Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Elections Webcast on Wednesday and My Latest Column - Fr. Frank Pavone
October 25, 2010
Election Day is right around the corner and what matters now is educating people about the Candidates and getting as many people as possible to the polls. This year, Priests for Life is providing links to 501(c) (3) friendly State voter guides. Find the voter guide for your State at www.priestsforlife.org/candidates and share them with others. You can find more helpful election information at www.politicalresponsibility.com .
To help you with your "get out the vote" activities, I am holding an important webcast on Wednesday, October 27 from 9-10pm ET. David Barton of Wallbuilders and David Bereit of 40 Days for Life will be my guest panelists. To listen online go to http://attendthisevent.com/?eventID=14642616 where you can also submit questions now or during the event. You can also listen to the webcast over the phone at (712) 432-1001 with access code: 437356605#. Please join us and encourage others to do so as well by signing up at www.priestsforlife.org/webcast .
I will be the main celebrant and homilist on the EWTN Live televised Mass on December 1st, 3rd and 4th. The Mass airs live at 8am ET and repeats at 12pm ET, 7pm ET and 12am ET. Be sure to tune in and spread the word.
Also on Wednesday, October 27 from 3:00-3:45pm ET, Msgr. Michael Mannion, a true pro-life pioneer, will join me on a “Mobilizing the Clergy for Life” webcast. Please let any Priest, Deacon or Seminarian know that we want them to join us and we will open the phone lines for questions. They can listen to the webcast at http://attendthisevent.com/?eventID=14643120 or over the phone at (718) 290-9983 with conference ID: 307488#. They can register for the webcast at www.priestsforlife.org/clergy .
We are in the midst of two important novenas, one for Election Day and another for Priesthood Sunday, which takes place on Sunday, October 31. Both novenas and all of our upcoming novenas can be found at www.prayercampaign.org . Please join us and ask others to join us as well.
After my column you will find this week’s media schedule.
Fr. Frank Pavone National Director, Priests for Life
Praise for our work
Fr. Pavone: Thank you also for everything you and Priests for Life do to protect our most vulnerable unborn brothers and sisters. Please know that you and everyone at Priests for Life remain in my prayers and that I am Fraternally yours in Christ, +Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs
The Party Matters
by Fr. Frank Pavone
When deciding on the candidate for whom you cast your vote in an election, a number of moral principles have to be considered. As I have often written in the past, the position of the candidate him/herself on the most important issues is of key importance, because by putting that person in a position to vote on legislation, you help to move public policy either closer or farther away from the moral law.
But that very consideration also means that the positions of the party to which the candidate belongs also matter. By putting that candidate in office, you also help to put his/her party into power. This has to be taken into consideration, too. Voters need to ask how much the election of a particular candidate will shift the balance of power between the parties, and what will happen when a particular party takes control. Voters should know the platform of the party and the official positions of party leadership on the same moral issues on which the individual candidate is evaluated.
At times, in all parties, the individual candidate will take a different position than his/her party on fundamental moral issues. Yet if the election of that candidate would shift control to his/her party, which holds the opposite position on those issues, a vote for that candidate, in effect, works against the position the voter may be trying to advance.
In short, the party matters.
To illustrate why the party matters, let's look at what happens in the United States Senate.
The Majority party in the Senate chooses the Majority Leader. The Majority Leader has control of the Senate schedule and agenda. This includes the ability to select the timing for floor proceedings, that is, debates, consideration of amendments, and voting, both for legislation and nominations.
The Majority Party has a majority on all committees (except the Ethics Committee), usually in close proportion to its share of the body as a whole. The Majority Party on every committee also controls a majority of the staff on the committee.
The Majority in each committee recommends to their caucus a Committee Chairman. Typically, their selection is rubberstamped by the Majority Party in the Senate. The chairmen, in turn, set the agenda of their respective committees. This is an extremely powerful post. For example, chairmen sometimes refuse to schedule hearings on nominees and legislation, and this effectively kills them. In other words, the best candidate in either party could introduce the best legislation imaginable, and it would never come out of committee. The party matters.
Considerations about what party would be in power as a result of the outcome of a particular election become especially relevant when the opposing candidates take the same position on issues of key importance.
Reflections like these are not an endorsement of a party; rather, they are an aspect of the duty that we as clergy have to articulate the moral dimensions of voting. If they benefit one party over another, that's not by our choice, but by the choice of the party to take the positions it takes.