The conventions are over, we have our candidates for President and now, “What’s a Catholic to do?” If we are to call ourselves “good Catholics” how can we in good conscience choose a candidate?And it is even worse when it comes to the senate race in Massachusetts. As I wrote in this article on Examiner.com we are faced with two candidates who both support abortion, something which any good. practicing, Catholic knows is wrong. On Examiner, I can’t really express my opinion as I have to stay mostly neutral, but not so here on my personal blog.
You have a choice, not vote at all or vote for a candidate who supports abortion. As one who chose the first option for many elections, not voting, this is definitely not the answer. Because of people like me, who were indifferent, and those who decided not to vote because they didn’t agree with either candidate’s views, we have let others control the policies and direction of this country. This has resulted in a “Culture of Death” instead of a “Culture of Life”. It has become nothing for us to just accept the killing of babies, and soon, the elderly and infirm as I know here in Massachusetts there is a ballot question on legalizing assisted suicide.
So then what? Who do we vote for? We can only vote for the candidate who is most like us in our views, who follows our moral beliefs, our Catholic teachings most closely. This is not always an easy thing to determine. Reading the various voter’s guidelines out there, most say there are five non-negotiables, one of them being abortion. Some go so far as to advocate not voting at all if a candidate supports abortion, no matter what else he or she believes.
In my case, it comes down to the overall positions of the candidates. Here in my state of Massachusetts I can’t in good conscience vote for Warren, there are too many other things I disagree with. After all her party recently voted to leave the word “God” out of their platform. What does this tell you? While I disagree with Brown on his abortion stance, I agree with him in many other areas and he will get my vote. In this case he is the better of the two.
I follow the course as outlined by the USCCB:
36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.
37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching. – Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship