(Right to Life, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Marriage, Private Property, Access to Necessary Goods, War)
Other issues are important but do not rise to the same level as these. When voting ask yourself if the candidate respects these principles & values or do they threaten them? Know where politicians stand on these critical topics and make an intelligent, moral choice.
A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who supports intrinsic evils, such as abortion or euthanasia, if the voter's intent is to support those same immoral acts. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. Voting for them for other reasons (i.e., you do not agree with their position on abortion) would be material cooperation in evil. If there were reasonable certainty that the candidate will pursue such evil, then voting for him/her would also be cooperation in evil.
Only when all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, may the conscientious voter vote for the candidate less likely to advance such a morally flawed position & more likely to pursue other authentic human goods (e.g., if both candidates are not 100% pro-life as one favors unrestricted abortions while the other is against most abortions except in cases of rape or incest, one may then choose the latter person who will save more innocent lives).
These criteria are based on the 2011 USCCB letter "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" and the letter from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by then Cardinal Prefect, Josef Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion" in 2004.
BAD REASON #873 for not going to confession - From the 24 March 2017 print edition of The Catholic Herald, the UK’s best Catholic weekly… for which I, by the way, write a a rather unheralded short week...
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