The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois is trying to intimidate Catholics who may be considering voting for President Obama. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki doesn’t explicitly dictate to the faithful under his spiritual authority and guidance whom not to vote for. That would be a violation of federal law which exempts churches from taxation. He gives them a veiled ultimatum.
If you support the Democratic platform with its positions on abortion and gay marriage and vote for the candidate who endorses it (hint” his initials are B.H.O.), you will be “morally complicit” in promoting “actions and behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful”. You would place “the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”
I am a Catholic and an American citizen. When I vote, I factor in both value systems. It is my decision to make.
Like all Americans, I cherish my freedom, the inalienable rights that Jefferson so eloquently said God has endowed us with. Our precious Constitution clearly denies to our government the power to violate these rights. And neither should our churches.
Bishop Paprocki may think he is a reincarnation of Torquemada. But the Inquisition has long been piled on the dust heap of history. No, American Catholics do not owe their allegiance to some tinhorn Conservative bishop. We answer only to God and to that interior voice of moral choice, our conscience.
My response to any prelate, like Bishop Paprocki, who would play God and use the pains of Hell to abridge my right to decide how to vote according to my own conscience? “Go to Hell!”