Another bishop in the United States has explicitly stated that abortion is the “preeminent issue” in the upcoming election.
Bishop Edward C. Malesic of Cleveland explained that the consistent teaching of the Church “regarding the intrinsic evil of abortion seeks to secure all other rights as well. We are not a ‘single issue’ Church; there are other extremely important rights that we must defend, to be sure; but these additional rights flow from and are rooted in the fundamental right to life itself.”
He wrote that “although there are many causes our Church stands for and is vocal about, the right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration so that people can have the chance to secure all the other benefits that life can afford.”
Malesic referred to the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” released in an updated version by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) before every presidential election.
In it, the bishops emphasize that the threat of abortion “remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.”
Malesic quoted directly from “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” in his letter dated September 30, writing, “A Catholic voter cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position.”
“At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity,” the document points out.
The Diocese of Cleveland’s bishop continued, “When we cast our vote, we must not remain indifferent to those positions and policies that would negatively impact religious freedoms, erode the traditional family, or make it difficult for the poor to access adequate education, housing and healthcare.”
“We must carefully consider how to fix our broken immigration system, address the worldwide refugee crisis, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strive for humane solutions to global conflict and terrorism,” he wrote, while at the same time stressing the fundamental importance of voting pro-life.
He called it “our solemn duty as citizens of our republic to cast a vote for the candidate who best supports the greatest ideals and moral teachings of our Catholic faith, the faith that we hold and practice as the means of our personal salvation and as a benefit for the common good of the pluralistic society in which we live.”
“The 2020 Democratic Party platform states that Democrats believe unequivocally that every woman should be able to ‘access safe and legal abortion,’” Paprocki explained. “They also pledge to ‘restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood,’ the largest single provider of abortions in the U.S., and repeal the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 has prohibited federal funds to pay for abortions except in rare cases to save the life of the mother, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.”
“The platform also pledges that Democrats will appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices and federal judges who will uphold Roe v. Wade,” he added.
The bishop said Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris “support the Democratic Party Platform promoting abortion and calling for the use of federal taxpayer funding of abortion and the appointment of pro-abortion judges. Biden also pledged to restore the Obama-Biden policy that mandates churches, businesses, colleges, and religious orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide coverage for abortion pills in their employees’ health insurance plans.”
On the other hand, the Republican Party Platform, which has remained unchanged since 2016, asserts “the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”
Paprocki said Republicans “oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare,” and “support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.”
Both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “promote laws that restrict abortion, oppose federal funding for abortions, and support the appointment of judges who respect the life of unborn babies.”
The bishop, coming as close to a formal endorsement as possible without actually saying it, encouraged his flock to “keep this preeminent issue in mind as you form your conscience before casting your ballot and pray for our country that we may all live the Gospel of Life.”