Be A Catholic Before You Are A Democrat Or Republican!

Catholics Must Make Distinctions Between Intrinsic Evils And Other Election Issues!

By:  Carl Bunderson/Matthew Rarey

(CNA/EWTN News).- As the country approaches election day in two weeks, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia is encouraging Catholic voters to place their faith above their allegiance to political parties.

“I’m always encouraging our people minimally to vote, maximally to run for political office, and make sure that they’re Catholic prior to being Democrat or Republican and that they put that into practice politically,” he told CNA in Rome on Oct. 22.

Archbishop Chaput echoed the calls of other American bishops to have their flocks consider their faith in the voting booth.

“We do believe in the separation of church and state, but we don’t believe in the separation of faith from our political life,” he said.

“It’s very important for Catholics to make distinctions when voting that they never support intrinsic evils like abortion, which is evil in all circumstances. That’s a lot different from different economic policies” that people can reasonably disagree on, the archbishop explained.

His remarks come as an Oct. 22 Gallup poll shows the “economy in general” is the issue rated most important by Americans as the election nears.

“But people who are practicing Catholics cannot have alternate views on abortion,” he stated. “Such foundational issues have a huge impact and it’s important that Catholics make those distinctions.”

“A person (candidate) might be right on a lot of secondary issues but wrong on the foundational issues. And if that’s the case, it would be very difficult for a Catholic to vote for someone who, for example, favors unlimited access to abortion … undermines the meaning of marriage or supports policies that really undermine the foundation of our culture.”

Archbishop Chaput sees Philadelphia as a great example of both Catholic and civic virtue. He noted that it both produced two canonized saints, John Neumann and Katherine Drexel, and was the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the U.S. Constitution.

“I’m standing on the shoulders both in terms of the Church and the civic community,” the archbishop pointed out. “We have to produce new saints and be really good citizens.”

He also connected patriotism with love of parents and family, saying that “loving our country is really participating in love of our families.”

And “the meaning of family,” he asserted, is “hugely important for the future health of our country.”

“Having mothers and fathers who love us and love one another provides security for the healthy growth of children. Confused family life leads to confused participation in the broader life of the community.”

The Catholic vote has tended to follow the rest of the electorate in recent years, but with the current campaign for president running neck-and-neck, Gov. Romney and President Obama are vying for every segment of voters they can.

The latest polling from Gallup suggests that Romney has 51 percent of the Catholic vote while Obama has 49 percent.

In the 2008 election, 53 percent of Catholic voters supported Obama, and 47 percent supported GOP candidate John McCain.

Archbishop Chaput noted that “Catholics who go to church vote quite differently than Catholics as a group, and that Catholics who take their faith seriously, for them it’s much more than a cultural affiliation – it’s a very personal affiliation with Jesus Christ and his community.”

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5 comments to Be A Catholic Before You Are A Democrat Or Republican!

  • Patricia

    I am a practicing Catholic who is voting for Obama. I am against abortion but neither candidate takes that stand. In addition, the Republican Party is pro-gun, pro-death penalty, anti-environment and a number of other non-life issues. According to Romney health care and quality education are a privilege and not a right. That cannot be true in the wealthiest nation on earth. My understanding of Catholic teaching is respect for life from conception until natural death; not only until birth. We must change people’s hearts before we can change the law of the land. I also live in a diocese that has been offering insured contraception for years…it only seems to be an issue now that they don’t have to pay for it. Church leaders and the faithful need to quit being so hypocritical. By the way, when did the Church begin teaching that souls perish for lack of knowledge?

    Hello Patricia,

    Here is your question answered.

    Hosea 4:6 My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me: and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.

    Bible, Revised Standard Version
    Hosea 4:6 My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me: and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.

    New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE)
    My people are ruined for lack of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as my priest; Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.

    I hope and pray you do some more research from resources loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    God bless,
    John Quinn

  • Teresa

    I do indeed intend to vote for Mr. Romney. Although I am not completely sold on him, I do believe he will be much better for the Country than the Current President. Even more importantly is the fact that we all will some day be standing before Almighty God and will have to account for our vote. Believe me that this vote in particular will resonate in eternity. We will be held accountable. We either vote for the “Abortionator in Chief” or someone at least not quite so determined to promote the culture of death, and take down the Catholic Church at the same time.

  • Br. Christopher Sale

    To get slightly off the issue. As I work with the poor
    and the homeless I can’t help but wonder. Where is
    the HOPE AND CHANGE for these people?
    Here in Los Angeles the homeless population has tripled
    under Obama’s leadership. Families are living in cars and
    motels. More and more people are on Food Stamps.
    One in six is living in poverty. This is unacceptable!
    And through it all, Obama and Biden call this progress.
    Please pray for these poor souls.
    God bless,
    Br. Charles Christopher B.P.P.

  • Cathy Bee

    I am a million percent against abortion and will therefore have to vote for Mr. Romney. However, I believe he will be the ruination of our country due to his deceit and lies. I do not trust him and I believe the poor, disabled and our senior citizens will suffer greatly because of his economic greed…………. This next quote is taken directly from his website and I honestly do not believe he will do anything to STOP the senseless killings of abortion. Mr. Romney just wants to use the abortion issue as a feather in his cap for votes and then he will wash his hands of it and pass the issue onto the States to deal with – sort of like a Pontius Pilate.
    ” Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view. But while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”

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