15, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- Bishops Kevin J. Farrell of
Dallas and Keven W. Vann of
Fort Worth issued a joint letter
on October 8 to the members
of their dioceses in which they
write that abortion
is the "defining issue"
of the upcoming election.
all other rights are predicated
upon the right to life, which
is gravely violated by abortion.
The public acceptance of abortion,
therefore, renders any attempts
to "further the common"
good impossible: "'It is
impossible to further the common
good without acknowledging and
defending the right to life,
upon which all the other inalienable
rights of individuals are founded
and from which they develop.'"
letter, which identifies abortion
as the "preeminent intrinsic
evil of our day,"
draws from the earlier document
issued by the bishops of the
United States, "Forming
Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,"
published in November 2007.
the Texas bishops relate, this
earlier document distinguishes
between those moral-political
issues that are "intrinsically
evil," such as "legalized
abortion, the promotion of same
sex unions and 'marriages',
repression of religious liberty...
[and] public policies permitting
euthanasia, racial discrimination
or destructive human embryonic
stem cell research," and
those which are subject to rational
dialogue, such as "immigration
reform, healthcare, the economy
and its solvency, care and concern
for the poor, and the war on
the fact that abortion is a
grave intrinsic evil, in only
two circumstances, the two bishops
write, could one in conscience
vote for a pro-abortion political
candidate: "If both candidates
running for office support abortion
or 'abortion rights,' a Catholic
would be forced to then look
at the other important issues
and through their vote try to
limit the evil done," or
"if another intrinsic evil
outweighs the evil of abortion."
go on to clarify: "While
this is sound moral reasoning,
there are no 'truly grave moral'
or 'proportionate' reasons,
singularly or combined, that
could outweigh the millions
of innocent human lives that
are directly killed by legal
abortion each year."
bishops leave no wiggle room
for any Catholics who might
take a soft stance on the abortion
question, writing, "As
Catholics we are morally obligated
to pray, to act, and to vote
to abolish the evil of abortion
the conclusion the bishops highlight
the duty of each Catholic to
educate himself in issues of
decisions we make on these political
and moral issues affect not
only the general peace and prosperity
of society at large, but also
affect each individual's salvation.
As Catholics, we must treat
our political choices with appropriate
moral gravity and in doing so,
realize our continuing and unavoidable
obligation to be a voice for
the voiceless unborn, whose
destruction by legal abortion
is the preeminent intrinsic
evil of our day. With knowledge
of the Church's teaching on
these grave matters, it is incumbent
upon each of us as Catholics
to educate ourselves on where
the candidates running for office
stand on these issues, particularly
those involving intrinsic evils."
pastoral letter from Bishops
Vann and Farrell can be found
Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
can be found here: