letter. 

He agreed with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who stated in their Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, that “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed.” 

Malesic went on to say that it is not enough to vote according to conscience, but that one’s conscience must be properly formed.

“A properly formed conscience comes through prayer, Scripture and studying the teaching of the Church that is promoted and protected by the apostles and their successors, the bishops.”

He again quoted the bishops:

A Catholic voter cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position…At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

Malesic made it clear that, even though there are other social justice issues that need attention, the right to life is foremost. 

“When we cast our vote, we must not remain indifferent to those positions and policies that would negatively impact religious freedoms, erode the traditional family, or make it difficult for the poor to access adequate education, housing and healthcare. We must carefully consider how to fix our broken immigration system, address the worldwide refugee crisis, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strive for humane solutions to global conflict and terrorism,” he said. 

“But, to be clear, although there are many causes our Church stands for and is vocal about, the right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration so that people can have the chance to secure all the other benefits that life can afford,” he added.