Volume 3, Part 5

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That which is intrinsically evil is evil in its object, the act or behavior itself, regardless of intent or circumstances! Actions that are intrinsically evil (e.g., murder and adultery) must never be allowed or approved; they are never morally permissible!

It would be formal cooperation in evil to deliberately vote for a politician who advocates an intrinsic evil, if the voter intends to promote that evil. It would be material cooperation in evil to vote for them for other lesser reasons, while not agreeing with them on their advocacy of the intrinsic evil. A Catholic cannot ignore a politician's views on life, religious freedom, marriage and family just because the voter agrees with the candidate's policies on the economy, ecology, etc.

A Catholic can only vote for a politician who supports an intrinsic evil if the candidate is proportionately less supportive of that evil than their opponent running for the same office. For example, if neither candidate is 100% pro-life and one supports unrestricted abortions and the other only makes exceptions in the cases of rape and incest, the latter is preferred to the former because, proportionately, more good and less evil will be done. In such a case, to abstain from voting could lead to the election of the candidate who is most pro-abortion and least pro-life. With a solemn duty to vote and limited choices, this would be an allowable case of choosing a lesser evil. This would not be a case of doing evil that good may come from it.

Apart from elections, a Catholic faces many choices each day; some may directly involve an intrinsic evil principle or practice, some may directly involve an intrinsic evil goal/objective or means. In both cases a well formed conscience is required that good should be attempted and done, and evil should be avoided and opposed.

Deacon Joseph B. Gorini, Mechanicsburg PA  <///><  [First Published September 23, 2012]

Category: Volume 3

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