We ‘will be judged by how we vote,’ says Fargo bishop

Bishop Samuel Aquila
Bishop Samuel Aquila

.- At a Mass marking the completion of the 40 Days for Life campaign in Fargo, North Dakota, Bishop Samuel J. Aquila reminded his congregation that no Catholic can vote for someone who supports an intrinsic evil and that all Catholics “will be judged by how we vote.” 

“Judgment is real, just as heaven and hell are real,” Bishop Aquila explained during his homily in Fargo yesterday.  “When the soul separates from the body and comes before God, we will be judged on how we lived. It’s important to understand the reality of that judgment.” 
 
According to a press release from the diocese, Bishop Aquila urged the congregation to reflect upon the four last things and how they apply to the 40 Days for Life campaign. The 40 Days for Life North Dakota effort of prayer, fasting and peaceful, prayerful witness outside the state’s only abortion facility began Sept. 24, in conjunction with similar campaigns in more than 170 cities across the nation.

During the 40 days, hundreds of volunteers, prayed in one-hour shifts, 24-hours-a-day, on the sidewalk outside the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, a clinic which averages 20 abortions each week.

Bishop Aquila also touched on the Church’s teaching on intrinsic evils and their relevance in Tuesday’s election during his homily.

“An intrinsic evil is anything that is always and at every time wrong – that can never be seen as a ‘good’.” He noted the intrinsic evils of abortion, contraception, premarital sex, same-sex acts and the taking of innocent human life during war.

“All of those are intrinsic evils, and no society, and no person if he is Catholic, can ever support an intrinsic evil nor can he or she ever vote for someone who supports intrinsic evil. It is important to understand that, and to understand that truth especially in the upcoming election. Because, yes, all of us will be judged by how we vote. And, yes, there are many Catholics with erroneous consciences who have made prudential judgments that are wrong and have consistently made prudential judgments that are wrong. Either they do not fully understand the teaching of the Church or they choose to ignore that teaching and they choose an evil, and an intrinsic evil.”
 
“For any society to be just, it must reflect the order of God,” the prelate continued. “There are fundamental rights that no one can violate and those are the inalienable rights that our forefathers recognized so clearly -- and note the order -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The bishop was careful to note that American Catholics must be concerned about other issues impacting the country such as the economy, the war in Iraq, immigration and other issues, however, he emphasized that “we must recognize that first must come the fundamental right to life…the respect for human life from the moment of conception to natural death.”

Bishop Aquila concluded his homily by encouraging the members of his diocese to persist in the fight for life.  “It is important for us to never give up the battle that is taking place within our country.  Even as we close these 40 days, I encourage each of you to continue to stand for the gift of life. I encourage you to continue to pray and fast in your own homes. I encourage you to pray in front of the abortion clinic, to pray for the conversion of all those who support a so-called right to abortion, because, by doing that, they are risking hell. When one looks at the Gospel, and looks at the teaching of Jesus, that is what they are risking.”

An audio recording of the homily is posted at:  http://www.fargodiocese.org/Bishop/Homilies/40DaysforLifeHomily11-2-08.mp3

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