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Yeah, great idea.  If only there were better candidates....  I guess we deserve what we deserve.  Pray for a Holy Catholic leader like Garcia Moreno....

http://www.montfortacademy.edu/about-us/...-president-


Is it morally obligatory to vote?

From the February 2007 issue of The Angelus

It is certainly true that the modernists consider democracy, and the right to vote, as sacrosanct, an immediate consequence of human dignity, directly connected with their humanistic religion.

Reacting against this, knowing as we do how much the electoral system is unjust, realizing how much modern democracy is based upon the false liberal principle of human freedom, which rejects all objective divine and moral law, being aware of the narrow margin of choice between the candidates, and also having the impression (though mistaken) that one man’s vote will not make a real difference in such a secular, ungodly system – we might easily conclude that one is not obliged to vote at all.

Yet the Church’s teaching on the subject is by no means new. Without approving the modern system of democracy and its false principle of the sovereignty of the people, the Church nevertheless binds us to contribute towards the common good of society, by an obligation of legal justice. This principle is expressed well by Pope Pius XII in his April 20, 1946, discourse to Italian Catholic Action:

The people are called on to take an always larger part in the public life of the nation. This participation brings with it grave responsibilities. Hence the necessity for the faithful to have clear, solid, precise knowledge of their duties in the moral and religious domain with respect to their exercise of their civil rights, and in particular of the right to vote.

In fact, Pope Pius XII had clearly explained that it is precisely on account of the anti-Catholic and secular spirit that surrounds Catholics that they have the duty to defend the Church by the correct exercise of their right to vote. It is to prevent a greater evil. He had stated on March 16, 1946, to the parish priests of Rome:

The exercise of the right to vote is an act of grave moral responsibility, at least with respect to the electing of those who are called to give to a country its constitution and its laws, and in particular those that affect the sanctification of holy days of obligation, marriage, the family, schools and the just and equitable regulation of many social questions. It is the Church’s duty to explain to the faithful the moral duties that flow from this electoral right.

Pope Pius XII was even more explicit two years later, again when speaking to the parish priests of Rome. He explained that in the precise circumstances of the time it was an obligation under pain of mortal sin for all the faithful, both men and women, to use their right to vote, since the common good depended upon all Catholics voting wisely.

Here is the text of March 10, 1948:

In the present circumstances, it is a strict obligation for all those who have the right to vote, men and women, to take part in the elections. Whoever abstains from doing so, in particular by indolence or weakness, commits a sin grave in itself, a mortal fault. Each one must follow the dictate of his own conscience. However, it is obvious that the voice of conscience imposes on every Catholic to give his vote to the candidates who offer truly sufficient guarantees for the protection of the rights of God and of souls, for the true good of individuals, families and of society, according to the love of God and Catholic moral teaching.

This application of the Church’s social teaching to the particular situation of the time is in accord with the teaching of the moral theologians, who speak of the grave sin of omission for those who simply neglect to elect good, Catholic representatives, and of the duty of doing all in our power of encouraging suitable laymen to work towards using the electoral system to obtain worthy lawmakers.

But how far we are removed from this situation. Clearly, we are no longer in the circumstance of having to choose between Catholic and non-Catholic, morally upright and liberal representatives. All the alternatives are liberal, the deception and the manipulation of the public by the media is rampant. In practice, it generally comes down to the question of whether or not it is permissible to vote for an unworthy candidate (e.g., a candidate who only approves abortion in cases of rape or incest), for he would at least (we suppose) be the lesser evil. In such a case, there can be no obligation to vote, for all the reasons mentioned by Pope Pius XII that could oblige, no longer apply. Nevertheless, it is still permissible to vote in such a case, provided that one can be sure that there truly is a lesser evil, and that there is a grave reason to do so (e.g., to avoid abortion on demand, or promotion of unnatural methods of birth control), and one has the good intention of providing for the good of society as best one can. This is called material cooperation. However, it can never be obligatory.

Consequently, in the rare case where there are informed Catholic candidates who publicly support the teaching of the Church, there is a strict moral obligation to vote, under pain of mortal sin. Where there is a clear gain possible from the correct use of a vote for some other candidate, it can be recommended or counseled. However, when there is no clear advantage it would be better to abstain, so as not to contribute even to a material participation.

Link:  http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/cathol...voting.htm
So, you are saying Catholics aren't morally obligated to vote against homo marriages? That's a new one on me. That's also a new one on my Bishop since he said point blank that Catholic's have a moral obligation to vote. The fact is, we have two very different outcomes in the Presidential election. Even though Romney isn't as pro life as we want him to be, he's a lot more pro life than Obama is. If we can save one baby by getting Obama out of office then I will take it. Of course we will be able to save many babies because Romney will not make policies that will strip away states rights to restrict abortions like Obama has.

(11-06-2012, 02:50 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, you are saying Catholics aren't morally obligated to vote against homo marriages? That's a new one on me. That's also a new one on my Bishop since he said point blank that Catholic's have a moral obligation to vote. The fact is, we have two very different outcomes in the Presidential election. Even though Romney isn't as pro life as we want him to be, he's a lot more pro life than Obama is. If we can save one baby by getting Obama out of office then I will take it. Of course we will be able to save many babies because Romney will not make policies that will strip away states rights to restrict abortions like Obama has.

I hope you're right, Pete.  However, the cynic in me says that President Romney (like many other GOPers) will shove life and morality issues on the farthest back burner he can come January...
(11-06-2012, 02:50 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, you are saying Catholics aren't morally obligated to vote against homo marriages? That's a new one on me. That's also a new one on my Bishop since he said point blank that Catholic's have a moral obligation to vote. The fact is, we have two very different outcomes in the Presidential election. Even though Romney isn't as pro life as we want him to be, he's a lot more pro life than Obama is. If we can save one baby by getting Obama out of office then I will take it. Of course we will be able to save many babies because Romney will not make policies that will strip away states rights to restrict abortions like Obama has.

We are not given the option to vote against anything. We can only vote for Obama or for Romney or for someone else who has no chance of winning. I don't care if Romney is better than Obama on some issues (and I question whether he really is). He is worse on other issues. In general, he is, in my opinion, as bad or worse than Obama. I will not vote for him. I will not vote for Obama either. And since voting for anyone else is essentially the same as not voting, I am not voting. And I don't think that is at all immoral. On the contrary, I think that voting for either Obama or Romney would be immoral. That's why I refuse to do so.
(11-06-2012, 04:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]We are not given the option to vote against anything. We can only vote for Obama or for Romney or for someone else who has no chance of winning. I don't care if Romney is better than Obama on some issues (and I question whether he really is). He is worse on other issues. In general, he is, in my opinion, as bad or worse than Obama. I will not vote for him. I will not vote for Obama either. And since voting for anyone else is essentially the same as not voting, I am not voting. And I don't think that is at all immoral. On the contrary, I think that voting for either Obama or Romney would be immoral. That's why I refuse to do so.

Grasshopper,

I do not dispute what you say here.  However, may I ask what state you live in?  If I lived in a state that was definitively going either way, I might abstain from voting as well.  However, I live in Colorado...  :)
(11-06-2012, 02:50 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, you are saying Catholics aren't morally obligated to vote against homo marriages? That's a new one on me.
As written before, by me and others, if one could vote against that, one should.

Let us know how to do this.

Quote:That's also a new one on my Bishop since he said point blank that Catholic's have a moral obligation to vote.
My bishops said that one has a moral obligation to not vote for politicians who support grave evil.

Quote: The fact is, we have two very different outcomes in the Presidential election. Even though Romney isn't as pro life as we want him to be, he's a lot more pro life than Obama is. If we can save one baby by getting Obama out of office then I will take it. Of course we will be able to save many babies because Romney will not make policies that will strip away states rights to restrict abortions like Obama has.

That is not a basis for an obligation though.

That is an obligation for the political parties which put forth these candidates. Those people have the real choices. The Parties select their candidates and present them to us. We have very little say in that matter.

If you think there is an obligation to actually go vote for someone, consider this:
http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...746.0.html

It leads to moral recklessness and absurdity to make an obligation to vote in this case.


(11-06-2012, 05:13 PM)Pilgrim Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-06-2012, 04:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]We are not given the option to vote against anything. We can only vote for Obama or for Romney or for someone else who has no chance of winning. I don't care if Romney is better than Obama on some issues (and I question whether he really is). He is worse on other issues. In general, he is, in my opinion, as bad or worse than Obama. I will not vote for him. I will not vote for Obama either. And since voting for anyone else is essentially the same as not voting, I am not voting. And I don't think that is at all immoral. On the contrary, I think that voting for either Obama or Romney would be immoral. That's why I refuse to do so.

Grasshopper,

I do not dispute what you say here.  However, may I ask what state you live in?  If I lived in a state that was definitively going either way, I might abstain from voting as well.  However, I live in Colorado...  :)

I live in Wisconsin, which is also a "swing state". But I still cannot in good conscience give my support to either of these people. I truly think that Romney is as bad as Obama, if not worse. If there was a way to vote against both of them (actually take a vote away, like a negative vote), I would do so -- but only if I could do it to both. If everybody could do that, it would be interesting to see if either of them could generate a positive total!
(11-06-2012, 04:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]We are not given the option to vote against anything. We can only vote for Obama or for Romney or for someone else who has no chance of winning. I don't care if Romney is better than Obama on some issues (and I question whether he really is). He is worse on other issues. In general, he is, in my opinion, as bad or worse than Obama. I will not vote for him. I will not vote for Obama either. And since voting for anyone else is essentially the same as not voting, I am not voting. And I don't think that is at all immoral. On the contrary, I think that voting for either Obama or Romney would be immoral. That's why I refuse to do so.

And no matter who wins in this system, they still have a divine mandate to use their authority only for good.

It reminds me of St. Lucy when given the choice of being serve idols or be sentenced to a brothel:

Quote:No one's body is polluted so as to endanger the soul if it has not pleased the mind. If you were to lift my hand to your idol and so make me offer against my will, I would still be guiltless in the sight of the true God, who judges according to the will and knows all things. If now, against my will, you cause me to be polluted, a twofold purity will be gloriously imputed to me. You cannot bend my will to your purpose; whatever you do to my body, that cannot happen to me.

In this case, the sins are committed by those who have the real choices in selecting candidates and the candidates are responsible for their own acts in government. This is not a mindless election, people voting for some automaton, but people voting for people (or rather, voting between people already selected by an elite group). There is no civil obligation to vote (there is in some nations), and there is no moral obligation to vote. There is a moral obligation to vote a certain way if one does vote.

To hold others to vote is morally reckless and leads to absurdity.

If there is an obligation, one can only do good if one votes for the loser, as then one is absolved of not voting, of voting for a person who does evil, and not voting for one who does worse evil.
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