Catholic Bishops of New York: Pro-Life More Important Than Health Care, Economy

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 13, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops of New York: Pro-Life More Important Than Health Care, Economy

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 13
, 2010

Albany, NY ( — The Catholic bishops of New York have released a new statement about the upcoming congressional elections. In a contest seeing campaigns for the House and Senate shape up as a contrast between pro-abortion and pro-life positions, the bishops say the pro-life issue is most important.

The comments are significant given the importance the economy and fiscal issues have on the minds of voters heading into November.

The New York bishops reference the Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship document the national conference of Catholic bishops released highlighting the importance of pro-life issues in elections.

That document teaches, “Those who knowingly, willingly, and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil.”

As such, they say pro-life concerns trump everything else, including health care and assisting the poor.

"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 said.

"The right to life is the right through which all others flow. To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholics should consider them less acceptable for public office," they added.

The bishops also urge pro-life, Catholic voters to do due diligence in finding out the abortion positions of candidates.

"It is often difficult to get a good grasp on the positions of incumbent congressional representatives and state legislators, not to mention their challengers. News accounts of positions are hard to come by, and voting records on important issues are often lacking, they say.

"So the task of doing due diligence can be truly challenging. Yet our state is facing many critical issues which are of vital concern to faithful Catholics. Thus it is absolutely necessary for good citizens to take a careful look at every candidate and to vote accordingly for the better candidates," the bishops add.

Ultimately, Catholic voters should follow the pro-life moral teachings of the Catholic Church when voting.

"While we as the Bishops of New York State cannot and do not endorse candidates for office, we encourage you to properly form your conscience by reflecting on the moral and social teachings of our Church and we strongly urge you to vote on Election Day," they conclude.


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