Fairbanks Bishop Chad Zielinski has released a clarion call to Catholics in northern Alaska, saying they can “never morally support or vote” for political candidates who support abortion.
Released earlier this month, his letter seeks to guide parishioners as they take to the polls for national and statewide elections.
…we can never morally support or vote for candidates, laws, or initiatives that will maintain or increase access to abortion…
“It should go without saying that we have a paramount responsibility as Catholics to support candidates who will protect and defend human life from conception to natural death,” Zielinski writes. “During my six years as Bishop of Fairbanks, I have preached and written repeatedly on this issue, since so much of our society’s ills are rooted in a disregard for the innate dignity of every human being.”
Zielinski is the spiritual head of roughly 12,500 Catholics spread across 400,000 square miles of northern Alaska. His letter clarifies a voter guide issued by the Fairbanks Diocese which does not in itself list abortion as the preeminent issue facing voters. A similar voter guide, released by the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, came with no such instruction from the archbishop on the moral imperative to always oppose pro-abortion candidates, but left the faithful with the impression that abortion is merely one of many issues voters can consider when casting a ballot.
Zielinski, however, was crystal clear on this issue.
The protection of life “must always take precedence when we are deciding who will best represent us.”
“As Catholics, then, we can never morally support or vote for candidates, laws, or initiatives that will maintain or increase access to abortion, euthanasia, or assisted suicide,” he said. “Society proposes that we eliminate problems by eliminating people, but as Pope Francis affirmed in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, ‘It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.’”
Zielinski addressed the common argument which many liberal Catholics such as Joe Biden use to justify support for political parties that favor abortion but also have a concern for the poor or the environment.
“What about candidates who support abortion rights but nonetheless also support life-affirming laws that help the poor or protect the environment?” Zielinski noted. “The church is also clear on this issue: Catholics may not morally vote for a candidate who supports abortion just because they agree with the candidate on other, less important issues.”
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He said that the protection of life “must always take precedence when we are deciding who will best represent us.”
Issues like the environment and social programs are areas where “people of good will can disagree” on the best way to address these concerns.
“But some acts, such as taking human life through abortion, euthanasia, or assisted suicide, are always objectively wrong no matter the circumstances and we can never support them as Catholics,” Zielinski underscored. “
Click here to read Zielinski’s complete letter.