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An American Vincentian Reflections on the USA Election

by | Jan 14, 2021 | Formation, Reflections | 5 comments

It may come as a surprise to some that the result of the Presidential election showed that the Catholic vote was almost evenly divided between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden. You may wonder why there is such a divide in the Catholic vote, particularly since Joseph Biden is a practicing Catholic. In fact, therein lies the problem.

The U.S. Catholic bishops came out in their November meeting with a letter, appended to their “Faithful Citizenship” document on discerning how to vote. In that letter the bishops state that they consider abortion their preeminent issue leading up to the Presidential election.  Unfortunately, Joseph Biden’s Democratic Party platform supports the right to an abortion. This position has led many to declare that Joseph Biden supports abortion; in fact some even call Biden a “baby killer.”

As a result of this, pro-life Catholics, including some bishops and priests, declared that Catholics ought not to vote for Joseph Biden because he is neither pro-life nor truly a Catholic. With this information, some might wonder how Biden got the Catholic votes he did get.

The explanation is that many Catholics see pro-life in a much broader context within Catholic social teaching. To be truly pro-life, one must also support the opposition to the death penalty, the right for all people to health care, immigration reform and the preservation of our planet through care of creation. There is more to being pro-life than being against abortion.

When many Catholics reflected on the broad spectrum of issues comprising Catholic social teaching and how the candidates support those issues, they concluded that Joseph Biden is more truly pro-life than Donald Trump. Even though the Democratic party platform supports the right to abortion, a vast majority of Catholic Democrats are opposed to abortion and do whatever they can to reduce if not eliminate the desire of anyone for an abortion.

As promoters of peace and justice in the Vincentian Family, we need to do all we can to promote Catholic social teaching within our Church and our general society. We need to do what we can to work with our local and national government officials, particularly with a new Administration coming into office.  There are many issues that we Catholics share with the new Administration regarding immigration reform, health care for all and the end of the death penalty.  While working on these issues, we can also use our influence to find ways to reduce if not eliminate even the desire for abortions, particularly through help to those who are impoverished.

Rev. Louis Arceneaux, C.M., New Orleans, LA

5 Comments

  1. jim claffey

    Great reflection, Lou, many thanks. This issue should be widely discussed so we can all get to a deeper understanding of what it means to be “pro-life” in a real Gospel sense. This brief article gets to the heart of it. And given the state of our politics, we need to move on it now.

    • Louis Arceneaux,c .m.

      Thanks, Jim, for your response. Let u keep up the work to promote the life and dignity of all and the common good of our nation and planet. Peace,

  2. Ross

    Thank you for speaking in behalf of half the Catholic voters in the U.S.

    Satan, we read in 2 Cor 11, 14, masquerades as an angel of light. So, no wonder that it’s hard for us, specifically, for the other half of the Catholics voters, to see through the pro-life claims of people whose “hands are full of blood,” of those who do not “seek justice,” nor “defend the oppressed,” nor “take up the cause of the fatherless,” nor plead the case of the widow,” nor stop mistreating and demonizing needy immigrants (see Is 1, 15. 17; Ex 22, 21).

    May God prod us all not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may be able to test and approve what his will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Rom 12, 2).

  3. Giulio Grecchi

    I believe that there is a great need for civic education and formation. So many people casted their votes based on their opposition to abortion. But what public policy would end abortion? Making abortion illegal would do little to end abortion. If a number of states make it illegal, some people will travel to another state, where it is allowed, to get their abortion. And those who cannot travel will once again use dangerous back-alley procedures that killed so many women and babies in the past. In my view what is needed to reduce the number of abortions is strong economic and emotional support of those women, with undesired pregnancies, so that they can bring the child to term and ready for adoption. Unfortunately, economic support has been cut and cut again in recent years by our government.

  4. Bernardine dupre

    Great article. Too bad more religious especially those at the higher level , would read and accept the facts that right to life includes those on death row , immigrants and minorities are children of God. In fact they were created in the image of God. They fail to recall the gospel where Jesus states whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do unto me. PEACE AND LOVE.

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