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Published: Saturday, 10/23/2004

Catholics must weigh 5 moral issues

I don't believe that James Bacik properly represented Catholic theology on the voting issue in his Oct. 16 Saturday Essay. He seemed more intent in pushing his own leanings on this issue than in accurately representing what the church teaches.

Father Bacik quotes Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as saying a Catholic who opposes abortion could vote for a pro-abortion candidate "if there are proportionate reasons." What Father Bacik failed to mention is that there are no proportionate reasons outside of the five non-negotiable intrinsically evil issues. These issues are abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual "marriage."

A true Catholic voter must weigh each candidate (for every office) on how he stands on each of these issues. No other issues, such as financial, will be able to outweigh the importance of these five moral topics. If there is no acceptable candidate on all five of these issues, then a Catholic should vote for the candidate who supports more of the five, or vote for neither.

Father Bacik would have you believe that a Catholic can vote for any candidate as long as he pretends to ignore these moral issues and states that he is voting for a more important issue. Apparently he leaves it up to each voter to decide what issues are most important, regardless of what the church teaches.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on this issue wrote, "A well formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." I didn't see this quote in Father Bacik's essay.

Jeff Hennessy

Grantwood Drive

Sorry to tell Father James Bacik, but the Catholic Church condemns abortion as a moral evil. This teaching has not changed and is unchangeable. Life begins at conception and "The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislators." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2273. Emphasis in original.)

Thus abortion is condemned under all circumstances, regardless of the political spin any politician may offer this Doctrine of Faith. As the U.S. bishops stated, abortion cannot be equated with poverty programs, the arms race, or even the death penalty.

God's laws are not dependent on the U.S. Constitution or popular vote. At one time it was believed that the Constitution was based on God's laws.

DEACON LARRY LOTTIER

St. Joan of Arc Parish

Heatherdowns Boulevard

I temporarily set aside the errors, distortions, and euphemisms in James Bacik's Oct. 16 Saturday Essay.

What is of interest is what those above him who are better trained, more well versed in theology, and simply more comfortable with authentic Catholic teaching, think about his statements.

One wonders if someone who advocates dialogue so publicly and frequently has had the courage to dialogue with Archbishop Burke.

John B. Kennedy

Courville Avenue



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