(LifeSiteNews.com) - With an election in the United States looming, much is being made of the Catholic vote and what is moral for Catholics as they head to the voting booth. Pope Benedict XVI, just prior to his election to the pontificate, addressed the matter in a doctrinal note to the US Bishops Conference.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This is a fabulous article, and I would encourage all my readers to read it fully, bookmark it, print it out, and show it to others.
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his capacity as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, intervened in a debate among the US Bishops on the issue of denying communion to pro-abortion politicians in 2004. Simply put, Cardinal Ratzinger said in his letter, titled "Worthiness to receive Holy Communion", that obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politicians, after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion.
That same document by the man who is now Pope, suggested in a nota bene at the conclusion of the document that Catholic citizens who vote for politicians who support abortion also make themselves unworthy to receive Communion. "A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia," he wrote.
The Cardinal added: "When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."
The key is that in order to vote for a pro-abortion politician and remain in good enough standing with Our Lord to be worthy to receive Him in Holy Communion, one must have "proportionate reasons". But what can be considered proportionate?...
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Before I give my interpretation, I would like to preface it by pointing out that 'The Catholic Knight' is no fan of John McCain. I am not campaigning for him, and I don't particularly like him, and I think he'll make a terrible president. That being said, here is my interpretation of the above article...
Catholics must be extremely careful with their vote in this virulent culture of death. The wrong vote could mean the murder of countless unborn children, the sick and the elderly. As the above author pointed out, the term "proportionate reasons" means simply "the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life - which we most certainly will." So whatever reason we each deem as "proportionate," it had better be a damn good one.
Based on the above article, here is what I believe the Catholic options are for election 2008...
Both John McCain and Barack Obama support the culture of death. John McCain supported the Iraq invasion and continues to support further military intervention in the middle east. John McCain also supports the death penalty. But on a much larger issue, far more serious than the above two, John McCain also supports fetal stem-cell research, which the Church considers tantamount to abortion and the U.S. Bishops have just voted to universally condemn in this year's bishops conference. In addition to that, John McCain's supposed "opposition" to regular abortion is weak and dispassionate at best. In short, John McCain is a very weak candidate on the issue of life. He likes to call himself "pro-life" but he has not earned that designation by any stretch of the imagination.
As weak as McCain is on the issue of life, Barack Hussein Obama is far worse. Obama has promised to fight for abortion-on-demand at all costs. He has no legal problem with abortion in the first month of pregnancy, all the way to the ninth month of pregnancy. In short, Obama is an abortion-making machine, who if empowered to do so, will do everything he can to insure that as many abortions as possible take place within this nation. Obama supports public funding of fetal stem-cell research as well. His aggressive posture toward championing the pro-abortion cause is more than enough to offset what little he's done to oppose the war in Iraq, and in the hierarchy of moral truths, he would be far better off if he supported the war and opposed abortion.
So between the two of them we really have a choice between the lesser of two evils. In this case though, it would be morally permissible by means of "proportionate reasons" to vote for John McCain, even though he is less than ideal on the issue of life. This is only because the Democratic alternative (Obama) is such a radical abortion supporter. Still, it's understandable if some Catholic voters cannot stomach the idea of voting for either candidate, and opt for some third-party alternative to stay true to their staunch pro-life principles. 'The Catholic Knight' himself is flirting with this prospect. However, one thing is certain. In this election cycle, a vote for Obama is a vote against the Catholic Church's sacred teachings on life, and a clear act of formal cooperation in the sin of abortion.