by Steven Ertelt
October 28, 2004
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — With the presidential elections right around the corner, Catholic leaders are continuing to get out the message to Catholic voters not to vote for candidates that are pro-abortion. Catholic officials in Wyoming, Puerto Rico and New Hampshire are encouraging voters to keep moral issues like abortion and stem cell research in mind when they vote.
In Wyoming, a Catholic priest told members of his congregation that voting for pro-abortion candidates in next week’s election would be a sin.
Rev. Tom Cronkleton, of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, told the Associated Press he has an obligation to teach parishioners moral values and how to apply them to the voting process.
"There are five preeminent issues — abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem-cell research, human cloning and so-called homosexual marriage," Cronkleton said. "How the candidates stand is a reason to vote for or against them."
Rev. Cronkleton, who told members of his church to stop by and pray before they went to vote, included a note in a recent church bulletin saying Catholics "have to live by faith and moral principles and not by political affiliation or personal like or dislike."
Meanwhile, the Catholic archbishop in Puerto Rico told residents of the U.S. territory to vote "pro-family" on Tuesday.
In a 136-page pastoral paper, San Juan Archbishop Gonzalez Nieves reminded voters there that the Catholic church opposes abortion and voters should keep that in mind. The letter is set to be delivered to churches on Sunday and parts will be read from the pulpit.
In New Hampshire, the Catholic Church has prepared a teaching guide for voters that discusses why abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research is wrong.
The guide is being distributed in all parishes in the state this weekend.
Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack said in a statement Monday, "My role is … not to tell anyone to vote for any particular candidate."
In a letter that accompanies the guides, McCormack said Catholics have a moral responsibility to make well-informed decisions that "mirror our desire to be faithful Roman Catholics and good citizens."