Editorial by Fr. Alphonse DeValk, editor, The Catholic Insight
September 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Just before the election of January 23, 2006, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), an association of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an Open Letter to Canadian Catholics. First, it summarized Canada's general situation as follows:
"At this time in the history of Canada, a realistic look at society reveals a fundamental problem-the loss of respect for human life and dignity. This is evident in so many ways:
- the legal void that permits abortion right up to birth;
- medical research that authorizes the destruction of embryos;
- a mentality that increasingly favours euthanasia and assisted suicide;
- the gratuitous violence in our schoolyards;
- abuse of women and children;
- the violent deaths of young men;
- the silence that surrounds so many situations of poverty;
- the widespread incidence of prostitution, pornography and drugs."
The COLF Letter observed that the family is under constant attack, today not least because of the Liberal government's redefinition of marriage in June 2005. It went on to point to Canada's anti-religious secularism:
"We are witnessing an obvious effort by some in society who wish to relegate religion to the private lives of citizens. This aggressive secular ideology refuses religion the right to exist in the public square. In the name of pluralism and secularity, then, there is a desire to exclude from public dialogue those who promote religious values, even when these can be defended by human reason and experience."
Just recently, in Ontario, the Human Rights Commission made the most brazen attack on freedom of religion and conscience seen so far in Canada. It boldly ordered the College of Physicians and Surgeons to extinguish the rights of medical doctors to follow their own conscience in judging the needs of their patients. The Human Rights Commissions are now a blight on the Canadian landscape.
Meanwhile, the legalized killing of infants in the womb remains the overall most important moral crisis for Canada. Its deadly social consequences are now upon us. It is shameful that Prime Minister Harper once more distanced himself from this issue before calling the election. We encourage the voters in the riding of Calgary South-West to express their unhappiness on election day.
The first principle in voting is that to be pro-abortion disqualifies a candidate from office. He/she is simply unsuited to hold office. Their thinking is awry. Because of this opinion, they get everything important wrong as well.
But Catholics have obligations above and beyond other voters. Why? Because they have received the Truth. The following principles apply to them.
Catholics who cast a vote for a politician who supports abortion and same-sex 'marriage' "commit moral evil," if a moral candidate is available. Advancing pro-abortion candidates and their aims is incompatible with the Catholic faith.
"Voting is a moral act." In some matters of morality, such as immigration, universal health care, and affordable housing, "the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments." Other acts, regardless of the motive or circumstances, always "involve doing evil" and must be opposed: "These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the destruction of embryonic human beings in stem-cell research, human cloning, and same-sex 'marriage.'"
"Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil, that is, evil in and of themselves regardless of our motives or the circumstances. They constitute an attack against human life, as well as marriage and family."
Catholic voters have to bring a "correct conscience" on matters regarding innocent human life and the family even when faced with the choice of two unacceptable candidates.
"When there is no choice of a candidate that avoids supporting intrinsically evil actions, especially elective abortion, Catholics should vote in such a way as to allow the least harm to innocent human life and dignity."
"We would not be acting immorally therefore if we were to vote for a candidate who is not totally acceptable in order to defeat one who poses an even greater threat to human life and dignity."
Who said all this? It is contained in a voters' guide issued by the four bishops of the State of Kansas. It presents authentic Catholic moral teaching. It applies in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and anywhere else in the world.
For information on candidates in the various ridings, see LifeSiteNews.com for the Campaign Life Coalition election 2008 Voters Guide which will be posted late today.