Room for disagreement

The judgmental view expressed in the letter, “The choice for pro-abortion Catholic politicians” in the July 16 issue that “nobody who embraces the Democratic Party can be a Catholic” seems oblivious to the fact that neither of our major political parties fully aligns with Catholic social teaching.

Even the bishops’ conference, while highlighting the “pre-eminence” of abortion, has reminded us that “Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote” and for grave reasons may at times “reasonably decide” to support a candidate in spite of a morally unacceptable position. 

In making such decisions, one “should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue” (cf. Nos. 34, 35, 37, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, NCCB, 2020).

In the end, we should be able to agree on basic moral truths, but there is room for conscientious disagreement about how best to promote them in civil society.

— Father Robert Caro, SJ, Loyola Marymount University

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