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Direction of the Catholic vote

Re “End of the Catholic vote,” Opinion, Oct. 29

Contrary to what the Op-Ed headline implies, Tim Rutten argues that the Catholic vote is not dead but rather making a historic, seismic shift. While some Catholic bishops would urge Catholic voters to use a narrow, single-issue lens at the ballot booth, there will be millions of Catholic, pro-life Democrats making a different choice and voting for Barack Obama.

With our country facing an economic crisis around the globe and in our communities, continuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an eroded presence on the world stage, the real choice facing voters is about restoring unity, vision and leadership for our country.

There are compelling moral reasons in this election to support a candidate who may not fully align with the Catholic Church on abortion but provides the best hope for working families, healthcare reform, reviving our economy and restoring our environment -- and they are no less Catholic for casting their vote for Obama.

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Tom Chabolla

Silver Spring, Md.

The writer was formerly the secretariat director for pastoral and community services for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

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As election day looms and our nation stands on a precipice, I implore members of the Catholic Church to hear, receive and act on the church’s teaching.

According to the church, it is morally impermissible to vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion when there is a morally acceptable alternative. While many passionately argue that issues of prudential judgment, such as the war on terrorism, poverty or immigration reform, must be granted equal weight, the church does not agree.

Obama has been touted as a visionary who will bring about great change in this country. I fear this to be true. Obama has publicly stated that as president, he would work to pass the Freedom of Choice Act.

Undoubtedly there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Catholic Church if this legislation becomes law. What there shouldn’t be is sympathy, if its members and its leaders subvert their moral obligation on election day.

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Rita Needham

Dedham, Ma.


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