Following is an abridged transcript of EWTN Theology Roundatable on Catholic Voting.
The interviewer, Colin Donovan asked: ‘… but what of people who… [think] ‘Well, I can’t vote for a non-Christian,’ what do you do in that kind of a situation?
Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. replies:
… we are in a difficult situation.
You know, a core difference of the belief is that their [Mormons] concept of God is different than ours.
For them, creation is eternal [while] God is born of previous gods all the way on back. So, God is not the Creator, this is problematic, but we also see that in President Obama’s [protestant] denomination, the United Church of Christ, that in the interest of various political issues, they have also changed their concept of God.
So, for instance, they have multiple formulae for baptism that would be also quite heretical by… standard Christian teachings…. So they don’t do it [baptism] ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…’ they consider that politically incorrect so they offer other alternatives of the [correct formula] the ‘Creator, Redeemer, the Sanctifier’ which is the heresy of modalism… it’s an invalid baptism.
And also, the United Church of Christ teaches that ‘same-sex marriages’ is morally acceptable and they are strong in supporting in what they consider a woman’s right to an abortion. This is on their web-site. So…
As for the Mormon Church, supports marriage between a man and a woman and is strongly against abortion. So, on moral issues we have more in agreement with the Mormon church than we would with the official teachings of the United Church of Christ and we have differences of theology with both of them at core issues of who God is. So…
We should not, again, say that, ‘therefore, I can’t vote for either one.’
I still must make a vote based on the natural law principles and who is going to give the best and clearest statement of moral teaching that we can agree with.
Tom Nash, M. Theol. says:
What we are talking about is choosing the best of two imperfect candidates, for example, on abortion one person, a man or a woman, might be in favor of abortion on demand or abortion in all the circumstances where somebody else, Candidate B, would be [for abortion in the case of] rape, incest or the so-called ‘life of the mother’ exceptions.
Well, similar to the ‘Gospel of Life’ which John Paul II says, ‘… a candidate who is authentically pro-life can vote for the reduction in abortions even though there will be exceptions allowed because he is taking abortion-on-demand and reducing it, so too for a candidate in this case, you choose the one who is more pro-life, more for the family, as Father Mitch was saying, ‘The better of the two.’
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
You can’t vote just on how you feel and let your feelings paralyze you. You have to vote on what is true.
This requires us to think clearly…
Many imperfect steps get taken to make society better.
Colin Donovan, S.T.L.:
As part of our human nature [we make fallible decisions], our fallen nature, that we do so, but we simply make the best decision we can in the moment in the circumstances of the day and in this case – to vote for the candidate who is more likely to protect the values that are greatest…
You have to be prudent in the circumstances and determine what decision will advance the common good… but right now what is likely… to lead to the better outcome.
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.:
This is certainly a very complicated election.
Where there are a wide variety of complex issues and various imperfections. But…
Let us do the best we can to
— promote life, and
— liberty, and
This is a great task and part of one that wil continue on long after this election.
You can view the discussion by clicking this link → Catholic Voting
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