Friday, September 26, 2008

FFM Parishes: O'Donaghue on being Catholic, 16

Another of our extracts from 'Fit for Mission? - Parishes' by Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster. Click on the 'label' FFM Parishes to see others. See the 'Fit for Mission?' website and download the full document. The previous title in the series, 'Fit for Mission? - Schools' is downloadable here (pdf). This generated a Facebook support group.

From section 10.9.3, pp8of
So can a Catholic in good conscience vote and campaign for a political candidate who supports and promotes abortion and/ or euthanasia or promotes a cut in international aid? My personal answer to this question is: I can’t and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics — people whom I admire on a whole range of issues — who will vote and campaign for MPs who hold all kinds of positions that are against the teachings of the Church. I know that they do sincerely struggle with their party’s position on, say, abortion or stem-cell research, and it causes them real pain. More importantly: They don’t keep quiet about it! They re-double their efforts to bring about reform of their party’s position.
In my opinion, it is only in these very strict circumstances that it is permissible to support and vote for a Member of Parliament who holds positions against the teaching of the Church. It is never permissible to casually vote for a candidate without knowing their stance on these issues, or to vote for them and leave it at that.
• I earnestly call on all Catholics in my diocese to support politicians who are opposed to abortion, euthanasia, research on embryonic human beings, or promote an increase in international aid, the support of migrants or campaign for the UN Millennium Goals.
• If all the candidates are anti-life then consider voting for the candidate who is most in sympathy with Catholic social teaching, for example on the question of international aid. However, never tire of campaigning to change the candidates mind on these life issues.
• Above all follow your conscience, informed by the teaching of the Church. It may be that you cannot vote for any candidate.

3 comments:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

It's "O'Donohue"

Webmaster said...

Er, no. It is Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue.

Simon Platt said...

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks it odd that his lordship appears to treat UN millenium goals etc. as equal in importance as abortion etc. As I understand it we are bound in conscience at least to do nothing to promote abortion etc. (and I personally interpret this as implying a refusal to vote for parliamentary candidates who are not pro-life), whereas issues of international aid etc. are surely matters of prudential judgement (and I would not consider it immoral to vote for someone with views on either side).

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen