The Catholic Thing
Can there be Mortal Sin in Voting? Print E-mail
By Howard Kainz   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Living in Milwaukee, a bastion of liberalism, I can’t recall meeting any Catholic in the last two elections, including some daily communicants, who did not vote enthusiastically for Obama. And the post-election data in both cases indicate that the majority of Catholics around the country voted similarly. During these elections, however, we occasionally heard news from other states about priests warning their congregations that voting Democratic would be a mortal sin.

These priests had some solid backing from bishops. For the last two decades, a number of bishops have warned not only politicians but individual voters that they should not receive communion without confession, after voting for Democrats supporting abortion rights – including Bishops Burke of St. Louis, Wenski of Orlando (now Miami), Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Maher of San Diego, Weigand of Sacramento, and Cardinals Law and O’Malley of Boston. 

In the 2012 election, Bishops Ricken of Green Bay and Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., and Jenky of Peoria were very specific concerning the danger of mortal sin in voting for Obama. If added confirmation were needed from the Vatican, we have the 1974 declaration from the CDF that “Man may never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it.” And in 2013, Benedict XVI responded to journalists’ questions concerning a contemplated excommunication by Mexican bishops of politicians who would enact laws permitting abortion. Benedict said they would be justified in doing so; but the bishops never followed through. It goes without saying, however, that, if there is anything spiritually worse that mortal sin, it would be excommunication.

But how could casting a ballot – even enthusiastically (like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, with a tingle up one’s leg) –  be a mortal sin? Voting boils down to a type of speech, free speech. Like a gesture or sign, it translates into “I support this candidate and what he/she stands for.” If a vote is another form of speech, this would seem to imply that even saying in public, “I support Obama and his constant and dedicated extension of abortion rights” would be a mortal sin. This seems extreme. But speech can be gravely sinful: Jesus admonishes us in Mt. 5:22 that even saying hateful words to your brother can put you in danger of hell fire.

Most Catholics, of course, if they had to put the meaning of their vote into words, would not say, “I support elective abortion,” but rather something like “I am just voting for choice.” Still, this boils down to “choice for women to kill their own offspring,” which doesn’t jibe well with the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue. Supporting this choice justifies murder. How can that not be sinful? Support by words and deeds of the killing, at will, of unwanted unborn humans manifests an indifference which is the opposite of love, and, in fact, makes the supporter into an accomplice of the act – not just “ethically challenged,” but an abettor.

Many post-election justifications were heard from Catholics who voted for Obama. For example, extensions in health care for women would decrease the number of abortions; the administration would bring about the redistribution of wealth; maternity and paternity leaves would help in pregnancies; the expansion of immigration, expansion of unemployment benefits, and other “entitlements” envisioned in the Democratic platform, would better the lives of many – and  even save lives.

In such responses one notices ethical utilitarianism and “the means justifies the end” type of argumentation: namely, good ends will be achieved, but a price will have to be paid (over a million preborn humans destroyed per year). Could a voter actually be unaware of these consequences?  Unlikely.

In spite the mainstream media’s concerted blackout of most negatives about candidate Obama, the news did slip out that, as a member of the Illinois legislature, he alone among the Senators refused to support medical care to save the life of newborns who survived late-term abortion – even after the Illinois legislation had been revised to address his objections. And Obama’s multiple campaign speeches favoring continuation and extensions of the right to abortion left no doubt about his intentions to any of his fervid followers. Could rational beings have no intimation of what would follow from putting this man in power?

The best-case scenario for justifying the Catholic vote for Obama was the advice that Senator Edward Kennedy and other Democrats followed in their famous 1964 meeting with Catholic priests and theologians for two days in Hyannisport, about which I have already written in a former column. After intensive dialogue, the “experts” concluded that a Catholic could vote in favor of abortion. In the aftermath, Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry, and other Democrats began shifting from pro-life to “pro-choice.” The basic idea was that, even if you had personal objections against abortion, you should not “force” it on others, e.g., by voting according to your conscience.

It is instructive that in the 2012 election even the Democrats for Life in America (DFLA), an organization that claims to speak for a third of the Democratic Party, could not in conscience endorse the Presidential candidate, Barak Obama. But “Catholics for Obama” harbored no such reservations.

The popular “decision” of not “imposing” your view by liberal theologians has been constantly overruled by the statements of bishops and cardinals, as mentioned above. Unfortunately voters in Congress, as well as voters on the street, think that they have the prerogative of overruling these overrulings. They may think they are also overruling the possibility of committing mortal sin; but this possibility exists, objectively, in spite of deliberately ill-informed consciences. That will become an issue again this November.

Howard Kainz is emeritus professor of philosophy at Marquette University. His most recent publications include Natural Law: an Introduction and Reexamination (2004)The Philosophy of Human Nature (2008), and The Existence of God and the Faith-Instinct (2010).

The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Comments (39)Add Comment
written by Gian, July 23, 2014
Even to vote against abortion is problematic.

The rules of electoral politics imply that both options on table are civil means to a shared goal. These options must lie within the civilized discourse of the community. For instance, communism is not a live option in America.

The losers in the electoral process must agree to abide with their defeat and must accept the new consensus formed. But Catholics may never accept the pro-abortion consensus. Thus, a Catholic may not vote when abortion in on ballot.

For, here is battle in for different goals altogether. This battle, by its own nature, can not be fought by normal political processes including elections and judicial reviews but is revolutionary.

Essentially, a Catholic must reject the political state where abortion is presented as a civil option.
written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, July 23, 2014
In his memorandum to Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Ratzinger noted “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. 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.”
I can imagine someone saying that no President can overrule Roe v Wade or Casey, so his views on abortion are, in practice, irrelevant and go on to support him for some other reason. I would not find it particularly convincing myself, but I can see such a voter might be in good faith.
written by irenaeus, July 23, 2014
As a pro-life Democrat I can certainly identify with the moral hazard that the Kainz suggests. In fact, I did switch my vote away from Obama in 2012 for just such a reason. The Democratic convention in that year was a celebration of abortion.
However, having stood in the shoes of the struggling Democrat, I take exception to his trying to get inside my head. At no time have I been for 'choice.' The thinking is more like "Here are two candidates, neither of whom I really like. I will hold my nose and vote for one."
Let me tell you why I am not enthusiastic about voting for a Republican, even though I did last time (with my nose held). Right now Christians are being routed out of Iraq and other areas of the Middle East, martyred for their faith. A Republican president was begged by our now sainted Pope John Paul II, NOT to go to war in Iraq, but the saint was not listened to and that president was the direct cause, not only of the destruction and death in that war, but now of the instability that causes the jihad against Christians. This is exactly what Pope John Paul II foresaw and feared and it has come to pass. So pardon me for not being enthusiastic about Republican presidents. They cause death of innocents as well, and, in fact, death to Christianity in that part of the world.
Also, while a Republican president was directly involved with this death of innocents, we have had 20 years of Republican presidency since Roe v Wade and it has yet to be overturned. I fail to see how voting Republican has saved one life.
But even with all these thoughts floating in my head I did vote against Obama in 2012 for just the reasons you state. It didn't save one life.
written by Manfred, July 23, 2014
@Howard: You and I are of an age when we can remember reading of doctors who were imprisoned for performing an abortion. It was against the law. Now it is used as the ultimate birth control.
Thank you for a well researched and pointed article. The truth is there are very, very few trained, believing, practicing Catholics. The very word has lost all meaning. Fr. Robert Barron of "Catholicism" fame will tell anyone foolish enough to believe him that there are zero to very few souls in Hell. If there is no penalty in this world or the next for my behavior, who cares?
written by Guest, July 23, 2014
Good people do not vote for pro abortion pols when less pro a oration pols are available. The point is these folks who vote this way do not see bring pro abortion as a big deal.
written by Jack,CT, July 23, 2014
Dr Kainz,
One of the finest on the subject! (LIFE)

I agree with every word and I was unaware of the vote
Obama made in Favor of NOT saving a viable babys life!
It fills me with horror and any doctor that would look
the other way deserves to lose his/her right to care for

I feel "Liberal" Academia has alot to do with our
society and the view on "Life".
Most colleges if not busy hiring extremists such as
former "bombers and cop killers" have no shame at all
in allowing there Doctors of Education pushing pro
Abortion views on 18 to 23 year olds!

I wish it did not come to this in America but it has
and when Generals who offer to work for a dollar are
protested walking to class we have a real societal
issue. When a war hero is attacked for giving back
we need to think about how we are raising our "Trust
Fund" kids!

I suppose it is easy to go with the flow of "Tingle
up the leg" Chris Mathews politics.

I will never understand how Anyone could justify

I guess we are not "Cool" as RC and perhaps the "cool
Factor" plays a role as lobbys run DC anyway!

God help us all-

written by Jack,CT, July 23, 2014
@Michael,I suppose a "Rationalization" can be applied
even when talkin of the most powerful man on
written by maineman, July 23, 2014
Irenaeus' comment raises another, related issue. What is the level of responsibility involved in not being able to see reality clearly because of obfuscation introduced by the talking points of the party of death?
written by Dennis Larkin, July 23, 2014
This has been brought upon us by bad bishopos.
written by Florin, July 23, 2014
July 23rd...I have often said that Politicians who consistently and aggressively not only support the killing of babies in the womb but aggressively promote this mass murder of preborn innocent babies are 'abettors' - so it is good to see in this article that someone agrees. Nancy Pelosi, for one, has publicly urged the extension of the right to kill unborn babies as far as it will go...with no exceptions, no limits on the stage of gestation...and yet, she is considered a Catholic in good standing with the Church and permitted to receive the Eucharist while those who are divorced and remarried are not. I am not saying that divorced and remarried Catholics should be able to receive the Eucharist but...surely the crime of aiding and abetting mass murder is worse than a second marriage??
written by Ray, July 23, 2014
Our Church of Nice must be held accountable for our current plight. Nary a word is ever spoken from most Bishops in America about this topic or the proliferation of gay marriage in our country. Clear teaching was the norm back before VII on most topics. Now, one must look for the few Bishops who have been willing to teach(which happens to be each Bishop's primary function)what our beliefs entail. The Bishop's have no problem bloviating en masse on immigration. They are for the most part cowards and need to see if they can hook up with "Dorothy" and find OZ. This lack of intestinal fortitude is derived from the diminution of their weekly collections should they speak Truth to their flocks. The Church in America is in disarray and the USCCB concept doesn't allow for a true leader to ever come to the surface.
written by Howard Kainz, July 23, 2014
@Michael Paterson-Seymour: That comment of Cardinal Ratzinger was from 2004. In the meantime, the Democratic Party has made "pro-choice" a virtual litmus test for their leadership, for choice of judges, administrators, etc. This makes it much more difficult even for a pro-life Democrat to conscientiously support the Party "because of other issues" -- as "irenaeus" mentions above.
written by Ross Howard, July 23, 2014
The Rich Man was not a bad person—no evidence he murdered people or cast widows into the street—he was condemned because he neglected his duty to Lazarus, his fellow man, when it was in his power to help him. He was condemned for negligence. By voting for politicians who support abortion, people are also guilty of negligence. And this negligence is of a far higher degree than that of the Rich Man. For while the Rich Man failed to feed Lazarus, these voters give power to those who knowingly enable the killing of the most innocent of all.
written by Brian English, July 23, 2014

" I fail to see how voting Republican has saved one life."

I introduce you to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. If they were not on the Court, the federal partial-birth abortion and born alive acts would have been overturned, which would have resulted in state versions of those acts being overturned as well. Are you sure those laws have not saved any lives?

Furthermore, are you sure that the Hobby Lobby decision, as well as some of the decisions that come down next year, are not going to result in the saving of any lives? Give those two appointments to President Gore and the results of those cases are reversed, and any lives that are saved are instead lost.

I know we are not talking about huge numbers here, but isn't every life saved a great accomplishment? I am sure the person who is spared thinks so.

Finally, if you go back 27 years, not enough people voting for Republican Senators made a monumental difference. If there had been more Republican Senators then, Robert Bork would have taken a seat on the Supreme Court instead of Anthony Kennedy. Roe and Doe would have been overturned in Casey in 1992 and our history becomes very different and MILLIONS would be alive today. Sad that the then-atheist Bork would have been vastly better than the purportedly Catholic Kennedy.
written by senex, July 23, 2014
Like many insightful articles at TCT, this one by Professor Kainz has generated some widely divergent responses, some perceptive, and many others full of non sequiturs. From a strictly political/moral stance, the bishops and clergy have largely been pusillanimous, whether for monetary reasons or because they are divided on the merits or the lack of an effective argument, or they compromise in order not to lose funding for some other social cause, however meritorious. But deep down, they compromise the truth for monetary and/or political favors.

The issues are not easy to resolve, but that does not absolve them, nor we laypersons, from acting reasonably. I think that Benedict XVI drew the right balance and his views suffered because of the callousness of Cardinal McCarrick in not disclosing his letter to the bishops in their meeting before the election.

I dare say that no one with half a mind agrees with every position of every candidate, so we must make choices. Our priorities must lean in favor of absolute values, such as the inalienable right to life (the one most at issue here), even though it might mean the loss of some other benefits that are not absolute and would make lives more ‘expensive’ or difficult.

How have the Catholics in Iraq acted to the ISIS threat to choose between exile or abandoning their faith? They could have stayed in Iraq and not lost everything they owned if they simply renounced their faith. As we have seen on TV, thousands of Christians decided with their feet to sacrifice their property but not renounce their faith. Who among us would do the same?
written by Raymond Nicholas, July 23, 2014
We have no king but Caesar
written by Seanachie, July 23, 2014
Howard...outside the embrace of Milwaukee County (Marquette) you will find many practicing WI Catholics who did not vote for Obama for several reasons not the least of which was his radical support for abortion and other perverse (sinful) practices. I do not recall reading/hearing any senior Church official in the Milwaukee Archdiocese clearly advise Catholics ("Do not under pain of grave sin vote for Obama and party"). This contrasted to the actions of Obama's wife in the 2012 election cycle, who, from the altars of Black churches in the South, openly exhorted clergy and members to become Obama's "precinct captains" (Chicago-speak for political machine). If the corporate Catholic Church chooses to continue to "pussy-foot" objection to morally flawed candidates, the U.S. will likely experience continuing morally/ethically challenged Obama-like leaders well into the future. What is worse, the moral authority of the Church will be greatly diminished...perhaps irrecoverably.
written by Myshkin, July 23, 2014
The notion that the President's values (as revealed by his or her position on the slaughter of innocent human life [also known as abortion]) need make no difference to the voter as he or she decides, is fatuous. Certainly a voter can ignore his or her conscience and turn his or her back on the teaching of the Catholic Church, to which he or she ostensibly belongs. But that's precisely what shows it to self-deception. Pope Benedict was exploring a rare hypothetical case, one that definitely does not occur in 53% of the U.S. Catholic population. Self-deception and mortal sin are the more general reality here among U.S. Catholics.
written by kevin bauer, July 23, 2014
Somewhere around Vatican II Louis Bouyer wrote that many Catholics did not realize how Protestant they had become. Fifty years on, we can say that many Catholics do not realize that they have become postmodern pagans, which has lead to what Professor Kainz sketches. And it is why the "New Evangelization" is the slogan de jour of the episcopate. But what happened to the old evangelization that we needed a new one? You can blame the progressive theologians if you like, but the Bishops are responsible for the present mess; everybody knows it, but almost no one says it. The Bishops know it to, but when they do address it, they talk like politicians, like Dolan and his laryngitis nonsense. That nobody listens to them, or that those that do ignore them, should come as no surprise. As to who to vote for, or even whether to vote, I think Alasdair McIntyre's proposal that Catholics should stop voting deserves careful consideration.
written by Ernest Kurtz, July 23, 2014
So voting for those who would further impoverish the poor and destroy the downtrodden is not sinful? When will Catholic ethics recognize a moral reality beyond sexuality? -- and yes, I can distinguish the 5th from the 6th commandments, but I trust you recognize the penumbra issue here.
written by Brian English, July 23, 2014
"So voting for those who would further impoverish the poor and destroy the downtrodden is not sinful?"

No, voting for the Democrats is sinful for those reasons as well.

"When will Catholic ethics recognize a moral reality beyond sexuality?"

About 2,000 years ago.

written by Deacon Ed Peitler, July 23, 2014
Think of the voting question from this angle:

What would those unborn babies likely advise the US electorate if they were capable of a voice in their own self-interest? And then vote accordingly.
written by Todd, July 23, 2014
It is unfortunate that as Catholics we have debased ourselves into thinking that we are required to vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. We can vote third party or a write in all the while knowing that such a person will not win. There are good reasons to despise both major parties.
written by Paul V, July 23, 2014
Well said. I believe abortion breaks God's sixth Commandment (Exodus 20: 2-17).
written by Mike horn, July 24, 2014
I suggest that "pro life" needs to also apply after birth. I'd be more sympathetic to the anti abortion vote if that vote also was pro education for kids, pro school meals, pro maternity leave, pro equal pay, pro living wage, pro free healthcare, especially prenatal and pediatric... The list goes on. Unfortunately, the only aspect that republicans, especially now with extreme libertarians, Randians, and other quacks, are pro life on is abortion. The GOP is pro birth, but any other subject they are anti life.
written by Don, July 24, 2014
The Church needs to quit trying to accomodate "progressives" who reject it's teaching on life issues and sexual morality. Let them go to the Episcopal Church, where they will fit right in. Maybe someday they will come to their senses and come home. But allowing them to stay in the Church while explicitly rejecting it's authoritative teachings has been a complete disaster. No one wants to own up to the fact that modern "progressivism" and the Catholic faith are simply incompatible. There are reasons that there have been no consequences for Catholic politicians like Biden, Pelosi, Cuomo, et al, and unfortunately they have to do mostly with fear on the part of the Bishops and priests - especially in heavily Democrat / progressive georgraphic areas, that they may end up with empty pews and empty coffers if they do the right thing and publicly admonish these people and forbid them (and those who support them) from taking communion without first repenting and going to confession.
written by Brian English, July 24, 2014
"There are good reasons to despise both major parties."

I have plenty of problems with the establishment GOP, but there is only one party that has declared war on the Church and is attempting to drive her out of the public square. Wake up.
written by Brian English, July 24, 2014
" I'd be more sympathetic to the anti abortion vote if that vote also was pro education for kids, pro school meals, pro maternity leave, pro equal pay, pro living wage, pro free healthcare, especially prenatal and pediatric."

Right, because Jesus was all about big government. And isn't it obvious what a boon it has been for the Church to support the rapid growth of the federal government for the past century? Now in many of her charitable works she is being faced with either choosing to bend the knee to the spirit of the age or being forced out of the very acts of charity she created.
written by Don, July 24, 2014
Most Catholic Democrat voters are, in effect, Protestants. They are not Catholic in any real sense. They reject the Church's Magisterium and they vote accordingly. Or, they rationalize voting for candidates who support objective moral evils like abortion, gay marriage, etc. by placing on the same plane with them other issues that are matters that are not moral absolutes but on which Catholics are permitted by the Magisterium to exercise discretion. They have a Protestant mindset, not a Catholic one. A Catholic mindset accepts the authority of the Church and acts (and votes) accordingly.
written by Don, July 24, 2014
The answer to the question posed is clearly "yes." Suppose a candidate identified himself as a servant of Satan and stated that his goal, if elected, were to promote and endorse Satanism with the full force and power of the State. Suppose further that he vowed to destroy the Catholic Church, to desecrate its holy places, and to execute all Catholic priests. Suppose further that these were the only policies he took a public stance on. How could anyone contend that voting for such a person was not a mortal sin. So, if the answer to the question in the title of this essay is "yes" then the only remaining issue is how far short of this egregious example a candidate must fall before it becomes less than a mortal sin to vote for him.
written by trytoseeitmyway, July 24, 2014
"irenaeus" has a comment here justifying a vote against Republican candidates because (oh no, not this old song) George Bush invaded Iraq. After the Pope asked him not to. irenaeus points out that now Christians are being persecuted to extinction in Iraq.

This is just casuistry. If anything, the occupation of Iraq (with or without the Pope's blessing) and effort to promote something close to a pluralistic democracy bought Christians and other minorities time that they would not otherwise have had. It is the abandonment of that effort by the current Democrat president which is the proximate cause of deteriorating conditions in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.
written by Josh, July 24, 2014
First of all to imply that voting Democrat could be a mortal sin because they vote for abortion is flawed since the majority of Republicans vote for the death penalty. Both positions are opposed by the church. Both are equally wrong. You could say abortion kills more people which is true. But the value of human life is infinite. Human life cannot be measured in terms of numbers. In 2010 over 3,000 people were placed on death row. Republicans are also opposed to social safety nets that help the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Frankly the President has little power to stop abortions since it was declared a constitutional right by the Supreme Court in Roe. vs Wade. I deeply respect the bishops but to declare it a mortal sin or a sin at all is a bit illogical since neither party represents a holistic Catholic view. Sometimes we as Catholics have a deeper affiliation with a political party than with the church and that my friends is a sin. God Bless!
written by Don, July 24, 2014
Trytoseeitmyway is absolutely right. It is not George W. Bush's fault, or the fault of the Republican Party, that Muslims are slaughtering Christians in Iraq and elsewhere around the world. Saddam was a brutal dictator who gassed, tortured and killed his own people, who invaded a peaceful neighbor and then refused to abide by the peace terms when he was thrown out of Kuwait by an international coalition. He intentionally gave every impression that he had weapons of mass destruction which, in the wake of 911, was an absolutely unacceptable risk for the United States. We tried to give the Iraqi people the opportunity to govern themselves in a decent and pluralistic way, but it turns out they are incapable of that due to the evil religion they follow. And remember, Pelosi, Biden, Clinton and most all the other Dems voted for the Iraq war too. The Republican Party is not promoting, encouraging, or assisting ISIS. The blood of the Christians of Iraq is on the hands of Iraqi Muslims (they were killing Christians before ISIS) and their international supporters.
written by Don, July 24, 2014
Josh -
I am opposed to the death penalty. But, abortion and the death penalty are not morally equivalent. First, aborted babies are completely innocent; convicted murderers are not. Second, at most a few dozen people are killed each year under death penalty statutes, while upwards of amillion of babies are killed each year by abortion. Also, as Democrats typically do, you radically mischaracterize the Republican position on the "social safety net." The United States has the most extensive social safety net in the history of the world. Republican proposals to reform it and make it self-sustaining are routinely mis-characterized as heartless attempts to yank it out from under the poor. Virtually all Republican budget proposals have involved merely decreasing the rate of increase in such spending - - that is, slowing down the expansion. To state that Republicans are "opposed to social safety nets" is either disingenuous or wilfully ignorant.
written by Howard Kainz, July 24, 2014
@Josh: Abortion is against the natural law and the Fifth Commandment, and has been condemned by the Church since the beginning of Christianity. This is not the case with capital punishment, which is not a personal sin, but a prudential issue in the area of political/social justice.
written by Brian English, July 24, 2014
"Both positions are opposed by the church. Both are equally wrong."

No they aren't and no they aren't.

"Human life cannot be measured in terms of numbers."

Over one million innocent lives v. the lives of 43 of the most egregious of killers strikes me as pretty significant.

"Republicans are also opposed to social safety nets that help the poorest and most vulnerable members of society."


"Frankly the President has little power to stop abortions since it was declared a constitutional right by the Supreme Court in Roe. vs Wade."

He appoints the justices who decide whether that absurd piece of judicial legislation will remain the law.
written by George Marshall, July 25, 2014
So it is a mortal sin to vote for Obama. Does that mean that Benedict XVI committed a venial sin when he called him twice to congratulate him on being elected?
written by Howard Kainz, July 25, 2014
@George Marshall: After the fait accompli of election, those of us who voted against Obama may pray for him frequently as leader of the country. No "venial sin" there, I believe.
written by Guy McClung, July 31, 2014
From CRISIS Oct 16, 2012

Guy McClung

My view:

Mortal Sin: Vote Democrat

Is it a Mortal Sin to vote for Obama? Finally bishops,
archbishops and cardinals across the USA are making it crystal clear:
no Catholic can in good conscience vote for Obama or for a Democrat.
Bishop John Paprocki of Springfiled Illinois, stating
that the Democrat party platform planks “explicitly endorse intrinsic
evils” said “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors
that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally
complicit and places the eternal salvation of your
own soul in serious jeopardy.”

In 2008 the bishops’ words were twisted and distorted by dissenters and
liberals in the Church to justify voting for Obama and other Democrats
by focusing on
issues less important than abortion and saying that “Catholics are not
single issue voters.” But now it is clear that the Democrats are wrong,
dead wrong, on not one, but on five separate issues. The liberals and
dissenters will not be heard to say this
time around “Catholics are not 5 issue voters.” The bishops have made
it clear that there is no compromise on three non-negotiable issues -
abortion, infanticide, and racism are intrinsically evil and no issue
can morally trump them.

A Catholic with a well formed conscience cannot justify voting for a
Democrat because they like the Democrat’s position on an issue like
poverty, war, the
death penalty, women’s rights, “social justice,” or immigration. “This
is a big moment for Catholic voters to step back from their party
affiliation,” said Archbishop Lori of Baltimore. He also makes it clear
that a Catholic cannot vote for Obama or for any
Democrat: ““The question to ask is this: Are any of the candidates of
either party, or independents, standing for something that is
intrinsically evil, evil no matter what the circumstances? If that’s the
case, a Catholic, regardless of his party affiliation,
shouldn’t be voting for such a person.” Other issues – although
politically significant- do not rise to the level of moral significance
of intrinsic evil such as racism, abortion, and infanticide. Obama and
the Democrats not only promote abortion, they
want everyone’s tax money to pay for abortions for any woman who wants

Regarding infanticide-the killing of an
already-born baby - Obama himself has advocated infanticide and he
has said that no medical care should be provided to a baby born alive
who has survived an abortion – to him and to
the Democrats not letting this baby die an excruciating deaths might be a
burden to a woman’s decision to have an abortion if she knew her baby
might live and might need medical care after an attempted abortion -
and the Democrat Platform in asserting what
they view as the “absolute” nature of the court-created “right” to
abortion supports infanticide. Recently the Obama campaign refused to
state any limitation or restriction on abortion that Obama would
support. - and this inlcudes the restrictions that would
prohibit infanticide. Bishop Felipe Estevez of St. Augustine, Florida
has condemned the infanticide of an already-born baby. “The taking of an
innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until
natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically
evil,” said the bishop.

Obama and the Democrats advocate for
and promote racism by funding racist Planned Parenthood with millions
of dollars of our tax money – an abortion business that purposefully
targets black and Mexican-American babies by locating
its locations in or near minority neighborhoods and has accepted money
on the racist condition that it will be used for killing only minority
babies. This promotes the racist purposes of Planned Parenthood – in
the words of its founder Margaret Sanger - to
rid the world of “human undergrowth.” To racist Obama and the racist
Democrats, black and Mexican-American babies are this “human

Obama, who once supported traditional
marriage before this election season, has a new “evolved” position to
redefine marriage and to destroy traditional marriage – as is currently
defined by federal law – as the union of one
man and one woman. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has called the
definition of marriage a “non-negotiable:” “Abortion and euthanasia are
never allowed because they involve the direct taking of innocent human
life. There is also no negotiating the God-given
definition of marriage and family based on the permanent and exclusive
union of one man and one woman.”

Obama and the Democrats deny religious liberty to all Catholics.
Archbishop Lori, who chairs the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on
Religious Liberty, said the
defense of religious liberty is “fundamental” and “transcends
party….Many in the media have portrayed the HHS-mandate fight as a fight
about contraception — as well as sterilization and abortion-inducing
drugs . . . but this really is a fight about religious
liberty.” Archbishop John Meyers of Newark N.J, makes clear the
connection between efforts to re-define marriage and the inevitably
ensuing denial of religious liberty. He states that a such a
redefinition would “seriously undermine religious freedom…….How
long would the state permit churches, schools or parents to teach their
children that homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law if
homosexual marriage were a civil right?” he asked. He notes that “hate
speech” laws in other countries have already
been used to arrest ministers who teach the Bible’s message on marriage.

For Catholics this coming November there are five “non-negotiables,”
five issues each of which is morally more important than issues like
so-called “social justice”
issues. True shepherds will care for the souls of their flock, guide
them away from the Party of Death, and say, in plain unequivocal
language, a good Catholic cannot vote for Obama or for anyone else who
promotes intrinsic evil."

Guy McClung

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