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The "Lesser of Evils?" – An Election Day Message from Fr. Frank

My Brothers and Sisters,

Today is the day!

This Election Season has been intense from the beginning, because so many people on both sides of the "Culture wars" know how much is at stake.

Today is no time for the intensity to cease. Instead, this is the day which makes all our election preparations count. This is the day when we have to get our brothers and sisters to actually bring to the voting booth the convictions that we have discussed for months – convictions about the issues, the candidates, and the crucial importance of this decision.

I am grateful for the strong response of each of you in our Priests for Life family. You have been attentive to all that we have said, have taken our action suggestions, and have gotten others involved in the battle.

What should you do today? Take time off work and away from other activities, and call as many others as you can who will support pro-life candidates, and get them to the polls. Give them a ride if necessary. Follow up with friends whom you have already reminded, and call other friends in other states. Some states are particularly important battlegrounds, as you know from the nightly news. If you know people in Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota, make a special effort to get them involved today, and make sure they are working to get their friends involved!

And all the other states are critical, too, because we are electing people in so many different levels of government. Be sure to find out the positions of candidates for local races, too. And please remember to refer people to the wealth of election-related information at www.priestsforlife.org .

Some of our brothers and sisters are still wrestling with the question of whether they should vote for the better of the candidates who have a chance to win, or the "best" candidate regardless of his chances to win.

Vote for the better of the candidates who have a chance to win.

The reason is this. The morality of our actions is determined in part by the foreseen consequences of those actions. A vote for the "best" candidate who won’t win takes a vote away from the better of the others, and hence favors the worst. If the worst gets elected and ends up facilitating the killing of countless innocent children, the voter shares responsibility for that.

If you want to build up support for even better candidates than those likely to win this time around, then by all means do so in the months and years ahead. I am grateful for those candidates and their supporters making this effort. But this kind of support is built up through a long process. And that process will be far more lengthy and difficult if the people we actually elect today are hostile to the Culture of Life. They will create a climate even worse than what we have now.

Some people call the advice I’m giving "voting for the lesser of two evils." But actually, we aren’t voting for evil at all. We are voting to limit evil, and that is always a good.

I am grateful for all your election efforts and those of so many others. At the same time, I know that so many of us – myself included -- are also justifiably angry with those in the Church who have failed in their duty. We have clergy who have failed to rise to the occasion, because they don’t recognize the occasion. They don’t appreciate the fact that this election is about avoiding a holocaust. Some just don’t care. Their mind is on the "many other issues."

Some, knowing that the Pope and bishops have clearly indicated that the right to life is the foundation of every other concern, have nevertheless distorted this teaching and actually told people that the Church considers all the issues equally important. That is an example of twisting the truth for political gain, and if anyone should get criticized for inappropriate "politicking" in the Church, it is this band of liars.

Then there are those who claim you cannot support "the war" and still be pro-life. I support the war fully and am fully pro-life. So are countless others. The Pope never told us we had to hold any particular position about "the war in Iraq." As an American citizen I am proud to trust the decisions of those who have the awesome responsibility to make them. And that position is fully consistent with Catholicism.

Brothers and sisters, the bishops told us in "Living the Gospel of Life" that we get the public officials we deserve. That, in fact, is how God judges nations. He does not send down fire and brimstone. Rather, he lets His people live with the consequences of their own choices. Today, then, is a "judgment day" for America.

May God have mercy on us, that we may judge rightly and be judged mercifully.

-- Fr. Frank Pavone

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 888-735-3448, 321-500-1000 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org