by Kevin “Coach” Collins
A recent visit to a Catholic church in another state brought a reminder that somewhere around 40% of Catholics who regularly attend mass are devoted Democrat voters. The car in the next space had a bumper sticker supporting a self-described Catholic Democrat well known for supporting partial birth abortions.
The overt act of placing a sign on one’s car begs a few questions. Is it reasonable that in this era of effective mass communication a potential voter could fail to know what a politician’s positions are? Could a Catholic voter be engaged enough to want to place a sign on his/her vehicle yet have no understanding that Democrats represent a political philosophy that is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church? Finally what does Roman Catholic Church Canon Law say about such conduct?
A review of Canon Law reveals that it describes “formal cooperation” as “intending the evil action that another is doing.” Is it not reasonable to declare that those Catholics who vote for a candidate specifically because he/she will promote abortion have engaged in “formal cooperation” in evil?
The commentary attached to this explanation goes on to say, “This is when you deliberately, consciously, and willingly intend the evil to happen. Civil law calls it being an accessory to a crime. … There is knowledge of the evil beforehand or while it is happening, and consent to it being done. This is always sinful and immoral.”
The commentary cites these “on point” examples of such conduct: Hiring someone to commit murder and agreeing that a child should be aborted.
Canon Law 1868 reminds us that while sin is a personal act, we have a responsibility for the sins of others that have been facilitated by us. This point is established with these examples of enabling conduct leading to sin by others: participating directly and voluntarily in them as in working in or contributing to an abortion supporter’s campaign; ordering, advising, praising, or approving such a candidate; by denying the truth about an abortion supporter’s position in order to trick someone into supporting an abortion supporter who ordinarily would not do so.
In this world you may have either knowledge or repose; but you may not have both. Those who still believe it is possible to be both a good Catholic and good Democrat ought to consider this.