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Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/contact:larchstar@aol.com

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

September 22, 2008

CONSCIENCE: A WILD CARD!

This letter was published in today's New York Times:


September 22, 2008
Letters
Abortion: One Issue or the Issue?
To the Editor:

Re “Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholic Votes” (front page, Sept. 17):

Catholics are divided on how to vote: for John McCain and Sarah Palin, who are pro-life, or for Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr., who are pro-choice.
The bishops say either way is O.K., that Catholics may vote for a pro-choice candidate if they are doing so because of the candidate’s positions on other morally grave issues. The economy, education, health care, immigration, and energy may well constitute those reasons.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Biden were criticized by bishops for their pro-choice views. Mr. Biden and Ms. Pelosi, like most of us, find tensions between our Catholicism and our life views: contraception, homosexuality, divorce, priestly celibacy, papal views on women or “creeping infallibility” in doctrine.
As Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Biden travel through life, they try, according to their consciences, to reconcile closeness to Jesus, by faith, prayer and the sacraments, with any aberrant views.
The wild card of conscience trumps the bishops, not as to teaching, but as to receiving Jesus in holy communion.

(Msgr.) Harry J. Byrne
Bronx, Sept. 17, 2008

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