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The last acceptable prejudice is the one which was the subject of Cardinal Dolan’s comments which form the title of this post – anti-Catholicism. It is inconceivable that had someone from Hillary Clinton’s campaign made the sort of comments about Muslims that were made about Catholics that that person would still be employed; moreover, one can be certain that their name would have been all over the media and a Twitter-mob would have been stalking them. But insult Catholics and – well, meh, who cares? So it is fine to say:

“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Toleration? Only of what liberals find tolerable. But that fact is now so clear, from the reaction here to Brexit, and in the USA to Trump, that it is in danger of becoming a cliche. This does not mean that there are not real reasons for opposing both, but it highlights the ease of access of a lazy set of stereotypes – which, as ever, are a substitute for thinking.

Can A Catholic in the USA vote for Mrs Clinton? Let us see what Cardinal Ratzinger (as he then was) wrote in 2004:

When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.] 

Earlier in the same letter he quotes from Evangelium Vitae:

Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

It is clear from the whole tone of the Clinton campaign that she regards the stance of the Church on ‘life’ issues as ‘backward’. A serious attempt has been made by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (go find it, I’m not providing a link) to provide a ‘Catholic Spiring’ in which the down-trodden masses in the pews would rise against the ‘medieval monarchy’ and the antiquated attitudes. It has hit the buffers of the fact that those in the Church who think like this are generally in their seventies and already find the orthodox vigour of the young problematic. Despite the claims of one of the founders of the group that they challenge the orthodoxies of ‘both sides’, no one has been able to produce what does not exist – which is evidence of it challenging the liberal line on abortion and contraception. Contrary to the stereotype, most Catholics long ago saw through the claim that ‘dialogue’ was about ‘challenging both side’; it is always tipped in favour of challenging orthodoxy. That is why there will be no ‘Catholic spring’ – we are already the Easter people and ‘alleluia’ is, as St John Paul II said, our song.

It is plain that those with a vote in America’s elections are free to use it as they wish. I would not want to have to choose either of the candidates. But if one places the highest value on the sanctity of human life in the womb, then voting Clinton is not in alignment with that priority.

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