Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston declared on Wednesday that the support of many Catholics for pro-choice Democratic candidates “borders on scandal.”
"I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church's position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues," O'Malley said in comments reported by the Boston Globe.
O’Malley said that while Catholic voters in Massachusetts generally support Democratic candidates who are in favor of abortion rights, “I think that, at times, it borders on scandal as far as I'm concerned…
"I think there's a need for people to very actively dissociate themselves from those unacceptable positions, and I think if they did that, then the party would have to change."
O'Malley made his remarks in an interview after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve a statement offering guidance for Catholic voters, declaring abortion, cloning, and embryonic research to be "intrinsically evil."
"The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life is always wrong and is not just one issue among many," the bishops declared in the document, called Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.
The document also states that "as Catholics we are not single-issue voters," but adds, "a candidate's position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support."
O’Malley said in the interview: "The church is not trying to impose Catholic doctrine on the world, but we are trying to invite our people to take seriously their obligation to vote in a way that respects the moral law, the natural law, and takes into account the common good, care for the poor, and particularly the gospel of life, which is always the center of Catholic social teaching."
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