.- Abortion, "right to die" legislation, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and same sex marriage are the five fundamental and binding issues in this election which a panel of Catholic and pro-life leaders said a Catholic “cannot disagree with and remain rooted in Catholic tradition,” during a news conference on the Catholic vote held yesterday.
Father Tad Pacholczyk, of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, Father Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life, Father Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International, Kim Marshall, Director of Generation Life, Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press, and Matthew Pinto, Co-founder of Catholic Outreach, authors of a downloadable Catholic Voter guide entitled “The Five Issues that Matter Most: Catholics and the Upcoming Election,” were the panelists.
All were unequivocal in their reiteration of Catholic teaching that while many of the issues brought up in this election - such as the war on Iraq – are important, the five life issues are “more important than others” because not only are they binding for Catholics, but are also based, not on religious belief, but on the natural law which binds all human beings.
Mark Brumley pointed out that politicians such as Kerry, who say that they don’t want to impose their personal views, on abortion for example, because they are based on articles of faith, are “being disingenuous” because the right to life is a human right based in the natural law and shared by people of other religions as well as those who profess no religion.
In response to a reporter’s comment that President Bush has not turned back the tide on abortions, Fr. Pavone pointed out that the president has lodged into law certain resolutions that pave the way for greater protection of unborn life, and reminded the audience that Supreme Court appointments have a tremendous impact on the issue.
“Kerry has promised Planned Parenthood that he would appoint justices” that support permissive abortion laws, said Fr. Euteneuer, and pointed out that President Bush’s international policy has already done much to limit abortion around the world. The idea that “Bush isn’t doing anything anyway, is a fallacy,” said the president of Human Life International.
Kim Marshall pointed out that 50-60 million surgical (this doesn’t include chemical) abortions take place every year around the world, according to UN figures, and said that that figure alone would make abortion the most important issue of this election.
For a free downloadable pdf version of “The Five Issues that Matter Most: Catholics and the Upcoming Election,” go to http://www.catholicoutreach.com/downloads/default.asp