So I am here and now doing a "mea culpa", meaning "I was wrong", sort of. I'm still not convinced that when you take away all the trappings that there is a whole lot of difference between the Democrats and Republicans, but there is no denying that the Republicans at least say all the right things, while the Democrats are so far out that they can't even be considered. So even though I will have to hold my nose, I am going to vote in this election, and for president, I will, of course, vote the Romney/Ryan ticket, more as a vote against Obama than a vote for Romney, because not to vote at all is the same as casting a vote for Barack Obama.
In an allocution to the Congress of the International Union of Catholic Women’s Leagues, September 11, 1947, the Pope [Pius XII] spoke of the gravity of the obligation for all. He insisted that those who would not take part would be guilty of serious sin. “There is a heavy responsibility on everyone, man or woman, who has the right to vote, especially when the interests of religion are at stake; abstention in this case, in itself, it should be thoroughly understood, is a grave and fatal sin of omission. On the contrary, to exercise well, one’s right to vote is to work effectively for the good of the people, as loyal defenders of God and of the Church.”Catholic Apologetics goes on to give us more examples of prelates who declare voting to be an obligation all all Catholics:
In the important elections of June, 1951, nearly all the bishops of France issued pastoral letters on the duty of voting. In printing a selection of these statements, La Croix said it was impossible to quote them all. They were cast in similar terms, insisting (1) upon the duty of voting and (2) upon the duty of voting only for those candidates who were prepared to support spiritual values and in particular to support a true freedom of choice in education that would make it possible for parents to send their children to Catholic Schools. Such were the statements of Cardinal Gerlier and Cardinal Lienhart.
Archbishop Feltin of Paris said that to abstain was treason.  Archbishop Richaud of Bordeaux declared that no one was free from grave sin for not voting unless it were actually impossible for him to do so. Archbishop Lefebre of Bourges said there was no excuse for abstaining simply because one had been disappointed with the performance of a party in which he had placed his hopes. Bishop Jaquin of Moulins reminded his flock that none could do anything that would favor Communism, while Bishop Mathieu of Aire and Dax declared that it was not enough simply to register a vote against Communism, since the French Socialist Party had always shown a constant malevolent opposition to Catholic ideals.
When the French people failed to vote in the elections of October 7, 1951, several members of the Hierarchy issued statements condemning such indifference. Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyons, and Cardinal Lienart, Bishop of Lille, were particularly outspoken. “To vote,” said Cardinal Lienart, “is a serious obligation, abstention from which would be a sin. Each person has one vote. If he does not express his wishes by casting his ballot, it is equivalent to giving an extra vote to the opposition. One does not escape his responsibilities as a citizen by not voting, he increases them.”they are the party of death, not only supporting but actually celebrating such issues as abortion, contraception and homosexuality, all in direct defiance of the Catholic Church and the Law of Almighty God. Whatever good they may promote is completely overshadowed by their anti-morality, anti-God positions.
So we are left with the Republicans. I have complained mightily here that I feel they are really no different than the Democrats. They give lip service to what is right and good, but they never seem to follow through. The GOP Presidential Candidate, while proclaiming to be pro life, says he supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and the health and life of the mother. He supports homosexuals in the Boy Scouts, he supports same sex civil unions as long as they are not called marriage. He supports the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the legal right to imprison any American for an indefinite length of time with no charge and no trial. I find many of Mitt Romney's views to be troubling, to say the least.
As Catholics, we have only one choice in this presidential election, and it ain't the Democrats. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, did pick one of the most pro-life Catholic politicians available as his running mate - Rep. Paul Ryan. He is a good and devout Catholic who I believe can be counted on to always support the teachings of the Church. I have certainly disagreed with some of his actions, but when compared to the Democrats, he is like an angel of God.
The Catholic Church itself is restrained from telling us specifically whom we should support. But as Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois told us:
I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.To sum up, we are told by the Church that we have a responsibility to vote, and we are also told that our choice could literally affect our own personal salvation.
I am still not totally convinced that there is any real difference among Democratic and GOP leaders. But at least the Republicans do not overtly support anti-life and anti-Catholic values. And there are most definitely those GOP candidates who have shown great courage in going against the mainstream, such as Todd Akin of Missouri and Joe Walsh of Illinois, who just recently said that abortion is wrong in all situations.
I have looked at the presidential candidates, and have come to the conclusion that despite my misgivings about Mitt Romney, not to vote for him is to vote for Barack Obama, and I cannot do that. Barack Obama is the personification of everything for which I, as a Catholic, stand in complete opposition. To give Barack Obama another four years is to condemn our nation to total destruction. Mitt Romney will not solve all of our problems. He may not solve any of our problems, but I do believe a Romney/Ryan administration will give us a reprieve and mitigate some of the terrible punishment that is due our nation for turning its back on God.
To quote again from Catholic Apologetics:
In a discourse to the Pastors and Lenten Preachers of Rome March 16, 1946, [Pope Pius XII] gave this advice:
The exercise of the right to vote is an act of grave responsibility, at least when there is the question involved of electing those whose office it will be to give the country its constitutions and its laws, particularly those which effect, for example, the sanctification of feast days, marriage, family life and school, the various phases of social life. It therefore falls to the Church to explain to the faithful their moral duties which derive from their right to vote. To the same body of clergy he spoke two years later (March 10, 1948) and with even more emphasis. His words were the following:
It is your right and duty to draw the attention of the faithful to the extraordinary importance of the coming elections and to the moral responsibility which follows from it for those who have the right to vote. In the present circumstances it is strictly obligatory for whoever has the right, man or woman, to take part in the elections. He who abstains, particularly through indolence or cowardice, commits thereby a grave sin, a mortal offense.
On November 6, I will be going to the polls along with millions of other Americans to cast my vote. If you are a Catholic, you are under obligation to do the same.
Hold your nose and get out there and vote.