The Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania has continued educating its members on the importance of life during this election season. In a new video titled, “The Catholic Church and Life Issues,” the diocese refutes claims by groups such as Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good that Catholics can vote for a pro-choice politician.
The video, which is posted on the Diocese of Scranton web site, discusses the importance of defending human life this election, though some groups are targeting Catholics to convince them that the issue is not one of relevance.
The same topic was addressed by the Bishop of Scranton, Joseph F. Martino earlier this month when he surprised organizers of a political forum at a Pennsylvania parish. He warned the faithful in attendance of groups and individuals who wrongly interpret the bishop’s statements – particularly their document on Faithful Citizenship – “to justify their political positions and to contradict the Church’s actual teaching on the centrality of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.”
The video notes that two groups in particular, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good “claim to be concerned about Catholic teaching and the common good.”
However, the video notes, that is not the case. These groups “are telling you that a Catholic may vote for a candidate who supports abortion so long as he is not voting because of the candidate’s support of abortion.”
The groups have distributed postcards to Catholics in the Scranton area saying that Catholics can vote for a pro-choice candidate for grave, moral reasons. The video addresses this saying that the Catholic bishops have also firmly stated that these reasons “must be proportionate to the evil of abortion.”
“No issue facing Americans in this election rises to that standard because abortion has taken the lives of 48.5 million unborn babies since it was legalized in 1973,” notes the video.
Addressing claims that overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion, the video informs viewers that, “the truth is that Roe v. Wade denies the protection of the law to the unborn. Overturning it will certainly reduce the amount of abortions in this country.”
Catholic citizens ‘are faced with a number of important issues this year,” many of which can be reasonably debated among Catholics. “However there can be no debate on the relative gravity of issues involving the taking of a human life,” the diocese’s video says.
The Diocese of Scranton also warns its faithful against Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, calling them “neither united nor allied with authentic Catholic teaching.” “Catholics and non-Catholics alike should not be misled by them.”
“Let us pray for the wisdom and good judgment to be faithful citizens precisely because we are faithful to the teachings of the church,” the video concludes.
Bishop Martino also released a pastoral letter in early October to members of his diocese reminding them that as Americans, all men are “created equal” with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“The Church’s teaching that all life from conception to natural death should be protected by law is founded on religious belief to be sure, but it is also a profoundly American principle founded on reason,” he wrote. “Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles – as well as their moral consciences – citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse.”