The words of Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, of Chicago:
“If one contends, as we do, that the right of every fetus to be born should be protected by civil consensus, then our moral, political, and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth. Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker. Such a quality-of-life posture translates into specific political and economic positions on tax policy, employment generation, welfare policy, nutrition and feeding programs, and health care. Consistency means we cannot have it both ways. We cannot urge a compassionate society and vigorous public policy to protect the rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fibre of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.”
The words of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI:
“Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment, or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. . . . There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
These are from Peter J. Boyer, “A Hard Faith” in the May 16, 2005 New Yorker. It would appear that church doctrine says that it is okay to want to kill people out of hate, fear, or paranoia – capital punishment or war – but it is not okay to kill out of compassion, or because you believe you would be an unfit parent.
I’m not sure whether I should pity Catholics because their church is run by morally questionable people, or if I should fear the Catholic church because it has the power and the will to screw me over. Boyer’s article would seem to counsel fear:
“Perhaps the most arresting fact about the last election is that the Roman Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts lost the Catholic vote to the born-again Methodist from Texas.”
It seems clear, to me, that if you are pro-choice, you do not belong in the Catholic Church any more. Even if you were, like John Kerry, an altar boy. If the Catholics are going to vote for war, capital punishment, and tax cuts for the wealthy, then there should be fewer Catholics.