A Catholic's Vote (part 2 of 4)

08-02-2020Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

How does a person figure out who to vote for in an election? There seems to be so much information to wade through and at times it can seem overwhelming. How can a faithful Catholic discern who is right for the job?

First, a faithful Catholic is called vote for a candidate who best represents positions that would be in accord with God and His Commandments. This means that we want to vote for someone who would share similar if not the same values, morals, principles, etc. that we hold as Catholics. Of course, a candidate does not have to be Catholic, but the best candidates adhere to values that puts the welfare of the common good over personal political gain.

For example, a faithful Catholic understands that life is sacred. The dignity and respect given to every human person is a God given right. Faithful Catholics could not support a candidate who supports abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning or so called "same-sex marriage".

Pope St. John Paul II's encyclical The Gospel of Life reminds us that Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it."

The Catholic Church has always been concerned about the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person. To that end, the Church has offered us a lot of direction concerning principles which are not negotiable. These non-negotiables were presented by Pope Benedict XVI in his address to the European Parliamentary Group on March 30, 2006.

  1. protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
  2. recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage, and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;
  3. the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.

Pope Benedict addressed these issues as non-negotiable common goods and they are "fundamental and inalienable rights" (CCC 1907). He also stated with very strong language that these non-negotiable common goods are morally indisputable, and their violation is an intrinsic evil which can never be justified by motive or circumstances.

To be continued...