The head of the Knights of Columbus, the most influential Catholic lay organization, has urged U.S. Catholics not to vote for any political candidate who is pro-choice on abortion.
“Supreme Knight” Carl Anderson addressed the leadership and more than 1,000 members of the Knights and their families at the organization’s 126th Annual Convention in Quebec on Tuesday.
Speaking after greetings to the Knights were heard from the Pope, via the Cardinal Secretary of State, and the presidents of the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines, Anderson called on Catholics to “shine a bright line of separation between themselves and all those politicians who defend the abortion regime of Roe v. Wade.”
Anderson said: “Imagine if this year millions of Catholic voters simply say ‘no’ — no to every candidate of every political party who supports abortion.”
Continuing his sharply worded comments, Anderson declared: “It’s time we stop accommodating pro-abortion politicians, and it’s time we start demanding that they accommodate us. What candidate or political party can withstand the loss of millions of Catholic voters in this election or the next?”
He added: “If we stand together and demand better from our politicians, we can transform politics. And if we truly hope for a culture of life and a civilization of love, then we must first think, and then act, in new ways.”
Anderson's speech was broadcast live throughout Canada and the United States on the Catholic television network, and worldwide on EWTN radio and television.
If American Catholics heed Anderson’s call in large numbers, it could have a huge effect on the November elections at all levels — there are an estimated 40 million Catholic voters in the U.S.
In fact, there are indications that Catholics already are turning against pro-choice presidential candidate Barack Obama and toward pro-life candidate John McCain.
A Zogby phone poll in mid-July showed that Catholics favored Obama by 11 percentage points, but a new poll now has McCain ahead among Catholics by 15 percentage points.
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