New York Catholic Bishops: Make Pro-Life Issues First Priority When Voting
by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2008
Albany, NY (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic bishops of New York have released a new statement urging voters to make pro-life issues their first priority when voting. They say the destruction of 50 million children and the injury of countless millions of women eclipses any other political issue.
Edward Cardinal Egan and the Catholic Bishops of New York issued the appeal in statement entitled Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn Duty.
The bishops warn against voting solely out of party loyalty or self interest and say voters should be guided by the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
While noting that there are many issues of great importance facing the country, the protection of human life rises above all other issues, the bishops said.
"We Catholics are called to look at politics as we are called to look at everything through the lens of our faith," they wrote.
"It is the rare candidate who will agree with the Church on every issue. But as the U.S. Bishops recent document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship makes clear, not every issue is of equal moral gravity," they explain.
"The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns where Catholics may use prudential judgment, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all," they add.
The right to life is the right through which all others flow, they wrote. To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholic should consider them less acceptable for public office.
In the statement, the bishops stressed that voters have an obligation not only to learn the positions of the presidential candidates, but of all of the candidates, including those running for the state legislature.
Many of the most compelling moral issues of the day play out at the state level" — including "commonsense restrictions on abortion" are debates that "occur in the halls of the state Capitol in Albany.
"Our national and state elected officials have profound influence on countless matters of great importance, such as the right to life," the Catholic leaders say.
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