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From the Pastor's Desk - October 31, 2010

Dear Parishioners,

As Respect Life Month comes to a close this weekend and as we prepare to vote this coming Tuesday in the mid-term election, we are to remember that defense of the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death is an obligation for all of us as Catholics. The way we vote is one of the important ways that we do this. The right to life is the paramount right that has to
be protected if any other right is to have legitimacy. Pope John Paul II eloquently taught this to us when he wrote:

Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights— for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination. (Christifideles Laici, no. 38)


Therefore, legal protection of innocent human life is the foundational responsibility of any society and government and is therefore always the foundational issue in any election by which we should measure candidates for public office. If a candidate supports such assaults upon life as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and/or human cloning, then he or she supports something that is intrinsically evil and wrong. To disqualify such a candidate to receive our votes is not to be single-issue voters, nor is it an endorsement for any one political party. Our American bishops have taught us in their document Faithful Citizenship (last updated in 2007) the following:


As Catholics we are not single-issue voters.  A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the
promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support. (no. 42)


Though there are other intrinsic evils besides assaults upon life, such as racism, practically speaking, in today’s society most intrinsic evils that are supported by candidates have to do most often with assaults upon innocent human life as well as upon the integrity of marriage and the family, such as is seen in support for such an intrinsic wrong as the legalization of same-sex marriage.

When we choose not to vote for those who support intrinsic evils, we give witness to the sanctity of life and marriage and,  especially, we speak up for the most defenseless and voiceless in society: children in the womb who have no voice or vote. We must
speak for them by our votes. We must protect their lives by our votes. Remember what Jesus tells us in the gospel of Saint Matthew: “What you do to the least among you, you do to me.” There is no one who is more little or least in the human community than the child in the womb. To refuse to vote for candidates who support abortion and other assaults upon human life is not an explicit endorsement of any one party; rather it is an endorsement for what is foundationally just. This is the measure by which we measure any candidate of any political party and, if more anti-life candidates are to be found in one particular party than in another, and therefore do not deserve the support of our votes, they are rejected for their stance on an issue not because a candidate is of any one particular party since pro-life and anti-life candidates can be found in any party.

And to disqualify a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil does not automatically mean that one must vote for the opposing candidate of another party who does not support an intrinsic evil since all other issues must be considered. The bottom line is
this: as Catholics we should not vote for any candidate, regardless of party, who supports something that is intrinsically wrong, such as abortion (an exception would be in a rare instance where all of the candidates running support intrinsic evils, but one of them would bring much greater harm to society than the others so that voting for one of the others who is least in the number of evils
supported is the only way to be sure that the one holding the office will bring about the least harm to society), while any remaining candidates who are not disqualified on this basis still have to be qualified for public office in other important regards such that
their other positions on the various issues are compatible with the Church’s teaching. Obviously, in most cases, we will vote for the other candidate who does not support any intrinsic evil even though this candidate might not be perfect in all regards in his or her stances on other issues that do not involve the situation of promoting intrinsic evils. We still do examine their positions on other issues before we cast our vote for him or her and ask ourselves if his or her imperfections in this regard are seriously disruptive of the common good of society. In some cases, we may in good conscience decide not to vote for even the candidate who does not support an intrinsic evil and, therefore, do not vote for any candidate for a particular office because we also rejected voting for the candidate who supports an intrinsic evil.

For guidance in regards to voting in the November 2nd election, the October 15th Catholic Voice has supplied an Election Guide that gives the responses of various candidates to questions asked by the Catholic Voice on various issues. For general help in how a Catholic should make decisions in regards to voting, see our American Bishops Faithful Citizenship at www.usccb.org or do an internet search for Catholic Answers Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics, which is available on various websites. Most of all, let us pray that as we all exercise our responsibility to vote, that we will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to vote for candidates who will best protect the sanctity of life and the common good of society, who will lead us only according to God’s commandments.


God bless and have a grace-filled
week,

Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green,  Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.