Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Archbishop Chaput fills in the gap in his words used by "Roman Catholics for Obama '08"

In a thoughtful and candid First Things article, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver recounts his early involvement with politics, including his work with Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and his later involvement with the candidacy of Jimmy Carter.

The piece was prompted by the use of the Archbishop's published words by a group called "Roman Catholics for Obama '08." The group's website accurately quotes Chaput as follows:

So can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is: I can’t, and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics— people whom I admire—who may. I think their reasoning is mistaken, but at least they sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And most important: They don’t keep quiet about it; they don’t give up; they keep lobbying their party and their representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can vote for pro-choice candidates if they vote for them despite—not because of—their pro-choice views.

However, the Archbishop points out that sentences immediately following the above quote were omitted. They are well worth reading:

But [Catholics who support pro-choice candidates] also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it. What is a “proportionate” reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life—which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.

Actually, Archbishop Chaput's entire column is well worth the read, for all Catholic voters, Obama supporters included.