Should Catholics be involved in politics? And how do politics fit into the life of faith? I’m reminded of a conversation I overheard after Mass. A woman was complaining about all the comments on Facebook about the upcoming election. As far as she was concerned, Catholics should not get involved in politics. Well …. no. That’s just plain wrong.
by Barbara Case Speers
Should Catholics be involved in politics? It shouldn’t even be a question. The Catechism is clear in its teaching that Catholics are morally obliged to participate in political life and supporting the common good by exercising their power to vote (CCC 2240). In other words, we’re supposed to bring the moral teaching of the Church into the public square by electing those candidates who best represent what is truly good, virtuous, and morally praiseworthy.
The power to vote is an important aspect of exercising our freedom and promoting justice. If we disregard our freedom as citizens, how can we change secular laws that go against our Catholic moral theology? What happened to this little light of mine; I’m going to let it shine? If we hope to make the world a better place, we must vote the right folks into office, transforming hope into reality.
Cutting to the chase, I believe that abortion is my number one consideration.
Why have I singled out abortion when we have so many other issues and concerns? Well, I have two reasons.
The first, searching online, 862,000 children, US citizens, were murdered in 2017 – that’s not counting the bodies that haven’t been accounted for.
But what about gun control? Unfortunately, criminals have ways around gun control.
Yes, we have gun violence in the US, which attributed to 40,000 deaths in 2017. Sixty percent of those deaths were suicides.
Okay, what about the refugees who are dying at or around the Mexican border?
There were 412 immigrant refugee deaths in 2017. Looking at these numbers, which statistic would be more important to God? It would be His babies, who are US citizens, and without a voice, the most vulnerable.
Children are on loan to us from God.
The second reason, again going online, I found and read this article that also changed my perspective.
This is what the writers wrote,
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.Jer 1:5; Psalm 139:15
Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication, latae sententiae, by the very commission of the offense, and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin.
Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.
The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights. Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being. Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.
One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”
Who wrote the above article?
I found this gem in the Catechism of Catholic Church starting at paragraph 2270.
And who wrote the Catechism? Finding a statement from the USCCB website: In 1991 the Commission prepared the text for the Holy Father’s official approval. On June 25, 1992 Pope John Paul II officially approved the definitive version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On December 8, 1992 Pope John Paul II promulgated the Catechism with an apostolic constitution. I hope the USCCB stands behind the Catechism when it comes time to vote.
As a writer, I paint a black and white canvas using words, presenting spiritual points to ponder, even if it is just for me! My goal is to bring us closer to the Will of God in our lives, encourage an intimate relationship with Jesus, Mary, and all the saints.