Our Shepherds Speak: Respect Life and it is Time for Consciences to be Formed

“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 .” – Archbishop William Lori, Diocese of Baltimore, Maryland

BISHOP DAVID RICKEN OF GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

"Is it ever licit for a Catholic to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. Is it ever valid?"

"No. You can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb . Where you don't have any candidate who is proposing to eliminate all abortion [voters may] choose the candidate who will most limit this grave evil in our country. But you could never justify voting for a candidate who not only does not want to limit abortion but believes that it should be available to everyone. " – Cardinal Raymond Burke

ARCHBISHOP CHARLES CHAPUT OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANNIA

“One might argue for different methods to address the needs of the poor, to feed the hungry and to solve the challenges of immigration, but these are prudential judgments not intrinsic evils… You need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because 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. ” – Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH NAUMANN OF KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

“A committed and convinced Catholic is always pro-life on the issue of abortion and euthanasia, and that includes in the voting booth .” – Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, Diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio

BISHOP DANIEL JENKY OF PEORIA, ILLINOIS

“Other pieces of legislation touch on the building of a good and just society and may be open to prudential judgment, … [but] ’Forming Consciences’ tells us that in the political debate today there is no other issue that rises to this level of moral certitude: Abortion is always wrong . To support political platforms that protect so-called ‘abortion rights’ is to participate in the inexorable conclusion: many, many innocent unborn children will be killed. Sometimes a single issue will be so important it overrides a whole range of lesser issues .” – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

BISHOP RICHARD MALONE OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK

“Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies, health care, etc., overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? The Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion? We cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason. ” – Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas & Bishop Robert Finn, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri

BISHOP THOMAS PAPROCKI OF SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS

“In all of Church teaching, the Life Issues, particularly the protection of unborn children against the crime of abortion, has to be our greatest priority . This is an ongoing slaughter of 4,000 children every single day for the last 40 years. If we support and promote persons who have pledged to extend it and intensify the slaughter, then we bear great responsibility with them.” – Bishop Robert Finn, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri

ARCHBISHOP THOMAS WENSKI OF MIAMI, FLORIDA

"I certainly can’t vote for somebody who’s either pro-choice or pro-abortion . Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell. But Jesus didn’t say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments. You can’t say that somebody’s not Christian because they want to limit taxation. To say that it’s somehow intrinsically evil like abortion doesn’t make any sense at all .” – Archbishop Charles Chaput, Diocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ARCHBISHOP SAMUEL AQUILA OF DENVER, COLORADO

"It is my responsibility to remind you that, for us Catholics, some issues are simply never morally acceptable. The taking of an innocent human life, whether inside the womb or not, and up until natural death, is always and everywhere intrinsically evil. Such issues as embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning are also direct attacks against the dignity and uniqueness of human life made in the image of God. Finally, preserving the dignity of traditional marriage is of central importance and must never be undermined because marriage is a cornerstone of any stable society. Any attempts to re-define marriage as something other than between a man and a woman, should be vigorously opposed by a Catholic as contrary to reason, the natural law, and the divinely revealed truths of the Bible. Beyond these fundamental issues, and closely related to them is the issue of religious liberty – our ability as Catholics to live our lives publically according to our faith and morals at all levels of society.

As Catholics we must first consider the various candidates and party platforms in light of those immutable issues I have mentioned above. Then, in good conscience, we must give preference to the candidate who does not oppose our God given moral principles."

Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, Diocese of St. Augustine, FL


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