Blog Post

The Difference Between Flawed & Evil Candidates

fr george rutlerThe long-awaited election day is finally here and millions of Americans are still struggling over which of two very imperfect candidates to vote for – but the esteemed Father George Rutler makes it perfectly clear and in no uncertain terms. is reporting on a homily given by Father George Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City in which he refers back to a column he wrote eight years ago. The column was based on a book by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson entitled, The Lord of the World, which was a dystopian novel about the anti-Christ who imposed a new world religion with man as god. His only foe was Christianity, which he thwarted by using “compromised Catholics and compliant priests to persuade timid Catholics.” Benson’s book has been cited by several popes, such as Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis who said he read it several times.

“Since then, that program has been realized in our time, to an extent beyond the warnings of the most dire pessimists,” Father Rutler explains.

“Our federal government has intimidated religious orders and churches, challenging religious freedom. The institution of the family has been re-defined, and sexual identity has been Gnosticized to the point of mocking biology. Assisted suicide is spreading, abortions since 1973 have reached a total equal to the population of Italy, and sexually transmitted diseases are at a record high. Objective journalism has died, justice has been corrupted, racial bitterness ruins cities, entertainment is degraded, knowledge of the liberal arts spirals downwards, and authentically Catholic universities have all but vanished. A weak and confused foreign policy has encouraged aggressor nations and terrorism, while metastasized immigration is destroying remnant western cultures, and genocide is slaughtering Christian populations. The cynical promise of economic prosperity is mocked by the lowest rate of labor participation in forty years, an unprecedented number of people on food stamps and welfare assistance, and the larges t disparity in wealth in over a century.”

The picture is indeed grim as we stand now upon yet another precipice – an election offering a choice between two of the most flawed candidates in American history – which has left many Catholics despairing over how to vote.

Father Rutler feels their pain - but not their confusion.

“It is incorrect to say that the coming election poses a choice between two evils. For ethical and aesthetic reasons, there may be some bad in certain candidates, but badness consists in doing bad things. Evil is different: it is the deliberate destruction of truth, virtue and holiness.

“While one may pragmatically vote for a flawed candidate, one may not vote for anyone who advocates and enables unmitigatedly evil acts, and that includes abortion. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it'" (Evangelium Vitae, 73).

He goes on to remind that at one party’s convention, the name of God was excluded from its platform and a woman who boasted of having aborted her child was applauded.

“It is a grave sin, requiring sacramental confession and penance, to become an accomplice in objective evil by voting for anyone who encourages it, for that imperils the nation and destroys the soul,” Fr. Rutler says.

He goes on to direct his guidance to the clergy whom he encourages to speak the truth, regardless of how unfashionable it might be, and not to shrink from explaining the Church’s censures.

“Wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but worse are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. While the evils foreseen eight years ago were realized, worse would come if those affronts to human dignity were endorsed again.”

He then issues a dire warning: “In the most adverse prospect, God forbid, there might not be another free election, and soon Catholics would arrive at shuttered churches and vacant altars. The illusion of indifference cannot long be perpetuated by lame jokes and synthetic laughter at banquets, for there is handwriting on the wall.”

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