This is such great information for EVERY Catholic voter!
Father Wade Menezes of the Fathers of Mercy delivered an excellent homily during an EWTN daily Mass on the most important issues Catholics should consider before entering the voting booth.
He also explained how Catholics should properly form their consciences and carefully contemplate the teachings of the Church before voting.
Fr. Menezes explains that it is important to differentiate between matters of prudential judgement and intrinsic evil.
Prudential judgement: the debate is open to discussion
Intrinsic evil: Scripture, tradition and the Magisterium reveal through the sacred deposit of faith, that this thing is always and everywhere wrong. It can never, ever be done.
He says, “They compare, in that both categories have to do with love of neighbor…Love of neighbor is intimately tied to love of God, and vise versa.
“As Catholics, we are faced with a number of issues that are of concern and should be addressed, such as immigration, healthcare, the economy and its solvency, care and concern for the poor, the war on terror, etc.
As Catholics, we must be concerned about these issues, and work to see that just solutions are brought about.
“But according to Church teaching, there are many possible solutions to these particular issues, and so there can be reasonable discussion and debate among Catholics as to how to best approach and solve them.
“These are matters of what could be called prudential judgment matters.”
“Let us be clear according to Church teaching–scripture, tradition, the Magisterium–revealing to us through the sacred deposit of faith:
“Issues involving prudential judgement are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic evil–no matter how right a certain candidate, on any of these issues of prudential judgement may be.
“It does not outweigh that same candidate’s acceptable position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or euthanasia.”
“If both of them are in the same camp, you have to ask yourself, after researching them, which one would have the greater chance of conversion if I could meet with him and present to him the truth revealed to us through divine revelation.
“Which one would have the greater hope for pursuance of the truth?”
“The Church does have the responsibility to speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the common good and the dignity of the human person.
“The common good of the human race is subject to the Eternal Law of God. The eternal law of God is the common good’s primary principle.
“Peace here on earth cannot be maintained unless the good of the human person is safeguarded.”
(Pastoral constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium Et Spes)
Cardinal Raymond Burke said:
“The Catholic voter must seek, above every other consideration, to protect the common good by opposing practices which attack its very foundations, thus in weighing all of the social conditions which pertain to the common good, we must safeguard, before all else, the good of human life, and the good of marriage and the family.”
“While we do have an obligation to act in accordance to our own judgements (judgements of conscience, that is), our judgments of conscience cannot be in error.
“Do you want to step into the voting booth with an erroneous conscience, or a well-informed conscience through divine revelation?
“Our judgements of conscience cannot be erroneous. If they are, then the errors could be attributable to us because we were too slothful to find out the truth.
“We must properly inform our conscience, and we need advice, and we should look for it.”
Pope Saint Paul VI said:
“Let them follow their conscience, provided they have a properly formed conscience.”
Fr. Menezes explains, “In other words, based on revealed truths, as divinely revealed through the sacred deposit of faith, it is self-given to us through sacred scripture, sacred tradition, and the Magisterium.
St. Francis de Sales said:
“Charity cherishes both God and our neighbor, raising us even to spiritual union with God, and bringing us back to loving companionship with our neighbors.
“It must be always understood, however, that we love our neighbors for this reason: that they are made in the image and likeness of God, created to communicate in his goodness. They share in His grace, and they rejoice in his glory.”
Fr. Menezes concludes:
“Know the matters of prudential judgement verses the matters of intrinsic evil when stepping into the voting booth.
“If two or more candidates share the same views, contrary to how you understand them to be through Church teaching of the three-legged stool and the sacred deposit of faith, ask yourself which one has the greater chance, after your research of the candidates, for the pursuance of truth as revealed in the sacred deposit of faith.”
St. Augustine said:
“Since you do not yet see God, you merit the vision of God by loving your neighbor. By loving your neighbor, you prepare your own eyes to one day see God.
“St. John says clearly, if you do not love your brother whom you do see, how can you love the God whom you do not see?”
Fr. Menezes adds, “The goal of virtue and virtuous living is a constant pursuance of the good and true in concrete daily actions. With all of our five bodily powers (senses), and the four spiritual powers of the soul (intellect, will, memory, imagination).”
St. Gregory of Nyssa said:
“The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.”
Become like God when stepping in the voting booth.
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