The Washington Post is reporting that prelates from New York to Alaska made last-minute appeals to their flocks, reminding them about the importance of standing up for what we believe when it comes time to cast our vote tomorrow.
In a letter written by Illinois Bishop Daniel Jenky in which he accused the administration of an unprecedented “assault upon our religious freedom,” he blames the president and the Democratic majority in the Senate for imposing the birth control mandate, and compares abortion rights supporters to the Jews who demanded that Pontius Pilate crucify Jesus.
“For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life,” Jenky writes in the letter which was read at all Masses throughout the diocese yesterday.
In the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of bishops released a letter to voters stating that accepting policies that promote contraception, abortion and same-sex marriage is why the nation is "losing its soul by little steps."
"The Catholic faith is always personal but never private," the letter states. "If our faith is real, then it will naturally and necessarily guide our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices."
In the battleground state of Wisconsin, Green Bay Bishop David Ricken wrote in an Oct. 24 letter that the Democratic platform’s support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage and other “intrinsic evils” make it impossible for Catholics to support the party without putting their souls at risk.
Brooklyn, New York Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s wrote a column in the diocesan newspaper in which he said there is no excuse for voting for any candidate who supports the imposition of the birth control mandate and abortions rights, saying it “stretches the imagination, especially when there is another option.”
As far away as Alaska, Juneau Bishop Edward J. Burns also penned a column in the local newspaper in which he compared Vice President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights to supporting slave owners in the antebellum South, and questioned Biden’s character and Catholic faith.
If the bishops seem more active - and more vocal - this year than in elections past, it's because of the belief that the stakes are higher than usual.
Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says this is because of a growing fear that the Catholic Church, and faith in general, is being driven from the public square, and that the viability of many church-related institutions is in peril due to government policies.
In addition to the expansion of abortion rights and same-sex marriage, the bishops view the current threats to the moral fabric of the country to be of historic proportions.
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