GoM’s got an interesting back-and-forth between Obama-supporting pro-life Catholic Doug Kmiec and National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. There’s no shortage of careful parsing here–a bit of a heavy slog, but that’s in the nature of the abortion debate between professionals.
So for comic relief, check out this screed from Randall Terry, “Founder, Operation Rescue” (as he now styles himself) who, having been booted out of that organization and his Protestant church for all manner of immoral activities, went over to Rome a couple of years ago. Terry claims that Kmiec’s assertion that “it violates no aspect of Catholic teaching for a Catholic Voter to endorse, support, or vote for Barack Obama” is “theological [sic] and morally false.” Terry asserts: No Catholic may in good conscience vote for Obama, because of his support for Roe vs. Wade.” Top that, Donohue!
Terry evidently finds the U.S. Catholic bishops wanting in this regard, inasmuch as their 2007 document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, supplies sufficient grounds for a Catholic like Kmiec to justify voting for Obama:
34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.
So Terry’s done up a document of his own, Faithful Catholic Citizenship, that avoids all hint of moral casuistry. Get that, bishops?