Thursday, September 09, 2004

Proportionally Pro-Abort Politicians

Cardinal Ratzinger recently made a statement in a letter to the US bishops about "proportionate reasons" possibly justifying a vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

Some Catholics, including Fr. Andrew Greeley, have taken that to grant a broad license to vote for pro-aborts as long as you can come up with some issue you feel more strongly about than abortion.

This interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger, and Church teaching, is almost perfectly wrong. It's so wrong as to be a caricature of the Cardinal's statement.

I intended to blog on this issue, but now I don't have to, because Apologist Extraordinaire Jimmy Akin has answered Fr. Greeley and the rest, by explaining the doctrine which Cardinal Ratzinger assumed (perhaps imprudently) everyone would understand he was referring to when he used the phrase "proportionate reasons".

As Jimmy wrote:
Many Catholics were at a loss to understand the Cardinal’s statement. “Has Ratzinger lost his mind?” some wondered. “Isn’t he departing from sound Catholic theology?”

Others, including well-known dissidents, pounced on the statement as vindication for their cause and wrote newspaper columns trumpeting it as proof that in the Vatican’s view it is okay to vote for pro-abortion politicians as long as you don’t share their pro-abortion view. In other words, a voter can be “personally opposed but . . .”

Both responses fail to do justice to the Cardinal’s remark. Contrary to the first response, he is not departing from the established principles of Catholic moral theology. In fact, he is emphasizing them. Contrary to the second response, he is not offering an easy pretext for voting for pro-abort politicians.

Go read the rest. This is a "must" read.