The Archbishop crafted an excellent, and unusually clear, statement about the difference between prudential issues and morally indefensible positions: one the likes of which Tod Brown or Raj Mahoney or Howard Hubbard (fn2) could not bring themselves to make. Here's a snippet:
Moreover, as Pope Benedict XVI stated when he served as the cardinal prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholics are free to choose from “among the various political opinions that are compatible with faith and the natural moral law, and to select according to their own criteria, what best corresponds to the needs of the common good. ” On most public policy issues, there are a variety of possible strategies and solutions that a Catholic could choose to support or oppose in good conscience: “It is not the Church’s task to set forth specific political solutions — and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one — to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person. ”2 It is not the church’s role or competency to develop specific proposals for foreign policy, economic development, immigration, taxation, environmental policies, etc.
The church does enunciate moral principles that have a significant bearing on public policy issues. The Catholic must choose, from a variety of possible paths, how best to implement these principles. however, there are some public policy issues that directly pertain to a correct understanding of the dignity of the human person. Regarding these fundamental human rights issues, it is not possible for a diversity of opinion.
Thus, a Catholic in public life cannot in good conscience support or advocate for a policy that gives legal protection to the destruction of innocent human life. Pope John Paul II stated clearly: “Abortion and
euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can legitimize.” Our late Holy Father, referring to the 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion, reemphasized: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.’” (footnotes removed)
It was a sincere pleasure to see someone in a mitre clearly state the truth, which I'll paraphrase as follows: it's not a seamless garment, there are issues on which Catholics can differ (and I would say, be terribly, but not sinfully, wrong), and there are issues in which error leads everyone--Catholic, heretic or infidel--to perdition.
I won't quibble on this one. Marvellous work, your Grace! Keep moving forward!
fn1: It's Killer Kathleen, not Killer Kathy--not even to her friends-- somebody else told me so this morning)
fn3: Of course by that I mean His Excellency, the Most Rev. Tod Brown, His Eminence, Roger Cardinal Mahony, and His Excellency, the Most Rev. Howard Hubbard.