Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton has released a video condemning Catholic groups who have promulgated support of pro-abortion politicians as authentic Church teaching. The bishop insists that the “Faithful Citizenship” document of U.S. Catholic bishops has been twisted by such groups, who claim Catholics can be justified in choosing the more pro-abortion candidate in an election.The diocese of Scranton’s new video, entitled “The Catholic Church and the Life Issues,” was released a week after bishop Martino crashed a St. John’s parish forum discussing a left-leaning interpretation of the “Faithful Citizenship” document, and harshly criticized those who trivialized the role of abortion in the upcoming presidential election.
The video condemns in strong words certain “Catholic” groups for misleading voters concerning Church teaching, naming Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good as two of the guilty parties. According to the video, these groups insist that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates, while omitting the requirement of a “grave” moral reason.
“Some individuals and groups are arriving at their own interpretations regarding the demands of Catholic social teachings,” says the video’s narrator. “Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good are two such groups.
“They claim to be concerned about Catholic teaching and the common good – but that is not the case.”
The video questions the groups’ citation of the “Faithful Citizenship,” which they claim supports their view. “These groups give the impression that their reading of the bishops’ statement is authentic Church teaching. It is not.” The video points out that the document, released last year by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), states that a Catholic may vote for a pro-abortion candidate “only for truly grave moral reasons.”
“Such reasons constitute a very high standard,” continues the narrator, “because they must be proportionate to the evil of abortion. No issue facing Americans in this election rises to that standard. … No one who seeks to preserve the legal right of a woman to kill her child can be in line with Catholic teaching.
“As citizens, we are faced with a number of important issues this year, and there can be reasonable debate among Catholics about how best to solve our many domestic and foreign problems,” it says. “However, there can be no debate on the relative gravity of issues involving the taking of a human life.”
The video attacks a growing trend in Catholic circles to twist the USCCB document to support one candidate over another. Many have taken the bishops’ words to mean that Catholics are justified in putting abortion advocacy on a par with such issues as the economy when selecting a presidential candidate.
Bishop Martino himself says he had voted against the USCCB document, saying it was “written to mean all things to all people.” He told St. John’s parish forum last week to instead pay attention to the bishop’s own letter, unequivocally condemning those that trivialize the role of abortion in an election decision as not “the only relevant ‘life’ issue that should be considered when deciding for whom to vote.” (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08102212.html)
To see the diocese of Scranton video:
To read the full text of Bishop Martino’s letter:
See related LifeSiteNews.com articles:
Scranton Bishop Unexpectedly Visits Forum, Repudiates False Teachings on Catholic Voting
Will the US Bishops’ “Faithful Citizenship” Document Win the Catholic Vote For Obama?