Can a Catholic vote, in good conscience, for a candidate who supports abortion? This is the question I am asked over and over again.
The recent Pastoral Letter, Our Moral Responsibility as Catholic Citizens, which I co-wrote with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, attempts to give guidance on this issue. I urge you to read it.
There the Archbishop and I acknowledge that we are often faced with “imperfect candidates.” Specifically we offered the example of two candidates who were permissive on abortion. We taught that, in such an instance, we should choose the candidate whose position will likely do the least grave evil, or whose position will do the most to limit the specific grave evil of abortion. But, again and again, I am asked, “Can a Catholic vote for the candidate who is perhaps the most extreme in favor of abortion, even if they promote other policies which we judge to be good?”
I must say that there is another question I would pose. What is the effect on Catholics of a candidate who has been consistently supportive of abortion?