THE PERSONAL DANGER OF VOTING
FOR PRO-ABORTION CANDIDATES
A Catholic voting for a pro-abortion candidate is in mortal danger of falling into serious sin, and a Catholic who publicly supports and endorses the erroneous teaching of a pro-abortion candidate is in danger of incurring a canonical penalty, even the most severe: excommunication.
The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's "Declaration on Procured Abortion" was ratified by Pope Paul VI, who confirmed it and ordered it to be promulgated on June 18, 1974.
Article 22 of that Declaration states: " It must in any case be clearly understood that whatever may be laid down by civil law in the matter, man can never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principal the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it. Moreover, he may not collaborate in its application."
"Abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes" Pope John Paul II (EV, 62)
United States is governed by representatives who act on behalf of voters, and therefore voters are indirectly morally responsible for the acts of the candidates they vote for. If a candidate has voted for legislation legalizing murder or promises to vote for legalized murder, voters cannot in good conscience vote for such a candidate, and if he/she does, they are (1) taking part in a propaganda campaign in favor of and (2) vicariously voting for and (3) collaborating in the application of such intrinsic evil. Such voters deny the command of God and the Catholic Church in obeying civil laws, which are intrinsically evil. Such voters have severed themselves from the Catholic Faith that they claim to believe.
Voting for child-killing is a mortal sin against God and man, and since in a Representative Government we vote for people who enact laws in our name (such as laws sustaining child-killing) we cannot vote for candidates who promote or defend slaughter of the innocent. To do so is to cooperate with child-killing, and to betray innocent blood. Where a candidate tells you what he will do in your name and on your behalf once he is in office—a vote for such a candidate who supports child-killing is a vote for child-killing itself. If a voter votes for the pro-abortion candidate that voter would be guilty of a grave sin because (1) he takes part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, and (2) vicariously votes for it, and (3) collaborates in its application.
Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) informed Catholic bishops in 2004 "When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and /or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons. The key that is necessary to vote for a pro-abortion politician and remain in good enough standing with Our Lord to be worthy to receive Him in Holy Communion, is that one must have "proportionate reasons".
But what can be considered a proportionate reason? Cardinal Ratzinger stated that a candidate’s support of capital punishment and opposition to war while also supporting pro-abortion legislation does not provide proportionate reasons to justify voting for the pro-abortion candidate.
Proportionality can only be considered applicable where both candidates for an office are pro-abortion: candidate (A) supports war and capital punishment and supports legalized abortion and candidate (B) opposes war and capital punishment but not only supports abortion, but a greatly expanded taking of innocent lives, perhaps even after live birth, and even other forms of assault on human life, such as euthanasia and embryonic stem cell therapy. Invoking the principle of proportionality, the voter could vote for the first candidate, as the lesser of two evils, even though candidate (A) is also pro-abortion. The important distinction is that abortion is by definition the direct taking of an innocent human life, which is never permissible, while war and capital punishment are not directly the taking of innocent human life, even though sometimes innocent people die.
Canon 1364 states: "….an apostate, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication…"
Canon 751 defines heresy: "….an obstinate post-baptismal denial of or doubt concerning some truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic Faith."
Canon 751 deals with matters of the external forum, not the internal forum. If someone denies internally or harbors an obstinate doubt about some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith would be guilty of serious sin. But if such a person publicly expressed that denial or doubt verbally or in writing, such a person would be guilty not only of sin, but would also be guilty of the sins of scandal and heresy and would be subject to canonical penalties, such as interdict or excommunication.
The average person can express such denial or doubt without ever expecting the Church to impose any canonical penalty, but if they have voted to support the intrinsic evil of abortion by voting for pro-abortion candidates their sins are known to themselves and God and Church law provides that they are responsible for confessing such sins or refraining from Communion . (Canon 916). Reception of Communion in the state of mortal sin is a sacrilege. (Cathollic Catechism 2120)
The greater the standing of the person in the community the greater is the scandal caused by the public expression of denial or doubt. Thus, a person who has some responsibility for the common good, such as a judge, a legislator or a governor, cannot publicly express obstinate denial or an obstinate doubt about the evil sin of abortion without risking denunciation, investigation and the imposition of some canonical penalty by the bishop. The very least penalty that would be imposed would be denial of the right to receive Holy Communion. The worst penalty would be excommunication. A person receiving a canonical penalty could have it removed by the bishop with a public profession of faith and a public retracting of the denial or doubt thereby repairing the scandal.