The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is warning Catholics there are spiritual consequences to their vote.
The statement, which came as the bishops were ending their fall meeting, encourages the faithful to take care of the poor, the hungry and the oppressed, but stresses the primary responsibility of protecting life.
"We should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group," the bishops wrote. "Catholic lay women and men need to act on the Church’s moral principles and become more involved: running for office, working within political parties and communicating concerns to elected officials."
Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, said: “It’s meant to be a statement that calls Catholics, and actually all citizens, to exercise their responsibility to vote and to vote responsibly. It calls abortion the pre-eminent issue of our day and calls the right to life the foundation of every other right.”
Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, said voters must think about more than political party affiliation.
“You might vote for a candidate that says he or she is pro-life," she told Family News in Focus, "but what will they do to actually build a consistent culture of life?”
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