Bishops for Bush?

With just a few weeks left in the presidential race, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is making one last push for George W. Bush. Not explicitly, of course, but it’s not hard to do the math. “If you vote this way [for John Kerry], are you cooperating in evil? And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes,” he told the New York Times (“Group of Bishops Using Influence to Oppose Kerry,” October 12). “Yes” is the answer to which query? Leaving aside the fair question of the Times’s motive in running this well-told story three weeks before the election, Chaput and several other bishops-still a small minority in the bishops’ conference-have been clear: voting for a prochoice candidate is a sin. Yet, as Mark W. Roche of Notre Dame noted in his October 10 Times op-ed, “Voting Our Conscience, Not Our Religion,” politics is the art of the possible. Why did the abortion rate in Ronald Reagan’s two terms remain basically unchanged, while the rate dropped 11 percent under Bill Clinton? Opposing abortion involves more than just saying so.

Published in the 2004-10-22 issue: 
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