Previously I was under the understanding that a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a Pro-Choice candidate provided that their stance on abortion was not the primary reason for voting in that direction.
A few years ago, Detroit auxiliary bishop Thomas Gumbleton stated that any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health care.
Bishop Gumbleton stated that he saw a great deal of hypocrisy in politicians like George W. Bush calling themselves pro-life when they embraced wars that have left many innocent people dead, when they have supported policies that have left people without health insurance, when they have defended a capital punishment system that has often executed those falsely accused.
However, some bishops state that a Catholic HAS TO vote for a politician that has a pro-life label and that other issues don't matter.
For example, recently Saginaw Bishop Robert Carlson, addressing a group on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade said: The argument that abortion rights is only one of the many pro-life issues and must be balanced with homelessness, spousal abuse and the environment is false.....I remind Catholic politicians of their sacred duty to oppose laws that favor abortion and euthanasia. And I state emphatically that your mantra 'that I am personally opposed but' disgusts me.
Is it heresy to say, as Bishop Gumbleton has, that there are many issues that have to be weighed into a Catholic's voting decision?
Or...on the other hand....is it heresy to say that abortion is the one issue and that all other issues are unimportant?
Or are these positions more or less personal opinions by these respective bishops and not binding on Catholics?
Just wondering about other peoples' thoughts.