Just prior to the recent election in the United States, Cardinal-elect Raymond Burke repeated in an interview a position which is not only consistent with longstanding Catholic teaching, but which expresses a common sense response to the murder of 50 million children in the United States alone since Roe vs. Wade. He said we cannot vote for those who would allow this massacre to continue.
I recently read a column which actually tried to portray Cardinal-elect Burke’s statement as being at odds with the Magisterium.
The author started the article by describing the statement as a “command … that Catholics vote Tea-publican in 2010.”
First of all, if the political parties in America had swapped their positions on abortion, not a word of the message of Cardinal-elect Burke would have changed. The reason is that he is not talking about one or another party; he is talking about every party. He is not advocating for one or another candidate; he is articulating a standard for every candidate. He is not seeking to influence one particular election; he is teaching the principles that guide every election.
The author of the column I read quotes the Second Vatican Council’s statement that "The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other." He then apparently cannot recognize it when the Church exercises her role in her particular autonomous and independent field, namely, to speak the moral truth, regardless of whether it helps or hurts – or appears to endorse or oppose – any particular candidate or party.
Yet there is one mistake the author makes that is even worse. He thinks abortion is a “disappearing” issue and has “a vanishing political future.” Did he miss the debate over abortion in health care? Or perhaps he missed the statistics released after the election (by The Polling Company) indicating that 27 percent of voters said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who opposed the health care law while just 4 percent said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who favored the law.
The polling also indicates that thirty percent of all voters said that abortion "affected" their vote with 22% of all voters backing pro-life candidates and only eight percent saying they supported pro-abortion candidates - giving pro-life candidates a net pro-life advantage of 14 percent among all voters. Examined another way, of the Americans who voted based on the issue of abortion, 73 percent picked pro-life candidates while just 27 percent supported abortion advocates.
It’s hardly accurate to portray abortion as a “vanishing” issue.
And one more point. We have to stop abusing theology to rationalize our lack of courage to end abortion. Abortion is ripping the arms and legs off of babies and crushing their heads. The abortionists themselves call it “dismemberment” and “decapitation.” There can be no neutrality here, and to imply that Church documents say any different is simply an insult to the Church.