I beg the indulgence of our non-American members, but I also beg their prayers and all of your prayers, for the will of God in the coming U.S. presidential election. God's will IS best, but it doesn't happen automatically: He uses human means (and human voters!) to accomplish His will. Even though this material is non-partisan, I send it to all my readers with trepidation. Some may be offended that I said anything at all, but I truly, deeply feel that so much is at stake this time. I feel morally obliged to risk speaking.
In fact, all U.S. Christians may very well have to pray and search their consciences before voting for the one they honestly feel will do the least harm to all life, intra-uterine and otherwise. In that spirit, I offer you this superb statement from Pax Christi. I have read it carefully and, well aware that we are ecumenical in readership, I assure you that "Christian" can easily replace "Catholic" in most of the text. Not only can it be substituted, I think it must be. There is a lot at stake here about how all life will fare in the U.S.
I am not pretending to tell anyone whom they should vote for, but I am asking everyone to pray with all their hearts before voting, and to encourage as many to vote as possible. A non-partisan, interfaith-based opportunity to volunteer to call and encourage newly registered voters to vote, no matter for whom, may be had at :
And here is Pax Christi's statement. Read, enjoy, and pray, please!
Love and prayers,
Life Does Not End at Birth
A Catholic moral framework does not easily fit the ideologies of "right" or "left," nor the platforms of any party.... Our responsibility is to measure all candidates, policies, parties, and platforms by how they protect or undermine the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, whether they protect the poor and vulnerable and advance the common good.
- from "Faithful Citizenship," issued by the United States Catholic Bishops.
It is a common misperception of politicians seeking office that the Catholic vote can be courted by addressing a narrow range of issues. In reality, the great majority of Catholics in the U.S., in agreement with the U.S. Catholic Bishops, will vote for candidates based "on the full range of issues, as well as on [the candidate's] personal integrity, philosophy, and performance" (Faithful Citizenship, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 2004).
Members of the media - and indeed a few of our own religious leaders - do a great disservice to our church and nation when they attempt to use one or another issue as the benchmark for Catholic identity.
"The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church's social doctrine does not exhaust one's responsibility toward the common good" (Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 24, 2002, and approved by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II).
The Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred. A candidate for office must understand that the Church stands against any policy or course of action that diminishes life, dignity or the rights of the human person: abortion, capital punishment, war, scandalous poverty, denial of healthcare, mistreatment of immigrants and racism, to name but a few.
There are 60 million Catholics in the U.S. We take the responsibility of voting seriously. Each of us will evaluate candidates based on what our conscience - formed by reading the signs of the times in light of the example of Jesus in the Scriptures and the teachings of our Church throughout the ages - demands. We will examine the broad range of issues, measuring "all candidates, policies, parties, and platforms by how they protect or undermine the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, whether they protect the poor and vulnerable and advance the common good" (Faithful Citizenship, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 2004).
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]