Texas Bishops Issue Instructions on Pro- Life Voting
“To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or ‘abortion rights’ when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil – and (is), therefore, morally impermissible.”
This missive from Bishops Farrell and Vann of Dallas and Fort Worth followed last week's instruction by Bishop Martino of Scranton:
“Public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.”
While various whiny activists are complaining that “this is clearly an attempt on the part of these bishops to do an end-run around the federal tax law ban on electioneering by churches,” the fact remains that federal tax law and relevant interpretation by the Internal Revenue Service simply holds that “a Catholic organization may not directly or indirectly make any statement, in any medium, to endorse, support, or oppose any candidate for public office, political party, or PAC.”
In as much as our bishops have not endorsed or opposed any particular candidate in their pastoral instruction to their churches, they remain within their tax-exempt purview to act as 1) the authoritative expositors of the Christian faith in matters spiritual and secular and as 2) the holders of religious liberty as citizens and pastors, who are entitled to free speech and protected from any and all government censure. The whiners need to recall that the IRS specifically advises that for an issue advocacy communication to violate the political campaign intervention prohibition, ‘there must be some reasonably overt indication in the communication to the reader, viewer, or listener that the organization supports or opposes a particular candidate (or slate of candidates) in an election, rather than being a message restricted to an issue.”
Catholic bishops honor God's creation of the world and the Incarnation of His Son for the salvation of all men by defending the intrinsic right to life, at each and every stage of its development. In this country, the Church's mission must address a fundamental and fatal law in our country's domestic policy of protecting and promoting the murder of voiceless children who have been prejudiced by a power-hungry culture. As the Church's bishops faithfully carry out their mandate, they thereby risk 1) receiving impotent slaps on the wrist from worried advocacy groups, and 2) the silly threat of revocation of tax-exempt status.
-Please. In the event of the latter, Catholics would rally round their bishops to insure the free exercise of our right to be instructed and led by the representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we can. We are billions strong. And we have martyrs.