I took exception with the following post on Yahoo answers by ImacatholicII in response to the Church opposing candidates who are pro-abortion:
+ Politics +
First, the reponse in question is an opinion and not official Catholic teaching.
Some U.S. bishops agree with this opinion and some do not. There consensustly no concensus.
For example, McCain supported what is considered an immoral war in Iraq, the death penalty, unjust immigration policy, and not helping the poor as much as Obama would. Could not Catholics who voted for McCain also be denied Communion?
"Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility" a document published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is also rather vague on the issue: http://www.usccb.org/faithfulcitizenship...
+ Eucharist +
To receive First (or second or third) Communion people:
- must be baptized.
- must have reached the use of reason.
- must have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.
- must made sacramental confession (required for first time or when in mortal sin)
- must not be in the state of mortal sin or excommunicated.
There are exceptions for people who are aged, ill, or in danger of death.
For more information, see:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1415: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2s...
and the Code of Cannon Law: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P...
With love in Christ.
This is an email exchange between Imacatholic II:
"You wrote: Your answer was clearly not in the teaching of the Church. Please read "The Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae"
I read Evangelium Vitae and while it said Catholics certainly cannot vote for laws that legalize abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, it did not mention that each and every politican for whom we vote must be anti-abortion while ignoring all other pro-life issues like assisted suicide, euthanasia, unjust war, immigration policy, social justice issue concerning the poor and minorities, etc.
If I misread it then please point the section I missed: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html"
I think that where you erred is that you are failing to see the forest for the trees. You are missing the entire spirit of what the Holy Father was trying to convey and that is that we must protect life without compromise. You further attempt to confuse the issue of opposing abortion with a whole litany of other issues but the subject at hand is the issue of abortion and whether or not the teaching of the Church is to oppose abortion without compromise. Your statements are ambiguous as to whether we are to oppose abortion or not. I think that without a doubt the Holy Father was speaking unequivocally against abortion and for the resistance of each of us in opposing it. With the exception of suicide and euthanasia the other issues are social issues alone and have nothing to do with the pro-life position of the Church but are used to abrogate the spirit of opposing abortion.
"I repeat my previous statement:
McCain supported what is considered an immoral war in Iraq, the death penalty, unjust immigration policy, and not helping the poor as much as Obama would. Could not Catholics who voted for McCain also be denied Communion?"
I am no McCain supporter and believe he is also a flawed candidate when it comes to abortion although the lesser of the two evils with his position on abortion. I am not interested in your personal opinion in opposing terrorism, my home is the Philippines and thanks to the US policies towards terrorism the Philippines is a safer place. Terrorist attacks by Muslim terrorists have essentially been stopped by the US militaries efforts to make the terrorists ineffective in the ability of launching attacks. My family is safer and millions of Filipino's because of what you called an "immoral war". From my perspective preserving the lives of the oppressed and threatened is not immoral as has happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines. I agree with the need for immigration reform if you mean to make the penalties greater for illegal immigration and prosecution for those breaking the laws. The statement you make about Obama helping the poor more than McCain is a subjective statement not based on any facts but opinion only. You have no basis for such statement because Obama has not made any policy statement showing how your opinion would become reality. In fact the opposite is true such as bankrupting entire industries and increasing the cost of electrical service fourfold.
Now, you ask if the same criteria could be used against McCain; on the abortion issue McCain is for very limited abortion as opposed to Obama's expansion of so called "abortion rights" including partial birth abortion and infanticide. Therefore McCain is by far the lesser of two evils but since he does favor some abortion he should not be supported lest one commit a mortal sin. The Church and the faithful should be consistent in the protection of life.
Pope John Paul II said:
"We must begin with a commitment never to intentionally kill, or collude in the killing, of any innocent human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled or desperate that life may seem" (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 21).
""Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility" a document published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is also rather vague on the issue: http://www.usccb.org/faithfulcitizenship/FCStatement.pdf"
I agree that the statement was worded in such a way as to be somewhat ambiguous. One reading it outside the ongoing teaching of the Church could construe it to say that each individual should listen to their conscience as to what is a mortal sin rather than the ongoing and consistent teaching on the sanctity of life provided by the Church. I cannot accept that it is meant to undermine that teaching. A sin is not necessarily that which is contrary to ones individual conscience but instead contrary to the moral teaching of Christ and the apostles through His Church. God Bless!