Catholic Bishop David Laurin Ricken has informed the over 300,000 members of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin that voting for candidates (Democrats) whose positions contradict any so-called “non-negotiables” of Catholic teachings puts “one in grave moral danger.” (Translation: You’re going to HELL.)
I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person.
- embryonic stem cell research
- human cloning
- homosexual “marriage”
These are intrinsically evil. “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals.” Intrinsically evil actions are those which have an evil object. In other words, an act is evil by its very nature and to choose an action of this type puts one in grave moral danger. [emphases added]
But what does this have to do with the election? Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally “complicit” with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.
Gay activist and journalist John Becker of Truth Wins Out who broke the story weighs in.
This story hits close to home for me, as I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin and used to be very active in the Green Bay Catholic Diocese. I come from a family of liturgical musicians and was even a previous bishop’s favorite cantor (until I was unceremoniously dismissed for my “scandalous” marriage to another man); my parents — both fixtures of Green Bay’s Catholic community — are outspokenin their support of LGBT equality, as are many friends. According to all the reports I’ve heard so far from them and others, Bishop Ricken’s letter has outraged and divided local Catholics. There are even rumors that, inspired by Catholic communities in Washington State, some parishes might defy Ricken’s order and refuse to distribute his letter. For the sake of the Catholic LGBT youth in Northeastern Wisconsin — many of whom, like me, are still growing up falsely believing that they are somehow “intrinsically evil” — I hope as many churches as possible do just that.
Rickens letter was posted on the diocesan website and emailed to the offices of every parish. The diocese is also ordering churches to include the letter in their bulletins this weekend or next.