Catholics should vote their consciences


To the Editor:
On Nov. 2 I read an article in the Quad-City Times regarding Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport to celebrate All Saints Day and to receive Communion with 60 or so parishioners.
I found this article to be a breath of fresh air during the heated campaign season. I am also aware of the negative publicity by certain Catholic clergy who condemn members of their flock who vote with the Democratic Party. I find this troubling when I read that voting for someone outside the Republican Party is morally wrong and involves an intrinsic evil.
I thought this issue was put to rest a number of years ago when the Catholic bishops determined that “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” meant the responsibility to make political choices rest with each person and his or her properly formed conscience.
As Catholics, we are not single-issue voters. If a candidate’s position on a single issue involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism that would disqualify a voter’s support.
Vice President Biden stated in his only televised debate that he follows the guidelines regarding the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion, but believes the government shouldn’t be given the right to make moral decisions on behalf of its citizens.
If the Catholic Church supports the rights of its members to vote their own conscience, why do certain clergy keep pushing this issue? Besides, when has it ever been made permissible for clergy to get involved in politics? Abortion is a moral issue, not a political one!
James Harder

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