Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego made a speech Thursday that attempted to explain his criticism of the elevation of abortion over other political issues.
The speech, titled “Conscience, Candidates and Discipleship in Voting,” discussed the “moral nature and structure of the act of voting for specific candidates,” at the University of San Diego on Feb. 6.
Catholics, McElroy said, have to consider a multitude of social issues and the Church’s teachings on these issues when deciding who to vote for. These issues include abortion, euthanasia, immigration, poverty, and a whole host of other concerns.
McElroy said the idea that one social issue in particular has “a unique priority” among others in regard to voting in an election is something that “deserves deeper scrutiny.”
As an example of two issues that many American Catholics consider to be “preeminent political imperative,” McElroy put forward abortion and climate change.
Abortion, he said, has led the United States “moving toward becoming a nation split in two,” and climate change has the potential of “stealing the future from coming generations.”
“Against the backdrop of these two monumental threats to human life, how can one evaluate the competing claims that either abortion or climate change should be uniquely preeminent in Catholic social teaching regarding the formation of Americans as citizens or believers,” asked McElroy.
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