by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2004
Staten Island, NY (LifeNews.com) — A priest who is one of the leading pro-life advocates in the United States says his conversations with Catholic officials across the country lead him to believe that most priests will vote for President Bush in tomorrow’s election.
"I travel the country constantly, meeting with priests every day. They are disgusted with Kerry," Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said Monday.
"He gives a bad name to the Catholic religion by creating the impression that one can be a Catholic and just throw key teachings out the window," Pavone said.
His comment refers to Kerry’s claim that he cannot legislate the Catholic Church’s view against abortion.
"The President understands Christian moral values far better than John Kerry does. In fact, the President, though not Catholic, also understands Catholicism better," Father Pavone explained. "It is a religion that does not allow us to privatize human rights to the realm of personal belief. That is why Kerry is wrong when he refuses to protect the most vulnerable among us — children still in the womb — from the violence of abortion."
Whether Catholic voters should cast their vote based mostly or solely on pro-life issues such as abortion and human cloning has been a subject of considerable debate during the elections.
Election ads run by a group called Pax Christi, described abortion as one of many issues Catholics should consider when voting. It included hundreds of signatures of those who agreed, including 50 priests.
Another group, Catholics for Political Responsibility, is airing two radio spots in rotation on 15 Ohio radio stations in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Toledo bashing President Bush.
Sidney Callahan, co-director of the group, says the organization opposes Bush because of his involvement in Iraq.
But for Catholics like Pavone, support for abortion disqualifies a candidate for public office — especially when the candidate claims to be a Catholic.
"I am not saying that everyone has to be a Catholic, nor am I saying that a president has to be one," Pavone said. "I’m simply saying that if one claims to be a Catholic, then that person should adhere to what Catholicism teaches."
Retired Corpus Christ, Texas Bishop Rene Henry Gracida agrees and appears in ads in the key battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"Voting responsibly this year means voting for candidates who are pro-life," Bishop Gracida explains.
"Before one can give priority to social questions such as war, the economy, social security and health care issues, one must recognize that all such issues must first of all be based on respect for human life" Gracida says.
Related web sites:
Priests for Life – https://www.priestsforlife.org