Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The 2015 Election for the Disenfranchised

I have been dreading this election for some time now. Unfortunately the state of party politics and the complete marginalization of backbenchers means that even if an MP has a functioning Catholic conscience, no free vote will be permitted on serious moral issues. Justin Trudeau has made it abundantly clear that Catholics who adhere to the Church's position on life issues are not welcome in the Liberal Party. The situation is the same for the NDP. 
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said “In the NDP, no MP is ever going to vote against the woman’s right to choose. No one will be allowed to run for the NDP if they don’t believe that it is a right in our society for women to make their own choices on their reproductive health. Period.”
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said his party will not accept anti-abortion candidates, although current Liberal MPs who are anti-abortion can remain in caucus, he said. “It is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body, and that is the bottom line,” Trudeau told reporters on Parliament Hill.

I cannot vote for a party which places restrictions on its MPs that are in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching advocating actions which are objectively wrong. There is no room in either of these parties for an MP with a a functioning Catholic conscience.

What of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives? Mr. Harper has a long history of opposing free votes in the house. Moreover he has made it plain that although he will allow pro-life candidates and MPs, he is absolutely opposed to opening debate on the abortion issue in Commons. His MPs are permitted to have a conscience but he will permit them no opportunity to act on it.

Moreover, I am worried that some of the provisions in the recently passed security bill C-51 could easily be turned against Catholics who protest abortion or oppose same sex marriage. This has already happened in Great Britian, according to this Catholic Herald article. 

MP calls for anti-terror powers to prevent Christians from teaching gay marriage is wrong

We have already seen people subjected to the extra judicial procedures of Human Rights Tribunals. I simply have no wish to support a leader who crafts legislation that could easily be used to declare Mary Wagner or Linda Gibbons as dangerous extremists who are opposed to Canadian values.

Unfortunately there are no candidates in the upcoming election for whom I can vote in good conscience. The option of refusing my ballot is not even available in federal elections. Unless some serious reforms are enacted limiting the number of whipped votes in the House of Commons, allowing backbench MPs to vote their conscience unfettered by party platforms, I will continue to be disenfranchised.

"The first move will be to privatize religion, to move it off the public stage... 
The second move is the secular state will go after those practices of ours and teachings of ours that it finds repugnant."
Cardinal Francis George

Catechism of the Catholic Church
2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." "We must obey God rather than men":

When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel. 

Doctrinal Note: On Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in  Political Life
As John Paul II has taught in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae regarding the situation in which it is not possible to overturn or completely repeal a law allowing abortion which is already in force or coming up for a vote, "an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality".

In this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility towards the common good. Nor can a Catholic think of delegating his Christian responsibility to others; rather, the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives him this task, so that the truth about man and the world might be proclaimed and put into action.


Barona said...

Superbly articulated. Catholics, Christians and men of good will need to seriously see that grave sin is committed not only through commission, but omission.

Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

Yes, you are in a big mess in Canada. Civil Disobedience is the only answer. In the U.S., we are following happily behind you on abortion, same sex marriage and all things horrifically liberal. The CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) called me the other night. I was so happy. I had my opportunity for civil disobedience. They wanted information on vaccinations. I said, "Are you part of the federal government?" They said, "Yes." I said, "Then you can't have any information from me. I thoroughly want to disobey the federal government." The CDC was nonplussed. Their answer was, "Okay?" Susan Fox

Sorry I know you are facing martyrdom as are we, but St. Lawrence did joke while he was being roasted alive. "Turn me over. I'm done on that side!"