Archbishop Raymond Burke is giving St. Louis Catholics a way to vote for politicians who support abortion rights without commiting a grave sin or having to go to confession.This statement, in and of itself, is FALSE and misleading - but then the Post is not known for presenting theological facts and principles in an unbiased manner.
Burke said Thursday he believes Catholics could vote for a politician who supports abortion rights as long as that's not the reason they are voting for the candidate, and they believe the politician's stance on other moral issues outweighs the abortion-rights stance.
Burke now says there is one scenario in which a Catholic could vote for a politician who supports abortion rights without committing a grave sin.
In that scenario, a Catholic who personally opposes abortion rights, votes for a candidate who supports abortion rights "for what are called proportionate reasons," he said.
"And that is called remote material cooperation and if the reasons are really proportionate, and the person remains clear about his or her opposition to abortion, that can be done," Burke said.
So, a Catholic who does not support abortion rights can vote for a candidate who does support abortion rights without fear of committing a grave sin.
Archbishop Burke will present the fullness of the teaching of the Church in an upcoming Pastoral Letter. Most certainly, he will discuss the issue or "proportionate reasons", which the Post fails to clarify.
I suspect that many will now feel vindicated and free to support and vote for pro-abortion candidates because of other moral issues which hold a pre-eminent position in their confused minds - over and above the primary life issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, etc.
Archbishop Burke explained the situation recently. What I understand is this: Issues must be weighed and viewed objectively. If we consider the 5 non-negotiable and intrinsically evil issues as enumerated in the Catholic Answers Voters Guide, one may vote for a politician who supports and advocates fewer of the evils than his opponent.
For example, if "Candidate A" supports abortion only in cases of rape or incest and none of the other intrinsic evils while "Candidate B" supports and defends abortion, homosexual marriage/civil unions, and embryonic stem cell research, then one may NOT in good conscience support "Candidate B".
The "proportionality" is obvious - "Candidate A" support fewer intrinsic evils than "Candidate B" and will, in all likelihood do less harm than "Candidate B". "Proportion reasons", first and foremost, deal with the intrinsically evil acts which a candidate may support. It does not deal with other issues, until the five non-negotiable issues have been addressed. If neither candidate supports abortion or the other evils, then - and only then - may one continue to review the positions held on other social issues and choose a candidate based on a proper understanding of the those issues.
The Post, evidently, has found a temporary loophole - soon to be closed - with which they can continue to confuse uninformed Catholics. What a disservice to the community.