Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Compromising with Evil
In a largely unpublished interview with The New York Times, the Denver archbishop said: "If the Church challenges a President Kerry on [destruction of unborn children through embryonic stem-cell research], it will appear to be interfering. If the Church remains silent, it will appear cowardly." In a monograph ("Should Catholics Vote for Kerry?"), Golden writes that Kerry rejects protection of life "through humane public policy" and that "his frequent declaration that he 'was an altar boy' is not enough to dispel Catholics' concerns."
Those concerns are intensified by the campaign of the first Catholic nominee for president since John F. Kennedy. While Kennedy 44 years ago did not want to call attention to his religion, Kerry stresses his Catholicism -- an emphasis not apparent in his Massachusetts campaigns the past three decades. He says he accepts the Catholic doctrine that "life begins at conception" but will not impose it on others. It then becomes something like rooting for the Red Sox, which should not be forced on Yankee fans.
"Catholics with a little catechism and logic know better," Representative Golden writes. He asserts that Kerry "for 20 years, on matters most fundamental to Catholics, has been consistently wrong" and "is among the fervent supporters of abortion in the Senate." The confirmation came in the Tempe, Ariz., debate when he answered a question about Roe v. Wade: "I'm not going to appoint a judge to the court who's going to undo a constitutional right."
Archbishop Chaput, in the Oct. 12 New York Times, is quoted after an interview with two of the newspaper's reporters: "If you vote this way [for a candidate like Kerry], are you cooperating in evil? And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes." That is interpreted in the story as asking Catholics to vote for George W. Bush.
But there is much more in the transcript of Chaput's interview with the Times, prepared and given to me by the archbishop's office. Chaput rejects the "seamless garment" of Catholic issues woven together "as an excuse to sideline the abortion issue." The archbishop calls on Catholics "to get over this compromising" and deliver "a very clear, collective 'no!' -- a grand refusal to vote for anybody who is pro-choice, so that we have some political influence on this issue."