THE WANDERER —
(Editor’s Note: Below is a commentary The Wanderer is reprinting with permission from Catholics 4 Trump [catholics4trump], originally posted on October 11. All rights reserved. Catholics 4 Trump makes the case that a vote for the pro-abortion Hillary Clinton is objectively grave matter. Note the contrast between Trump’s and Clinton’s abortion stands in the third and final presidential debate on October 19.)
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There are currently dishonest self-professed Catholics who are shamelessly distorting an out of context footnote from a letter by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004 to promote voting for pro-abortion Hillary Clinton in this year’s presidential election.
The letter clearly states the following Catholic moral teaching, which all Catholics who continually vote Democrat (pro-abortion) ignore at their own peril:
“The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection….In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to “take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it”’ (n. 73).
“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’ (n. 74).
“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.
“While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. 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.”
After laying down these principles in the body of the letter, Cardinal Ratzinger then attaches a footnote. The purpose of the footnote is to distinguish between Catholics who know the Catholic teaching on abortion, yet vote for a pro-abortion candidate over a pro-life candidate anyway, and Catholics who are faced with two pro-abortion candidates and are permitted to vote for the lesser evil for proportionate reasons. The Cardinal states: