Democrats Will Never "Get It"The New York Times and MSNBC show once again that they neither understand Catholic teaching nor Catholic voters in their latest so-called coverage of what they deem a "Catholic divide" on the issue. They did manage to cover one real Catholic and his dilemma:
Until recently, Matthew Figured, a Sunday school teacher at the Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church here, could not decide which candidate to vote for in the presidential election.
He had watched progressive Catholics work with the Democratic Party over the last four years to remind the faithful of the party’s support for Catholic teaching on the Iraq war, immigration , health care and even reducing abortion rates.
But then his local bishop plunged into the fray, barring Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, from receiving communion in the area because of his support for abortion rights.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it very clear that those who support abortion, either directly or indirectly, commit a grave offense:
2271 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. 75
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. 76
2272 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," 77 "by the very commission of the offense," 78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. 79 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.
2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.
In supporting aborticide, those public figures of both political parties who choose to defy the Church's teaching are accessories to the crime. The Church has made it abundantly clear that in the pantheon of social teaching and moral commandments, abortion stands at the very top of the list of things to be fought and opposed. Further, that any public figure who supports the continued legalization of abortion, no matter how they may try to mask this in their other politics, is not to be supported-period.
Contrary to what some may believe, there is no covert alliance between the U.S. Bishops and the Republican Party. No one in the Church hierarchy believes that GOP stands for "God's Own Party," nor do they think that a singular political party will press Catholic social teaching with the vigor that it deserves to be pressed. This has been a learned experience, as the Democratic Party failed the Church after many years of an informal and unwritten alliance.
The Democratic Party has chosen to walk down a path which simply excludes serious people of faith who cannot in good conscience support public figures who uphold the legalized murder of unborn children-and that is what it is. The Church does not endorse any political party, but unfortunately for the Democrats, they continue to take positions that put the Church at odds with them and make the Republicans the party of choice by default.
As usual, the Democratic Party does not care, which is why they stand to lose the votes of practicing, observant, Mass-going Catholics (who voted Republican at a rate of about 80% in 2004) yet again.