The Corner

Bishop’s Letter

This letter on the election, from Bishop Paul Loverde, was distributed at Masses in Northern Virginia this morning: “This is an opportunity that the 394,000 Catholics of our diocese cannot but take seriously, for we must continue to build a ‘Culture of Life,’ as our Holy Father calls it … The foundation for these principles is the first, the protection of human life, since without it the other three would be rendered meaningless. If we do not uphold and protect human life in its beginning at conception, there will be no life to uphold and protect thereafter. … To be a faithful Catholic necessarily means that one is pro-life and not pro-choice. … No Catholic can claim to be a faithful member of the Church while advocating for, or actively supporting, direct attacks on innocent human life. In reality, protecting human life from conception to natural death is more than a Catholic issue. It is an issue of fundamental morality, rooted in both the natural law and the divine law. … In our common life together in society, it is sometimes not possible to avoid entirely all cooperation with evil. This may be the case in electing to office our state and national leaders. In certain circumstances, it is morally permissible to vote for a candidate who supports some immoral practices while opposing other immoral practices. This is called material cooperation with evil. In order for material cooperation to be morally permissible, however, there must be a proportionate reason for such cooperation. Proportionate reason does not mean that each issue carries the same moral weight; intrinsically evil acts such as abortion or research on stem cells taken from human embryos cannot be placed on the same level as debates over war or capital punishment, for example. It is simply not possible to serve and promote the common good of our nation by voting for a candidate who, once in office, will do nothing to limit or restrict the deliberate destruction of innocent human life.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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