A week ago we posted about the murky message from the Massachusetts Catholic bishops on the mid-term elections. The murky message never clearly stated Catholics should vote against pro-abortion politicians, and what happened? A state that just 20 years ago counted 54% of the population as being Catholic and now is 38% Catholic voted largely for pro-abortion candidates for nearly every open office. That’s why we feel the search for the new Exec. Director of the Mass Catholic Conference is so important.
Even as little as 3 years ago, Cardinal O’Malley spoke much more clearly on the issue of voting for pro-abortion politicians. In this Globe article from November 2007, “O’Malley draws line with Democrats: backing abortion rights borders on scandal” he was quoted as saying:
“I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church’s position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues.”
Acknowledging that Catholic voters in Massachusetts generally support Democratic candidates who are in favor of abortion rights, O’Malley said, “I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I’m concerned.”
“However, when I challenge people about this, they say, ‘Well, bishop, we’re not supporting [abortion rights],’ ” he said. “I think there’s a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions, and I think if they did that, then the party would have to change.”
With the Mass Catholic Conference’s Boston archdiocesan line of reporting under the control of Fr. Bryan Hehir now, there was zero mention about it being scandalous for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion politicians. Here is what the statement said:
Certain moral and social issues are fundamentally important, since human rights are at stake and must be protected to help democracy to flourish in a way that benefits every citizen. These include the defense of the sanctity of life, the family based on marriage between a man and a woman, religious freedom, and the well-being of the poor. As shifts in societal challenges are inevitable, it is also vital to determine from election to election which human rights face the greatest threat at the time of voting.
Go to the polls on Election Day and, through your choices at the ballot, act on your vision of a better society.”
So, according to the Massachusetts biships, if your vision of a better society is built primarily on care for the poor, then it was perfectly OK for you to vote for a candidate who would take care of the today’s poor people, even as he or she supports aborting millions of the unborn each year who would be the next generation of society.
This article talks about how “Catholic Voters Swung Election.” Unfortunately, the problem in Massachusetts is that they swung it against Church teachings. If the 38% of citizens who identify themselves as “Catholic” in Massachusetts had voted for pro-life candidates, we think it’s safe to say that a lot more pro-life candidates would have won and a lot more of pro-abortion politicians in office would be updating their resumes looking for new jobs.
Here’s a letter sent by a faithful Catholic to Vicar General Fr. Erikson right after the election:
Dear Fr. Erikson,
Yesterday the voters of Massachusetts went to the polls and in keeping with the Massachusetts Bishop’s Statement to Catholic voters they “…acted on their vision of a better society.”
Unfortunately that vision was to elect staunchly pro-abortion Catholic politicians – even in those cases when a strong pro-life alternative was available. As a result, each and every pro-life politician in Massachusetts was defeated.
I am extremely disappointed that the Massachusetts Bishops opted to draft such an ambiguous and cowardly statement to Catholic voters.
As described by Operation Rescue, pro-lifers in MA who lost include State Senate candidates Sandi Martinez (3rd Middlesex) and Neal Heeren (Worcester-Middlesex); House candidates James Dixon (10th Middlesex), Dennis Gianatassio (28th Middlesex), and Paul Franco (13th Worcester). Mike Franco lost his race for the Governor’s Council (8th District). Pro-abortion and pro-gay pols like Martha Coakley and Barney Frank handily defeated Catholic candidates who were much more aligned with Catholic teachings on the life and family issues.
Thankfully, on a national level pro-life candidates fared well. Shortly we will have a pro-life Catholic Speaker of the House and there were pro-life gains in the U.S. Senate. National Right to Life says there were “very, very substantial” improvements in about 65 House seats.
“Either a hardcore pro-abortion candidate was defeated by a pro-life challenger, or someone with a mixed record, like on the health care bill, was replaced.” The bulk of the candidates, about 40, were “hardcore pro-abortion people” who voted for pro-life legislation “seldom if ever.”