Thursday, February 14, 2008

Archbishop Chaput Warns Catholics on Supporting Pro-Abortion Candidates

Denver, CO ( -- Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput says pro-life Catholics should only considering backing pro-abortion politicians in very limited circumstances -- such as cases when both candidates are pro-abortion. Even then, Chaput admonished Catholics to lobby the candidate to change his abortion views.

Chaput addressed the thorny issue of abortion and voting during a speech at the new Augustine Institute, a Catholic graduate school in Denver.

Asked whether Catholics should not vote or vote for the candidate who is least pro-abortion, Chaput said "there's no one Catholic answer to the question."

"If you're a Democrat can you legitimately vote for someone who is pro-choice? I imagine so," Chaput told the audience, according to a Rocky Mountain News report.

However, Catholics shouldn't vote for pro-abortion candidates without making a concerned effort to tell them their views are wrong.

"But you have to tell them forcefully you want them to change . . . voting is (just)the minimum," he said, the newspaper indicated.

"If we believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, we need to prove that by our actions, including our political choices," the Archbishop said in one [Denver Catholic Register] column. "Anything less leads to the corruption of our integrity."

"The 'choice' in abortion always involves the choice to end the life of an unborn human being," Archbishop Chaput wrote. "For anyone who sees this fact clearly, neutrality, silence or private disapproval are not options. They are evils almost as grave as abortion itself."


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Bishop Blair Calls Upon Voters to Examine Consciences

Archbishop Chaput: "Better Citizens, More Faithful Catholics"

John Allen Interviews Archbishop Chaput Regarding Catholic Voting Guides

Archbishop Chaput Not Satisfied With Proposed New USCCB Document on Voting

Archbishop Chaput: The Time for Behind-The-Scenes Diplomacy with Politicians Is Over

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At 2/14/2008 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think of this blogger's take.

It seems idiotic to me. Her take, that is.

At 2/14/2008 8:42 AM, Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

I think it is imprudent to reduce a pro-life vote on the abortion issue down to a vote to outlaw abortion. The work that needs to be done to reduce abortions in America (as much as humanly possible) involves much more than just legal battles. The root causes and conditions that help generate an abortion culture have to be addressed. Hearts and minds have to be opened to the dignity of unborn life. I don’t see legal protections for unborn persisting in a society poisoned by consequentialism and consumerism. For these and other reasons, I think the Catholic voter has to look at which candidates would be best on the abortion issue beyond simply the legal aspect, both in the short term and the long term. I can conceive of instances in which the “pro-choice” candidate would be more effective in reducing abortions than the “pro-life” candidate. Please note that I’m not trying to make excuses for voting for a “pro-choice” candidate by dismissing the grave obligation we have as a society to work to eliminate abortions. I am suggesting that a Catholic in good conscience may vote for a “pro-choice” candidate if he reasonably believes that such a candidate will be better at ending abortions in America.

For the record, I do think abortion should be outlawed.

I trust I make myself obscure.

At 2/14/2008 9:22 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I think she's mistaken as to what Archbishop Chaput is saying.

We don't have the text of his remarks, but the Archbishop has said on MANY occasions that being Catholic MEANS being pro-life. So, pro-life Catholic is redundant, just as "pro-choice" Catholic is an oxymoron.

So, if Archbishop Chaput is addressing "pro-life Catholics", it must be because he knows he'd be wasting his time with "pro-choice Catholics" who define themselves that way specifically because they support abortion and Democrats.

At 2/14/2008 9:29 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...


I generally agree. However, I find it untenable to vote for a candidate that is so committed to legalized abortion on demand that he or she (a) has a pro-Roe litmus test for judicial nominees, (b) would overturn the Mexico City Policy, and (c) goes hat in hand every year to NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and NOW bragging about a commitment to abortion on demand (among all the other anti-life positions they take).

I wouldn't vote for anyone who tolerates slavery or racism as a "choice"; so, I certainly will not vote for anyone espousing the evil of legalized abortion on demand. You can't effectively change the culture with respect to abortion as long as a party is in power that seeks to expand it's availability at every turn.

At 2/14/2008 11:14 AM, Anonymous M.Z. said...

I'm not sure there is a way to put this politely. Archbishop Chaput tells people whatever they want to hear. That's why I never quote him.

At 2/14/2008 11:35 AM, Blogger Fredi said...

"If you're a Democrat can you legitimately vote for someone who is pro-choice? I imagine so."

If placed in the context of the current election, this statement is outrageous.

One is a Catholic first and a supporter of a given political party last. An authentic Catholic cannot detach him/herself from Catholic teaching in order to maintain an attachment to any political party or politician.

For those who are Catholics I would like to share my belief that we shouldn't be viewing the world from the Left, Center or Right. It is imperative that we view it from the Top - from the perspective of its Creator.

I hope the day will come when all Catholics will embrace the fullness of their faith, teachings of their Church and the Catholic Way of living.

"Our political parties - whether Democratic or Republican -- are not "Lord." Congress is not "Lord." The Supreme Court is not "Lord." And neither are we "Lord"; nor our spouse or friends or possessions or talents. None of these people or things is Lord. Only God is God, and only Jesus Christ is Lord. And Christ's relationship with each of us as individuals, and all of us as the believing Catholic community, should be the driving force of our personal lives and for all of our public witness - including our political witness." Most Reverand harles J. Chaput

“So can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is: I can't, and I won't. But I do know some serious Catholics-people whom I admire-who may. I think their reasoning is mistaken, but at least they sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And most important: They don't keep quiet about it; they don't give up; they keep lobbying their party and their representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can vote for pro-choice candidates if they vote for them despite-not because of-their pro-choice views. And they also need a proportionate reason to justify it.

What is a proportionate reason when it comes to abortion? It's the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them in the next life-which we certainly will. If we're confident that these victims will accept our motives, then we can proceed.

The heart of truly faithful citizenship is this: We're better citizens when we're more faithful Catholics. The more authentically Catholic we are in our lives, choices, actions and convictions, the more truly we will contribute to the moral and political life of our nation.” Most Reverand Charles J. Chaput

At 2/15/2008 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaput and other Bishops can make whatever statements they want about which candidates Catholics "may" or "may not" vote for. However, as exit polls from a number of the primaries held so far indicate, Catholics are supporting Obama in ever greater numbers.

The relevance of Bishops to the political process continues to decrease as they continue to insist that the only issue Catholics use in choosing a candidate is the issue of abortion.


At 2/15/2008 5:18 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Maybe we should come up with some law that says the longer a political discussion about the Catholic vote goes on, the chances approach 1 of someone coming along and attempting to trump the Bishops' efforts at informing voter consciences by citing to anecdotal evidence of Catholic Obasms.

At 2/15/2008 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"by citing to anecdotal evidence of Catholic Obasms."

Never expect clear thinking Jay from members of the O-Cult.

At 2/15/2008 9:40 PM, Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

Which bishops insist that the only issue Catholics use in choosing a candidate is abortion?


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