Renato Cardinal Martino, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has joined the Episcopal Board of Priests for Life. The cardinal, who agrees that Catholics should not vote for politicians who support abortion, has had a long-standing relationship with the pro-life organization.
"I was privileged to get to know [Cardinal Martino] when he served as the Holy Father's representative at the United Nations and I was serving at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family,” Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, explained in his weekly letter.
“When we opened our new headquarters, he honored us by coming to bless our building,” said Fr. Pavone. “We have always had the benefit of his wise counsel and long experience."
In an interview with Priests for Life in May, the cardinal commented on Catholics’ participation in politics, saying that Catholics cannot vote for politicians who support abortion.
“A Catholic or anyone with a well formed conscience, a well formed understanding of right and wrong; good and evil can never vote for a political program or law 'which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals',” said Cardinal Martino.
Referring to St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, the cardinal said “a Catholic politician or a Catholic voter cannot separate himself or herself from his or her moral responsibility.
“You cannot choose when and where to be Catholic and that includes political life and voter responsibility,” said the cardinal, who was the 2002 recipient of the National Right to Life Committee's Proudly Pro-life Award.
The cardinal also spoke about the Church’s role in politics, saying: "The Church must always take up the prophetic role and be ready and willing to comment in the political sphere whenever and wherever the necessity arises.
“The Church teaches that we must be involved in the political life around us,” he added. “We must call upon our governments to promote and protect our lives and provide us with peace, justice and security.”