Saturday, October 11, 2008

Voting for Politicians

Moral weight isn't always the same

Monday, October 06, 2008

The claim that Catholics could vote for a pro-choice candidate as long as
they disagree on abortion is inaccurate. It isn't enough to disagree on this
crucial issue while agreeing on others.

The precise position of the church was clearly stated by Pope Benedict (then
Cardinal Ratzinger): "When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in
favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other
reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation in evil, which can be
permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

Note the important clarifier: "proportionate reasons."

Paragraph three of the very same document puts this in proper context: "Not
all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia
. For
example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the
application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not
for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy
Communion ... There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among
Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with
regard to abortion and euthanasia."

Both involve the deliberate killing of innocent human life.

Hence, the only scenario where a Catholic can in good conscience vote for a
pro-choice candidate is when there is no pro-life alternative OR when both
candidates are only partially pro-life and you opt for the one who will
proportionally do more to end abortion and euthanasia.

REV. FR. JOHN TRIGILIO JR., Pastor, St. Bernadette, Duncannon Our Lady of
Good Counsel, Marysville Marysville

©2008 Patriot-News

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.


Dawn said...

Thank you Father. I have linked to this article from my site.

Fr Jim Tucker said...


What is your source for the Benedict XVI/Ratzinger quote?

Fr. Jim Tucker

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

It is the June 2004 memorandum from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion" and sent to Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, then Archbishop of Washington, DC.

You can read the entire document at in their library and search for "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion" by Cardinal Ratinger.

It can also be found on and as well as

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