As Catholics form their consciences in preparation to vote in the 2016 election, one of our key tasks is to be informed about the issues. Where do the two major presidential candidates and their parties stand on the most important issues facing the country? For Catholics, understanding the positions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as the Democratic and Republican Parties, is essential in making an informed decision on how to vote. It is also key in helping family, friends and colleagues make an equally enlightened choice on Nov. 8.
The National Catholic Register is pleased to offer this special section on the candidates, the issues and Church teaching. Each section includes brief excerpts on what the Church or Church leaders teach about important topics (e.g., abortion, religious liberty, family life and the death penalty), followed by the actual words or pledges of the candidates and the two parties. We hope that you find this guide helpful in your prayerful discernment.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. … Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. … Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2270-2272).
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