Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila has given one of the most powerful elections statements by any Catholic leader. He says Catholics in good conscience can’t support candidates who are pro-abortion.
But Archbishop Aquila goes further. He says Democrats are “aggressively pro-abortion” because they are pushing taxpayer funding of abortions and because they will appoint judges who support abortion. Naturally that includes Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president who is spearheading that agenda.
Archbishop Aquila also complains about how Democrats are pushing to overturn the Helms Amendment, which prevents forcing taxpayers from promoting and performing abortions in other countries.
On the other hand, the Catholic leader praises the Republican Party platform for opposing taxpayer funding of abortion and defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business as well as opposing dismemberment abortions and assisted suicide.
Archbishop Aquila also blasted Democrats for promoting the Obamacare mandate that forces groups like The Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby to pay for abortions and violate their own consciences.
Although Christians may be inclined to vote on other issues such as caring for the poor Archbishop Aquila says killing unborn children must be opposed at all times by all who call themselves Christians. Here’s more from the Archbishop’s voting statement:
So, what should Catholics do when we vote in November?
That question is one that I have been asked by the faithful more this year than in any previous election. Recently in a dinner discussion with a group of Catholics, the conversation turned to politics and became vigorous, as some at the table supported Clinton and some Trump. All eyes turned to me and one of them asked, “Archbishop, what do you think?”
First, I shared my aversion for both candidates. Then I said that they need to reflect on the platforms of both parties, with an emphasis on the human life issues. Everyone at the table knew well the teaching of the Church on life and the dignity of life. They knew that Catholics in good conscience cannot support candidates who will advance abortion. All pretty much agreed that, when it comes to life issues, Catholic politicians on both sides of the aisle have put party ideology before their faith and living their faith in the public square.
This year there are some critical changes to the two major parties’ platforms that some at the dinner were not aware of. Most important is that this year the Democratic party platform calls for the overturning of the Hyde Amendment, a provision that both parties have voted to include in the federal budget and on other spending bills for 40 years. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal taxpayer money from being used for abortion. The platform is aggressively pro-abortion, not only in funding matters, but in the appointment of only those judges who will support abortion and the repealing of the Helms Amendment, which prevents the U.S. from supporting abortion availability overseas. Conversely, the Republican party platform is supportive of the Hyde Amendment and just this year strengthened its support for life by calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, banning dismemberment abortion and opposing assisted suicide.
Our conversation then turned to the understanding of the freedom of religion, the freedom of conscience, and the ability for faith-based organizations like the Church to provide charity through shelters, hospitals, homes for the elderly, etc., without fear of government interference and the existence of a respect for religious values.
In that vein, the subject was raised of the Health and Human Services mandate. This regulation requires the provision of contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortifacients through employer’s health plans. Most surprising to me was that all at the table were practicing Catholics who are involved in their faith, and a couple of them had neither heard of the difficulty the Obama Administration has created for the Little Sisters of the Poor, nor the litigation that has occurred trying to force them to violate their consciences.
Catholic voters must make themselves aware of where the parties stand on these essential issues. The right to life is the most important and fundamental right, since life is necessary for any of the other rights to matter. There are some issues that can legitimately be debated by Christians, such as which policies are the most effective in caring for the poor, but the direct killing of innocent human life must be opposed at all times by every follower of Jesus Christ. There are no legitimate exceptions to this teaching.
The health of our nation depends on a deep respect for human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and the future of our society depends on how we protect that right. If we don’t, eventually we will go the way of Rome and Greece and other great civilizations that have risen and fallen.