The moral impact
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I would suggest that the mere fact that President Barack Obama is "pro-choice" with respect to abortion should not, in and of itself, prevent us, as Catholics, from voting for his re-election since his personal views in this regard will not have any practical, immoral effect upon the real world; that is to say, the president's views on abortion will not result in more abortions being performed. In fact, President Obama's social and economic policies, when compared to those of Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, may very well actually result in the performance of fewer abortions.
On the other hand, the social and economic policies and budget proposed by Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan will actually have immoral consequences for our society, namely, it will adversely affect the poor, who are the most vulnerable members of our society, in violation of the church's social teaching. By dismantling governmental programs and abandoning the poor to their own devices, the Romney-Ryan budget fails to meet the church's moral criteria of protecting human life and dignity and promoting the common good.
Although at first blush a vote for Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan would appear to be consistent with our Catholic moral values, it is a vote to re-elect President Obama that enables us to truly fulfill our Catholic mandate.
M. LAWRENCE SHIELDS III
First Published November 4, 2012 12:00 am