Washington, D.C. (12 August 2008) – American Life League vice president, Jim Sedlak, dispelled confusion Monday in a radio debate with Rev. Ronald J. Cioffi, the priest whose statements regarding Catholics' duty to vote pro-life have caused confusion and controversy among the Catholic faithful.
In a July 30 article entitled "US Bishops: Vote Your Conscience," the Times of Trenton quoted Fr. Ronald J. Cioffi, director of the Diocese of Trenton's Office of Social Concerns as saying, "You may vote for a person who is pro-choice if you feel you have a moral reason to support the candidate for his stand on other issues."
This tacit support for voting for a pro-abortion candidate provoked outrage from concerned Catholics. The Catholic Church has consistently regarded abortion as an unmatched intrinsic evil to be always and everywhere opposed.
Ave Maria Radio called Sedlak Aug. 11, requesting that he counter Fr. Cioffi in a live debate on its radio station. Click here to hear the debate.
Sedlak affirmed the hierarchical nature of Catholic social teaching – the framework by which Catholics make voting decisions consistent with their Faith. He pointed out that the Pope allowed for such voting only if there was a "proportionate reason."
He went on to state that American Life League believes it would be rare that any reason would be proportionate to the wholesale slaughter of innocent human life.
"Any candidate, who supports the intentional killing of innocent human beings in the womb, disqualifies himself or herself from political office," Sedlak said. "The single issue of abortion will disqualify a candidate. As an organization that fights for the personhood of the preborn child, we need to stand up by insisting that our candidates are 100 percent pro-life. Any candidate who does not agree does not deserve our vote."
American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.
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