Bishop Paprocki: Think And Pray Very Carefully About Your Vote

The Eternal Salvation of Your Own Soul is at Stake

From Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, The Catholic Times:

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

Before anyone relaxes and concludes that all is well now that the Democratic Party Platform contains a single passing reference to God, the way that this was done should give us pause. Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for the voice vote three times because each time the sound level for the “ayes” and the “nays” sounded about even, far short of the two-thirds necessary according to convention rules to amend the platform. That did not stop the convention chairman from declaring, “The ayes have it!”

What is troubling about that is the blatant disregard for the rules and for the apparent wishes of about half the delegates. The reference to God is back in the platform apparently because President Obama wanted it back in. That may be fine for now, but if a future president wants references to God taken out, apparently that can be done regardless of the wishes of the delegates if that is what The Leader wants. That does not bode well for democracy in the Democratic Party.

 Even more troubling is that this whole discussion about God in the platform is a distraction from more disturbing matters that have been included in the platform. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” That was the party’s official position until 2008. Apparently “rare” is so last century that it had to be dropped, because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be “safe and legal.” Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion “regardless of the ability to pay.” Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.

Moreover, the Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that “gay rights are human rights,” and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Now, why am I mentioning these matters in the Democratic Party Platform? There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding “political” and didn’t say anything about the morality of these issues. People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party’s official “unequivocal” support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.

So what about the Republicans? I have read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin. The Republican Party Platform does say that courts “should have the option of imposing the death penalty in capital murder cases.” But the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (in paragraph 2267), “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

One might argue for different methods in the platform to address the needs of the poor, to feed the hungry and to solve the challenges of immigration, but these are prudential judgments about the most effective means of achieving morally desirable ends, not intrinsic evils.

Certainly there are “pro-choice” Republicans who support abortion rights and “Log Cabin Republicans” who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party.

Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

I pray that God will give you the wisdom and guidance to make the morally right choices.

May God give us this grace. Amen.

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15 comments to Bishop Paprocki: Think And Pray Very Carefully About Your Vote

  • Gloria

    My friends we have all sin and we all need to understand. Our God does not tremble. My take on the matter the way it has been going is to not vote period.

  • anonymous

    I will not vote for either Soeteor or Willard because they are both the same!
    I am voting PRO(100%-all-the-time)LIFE!!
    I will write them in!!…& I will stand before God understanding that voting for ‘the lesser of 2 evils’ IS STILL VOTING FOR EVIL!!

    “In view of the foregoing, to vote for a proven deceiver who possesses a progressive/socialist agenda that rivals Obama’s in its power to weaken our moral, cultural, and political foundations is to forfeit any claim to God’s intervention at a time when our nation needs it most.
    God is not only merciful, of course, He is just, and we will be found wanting if we are deceived by the sophistry of the “Romney-is-our-best-and-only-hope” phenomenon. We will not merit God’s merciful blessings if we succumb to such sophistry.” http://www.renewamerica.com/analysis/stone/121015

    “It may be prudent, in every worldly sense, for me to keep silent. But when I stand before almighty God to answer for my share of responsibility for the (supposedly lesser) moral evils attributable to Romney’s successful bid for power, how prudent will it seem that I avoided the world’s scorn by deserving the condemnation of God, who made and governs the universe this world is part of?
    Where there is no choice, there is no election, only a powerful fabrication intended to force good people to betray all that they profess to believe.” Alan Keyes

    “No…One shouldn’t support evil, no matter how clever or how big a rock covers it..Not only, not vote for these totally non-principled, main stream parties.. but also tell them, .. tell any, and everyone, why you are not going to vote for these evil tainted shallow non-principled bastardized of old ‘parties’.” P.Gordon

  • G. W. Markle

    You can either choose to be a “bigot” and espouse all the prejudice it represents, or you can cast that label aside and follow Jesus Christ, but you can’t have it both ways. You have a choice, a free will, no politics involved.

    It’s sickening when politicians use the name of Jesus Christ to further their political agenda, and to garner votes by deceiving the masses into believing that they’re Christians. The truth is, they’re the Anti-Christians, and they want political power to create a theocratic state. That’s why church and state must remain separate. A religious state is not a free state. Your forefathers had the insight to realize that fact.

  • EK

    Thomas Francis with “devout Catholics ” like you, the Church needs no enemies. You have declared yourself your own infallible authority on issues of faith and morals. You are therefore not Catholic, but a heretic. You can’t manipulate the Church through threats. I say good riddance to all heretics, enemies of the Church and their “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

    Thank you, Bishop, for speaking out against the blood vote. You may have lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” but through your courage you will have gained many souls. May Mary Most Holy protect you always.

  • Teresa

    “What was the Catholic Church?” Wow, surely with all of your religious training, you remember what Jesus told St. Peter……”Thou art rock and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of hell WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT.” I think we might be able to take that to the bank.

    And…..I believe the official stance of Jesus’ own Church in regard to voting for someone who promotes intrinsic evil (abortion) is…….NON NEGOTIABLE. I think the good Bishop is indeed looking out for the welfare of souls.

  • Thomas Francis

    My family and my wife’s family have been devout Catholics for many generations. Our children have been raised within the faith and have attended catholic schools exclusively. Bishop Poproki’s comments have now made me realize enough is enough and we will be seeking a new faith and spiritual leaders who apply the spirit and context of the scripture in a non-political, non-“fear-mongering way. It should also be noted I received my undergraduate degree in Literature of the Bible. Regardless of who I decide to vote for in any election, to imply that my own salvation is somehow jeopardized by my vote is wholly inappropriate. Bishop Poproki has no idea what my relationship is with God or my faith. I see HIS actions as intrinsically evil. Through the course of my own blessed and successful career I have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church. In fact, one church bears a plaque of gratitude dedicated to my family for rebuilding it. I have walked the talk my entire life. From this day forward the Catholic Church will not see a penny from me. After I watched this ridiculous video I went so far as to contact my attorney to modify my will and eliminate gifts which had been planned following my death. Advocating under the pretense of moral righteousness is insulting, particularly for an institution which has born so many scandals from their own covert and sinful actions to protect their institution rather than the souls of their most trusting constituents. I will forever be grateful to the Catholic Church in which I was raised for giving me the moral foundation to see it for what it has become today; a corrupt and self-serving shadow of its’ former self. Jesus himself called out the hypocrites who hid behind the power and piety of their position. If he were to return today I am quite confident Bishop Poproki would be one of those addressed. His platform does not belong on “Courageous Priest” but I am not aware of a website called “Deceptive Manipulator.”
    I will pray for his soul as I do for all who claim to espouse God’s word but do so in the context of their own selfish interests. I will also pray for the uneducated and trusting individuals who will be influenced by his message. I fear my children’s children will one day ask their parents “What was the Catholic Church?” as it will likely be a historical footnote rather than the thriving religion it was once upon a time.

  • TG

    Thank you Bishop for caring about our souls. Too bad many so called Catholics won’t listen to this. I’m embarassed to put the Catholic vote bumper sticker I received because I don’t want anything to think I’m a liberal Catholic. If it had the word “pro-life”, I would use it but not just something that says I am Catholic and I vote. I’m counting on the evangelicals to save this country.

  • “Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.”

    So all taxpayers will have to pay for them.

    “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm — without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

    @lisag: “Would Democrat party denounce abortion if the Republicans denounce capital punishment.”

    unfortunately because convicted felons often continue to commit crimes in prison, including continuing to run drug cartels & crime syndicates, we must take a closer look at BL JPII’s opinion, at least, for certain crimes/prisoners. 15 years defending white collar criminals, most of whom were guilty, made it clear that though I desire the end of the death penalty, when criminals continue to murder, traffic in human lives, sell drugs, terrorize & wreak vengeance on those who put them behind bars & work w/ jihadists or anyone else looking to buy weapons or hire muscle, the death penalty is, more often than we imagine, necessary.

    & though many bishops have much to answer for, more & more, they are being replaced by courageous bishops who speak the truth. we are also beginning to have a fresh crop of priests to lead & teach the faithful. only some people are confused though. there are many who use confession on Sat so they can receive on Sunday & do as they please the rest of the week – unmarried Catholics who are faithful & hope to marry meet many like this of both sexes. more & more, we know what to do but are too proud or angry to do it: Catholics who refuse to vote pro-life because they feel the Church spends too much time on pro-life advertising, Catholics who have been faithful their entire lives & then turn away because a child suffers SSA w/o even trying to seek spiritual direction from the Church. some Catholics have been led astray. but it’s becoming harder & harder not to know or find out what the truth is – particularly for web savvy Catholics. we must pray for their repentance but not fall into sin through sympathy. sympathy, one of Satan’s strongest weapons these days.

  • Br. Christopher Sale

    Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will
    guide us to make the right decision
    on election day. But let us remember,
    do we want a man of God or a man
    who thinks he is God? For many, the
    …Holy Spirit has already brought us the
    clear choice.
    God bless,
    Br. Christopher B.P.P.

  • fwk

    Thank you for the clear explanation and outline of facts.

  • Clara

    All good Catholics agree with this position. It’s why the Catholic Church is hated by those who want to feel free to participate in intrinsic evil and still call themselves Christians. Former Catholics are not former Catholics because they had some philosophical or theological difference with the Church. It’s always morals. The former Catholic wants to participate in sin and say it’s not so.

  • TerryC

    Capital punishment is not morally equivalent to abortion. Even placing them in the same sentence indicates a gross misunderstanding of Catholic teaching. The CCC does indeed reflect Blessed John Paul II opinion that capital punishment is no longer necessary in the developed world. As the chief shepherd his opinion is very important, and I would listen to his opinion on matters of faith and morals (which this is.) What his opinion is not is dogmatic. That is, for a Catholic the death penalty remains a matter of prudential judgment. That is while you should support the Pope’s opinion in this matter you are not bound to. It is not a sin to support the death penalty. So it is not a matter of moral balance to require the Republican party to forswear the death penalty for the Democratic party to stop support of abortion.
    It is certainly a valid moral choice open to Catholics to refuse to support the Republican party because they support the death penalty. It is however, not a sin for a Catholic to decide that they will support the Republican party. It is a sin for a Catholic the support the Democratic party. Why? Because, as the good bishops says, your support makes you morally complicit in the intrinsically evil act of abortion and disordered sexual activities.
    Unfortunately too many Catholics seem to be ignorant of this fact. Fortunately bishops like Bishop Paprocki are speaking plainly on this. Soon invincible ignorance will be no defense at the last judgment.

  • TerryC

    Courageous indeed. Perhaps if this elections goes badly and the present administration is allowed to continue its war on religion; if the supreme court finds that the government can indeed decide which endeavors are ministry and which are not; when all of the Catholic hospitals have been secularize, or closed. When religious freedom in the United States means that you can worship inside your church all you want, as long as the minister does not speak out against abortion or homosexual sins or contraception.
    Perhaps then the USCCB will be even more courageous than this brave bishop and finally inform their flocks that support for the democratic is itself a sinful act and that such an action separates one from the Church. Did the shepherds hesitate to so inform those of their flocks in Russia about the Communists? How much intrinsic evil must a political party support before the bishops will speak clearly enough for even the most bad catechized Catholic to understand? I hope it will not take the arrest of the first bishop for “hate speech” or the first hospital to be invaded by IRS thugs, for failing to provide contraception or abortion coverage to their employees.

  • lisag

    It could not be more clear that voting for the anti life party is hazardous for you soul. What if the two parties both gave up their anti life planks. Would Democrat party denounce abortion if the Republicans denounce capital punishment. Which one would happen first.

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