Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Allow me to continue my thoughts from last week's corner.
Last week I left you witha quote from John J. Cardinal O'Conner, a past Archbishop of New York, who said that he did not "see how a Catholic in good conscience can vote for a candidate who explicitly suuports bortion." I would like to reflect on this statement and unpack what it might mean for us and our upcoming vote. I will use as my reflection the example that was told to me by a friend to shed light on the quote above - I have taken the liberty to expand on what my friend said.
Imagine if you will, the scenario where you have been in a coma for 25 years. As you awaken from the coma you realize that much has changed in society - and one of these changes is that "Slavery is now the law of the land. Confused as to how this could possibly have come about, you ask someone the history of this law of Slavery. You are told the following: 25 years ago society was dead-set against Slavery - it was unthinkable even to raise it as a possibility for limited and unique situations. But slowly the consensus of people was to allow it to exist. Slavery was first allowed as a "personal choice" - those who needed money to pay off huge debts would be able to sell themselves for a period of time, to work off the debt. People were ok with this law, becasue it was a free choice that people were making after all. Thgen thsi law of Slavery expanded to include prisoners. Those who were imprisoned were given the option of slavery instead of remaining in jail for the rest of their lives. Soon the prisoners were no longer asked, but forced into slavery. People were content with this developing Law of Slavery, becasue prisoners were criminals after all and they did not deserve to be "free" to decide what their fate should be. Finally, slavery was extended to the poor and the handicapped - these people were seem as mooching off societies recources and were not giving back as productive members of society. As you leave the hospital, confused and shocked that slavery could actualluy have become the law of the land, you notice lawn signs signifying a general election is underway. As you turn your T.V. you hear that there are political voices that are the expansion of the Slavery to now include children who have become orphans. It is here that you take your stand. Now is the time to have reason once again to prevail. You search out the four candidates who are running in your riding and ask them where they stand on "Slavery".
The first candidate tells you that he is totally in favour of thev expansion of the Slavery law and even has other suggestions to expand it further to those who are mentally ill. The second candidate says that although she personally disagress with Slavery, yet she will continue to follow the will of the people and vote accordingly. After hearing your objections to Slavery in all cases, the third candidiate symphathizes with you and makes it clear that he is a good "Catholic" and was even an altar server when he was young. He understands the Church's teachings on Slavery, but he belives that people have the right and freedom to shoose how society will be formed - although he is against Slavery personally, he will not change the law that people want. The final candidate explains that although she is personally against Slavery, her party affiliation is for it. She is not free ro be anti-slavery and at the same time a member of her party. She id saddened by the lack of political freedom she has, but feels that she can still promote other important initiatives that affect society as your representative.
If you were this person who came out of a coma and found yourself in this scenario, what would you do with your vote? All four candidates would not change th Law of Slavery. Now comes the big decision. What would you do with your vote?
May I suggest that the dilemma of whom to vote for above is the same dilemma (aand I dare say even greater) that many of us have when one or all of our candidates respond is similar fashions to such critical issues effecting society as Abortion, Euthanasia and Same Sex Marriage. I wonder if, in our futuristic scenario of the existance of a Slavery Law, John J. Cardinal O'Conner's would permit us to alter his quote above so that it would read that he did not see how a Catholic in good conscience can vote for a candidate who explicitly supports slavery - I think he would approve of this slight change as remaining consistent to his original intent. At this point I will bring my reflections on the upcoming Federal Election to a close.
Blessings, Fr. Liborio