BROOKLYN, NY, October 31, 2012 ( - Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn states in a letter on the upcoming elections that Roman Catholics who support abortion rights, and vote for a candidate because of those policies, place themselves outside of the life of the Church, and in moral danger.
However, after a lengthy discussion of Obama’s support for abortion and the HHS mandate, the bishop goes on to ask whether a Catholic can vote for a politician “despite” their support for such policies.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn
“To my mind, it stretches the imagination, especially when there is another option,” he responds.
Bishop DiMarzio points out that the term “women’s issues” as used by politicians during the current election campaign “seems to be code for abortion rights and now a mandate upon employers to offer contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients to employees.”
The bishop argues that women’s issues should include employment and the economy, as well as concerns about terrorism, war and immigration.
“These all seem like critically important women’s issues to me,” the bishop says.
“Why then do the President and Vice President continually speak about women’s rights in the context of abortion and contraception as well as misrepresent the impact on religious institutions? I cannot help but think it is an effort to secure only the most fanatical ‘pro-choice’ voters at the expense of those who are people of faith.”
Imposing the HHS birth control mandate, Bishop DiMarzio states, forces the question of whether Americans are free to practice their faith.
“The issue is not what we as a Church believe but whether or not we ought to be obligated to act in a manner contrary to our own belief.”
He observes that although the mandate does not specifically target Catholics, “it does so implicitly by imposing burdens on conscience that are well known to fall almost entirely on observant Catholics – whether employees, employers, or insurers. As a result, the President has senselessly made religious liberty a central issue in this campaign.”
“It is inconceivable to me how Catholics could support such policies,” the bishop says, when what is important is the dignity and sanctity of human life, which are “the foundational values upon which all other policies are built.”
“Concern for the poor, the stranger in our midst, they are all predicated upon our belief in the dignity and sanctity of human life,” Bishop DiMarzio concludes.
“After all, what Christ calls us to build is a civilization of love in the support of his or her life.”
The full text of Bishop DiMarzio’s letter titled “What Constitutes a Woman’s Issue?” is available here.