Bishop Ricken: How Voting Can Put Your Soul In Jeopardy?

Bishop David L. Ricken Reveals the Churches
Responsibility to Speak Out on Moral Issues

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Bishop David Ricken

Bishop David L. Ricken


It is almost time to vote and to make our choices for president and other political offices both local and national.

You have often heard it said that this is a turning point in our country’s history and I could not agree more.

The Church is not a political organism, but as you hopefully have learned in the US Bishops Faithful Citizenship material (which we have made widely available to you in the parishes, in the Compass and on-line), the Church has the responsibility to speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the “common good” and the “dignity of the human person.”

I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person.

They are:

1. abortion
2. euthanasia
3. embryonic stem cell research
4. human cloning
5. homosexual “marriage”

These are intrinsically evil. “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals.” Intrinsically evil actions are those which have an evil object. In other words, an act is evil by its very nature and to choose an action of this type puts one in grave moral danger.

But what does this have to do with the election? Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally “complicit” with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.

The other position to keep in mind is the protection of religious liberty. The recent aggressive moves by the government to impose the HHS mandate, especially the move to redefine religion so that religion is confined more and more to the four walls of the Church, is a dangerous precedent.

This will certainly hurt the many health care services to the poor given by our Catholic hospitals. Our Catholic hospitals in the Diocese give millions of dollars per year in donated services to the poor. In the new plan, only Catholic people can be treated by Catholic institutions.

It has never been our mission to be exclusive of those who are not of our faith. This mandate also places Catholic business owners in a very precarious position in that they, too, will have to pay for those medical “services” which violate Catholic teaching. This has never been the American way and now these moves and others by the present government, will significantly alter and marginalize the role of religious institutions in our society.

These positions are indicators of a broader societal disposition to remove God from the public square and from any relation to society whatever. It is precisely religion and the free exercise thereof which has made this country great in the past.

Many people in our Diocese are presently without work. Our Catholic Charities is serving more and more people who are unemployed or under employed and can barely keep up with the demands. Work is so critical to the family and to the sense of human dignity. An economy which does the most for the common good is an economy that works and provides people gainful employment for  the country’s citizens. A government that works pays its bills and models for citizens what it means to be responsible and contributive.

Let us pray for the electorate and let’s take action, that we may vote for good and moral leaders for this great country which will only remain great, if she continues to be and to do the good.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, DD,
JCL Bishop of Green Bay


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8 comments to Bishop Ricken: How Voting Can Put Your Soul In Jeopardy?

  • […] life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion” as well as to attempt to redefine marriage. Bishop David Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay, WI even goes further and says; to vote for someone in favor of these […]

  • Esther Marie Ventura Ferencz

    There is ABSOLUTE NO QUESTION as to Mr. Obamas stand on Abortion, and even infantcide. THIS alone is a reason to not vote OBAMA. A nation that kills its most vulnerable, helpless, and voiceless under the stupid guise of ‘womens choice’IS breaking GODS LAW NOT TO KILL.. Though it be mans law legally, it is most certanly is not GODS LAW. I simply cannot fathom the remarks posted as to Romney and his once pro abort stance and NOW a anti abort stand. And as well nagging on the church as to why and how the church holds forth the truth on this issue. And the audacity that the Catholic Church has stated its TRUTH! And now are getting racked over the coals for doing its duty. Why do these people who find issue with the church on the abotion issue come here, to this site? To make ludacris statements? I have had it. Enough with cafeteria Catholics. THERE are issues that are not up to debate. LIFE is PRIMACY. Finish. End. Done. AND indeed to stand before God with the blood of babies on your hands has to , or should be a terrifing thought.. But to some, there is no thought as to an afterlife. A personal judgement and an answering to God for your supporting a man as president of a nation who not only exspouses abortion. HE has taken it to the level of letting babies born alive in a botched abort DIE. NO MEDICAL AID. Yes SOULS are deeply endanger who vote OBAMA and his abortion stand, among a host of other anti religion stands.

  • Romney seems to have had an epiphany on the LIFE issue and I believe he is now solidly pro-life. I had different views on ‘choice’ in the 80s and 90s too. Ryan is awesomely pro-life as is Ann Romney (she stated so on ‘The View’ – pretty hostile territory!). Laura Bush was a choicer and i believe it dragged her husband’s presidency down. You must vote for LIFE in this election! Thank you to our courageous Bishops and Priests!

  • Br. Christopher Sale

    Surprisingly some Catholics are still pondering over this
    election. There is no doubt that Romney is the right man.
    We will never have a perfect President. Obama has far
    to much animosity towards the Church.
    As a Brother I work with the poor and homeless. The
    homeless population has tripled here in Los Angeles.
    Families are sleeping in cars and motel, yet Obama
    considers this progress. The mothers of these children
    are worried about feed their children not abortion.
    Obama does not even come close to the moral values of
    At this late stage of the race, Catholics must vote Obama
    out. Enough is enough.
    Br. Charles Christopher B.P.P.

  • TG

    There’s only one choice this year -Romney. He may not be 100% pro-life but he won’t harm the church like Obama. The only God Obama believes in or at least by his actions, is Planned Parenthood. I don’t understand this lust for hman blood. He seems to think that abortion is the only thing women care about. Thank you Bishop for speaking the truth.

  • Br. Christopher Sale

    As a Brother I have always tried to stay out of politics. However our nation has never faced a critical situation like Obama has imposed on us. I have been very involved here in California trying to get Romney elected. Needless to say the gay community has attacked me on the issue of gay marriage.
    California is a liberal state and the level of immorality here is beyond calculation.
    Let us pray for the salvation of these misguided souls.
    God bless,
    Br. Charles Christopher B.P.P.

  • Dr. Dave Rusch

    Good stuff – I like to say ‘self-excommunication’.

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